Tuesday 20 July 2004
Hels lives in an attic apartment, under the eaves of a lovely Georgian red brick building. You can lounge in the bath and look out the window to glorious views to the west and south-west over the roofs of the oldest part of Tunbridge Wells. It’s a view that you can get very fond of, and something that we will both miss.
Recently, as we’ve been soaking in the bath and soaking up the view (separately – keep your dirty thoughts to yourself!), we’ve had the feeling of being attacked as a pair of house martins fly directly toward the window, only to veer up vertically at the very last second. An external inspection of the building revealed a nest under the eaves immediately above the bathroom window, and recently we’ve heard loud cheepings from chicks within the nest. Since the chicks have hatched, the parents have been constantly coming to and fro, delivering flies for the chicks to eat. We can watch them flying over the rooftops in search of their prey.
One of the things that always impresses me is how martins manage to build their nests. In the case of our resident family, the nest has no support underneath, and is built at the apex of the gable. How do the birds begin to construct the nest? And how do they learn to build such a robust structure? Maybe they get contractors in.