(A-Z) House Martin

Now they have returned to the country it was time to return to ‘H’.

This is another one of the birds that I have probably seen often, but never taken the time to identify. Along with swallows, swifts and sand martins they are often swooping around but for these purposes I have had to look a but more carefully.

This morning, looking out of my window, I saw something new. We had swallows a couple of weeks ago but I could tell straight away that these were not swallows. Too small. The Mease Meadow is out of my flat window, and running along the opposite edge is a brook. These birds were swooping over the water, then over the meadow, then high up into the air for a while. Were they sand or house martins? I tried to get a lock on them with my binoculars but as they darted around, this way and that, I couldn’t get a good view of the tails. The house martin’s tail is a bit more forked, but I just couldn’t see them well enough.

Another quick look in the book and the black chest band became the important feature, or rather for a house martin, the lack of! Just then, one of them came and turned right in front of my window and I saw very clearly that there was no chest band!

A real harbinger of summer, although how much of a summer we will have remains to be seen. I hope these little things frequent my meadow!


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