Birdwatch: this spring, I mourn the missing house martins | Birds

As it shears through the spring skies, sweeping up tiny insects, the house martin’s contrasting dark-blue and white plumage reminds me of a miniature version of a killer whale. But not this year. Although I’ve caught up with virtually every other spring arrival – even the late-returning swallows and swifts – I’ve only seen a … Read more

Swallows and martins head back to the UK but a changing climate threatens their future | Birds

During the first week of April each year, regular as clockwork, I get a very welcome phone call. When I answer, the voice at the other end simply says: “It’s Andrew. They’re back! ” That’s the moment I know our local swallows have returned, having survived their epic 6,000-mile journey from South Africa to Somerset. … Read more