July 3rd- house martins and struggling swifts

Jonathan Pomroy

The house martins have been feeding low all day. They are very adaptable feeders in poor summer weather, perhaps more so than swifts. Their extreme manoeuvrability enables them to fly between trees and take insects close to or even off leaves. In windy, cool summer weather look for them on the sheltered side of woods and hedges. Sometimes in dull weather their dark plumage blends against the canopy and all the eye can see is white marks moving around. This is their bold white rump and underparts which show up really well against the dark foliage.

Back at our house martin nest I am studying the behaviour as I have with swifts. I make lots of sketches of them and can tell the male from the female. As far as I can tell the male is never far from the nest. He visits frequently throughout the day. I assume that…

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100 days of sketches and notes from Gilling East

Jonathan Pomroy

100 days of daily sketches and notes from Gilling East. At least 30000 words and 7 sketchbooks filled and somewhere near 300 watercolours. Lockdown has pushed me to stay very local with my observations. I have gained so much through this project creatively, but it has also increased my awareness particularly of tiny, but precious areas of habitat. I can plot bird territories in all the local hedgerows and woods. I have come to know individual plants and watched them burst into leaf and flower, I have watched the whole transformation from early spring to mid summer. All the common summer migrant birds have arrived culminating with the dramatic screaming of swifts around the eaves again. I have seen so many wonderful skies. All this using less than a quarter of a tank fuel in my car. I could have seen far more species by travelling but I don’t think…

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