"Ponderynge together yestardayes promise, and two-dayes doyng"
(Hall's Chronicle - 1548)


"Goronigl gwyr yr Ynys" (Lewis Glyn Cothi - 1450)

Martins



Every year we have at least one pair of martins nesting in the eaves, sometimes two or three. The nests are a permanent feature of the gable. When the martins returned this year we saw them investigating last year's nests and thought a least one pair had taken up residence. Then it all went quiet and we wondered if they were there at all. Today, returning from a walk in the sand dunes to see the orchids, I walked around the side of the house and found the broken remains of two tiny white eggs that had obviously fallen from one of the nests. I celebrated this event, as I have in previous years, by revisiting the following poem by R S Thomas who captures luminously the feeling I have of playing host to these birds:

The Place

Summer is here.

Once more the house has its

Spray of martins, Prousts fountain

Of small birds, whose light shadows

Come and go in the sunshine

Of the lawn as thoughts do

In the mind. Watching them fly

Is my business, not as a man vowed

To science, who counts their returns

To the rafters, or sifts their droppings

For facts, recording the wave-length

Of their screaming; my method is so

To have them about myself

Through the hours of this brief

Season and to fill with their

Movement, that it is I that they build

In and bring up their young

To return to after the bitter

Migrations, knowing the site

Inviolate through its outward changes.