Not that sort of twitter, this is much more interesting! At this time of year it is everywhere, but most people don’t seem to notice it – the noisy twittering of swallows and martins.

Our swifts are long gone, but swallows and martins are now gathering before they too head south for wintering grounds in Africa. Every day numbers build throughout the morning, adults and this year’s youngsters excitedly twittering, swooping around and sitting on wires near Kindrogan, for all the world like the notes on a sheet of music. ‘Farewell Farewell’ * perhaps, or ‘We’re All Going on a Summer Holiday’. Hopefully the former. And we are talking more than just our local birds here, several pairs of swallows and a single house martin pair that nest every year at the Field Centre. The other morning I counted over 200 birds on the wires, with many more flying around.

All of a sudden you realise it has gone quiet. They’ve gone, and the show is over until tomorrow.

I guess by the time our Autumn Birds course starts on 5th October they will all have moved on, but the winter thrushes and grey geese should be back with us by then, so there will still be plenty of interest.


*a track on Liege and Lief by Fairport Convention, an absolute essential in any album – sorry, CD – collection.


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