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House Martins late this year?

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House Martins late this year?

Old 10th May 2022, 17:10
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House Martins late this year?

Just above our bedroom window, which is always a bit open through the night, we have a house martin nest. This time last year there was much activity from first light onwards. We remember as we only took possession of the property on 22 April and were not used to the noise so close by. This year they have not returned, yet.

Has anyone else in the UK seen them this year?

What we also find that we have, first heard on 22 April this year, is hedgehogs. This is good. Luckily we have our trailcam here so by selectively putting food out at night we have captured feeding and courting rituals over the last couple of weeks. We used to have them at our southern headquarters, first heard when we moved in there in 1990, but a couple of years ago they disappeared abruptly when a badger started to visit our garden in the night. Significant housing development close by probably disturbed the badgers sett and/or foraging grounds causing them to venture further afield and start passing through our garden.

Global warming is rumoured to be causing the spring to start earlier but we have not seen any evidence of that in the wildlife activity. If anything the last three weeks have been noticeably cooler than this time last year.......

Rnas6......................

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Old 10th May 2022, 17:13
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Saw a lone swift or swallow last week, just a fleeting glimpse so not sure which. Don't usually see swifts till May and haven't heard them screaming yet.
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Old 10th May 2022, 17:19
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Funnily enough, we were only saying the same thing this week.

I’m in the rural South of England and the first house martins always arrive here around the 15/16 April every year. This year, I haven’t yet seen one. They always build in the apex of our roof and twitter and tweet like budgies excitedly upon their return, almost as though they are pleased to see ‘their spot’ is still available. I’m quite sad and missing them as they are such a welcoming sign of early summer.
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Old 10th May 2022, 17:25
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Swallows arrived a fortnight or more ago here. Have not noticed any house martins as yet.
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Old 10th May 2022, 17:43
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Our Swallows returned on the 12/4 and the Swifts put in an appearance early May, but they do not roost at our place unlike the Swallows. Always pleased to see both of them back, and we have a Short Eared Owl nesting in the moorland adjacent to our top field who are fun to watch as well as the run of normal birds (Wren, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnett's, House Sparrows etc) all in either courting or early young stage. We sadly do not get House Martins, and the Swallow numbers have declined over the 17 years we have lived here from sending out around 38, from the 3 houses that had them in the hamlet we live in. There is now only ours that return, and even that has reduced so this year we got 3 returnees out of the 14 we sent out last September. Nothing has changed here on the houses or barns, or indeed the farming practice so the issue must be further down route. I do get a little anxious each April as to if they will make it back in large enough numbers to breed successfully as we would miss them greatly if they left us.
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Old 10th May 2022, 17:49
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There was no sign last year of the house martins who nested in the roof...nest clearly visible. Not many swifts seen either.

This year, one fleeting glimpse of something, nothing more.

However, the hedgehogs have emerged again in the garden !....much to madams confusion, we don't know quite what they are, so I bark a lot at them.....and they ignore me ! ...however, they are incursions in my (i.e, hers to save any confusion) garden...which is all madam needs to launch.

Owls getting tantalising close with their hooting, but, sadly, no visual ident
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Old 10th May 2022, 17:57
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Our local (North midlands) housemartins are running a week late in arriving, they’re normally here by the second week of May. They usually nest under the eaves of the newish houses opposite us. I’ve not seen any sand martins, either as yet. Swifts have traditionally nested under the wooden eaves of some older houses on our small street but they have declined in numbers considerably over the thirty years we’ve owned this house. The main issue is that they return to the same nest sites but new house owners have replaced the poorly fitting wood with UPVC, blocking the access to the top of the brickwork. I would love to have them nest here, and would provide a nest box, but our bungalow eaves are far too low to suit them.

