House Martin Poem by Joel Ashton

My name is Joel Ashton and I’ve been designing and installing gardens and habitats for wildlife for almost 20 years. My career has been a natural transition into habitat creation since having a passion for wildlife from a young age. After having helped a colony of house martins go from one to 14 breeding pairs on my house, I was hooked by these charismatic little birds. It’s therefore a dream job to travel the length and breadth of the UK creating wildlife ponds, wildflower meadows and wildlife gardens, to provide the habitat, that provides the insects that these wonderful little birds need to carry out their life cycle. The highlight of which was recently filming house martins collecting mud for their nests, from the edge of a wildlife pond I’d built previously.

Below is a poem I have written about house martins.

My Airborne Killer Whale

Upon my house on which you nest,
A perfect cup of mud,
With tiny beaks you mould your home,
Under the eaves of wood.

It’s been six months since we first met,
Time seemed to pass so slow,
You were a youngster when you left,
And now you’re fully grown.

In October when I saw you last,
You’d just begun to fly,
Then set out on a maiden quest,
Vanished into the sky.

The road I’m sure was dangerous,
Over seas to far off lands,
But parents flying by your side,
Would lend a guiding hand.

The weather there would suit you,
Much better than our own,
To spend the winter months,
Far away from home.

A new year and the seasons change,
Thoughts of flying back,
To undertake the journey made,
Remembering your tracks.

April and towards the sky,
With every chance I look,
The wait is almost over now,
I hope you’ve had good luck.

Suddenly a chirp I know,
A martin in the sky!
Heading north above the house,
Just a passer by…

Two weeks pass and soon the air,
Is full of bubbling calls,
Sleeping for the first time,
In your house upon my wall.

May and life is full again,
Insects fill the air,
Time to find a mate and then,
Make yourself a pair.

The nest you knew last year,
No longer is your home,
For mum and dad return to it,
Time to build your own…

June arrives and on the ground,
Shells of glossy white,
Soon the sound of tiny chicks,
Are heard into the night..

The days now are so long and fraught,
So many mouths to feed,
Countless trips back and forth,
Fulfilling all their needs.

Space is tight now in the nest,
No room for them to turn,
Time to spread their wings and soar,
With your help they will learn.

Young have fledged the nest now,
As care free as a dove,
Be cautious of the pointed wings,
From hobbies up above.

Numbers now are building,
Martins fill the sky,
Watching as you twist with joy,
From the long grass where I lie.

September brings the cooler days,
And soon you will set sail,
I hope you make it back next year,
My airborne killer whale…


Written by Joel Ashton


As a wildlife gardener Joel creates ponds and wildflower areas which can be beneficial to house martins for mud and for increasing airborne insects. To find out more about Joels’s work, and practicle ideas and guidance on wildlife gardening, including creating your own wildlife pond or wildflower patch; use the link below.

Wild Your Garden Youtube channel

Joel also sells eco friendly 3D printed house martin nest cups in his shop

Wild Your Garden Shop – House martin nest cups

Related Posts