Saturday 23 June 2012

Swallows and Martins

Got out for a run today in gaps between unpleasant sqaully blattery rain. Decided to go out to Coddington on the Barnby Lane Route, slightly tight chested but alive!

The fields of green wheat on Barnby Road and Balderton Lane were busy with Yellowhammers trying but failing to glint in the occasional sliver of watery sun that made it through the grey. Roses? Or things that very much like pink roses, decorated the hedges as I hauled myself up the hill into Coddington past the windmill house I love. But nothing much was going on. No ringlets or meadow browns that I would be expecting to have emerged by now. It's too cold.

On Beacon Hill Reserve I did get to see a pretty sight though. The rape field, fallow this year although plenty of rape and poppies in it, obviously was supporting an insect population that attracted Hirundids - as I've seen them called - for a nosh. About 10 House Martins, and given away by its deeply forked tail, a solitary swallow. Fascinating to compare how they fligh - the Martins have flappy, stuttery wingbeats like your bog standard garden bird - although they are better flyers - but the Swallow takes much more powerful pulls on the air, its wings reaching forward before scooping back like a falcon. A much more slender bird do than the stubby Martins.

The House Martins are Hurricanes, the Swallows are Spitfires.

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