Hail and farewell


When we moved to our home in Canterbury there were house martins nesting on neighbours’ houses; we did not get them because the chicks would have baked in the direct noonday sun. One house opposite had hung little balls from the eaves to warn the martins off. Super house proud, or possibly paranoid about droppings. Remember Tobit!

It’s been years since there was any excuse for excluding the birds. No martins have nested hereabouts for many years. Newcomers have never seen them nesting: what you don’t know, you don’t miss. The same goes for the martins: their memory of living on our street has gone; they will not return.

I’ve seen very few matins or swallows this year, but last week as I was walking across the field behind our house I saw two martins overhead. I guess a couple of this year’s brood, getting into fettle for the flight to Africa. God Speed them there and safely back!


1 thought on “Hail and farewell

  1. Frog

    House martins… With swallows, my favourite birds. When I was 18, my Dad brought home a baby house martin that had fallen from its nest where he worked. I had no idea what it was and a friend who lived in the country mocked my city girl’s ignorance. We called it Merry, as I was reading The Lord of the Rings, and raised it. It flew in and out of our flat, stood on my shoulder, spread its wings on my cardigan. It left in September. I have written about it in the blog. I didn’t realise how miraculous it all was, but it made me happy. I have kept a tiny feather in my treasure box.


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