Housemartins, they’re the birds which zoom about usually in the early evening, chasing insects and they make nests under the edges of house roofs which look like this:
But up in the Lake District, when they choose to build nests near an estuary, the main building materials available are estuary mud and sand, and sometimes, the nests end up looking like this:
And then you get these:
as unexpected fledgling houseguests… the pair have been hand-raised in the Lake District, for the last two weeks to date, being fed live mealworms and moist dog biscuits in many small feeds a day (on the advice of the RSPB). They’re just about getting to the wing-flapping-nearly-flying-but-not-quite stage, beginning to be taken outside to be introduced to the world, and chirp almost all the time (especially near feeding time, which lets face it, is almost all the time during the day…)
It’s such a blessing to be able to be able to see these birds up close, record their progress in photographs, and hopefully release them successfully into the wild when they’re competent enough to feed themselves (and also fly more than a clumsy wingflap, which is where they’re at at present)
10/8/2011 – UPDATE – The birds have flown! I received an update today in which I learned that both birds have now successfully flown the proverbial nest, or the ‘small storage box and folded duster combo’ in this case and have been sighted zooming around the area in the last few days. Bless.