Thursday 9 June 2016

Swallows, Martins, and the Shire Dyke

Today I completed the route I attempted last week by running to Barnby in the Willows, and then coming back along the River Witham, and then the Shire Dyke.

The village ought to be known as "Barnby in the Swallows" at the moment, as the entrance to the village is marked by a farmyard around which the birds are flying in great numbers. Even more dramatic, however, is the old gabled cottage further into the village, which has four or five house martin nests on it, and a permanent commotion of about twenty twittering martins flying around it.

It is years since I've seen these birds in such numbers.

Barnby, with its traditional housing and various old barns, is obviously a tremendous habitat for these birds, as there was also a number of swifts on screeching duty by the church. As such housing disappears from towns like Newark, no wonder we lose our hirundid populations.

The route back in was a tough, but rewarding one, for it was all along a path I've never trodden before, albeit one full of nettle stings and ankle rolling rough ground. But along here, on this hot hot day, I saw my first damselflies of the year, banded demoiselles and also a small red damselfly; a first for me!

I ended up running ten miles, slowly indeed, but it was a hot, and photographically rich sort of day so I didn't mind.

New territory ran, new species seen!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 09.06.16


  1. Those house martins shots are a cracker, especially the single bird in the nest.

  2. That shot of the two House Martins popping their heads out of the nest made me laugh out loud - very cute. Love the shot of the House Martin posing mid-house build for a photo too.

  3. Your photographs, as usual Si, are superb. I have never heard of the Shire Dyke. Knew the Fosse Dyke well - used to canoe on it from Brayford Pool in Lincoln.
    Really every photograph is perfect - a joy to see. Thank - you!

  4. Thank you so much, it's a pity at high zoom I get very soft looking shots, likewise on the macro setting.

    It really was lovely yesterday. Today, it is hammering down, and lightning flashes rip the sky.

  5. lovely photos, specially the shiny swallows!

  6. Lovely set of photos, love the shot of the birds nesting...
    Amanda xx

  7. Thank you everybody! What a rotten day today, I tell you.

  8. Beautiful bird shots! I love the heads sticking out of the nest.