THE RAMBLINGS OF A STRUGGLING ARTIST ON LIFE WITH TWO TERRIERS, A PONY WITH ISSUES AND OTHER WILDLIFE AND BIRDS THAT CROSS OUR PATH

7 June 2013

NEST BUILDING


Yesterday I noticed House martins circling around whilst battling the Hairy Bittercress in the garden and looked up to see them land on what I had thought was a dark mossy patch on our neighbour's house. They're nest building! Very exciting as apparently the previous house owner knocked the nests off at least 14 years ago and they've not been back since. The pictures aren't brilliant but here they are:









Incredible how they seem to be clinging on to nothing. When I went out with Snippet later, I found where they were getting the mud and took this extremely dodgy picture. It would take a few hundred pounds more camera investment to get a better one I'm afraid!




Actually, having blown it up, I quite like it, but I'm probably alone there. 

Isaac and Foal A are the only foals who are bonding. All the others seem to be either alone with their mothers or hanging around with two or three adults. I do miss last year's herd. Foal A continues to be extremely vocal and protective, of Isaac too now. Here they are together....


Foal A...
 

Isaac asleep:

I think this next one is little Bow, but I'm getting seriously confused now. Today I saw yet another black foal who is clearly very new but looks exactly like Foal A. Even if I make a Foal directory I'm going to struggle.


Cows in the sunshine. Some farmers are taking their herds off the moor due to lack of grass. It's still really brown out there as you can see: 


Here are a few sheep studies. Some lambs have been born out here. I found the remains of a dead one today, or rather Snippet did.....





Sitting here at the computer, I'm slightly worried to see no sign of those House Martins today. Perhaps they've given up.....I do hope not. I had great plans for a 'progression of the nest' post! Until next time, have a lovely weekend and here's one of our Magpies on the roof and a Sparrow coming in to land; a complete fluke of course.






40 comments:

  1. Wow I am very jealous! A pair of swifts landed on our walls last year and I was hoping for a nest but no luck. Finger's crossed for yours. Keep us updated and have a lovely weekend. CT :-)

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    1. Still no sign of them today; looks like our neighbour may just have a load of mud attached to her wall!

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  2. What a shame! It must be a big job, building one from scratch. How mean to knock it down!

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    1. It took them all yesterday to do what they did. I have no idea why anyone would want to knock them down.

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  3. There are birds (as yet unidentified) nesting just under the overhang of our roof. They do make a mess, which is presumably why the previous neighbour knocked down the nests. It is a shame though, the mess only lasts for a little while.

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    1. That combined with proximity to the bedroom windows I guess. A bit noisy at dawn probably!

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  4. I hope they come back but they can/are messy.
    I usually leave bird nest alone but in Laguna Beach my neighbors had to be very vigilant with the pigeons. Super destructive and filthy. They return every year babies and all to where they were born, they had to put up the spiky bird wire. So I had to watch for any looking at my home.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. It's not looking good at the moment in House Martin world....I'm wondering if they've realised how little mud there is around and gone to find somewhere with more water!

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  5. As always your photos are gorgeous. Absolutely love the one of Isaac snoozing, look at those perfect little feet and of Bow :) You always get great pictures with your camera, even the moving bird picking up the nesting material.

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    1. At least you managed to see it was a bird! I must try zooming in a bit more on that one. Those perfect little feet don't last long sadly - some of the older ones look like they're wearing curly Aladdin slippers!

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  6. We have Barn Swallows with their mud nests above our bedroom window. Needless to say our window on the outside will need cleaning once they have left.

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  7. All great photos, but oh the horses - adorable!!!

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  8. Lovely photos. How exciting about the house martins! I can never understand the mentality of people who knock nests off their houses. Especially after the nest`s owners have flown all the way home from Africa........

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    1. Ridiculous isn't it? It's a privilege to have them.

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  9. I hope the Martins come back, and find a safe nesting place. We have a pair of barn swallows nesting in our barn. They are most welcome.
    I loved seeing the foals. That little bay with the star looks so sweet.

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    1. Even sweeter when they lie down I think!

