This England - - Notes From A Cottage Garden -

Each year, usu­ally around the end of April, the house martins ar­rive back af­ter win­ter­ing in Africa. Then their nests are re­paired or re­built, and it is fas­ci­nat­ing to watch their pain­stak­ing use of mud to craft their neat lit­tle wat­tle and daub nests.

This year one pair of martins had more or less fin­ished their nest but then de­cided it needed a few fi­nal touches.

While they were off, a pair of spar­rows popped into the martins’ nest and made them­selves at home. When the martins ar­rived back and found the squat­ters, it quickly be­came phys­i­cal.

The martins are larger, but those feisty spar­rows re­fused to give up and it was the martins that even­tu­ally flew away to build again else­where.

The other house martins have been nois­ily com­plain­ing, but the spar­rows refuse to be in­tim­i­dated and an­swer back with a tor­rent of cheeky abuse!

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