Easter Monday visitors

Today our summer visitors arrived , I don't mean the convoys of caravans that miraculously appear on the M5 as soon as the sun comes out nor the cohorts of blackleather clad motorcyclists with their mirror sun glasses and sinister stares nor the annual migrating surfers heading westwards into Cornwall in their ancient vans , with boards strapped to the roofs and billowing trails of blue smoke and even slightly more dubious smoke issuing from the open windows - no I mean the swallows are back . I was sitting at my kitchen table looking at a rather limp piece of water cress and wondering if it enhanced the stolid pasty it graced when out of the corner of my eye , in the direction of the barn which I have told you about before ,I caught a momentary flash of black, and that familiar sickle shape of a swallow in full flight .Suddenly there was another then another until five swallows swooped and dived and pirouetted in what seemed to be some kind of homecoming exuberant dance. I watched entranced and then as suddenly as they had come they were gone -who knows where ;further up north maybe or just a few hundred yards to their old nesting spot .Soon our village street will be full of house martins returning to their nests under the thatched eaves of the cottages . Repairs will be made to old nests and new ones built .When I see them arrive I know summer is just around the corner . One swallow does not make a summer - I have seen five .

11 Replies

  • It sounds wonderful, we have recently moved from Wales to Cheshire and I'm so delighted at the different wildlife here in our new garden, instead of the seagulls we have very lovely birdsong, although I do miss the seagulls, they are not a very friendly lot.... Also all the new plants that are coming to life that we have never seen before, Springtime is a joy , we have been sad to leave our old home but this one has new beginnings I feel , 🌹🌻🌺🍁🍃 xx

  • hi nanonthenet1

    i agree the springtime is wonderful to behold and we have had a couple of really warm days once the fog has lifted

    so spring is here and summer cannot be far behind!

    lol JIll


  • Georgepa, thank you, you made my day. My tortoises will wake soon, also a sign of summer. Enjoy your day.


  • Yes enjoyed your post very much I am sitting on the sofa with my cup of tea enjoying a bit of me time, the sun is out the daffodils are waving at me, and the birds are singing, this weather makes you feel better have a good day all Yvonne xxxxxx

  • Once again what a wonderful description. Springwatch want to know when you first see a swallow so they can map when spring really takes hold all over the country. When we moved into this house in 1977, house martins were numerous, with their little mud houses stuck under the eaves of many properties. We weren't fortunate enough to have them although seeing the stained walls and paths beneath, my husband wasn't as sorry as I was. Gradually everyone had the asbestos soffits changed to PVC, including us so the house martins left and didn't return although on warm summer evenings they do feed above our garden. The swallows you saw may have taken up residence in a National Trust property. I don't think we have been to one that doesn't have swallows and they always seem to nest very low in entrance porches and stables, swooping close to our heads as they return home with beaks full of grubs. As soon as they approach the nest, which has been silent, suddenly comes alive with 5, 6 or more very noisy, wide beaked heads pop out. I never tire of watching them.

    When I was about 7 and attending a village school in Northamptonshire my teacher must have been passionate about nature as I can only remember lessons about wildlife; unless it is me who is passionate so I didn't retain any other knowledge she tried to teach us. I remember her telling us that swallows, housemartins and swifts caught their food on the wing. For years I thought they had sticky wings and after catching all their food they would land on a telegraph pole and pull all the insects of their wings. My son came home from school and told me that the cuckoo lays an egg and then takes it to someone else's nest and puts it in there. Nearly correct.

    You have seen 5 swallows so it must definitely be summer where you are. On LBC this morning the weather man said it was a beautiful sunny day in London but don't be fooled as it is only 4 degrees out there Brrrrrrrrrrr!

  • That must the early bunch. Have been watching all the swallows, lining up on the telegraph wires for a couple of weeks now. It's really weird, knowing that they are all flying home! Always know when it's time to think about coming or leaving South Africa, by the birds. Perhaps thats why we are called The Swallows over here! Hope they are dragging the sun kicking and screaming back into the Northern Hemisphere and we will have another decent summer!

    Lots of love


  • Oh joy! send them up country to Northumberland! So glad to know they are on their way. x

  • Lovely to read your post, love the positive ones. We stayed close to home over the weekend as we too understand the traffic over Easter as people pass by on the M5 on they way to Devon/Cornwall. We don't seem to get house martins over here, but on Sunday night I was thrilled to see the bats flying again. They circle a couple of large trees out the front of the retirement homes and have our dog mesmerised too - he looks like he is watching a tennis match as he follows their flight back and forth.

  • No swallows or martins seen yet, but on our return from Ireland last week, some 15 plus molehills on the lawn (well the grass and weeds!) He's obviously hiked back from his winter away somewhere!

  • Georgepa, I loved this Summer visitors piece - would it be ok if I reproduced it in our Church magazine that I help to publish?


  • You are very welcome .

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