The martins have returned. They can normally be expected on the 16th May (EG’s birthday), but I saw their characteristic upward jinking flight a few days ago and EG saw one fly into a nest on the front of the house. In past years we have occasionally had brief visits a few weeks early, but we must be some kind of staging post as these martins fly on. Not sure why they have come so early, it can hardly be the warm weather.
Happily the last few days have been much warmer and I have been seeing off my garden-induced sore back and elbows by more of the same. It has worked.