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  • Over the summer, I've seen loads of Swifts, Sand Martins and eventually Swallows, but only a few House Martins, so hopefully you can teach your landlord not to do anything to limit their success in future years.

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    Nige   Flickr

  • Hazel and Nigel, I agree. Hazel, I, too, hope you can persuade your landlord not to block House Martins from nesting. You probably know that you can buy little transparent canopies which can be fixed over a doorway. They are not particularly attractive and do not fit in with certain house styles but they do protect people from receiving little unwelcome deposits from sweetly chattering, charming little Hirundines when arriving or leaving! I suppose they could be removed for the winter and put up again in the early spring.
    As for flocks, we saw large flocks of Sand Martins on the sand islands at Frampton Marsh nearly 2 weeks ago, guesstimated something like several hundred, possibly more. Every now and then they would all take off and circle around, finally landing again on the same place. Never did see any birds of prey so do not know what set them off. Perhaps they were simply rehearsing, building up their strength for the big trip to come.

    Kind regards, 

    Ann

  • @ Nige and Ann, We'll be here till mid March (Apt. is said to be completed just before end of 2019 or early new year but looking at the build progress I doubt it will be Dec/Jan which they are stating at the moment ! and we wouldn't move in straight away as we would want to get all the necessary installed and the items out of storage, etc. ) Nothing more has been mentioned about sealing off the under-eaves but I think because these are private long term rental properties that it is the rentees that complain about the poopy mess.  Of course, a lot of folk are neither interested or clued up about birds and hence don't understand the importance of welcoming these precious birds but our landlord is fully aware and I will press the importance even further when I speak with him should it be mentioned again; there are lots of outbuildings/farm buildings around here so should the worst happen there should not be a shortage of places for the HM's to rebuild and nest although I know they tend to return to the same nesting site each year. Early days but the HM's have us fighting their corner whilst we are here !

    @ Ann,  must have been lovely watching the SMs in such good numbers.    The Swallows are doing exactly the same here, grouping together on the overhead cables, flying around to feed on insects and gathering again.   Hopefully we get a decent prolonged spell of settled weather so they can get a good start on their long journey southwards;   you can't help thinking about the miles they and the other migrants fly and across the vast Sahara desert;  it never fails to impress me how the first time juveniles (even with their genetic imprinting) find their way to a new destination (for them) so very far away.    Making the most of them at the moment and crossing my fingers for a safe journey. 

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • A few from today, another trip to see the deer but also dropped down into the valley and Derwent. Great to see the highland cattle back on Baslow Edge too.