Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Swallows and Martins

The swallows seem to have done well again this year, arriving in good time, nesting in their usual places - like in the barn on Craigard croft - and....

....rearing their young, though this one looked a bit fed up with life.

The sand martins seem to have done well too, returning to their holes in the small quarry just up the Sanna road from the Kilchoan telephone exchange and in the quarry by the road to the south of Loch Mudle, and foraging as far afield as Ormsaigbeg.

By comparison, the house martins didn't seem to be doing at all well. We saw very few indeed until almost the end of June - this is the best picture I could get from a fleeting sighting -  and they were missing from most of the places where they normally nest. So, just taking Ormsaigbeg as an example, there were none nesting at the Ferry Stores house, none at Water's Edge, none at our house, and none at the new house at the end of the Ormsaigbeg road, all places where they have nested in the past.

One or two other people on the internet are worried that their numbers are in steep decline, one describing what he is observing as 'frightening'.

However, things changed dramatically two days ago when we began seeing house martins passing in front of our house, and today, when I went up to the new house towards the end of Ormsaigbeg, half a dozen or so were swooping around its eaves.

They have obviously arrived back very late and, as a result, are only just beginning to build their nests - and it's so good to see them!

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