In the heat of the sun the house martins swoop on their prey, they catch flying insects too small for the human eye to spot and take them post haste to their small mud nests built snugly into the upper reaches of the rooves. The young nestlings clamour to be fed and the parents take turns to build their youngsters up until they too can take to the skies.
One by one the young grow and stumble from the nest. As they take their first tentative flights with much parental encouragement you can almost hear the parents saying ‘come on, you can do it, just a short flight to the wire’ as their precious babies take flight and land and take flight and land before becoming strong enough to fly and learn to catch their own food.
Several nests fledged today. The row of young birds on the telephone wire surprised even the sparrows who were left to find a different spot to perch. The nearby roof was also covered in young birds and as I walked past they all took to nervy flight and swooped around me and above me, calling as they flew.
I stood amazed at the sight, and wondered as some-one else just walked past with their head down, they didn’t see the wonder of nature, the next generation.
As I listened to the parent birds and watched those who still have young yet to fledge, I pondered on the similarities to this and human parenting and children leaving home.
As the birds build their strength over the summer for their long migratory flights I wish them luck and I cannot wait to see them back again next year, so that I can watch them build their nests again, and repair the broken ones. The old ones that are mended – are they pairs returning? or pairs taking advantage? The new nests built, I like to think that they are being built by pairs of whom at least one was fledged at the School and who brought their partner with them. I know – romantic old fool that I am!!
Do you have nests in your garden or in your roof? I would love to know.