Ok so this blog is not about ‘making’ anything –it is about birds & their nests – so  tenuously there is a link…the drama of nest building: (be warned unless you are a bit of a twitcher this may all be just too much)

 Flycatchers:

Yesterday evening we sat watching a pair of flycatchers busily making a nest in a small hollow on a tiny ledge above our kitchen window – they’d fly up and hover with manically fluttering wings –rather humming bird like.

 flycatcher

Then this morning tragically half their nest is now hanging blowing in the wind dangling  from the little ledge Can’t be wind as its sheltered by a drain pipe - maybe bird wars? or maybe just the flycatchers’ notoriously messy nest building just went too far this time and they realised the ledge was  too small. Not surprisingly not seen any more nest building….

 nest

 

House martins and sparrows:

By this time last year all our house martins were back – sadly this year I’ve yet to see one. Maybe they didn’t survive the migration – statistically unlikely for all of them  – probably bird wars are to blame?

2 years ago a pair of sparrows saw off the house martins from  the nests on the south of the house, and last year a pair of  flycatchers  started to move into these nests – but mid-nesting the house martins retuned and tried to lay claim to their old nests. No way! The flycatchers defended what they thought of as theirs, so dived bombed the martins whenever they came close - what a battle! The sorry outcome was that neither bird ended up in the nests so they remained empty, and without the housemartins superior mud-building technique and upkeep the nests are starting to crumble away from the wall.

 house martin nests

I suppose good news for the sparrows is there are already baby sparrows clamouring for food - from another one of the house martins nest – well away from the war zone!

 

Ok – a question for twitchers:  Since we painted our house white back in 2006 we’ve had a steadily increasing population of house martins- getting up to about 8 nests –with each subsequent offspring building a nest next to their parents on whichever side of the house they were born. So do house martins like white houses? I can’t think of any other reason for the house martins suddenly arriving.