Where house martins fizz and wheel

June is the time of winsor blue skies.

A time of summer migrants
like cuckoos and sedge warblers . . .

. . . and the house martins.

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At low tide they dive down to pick up beakfuls of oozingly sticky mud for nest building.

house martin 1

It is not just the mud they come for . . .
. . . there is the dazzlingly green algae growing on the lock walls.


They approach at speed
grab onto the vertical face
like some superhero defying gravity
and pick off algae
to bind into their mud nests.


PS  these sketches are in June salt marsh sketches

June Sunrise

. . . sketches for June book

June visits are heralded by wonderful sunrises over the docks.

A mid winter sun rises from the southeast behind the salt marsh. By mid summer the world has spun and the sun rises from the northeast over lighthouses and wind turbines, casting its first light boldly across the front edge of the salt marsh.


4 June 05:25 BST – twilight, when the sun’s refracted rays produce that ethereal light between dawn and sunrise . . .


05:28 BST – sunrise begins


05:30 BST


05:32 BST

Remarkable changes of light in less than 10 minutes!  I love this time of day.

The ebullient sedge warbler

. . . sketches for June book

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The exuberant, bubbling song of the sedge warbler blasts out from the reed beds alongside the salt marsh.


Hardly pausing, he announces himself to the world with such enthusiasm it never fails to make me smile.

Version 2

This cheerful little songster with a huge voice and endless repetoire flies all the way here from Africa to nest.


Handsome reed bunting

. . . sketches for June book



I often see reed buntings in the hedgerow alongside the salt marsh .  .
. . . or perched on an old sea aster stem in the middle of the salt marsh like this one.

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The male is certainly a distinctive bird with his black head, white collar and moustache, although here the moustache is hidden by his beakful of insects.

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He posed for quite sometime,
obviously in no hurry to get back to feed his young brood.