Lets hope they will all be here soon.
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Old 10th May 2022, 18:24
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Birds in my suburban garden and those surrounding have blossomed in the last couple of years, the regular wrens, robins, blackbirds plus visiting tits and finches and the less welcome pigeons, magpies, crows and ruddy parakeets have been joined by goldcrests (fir tree two doors down), dunnocks and blackcaps - sparrows are also forming a nearby commune, very welcome after an absence of many years. Weird thing, I've twice had a robin come into the house in the last week which has never happened before - took some careful manoeuvring to get him outside again! Buzzards are a pretty common sight now and red kites are starting to appear occasionally. I think there is pair nesting over towards Biggin Hill, four or five miles further east.

We never get swallows or martins other than on the commons, but swifts are usually evident the warmer months.

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Old 10th May 2022, 20:19
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As a fisherman the thing I have noticed is the increase in Herons and indeed Kingfisher and also unfortunately Cormorants which can now be found well inland feeding on Coarse Fish which personally, though not a Coarse Fisherman I find odd and indeed wrong somehow. In the same vane when I fish my Salmon / Sea Trout / Trout go back as they are in short numbers but others happily will let Otters predate on them. So despite all of us Fisherman doing our best to preserve fish stocks ( you do not want to see the bills Mrs Mac doesn’t) you now have this tricky balance and I am not sure how you do it. Sorry a little thread drift there.

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Mr Mac
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Old 10th May 2022, 20:50
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Just looked up robin flying into the house to see if it's something that happens often and, according to the superstitious/retellers of old wives' tales on Mum's Net, a bird coming into the house is a sign of someone close dying and coming to look after you! Coincidentally, a local publican who I knew very well indeed died totally unexpectedly (aged only 51! ) on Thursday night... spooky! I thought the first visit (which was on Thursday) was a distraction burglary as his mates were up very close and personal, twitting at me while I was hanging out the washing!
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Old 10th May 2022, 21:08
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
Swallows arrived a fortnight or more ago here. Have not noticed any house martins as yet.
African Swallow?
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Old 10th May 2022, 21:53
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Yes the House Martins are late but I saw my first two over south Cambridge today.
normally you can see ones and twos are just passing through on their way further north
much earlier than this before the main flock(?) arrives maybe a week or so later.
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Old 10th May 2022, 22:42
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Originally Posted by uxb99 View Post
African Swallow?
Too far away to check its passport
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Old 10th May 2022, 22:57
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Has anyone heard a Cuckoo, there used to be some around Teesside airport, the bird version but none heard so far this year.
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Old 11th May 2022, 00:43
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We still have the odd Bramling which I thought would have left by now.
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Old 11th May 2022, 04:19
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Originally Posted by uxb99 View Post
African Swallow?
Has anyone seen two of them carrying a coconut, gripping it by the husk ?
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Old 11th May 2022, 04:29
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Thought I might have vaguely heard a cuckoo a couple of weeks ago; unfortunately traffic and the nearby singing of a very vocal blackbird conspired to drown out any further calls and it may have just been a wood pigeon. Saw a cuckoo in a tree above me a couple of years ago, only one I have ever seen close up; from underneath the feather patterns look rather bird of preyish, which I presume helps them to frighten parent birds away from the nests they target.

When I lived in Kenya, I saw two swallows with a length of creeper...

Update: standing in the same place where I thought I heard the cuckoo two weeks ago - definitely a wood pigeon - I can see the fat little bugger sitting on an aerial - but it's cuckoo impression, while quite good, is a bit like Dick Van Dyke's cockney chimney sweep...

Last edited by treadigraph; 11th May 2022 at 06:24.
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Old 11th May 2022, 07:00
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Swallows at least 2 weeks late at CA airfield , down here in Wessex . Seen around our local farmyard , but not in huge numbers .
Have seen them in Aberdeen on April 7th , which for last dozen years is arrival time at CA . This year ther's been a lot of Northerly winds around arrival time . Wondered if they're awaiting S or SW airflow .
Lat week heard cuckoo in beech wood to the S of airfield .

rgds condor .
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Old 11th May 2022, 07:04
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Here in the east of England I saw our first swallows of the year on 9/05. Something was later dropped on to my car, but it wasn’t a coconut.
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Old 11th May 2022, 07:08
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Originally Posted by common toad View Post
it wasn’t a coconut.
Did you get it analysed?
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