The migrants’ return

This week I am happy because “my” house martins have returned. It happened on Tuesday. As I was sitting at my desk, suddenly there was a rush of gurgling and chuckling, and I looked out of my window to see madcap aerobatics. According to the RSPB website, they usually return to the UK in April. So 29 May is really late, and I had given up hope of seeing them this year.

I was at Mucknell this time last year, enjoying the swallows. I thought it possible that the martins had given up the neighbourhood, including the nesting site in the eaves over my bedroom window. But it turns out that they had merely been delayed; the weather being so appalling in April and the first half of May, I suppose they holed up in Africa for a bit longer.

So now I can look forward to a summer of lying in bed listening to the chuckling chatter, looking for the tiny heads poking out of the mud nest, and standing vacantly at the window watching the aerobatics.

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