In our first few months at the hostel we watched with interest as the house martins (the birds not the pop group) attempted to build a nest in the eaves above our kitchen window. It was an exciting spectacle that we hadn’t seen before but sadly, in spite of their valiant efforts, the nest kept collapsing to the ground in a big splat.
Last year the house martins came back and, again, we watched them. This time they successfully constructed a mud nest in the same spot and we spent the rest of the summer following their progress as they reared their young before heading off to warmer climes.
The kitchen window in our flat is the perfect viewing platform to watch the house martins come and go. It’s as if we’re in the midst of an air show with an amazing number of birds involved in the process of nest building and feeding. And it drives our cats to distraction as they sit on the kitchen windowsill powerless to do anything other than frantically wag their tails and make strange noises!
Last year’s nest survived the winter intact, so much so that some cheeky interlopers were making use of it earlier on in the season! Luckily their young had fledged before the house martins returned to take up residence a couple of weeks ago. Word must have got around that our hostel is “the place to be” because two new nests are rapidly taking shape outside the lounge in our flat.
As we enter our third year here we have become more attuned to the rhythms of the natural world and the birds, animals and insects that live in Invergarry or visit here. For us, the arrival and departure of the house martins bookends our summer, which can’t be a bad thing!