Our local house sparrow population has boomed this year. They seem to have been turning out fledglings at a regular rate since April and even now, as we approach October, there are still a few youngsters whirring their wings to get fed.
At my parents house in Beaminster the house martins made a late decision to have a second brood. Very late. The youngsters only fledged last Wednesday but the dry settled weather has remained and there is every chance that they will find enough food and good air to yet make the long journey south.
The Indian Summer has largely disguised the fact that August was a fairly damp and cool month. One wonders if the martins and sparrows could sense that a late brood would be successful. Or might they have tried anyway and given up if the weather worsened?
Whatever the answer, I cannot recall seeing so many hirundines this late in the year. A walk on Eggardon Hill on Sunday saw clouds and clouds of birds happily feasting and showing no real urge to fly seaward. Let us hope they return in good number in the spring.