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House Martin
House Martin

We have seen a few house martins flying around as The Dog, Jackie and I patrol our locality. It is, of course, futile to try to photograph them when they are flying around. They are so small and move so fast that only blind chance would place one in the frame – as and when the camera chose to take the shot. Digital cameras are really great for those of us who just want to click away and then look at the pictures later, but the price you pay is that the camera takes the picture at its own convenience with little thought for all the time and effort that went into framing the shot.

We were pleased to find this one sitting on a wire today. I must mention that there were actually two sitting on the wire to start with, but by the time we had convinced ourselves that they really were house martins and not just a couple of sparrows, one of them became bored with our indecision and swooped off for a light snack.

They used to nest on cliffs, but as soon as humans reached the level of intellect necessary to build decent houses, they upgraded to the more modern and up to date option. Very sensibly, they spend our winter months south of the equator. They raise a couple of broods here each year, probably to teach the youngsters how tough life can be, before they potter off for a lazy three months or so in the lush plenty of the tropics.

It’s a good life if you can get it.

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