Early this morning, we were treated to an wonderful aerial ballet by a richness of house-martins. They swooped, soared, pirouetted, danced and chattered away in the perfect cobalt-blue sky above us, thier distinctive glossy blue-black feather iridescent in the morning sunshine. We stopped and watched for a while (our journey to work could wait!) and enjoyed the display the martins themselves were so clearly enjoying. With some sadness I realised that they were stretching thier wings, in readiness for thier annual migration to warmer climes in Africa as they do at this time each year, signalling the end of summer. The cycle of nature means that although summer is ending, autumn is just beginning.
photo credit – Alan Hayden of the Christchurch Harbour Ornithological Group