Saturday, 28 August 2010


There's excitement in the air wherever the swallows are, either sitting on the power lines or swooping around the high deciduous trees in their hunt for insects. They usually set off south for their winter quarters in September but, from the way they're behaving, they may be leaving earlier.

The Diary has been very worried about the lack of house martins this year. Two pairs have been spotted in the field below Meall mo Chridh, and others have been seen around Mingary, but there have been none up the Ormsaigbeg end of the village, and certainly none nesting in their usual places such as the eaves of the Ferry Stores and Water's Edge.

Then, suddenly, on Thursday, a flock of them appeared, chattering as they worked for insects around the sycamore trees near Craigard. This attempt at a photograph of them shows just how fast they move. By yesterday they had all disappeared.

Perhaps one group did make it back to the west coast this spring, but spent the year further north, and this was them on their way south again, feeding as they went, on the start of their long migration to Africa.

Would very much appreciate comments from other people on their sightings of house martins this year. Are we alone in having so few?

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