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Swifts, swallows and house martins.

(9 Posts)
MiniMoon Sun 12-May-19 11:59:03

Today, while preparing lunch, I looked out of my kitchen window and saw several swifts swooping across the sky.
For me, this is the start of summer.
The swallows and house martins have been here for a couple of weeks already.
Summer has come to Northumberland. I feel so uplifted, I love to see the summer birds.

Fennel Sun 12-May-19 12:25:06

Do you live out in the country MiniMoon? I love rural Northumberland, wanted to retire there as that's where my family comes from. But for various reasons became a Toonie again.
Here we have mostly seagulls, pigeons, rooks and crows and the occasional blackbird.

Alexa Sun 12-May-19 12:37:05

MiniMoon, I love birds. I spent some of my happiest years in a north Northumberland village.

HildaW Sun 12-May-19 13:18:12

We shall miss them this year - having just moved from a converted barn deep in the countryside. Marking the diary for the first house martin to arrive, watching them build their nests and then seeing the swallows swoop and hearing the swifts screeching. Then there is the sadness of the end of summer when they all gather on the wires in readiness for the mass exit. hey ho. Here its all Red Kites and water fowl so something else to enjoy and follow as the seasons progress.

Septimia Sun 12-May-19 14:21:34

We're just south of the Northumberland border. We watch every year for the return of the swallows and house martins. The latter were late and in smaller numbers last year - round about 25th April is usual - and are late again this year. Apparently there have been swallows at the other end of the village for a week or two, but it's only this morning that I've seen several house martins. They didn't nest on our house last year unfortunately but we had two or three nests previously. I'm happy to put up with their mess in order to hear them chattering.
The cuckoo has been around for a week or two and will, no doubt, soon drive us crackers with its call.
Yes, their arrival heralds summer and fills me with joy.

BradfordLass72 Sun 12-May-19 21:44:11

When I first came to live in the house I now rent, the land had been orchards and natural bush.

The first year, the Swallows came back and I loved to see them wheeling about, catching insects.

Then gradually, more and more houses were built and year by year the number of Swallows diminished and now not one comes here.

We do have many native and introduced birds in the now mature bush around my home and I certainly love them but I miss the Swallows.

When I lived in Cornwall, they and Swifts were the harbingers of Summer and months later, would gather in force, all along the telephone wires, dozens of them, young and mature alike, waiting for that last warm Summer day before making their epic journey.

CyclingKnitter Sun 12-May-19 22:08:22

We get swifts here in London - I love hearing the screaming over the house and changing direction so suddenly. They rarely come very low here, though. But every year there have been fewer and fewer. I haven’t seen any yet, this year, so I envy you, MiniMoon. Enjoy!

MiniMoon Sun 12-May-19 23:02:53

I live in the South West corner of Northumberland. When we lived in Cumbria the house martins nested all around our house. I had to scrub the flagstones daily as a result, but I loved them.

Urmstongran Sun 12-May-19 23:03:23

When we go over to Malaga the swifts come wheeling and screeching every night - huge flocks of them, around 50 birds or so. They fly so fast (hence the name I suppose). I always think they will swoop too near the apartment building but of course they never do! Are they sonar, like bats?