If the mud sticks, let’s use it to make a nest #SundayStills

Red/brown dirt makes a good nest

Out riding on our Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail is always a fun experience, no matter how many times I do it (which is a LOT).

Last year we noticed some nests in one of the tunnels/under-over passes, which at first glance we thought were related to hornets or wasps. But upon closer inspection there tiny birds flying in and out, they were Fairy Martins.

The Fairy Martin is sometimes called the Bottle Swallow, because its nest, made from tiny pellets of mud or clay, is bottle shaped. The nests are often placed in colonies in in culverts or under bridges, and are only seldom located on natural features such as cliff faces or the banks of watercourses. The entrance to each nest is via the horizontal spout. These mud-nests are occasionally occupied by Tree Martins or Welcome Swallows, and sometimes usurped by House Sparrows and, rarely, Common Starlings.


You can see the bottle shape of the nests referred to in the above quote – how amazing are they?

The main point here is the birds are using the local red dirt/mud to make these nests and you can see how they’ve blended the red dirt into other material to give the nest the bottle neck shape.

The dirt around this overpass is a lovely red/brown and although maybe not a classic ruby wine/burgundy-brownish colour (which is Terri’s #SundayStills theme this week), it’s well worth mentioning and sharing. I think these little birds are very artistic to make such clever nests for their babies, making great use of their natural surroundings. It’s also interesting that although there are several of these overpasses along the rail trail, helping out the local farmers, the nests are only to be found in two of them. Last year it was only in one tunnel/overpass but this year we’ve noticed they’ve expanded their estate.

Ruby wine glasses on a rainy day

ruby red frames
ruby red frames

As I said last week, our family photo challenge has been reinstated to help us stay connected. Due to many issues, some of us still can’t travel to see family members scattered across Australia and over in the UK, so our weekly word gives us a sense of connection. We have a weekly video chat each Sunday night to discuss what’s been happening in our worlds and to talk about the photos we’ve taken and submitted.

So far we’ve had themes of – Phone, Time, Beverage, Spoon, Food, Leaves and this week it’s ‘Frame/ frames/framed’ – so my ruby red glasses in the rain suits both challenges!

Riding my ebike and chatting to people along the way, sharing stories, noticing things and taking photos are all forms of self care to me, so it’s great to join Denyse for her #lifethisweek linkup which has the theme of self care this week 🙂

Thanks for stopping by.

Terri is our generous host for #SundayStills and her post can be found here, Drinking in the #Ruby Wine . Next week’s theme for Sunday Stills is – cozy.

Have a great week!

Debbie 🙂

All my Sunday Stills posts can be found here

Joining Natalie for her #weekendcoffeeshare

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Debbie - mother of a 40 year old

Everyone has a story to tell! Deb is a young-at-heart & active 60+ blogger/retiree, after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre (jail). She now spends her time reading, blogging, riding her ebike and travelling. Deb was awarded a Bravery Award from the Queen when she was 17 after a tragic accident – a definite life changing moment! She is married with 3 grown-up daughters & has 4 grandchildren. She never imagined being Granny Debs would bring so much joy to her life! You can read more of Deb’s story here

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40 Replies to “If the mud sticks, let’s use it to make a nest #SundayStills”

  1. What an interesting post, Deb. I can see why they might have looked like wasps’ nests. We had those in our rafters in California. I wasn’t crazy about them. These nests are much more artistic. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brownish-red, rubywine, it’s all good, Debbie! Funny, the nests, which are amazing and reminiscent of the swallows’ nests, under the bridge are more reddish, but the words there are also the perfect color! I LOVE your rubywine glasses and am so glad it worked out for your own photo challenge! They are very cute! Enjoy your bike rides, it will be a while before we can ride anywhere! Have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Your own little bird high rise apartment complex! It’s nice that they’re somewhere safe and that they’ve come back and expanded their accommodation (and nice that it’s not under your verandah!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue, the sunnies are my fun riding ones. I have a collection of all different colours – surprised?? Nature is indeed clever and i love seeing it happen.


  4. Thanks for the shout-out Deb. As for the red sunglasses image…loved it. I never would have picked those nests for birds…great sleuthing. Thank you so much for linking up your blog post for Life This Week. I hope to see you next week, for the last of my Taking Stock posts. Do join in, with a post on or off prompt. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad the nests have been popular to readers as they are just so clever. Many people thought they were hornets so were very wary but once we told them about the birds they were more relaxed. I’m working on my Taking Stock post ready for next week 🙂 Thanks again for all you do Denyse.


  5. These mud nests are so interesting! and to think the different bird tribes fight over them!

    I am so inspired and tickled by your Family Photo Challenge that I started a private group on FB to invite our extended family to share responses to a prompt, whether it is photos, poems (many in my family are poets), or artwork. Our first prompt this week was #special. Thank you for sparking this wonderful way to connect!


    1. That’s fabulous to hear Ju-Lyn, I am so pleased you’ve set up your own family challenge! In fact I’m tickled pink and can’t wait to tell our group what we’ve inspired. I hope you all have as much fun as we do with our entries.


      1. Yes, please do pass on the compliments to your group – we are really enjoying this new forum for interaction! I love the synergy that happens there and also in this WP space – the things I learn & am inspired by. Sending a big hug your way!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Agree regarding heading down cycle tracks and never tiring of them. I think it may be due to daily differences, such as the weather, how we’re feeling and what we focus on during those rides. Cycling tracks are undoubtedly popular in New Zealand and an excellent way to entice people to visit, especially now.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Goodness knows when the new normal will start. Les isn’t “allowed” to travel for at least 18 months as he has to be close to the transplant team. I hope you get to visit sooner than later.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think nature and wildlife are so creative and smart! Those nests are so neat. Our common swallows are pretty but they like to build nest under porch eaves or in spaces they can sneak into, which can make them a pest of sorts

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Deb. I too love to see these cool tricks of nature which leave me thinking, “I wish I’d thought of that myself.” Mud shelters would definitely I’d love to try just for the fun of it. Thanks for the share and visit.

    Liked by 1 person

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