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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