Some people reckon contemporary music is just loud screaming. Well, it's not just humans that do it. This bird regularly holds screaming parties while it's with us during the summer, one end of its 14,000 mile round trip to and from South West Africa every year of its life. To get the full party effect, click on the image and then go to bottom right to expand to full screen. Apologies for the noisy sparrows, pay no attention to them!
The young birds in the nest do exercises to strengthen their wings before they fledge and then spend their entire adult lives on the wing - why we're not constantly showered with their poo escapes me. But they also eat and mate on the wing and only land again in nests to breed, when they're around 3 years old.
It's an extraordinary creature and I freely admit to being obsessed with them - I have a natural nest under the eaves on my house, and put up four expensive nest boxes which have been totally ignored. I don't mind but there is a terrible shortage of nesting sites so I'm a bit puzzled. Quite hurt, in fact.
The new page banner pic is of course Abby Eaton's of the Hobby - seems appropriate for what's supposed to be fast news!
If it's not me, Elizabeth Forbes, website editor (keen but ignorant), I'll say so.