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  10. It's illegal here to knock down a nest when there are eggs, but not otherwise...which makes no sense at all to me.
    Jane x

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    1. None at all. It should all be illegal!

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  11. I know how you feel about your Martins--We have a pair of birds build 2 nests on our house, and I was so excited! They settled on the 2nd one, and I think I frightened them away with a sun shade that I put down because I never saw them again--I hope you have better luck with yours!!

    The foals are getting big, and if I actually saw them, I think my fear of horses may vanish--I think! :-)

    I hope you are well, and I hope you enjoy your weekend!

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    1. That make sense of the fact that their anchoring site is so wide. There's easily the width for two, if not three nests. Much as I love horses, you have very good reason to be at least wary of them. I know so many people who are asking for trouble letting their horses push on them and not respect their personal space.

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  12. I do so love the vastness of your landscape photos!

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    1. It is vast and at this time of year, there's nowhere I'd rather be in the world.

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  13. Great news about the House Martins and so pleased you got some photos. Do hope they return to continue with the nest building.

    Loved the photos of the foals, sheep and lambs - beautiful :)

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    1. Progress throughout the comments here....they are back today (Saturday) so perhaps they were having a day off yesterday? Clinging on like that must be exhausting!

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  14. Wonderful pics, thank you so much for sharing! We have swallows back for the first time in 3 years, the birds seem to be liking this warm weather, hope it lasts!

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    1. It's meant to break down here on Monday I think. At least it will help the mud situation for them; it's getting a bit thin on the ground - literally.

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  15. Love the foals, it must be great to watch them regularly and see them develop. Sheep images are beautiful and against a stunning backdrop too.

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    1. It's fantastic, although the ones I followed last year were so different from each other, it was much easier. Not a single one off last year's have appeared on this patch of the moor this year which is a bit depressing. I spent so much time with them, I would definitely recognise them.

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  16. Are those cattle Devon Reds Em?
    We have house martins all round our eaves - I just love them. They come every year and by the end of July the air is just full of them. One of the signs of Summer up here.

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    1. I think so Pat, yes. A farmer friend breeds a mix of red and Charolais which often comes out looking like this too, but these aren't his so probably just Reds.

      How lovely to have so many nests. Perhaps if this lot ever finish building their one, it might start a community....I hope so!

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  17. So glad I 'eavesdropped' on the comments and replies and found the House Martins are continuing. I do hope the neighbours are sympathetic to them, it might be a bit messy for a while but it's a real privilege and all our birds need all the help they can get these days. Well done on getting the photos of them! Lovely photos of the foals, little Bow looks very sweet. Great photo of the House Sparrow landing fluke or not :-)

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    1. Today they did SOME work, but not a great deal since I mentioned they were back. I took a picture of the mud without the birds and there's definitely more now. Neighbour is very happy they are there too thank goodness.

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  18. I'm so pleased the House Martins are carrying on with their nest. I would find them fascinating. I wish they'd nest here; it would be well worth any clean-up operation afterwards! I love your photos of their progress - and love the other photos, too, especially the foals.

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    1. It's a NNE facing wall with pebble dash kind of stuff in the render if you're considering building something to attract them! Just luck I think although there's no sign of them again this morning (Sunday). Swallows were looking interested though!

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  19. Keeping my fingers crossed for the house martins, someone could always go and water the mud, I'm a big interventionist ;)It must be lovely to live around all those ponies, watching the young grow, often wondered if all these moor ponies ancestors pulled Bouddica's chariot....

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    1. It's a great thought. As for the mud, I have thought the same myself and may well set off with a bucket if the drought conditions continue.

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  20. It's amazing how the birds can build a nest in the strangest places. I used to watch the Phoebes when they built theirs on the porch-so much work, so big on a tiny (1/2 inch) ledge. Hopefully they will return. Love the foals, especially the one sprawled out sleeping with his/hers long eyelashes. The last two sheep photos are wonderful!

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    1. That lamb with the brown face is very sweet isn't it? Quite a lot of bird building action today but I really don't see how they're going to get it finished in time!

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