A few nights ago, I went out to put the chickens to bed. As I left the house through the top door that leads on to the deck, and straight on to the garden (the house is set in to the hillside) I noticed there was a lot of mud in the doorway. I shrugged it off, put it down to the dogs and didn't think too much of it.
As I came back in to the house I happened to look up, and spotted 3 House Martins perched on a part built nest.
The next morning they were busy flying backwards and forwards with beaks full of mud, and kept me very amused. That afternoon I planned to get the camera out and film them, however, whilst I was eating lunch on the deck, disaster!
With a slumph, and a splat the half built nest fell completely off the wall. It was a bit like one of those moments on The Great Pottery Throw Down when someone uses far too much slip, or builds too quickly and the whole lot just collapses on itself.
Most of the nest was now sat right on top of my outside light...
I did wonder if they would give up, and I'd missed my chance to take photos and film them. Luckily however these birds aren't quitters!
This time they appear to be going more slowly, just a bit is being added each day.
At one point every time I went out with the camera they decided to go off feeding instead of nest building, but eventually I got there. It's filmed on my regular camera on a tripod so isn't crystal clear, and you'll be relieved to know I've removed the sound because no one needs to hear just how noisy the countryside actually is...
In these 5 minutes there are cars, Dad chainsawing, a racket of garden birds, and a low flying RAF jet.
Here's a close up of the mud that fell off. Yet another use for Welsh Mountain wool, apparently it makes a very useful nest strengthener!
They stay here until September or even October before migrating back to Africa, so they can afford to take their time as they sometimes manage to squeeze 3 broods in to the summer season. If this nest doesn't work out then we might put up a man-made nest this winter but we can't do that now as it would disturb them.
If they do manage to build a nest I might have a go at doing the BTO House Martin survey as they're in decline as a breed, though seem to be doing well out here. These birds will have come over the valley where a whole colony nest on the side of a farm house.