Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Spring Forward

I'm told that the depreciation of sterling following the Brexit vote has compelled consumables
manufacturers to make their products smaller in order to avoid putting their prices up. Well, they would say that, wouldn't they? But what, I wonder, is the explanation for years getting shorter? Almost before I'm certain that winter is over the seasonal migrations are under way.

Last week the over-wintering geese of Sliabh Mannan were packing their breeding plumage and heading for their summer nesting grounds in Sweden. Like normal families they set off on the journey arguing with each other about who should lead the way and what direction they should be flying. Down on the ground we humans just look up and wish them bon voyage.

Meanwhile the grey wagtails (above) have been arriving for a couple of weeks along the course of the Culloch Burn and today I saw the first house martin (left) of the season. He's timed it nicely again, because a cloud of midges were out in the sunshine yesterday evening.

However it's early yet for most of the swallow family and I've noted before that a single martin has arrived a week or so in advance. I'm not sure whether he communicates telepathically with the main flock about the climate or whether he's just determined to grab the best nesting site.