Barn Swallow Daily Log 2011-2012 Season
Barn Swallow daily log 2-04-2012
Monday
After seeing some Barn Swallows on the wires this morning I thought there might be a show tonight. Clear skies, chilly, light northeasterly breeze. As sunset approached there were less than 100 Barn Swallows that appeared and no evening display, too few to mass. Skies clear 6,05pm.
That’s the official end of the Barn Swallow season, join us for the Barn Swallow return end of October.
Angie Wilken signing off 2011/2012 Barn Swallow season.
1-04-2012
Palm Sunday
Partly cloudy sunny day with chilling southwesterly wind. Dark clouds lined the western horizon at swallow time, wind was cold and spectators arrived. A tiny flock (less than 100) of Barn Swallows appeared and hastily went down to roost 6.00pm, this is no longer considered swallow watching, the migration is almost over and the majority of Barn Swallows have now departed on their journey to the Northern hemisphere. I will watch for the next dew days to confirm. End of swallow season is 2 weeks earlier than end of previous season
Barn Swallow Daily Log 2011-2012 Season
31-03-2012
Saturday
Rained all night and 90% of today, howling southwesterly wind, cold, jerseys have come out of the cupboard, no swallow site duty tonight but Barn Swallow watching of a different kind. I just received my copy of the Earth Flight Africa documentary from the producers (recently screened in the UK), they used some of my Barn Swallow footage in the opening Barn Swallow scenes, brilliant documentary, outstanding, migratory birds like never seen before, entire series will be shown on Discovery channel soon.
30-03-2012
Friday
Scorching hot day, clouding over an hour prior to swallow time, thick rain clouds approaching, strong southwesterly wind, dark. Barn Swallows arrived late 5.55pm, 2 distinct flocks and they didn’t unit. The larger of the 2 flocks went down to roost 3 minutes after arrival where as the smaller flock displayed at mixed, middle sky altitudes, visibility poor due to hazy, dark conditions, binoculars were needed. Four times more than the numbers sighted last night. The grand finale was a Barn Swallow pillar formation with all plummeting into the reedbed with amazing precision. Skies clear 6.04pm
29-03-2012
Thursday
Very hot and humid day, a dash of rain at lunch time brightening again to unpleasantly hot, northeasterly wind dying to nought at swallow time. Very impressive sunset, clear viewing conditions but only 2 tiny flocks of Barn Swallows arrived, flocking together to form one unit but dividing at descend time. Skies clear 6.09pm
It will be interesting to see if there are more arrivals after the forthcoming predicted rain.
28-03-2012
Wednesday
Overcast since mid afternoon, light northeasterly wind, haze on western skyline, dark. First Barn Swallows spotted 5.45pm numbers grew to full mass 6.01pm, beautiful display, binoculars were needed, numbers slightly reduced from previous evenings. Very entertaining, skies clear 6.05pm.
27-03-2012
Tuesday
Sweltering heat today, clouding over at swallow time from the west, strong southwesterly wind ‘Buster’, dark. Barn Swallows were first sighted 5.25pm with mass arrivals 5.48pm they gave spectators a thrilling experience by flying overhead and hovering in mass flocks, the western horizon was dense with Barn Swallow mass display, many were low, in the landscape escaping the strong wind. Binoculars were needed. Phenomenal display, skies clear 6.10pm.n Some rain in the night
26-03-2012
Monday
Very hot day, some cloud at swallow time, light northeasterly wind, amazing sunset, pint window in the clouds. First swallows arrived 5.30pm with mass arrivals 5.56pm and what fantastic viewing it was against pink sky, spectacular display, awesome numbers, the Barn Swallows received a round of applause as all descended into reedbed 6.12pm. Fabulous sighting.
25-03-2012
Sunday
Cooking hot day with light northeasterly wind, cloud bank appeared over western skyline just prior to swallow time, First Barn Swallows arrived 5.45pm and numbers grew as they few in from all directions, nice fly over the swallow watchers heads. Mass display was half in the landscape and half in the sky, beautiful display, binoculars were needed. Skies clear 6.04pm skies grew dark quickly as a storm approaching from the west.
24-03-2012
Saturday
Extremely hot and humid day, clouding over at swallow time with a spot of rain, no wind. Barn Swallows arrived late 6.04pm, at low altitude, over the reedbed and over spectators heads, very short display, possible reasons for this is the extreme heat. Hard to gauge numbers, binoculars were needed to swallows against landscape, Skies clear 6.14pm.
Beautiful evening, waited at the end of swallows and to my astonishment a firefly flew over the grass terraces on the swallow site, this is exceptionally unusual for this time of year!
23-03-2012
Friday
Extremely hot and humid day, clouding over at swallow time, light northeasterly wind. First few Barn Swallows sighted 5.10pm, mass Barn Swallows arrived 5.50pm from every direction, massing above western skies, incredible numbers, binoculars were needed, totally awesome display. Skies clear 6.04pm. storm approaching from the west, clouds lit up with lightening, no rain!
22-03-2012
Thursday
Hot, sunny day, clouding over late afternoon, dark, light Southwesterly wind, humid. Swallows began arriving 6.55pm at variable altitudes, huge numbers blended with sky and landscape, binoculars were needed, there was a close fly by but the majority of Barn Swallows displayed over Lake Victoria, awesome spectacle. Skies clear 6.14pm
21-03-2012
Wednesday
Human Rights Day
Beautiful hot day, light northeasterly breeze, grey cloud bank formed along western horizon, pretty sunset then the Barn Swallow began arriving 5.58pm at the Lake Victoria reedbed. They arrived from all directions and many were at low altitude so true numbers were only revealed if binoculars were used. Some overhead fly by and close flock display before all formed into huge mass and performed the evening display, mega numbers, breathtakingly awesome! Skies clear 6.17pm
20-03-2012
Tuesday
Hot day, clouding over mid afternoon, fully overcast at swallow time, lovely evening, light northeasterly breeze. Barn Swallows were few and far between until 5.55pm then they started to arrive in mass, and numbers continued to grow, brilliant overhead, close-up fly overs on the swallow site thrilling spectators, endless swallows pored in, totally awesome display, mega numbers, another phenomenal evening display. Skies clear 6.16pm
19-03-2012
Monday
Clear skies, beautiful day, southwesterly wind, perfect sunset. Swallows were sparse until 5.55pm due to bright conditions, arrival was more to the left of the viewing site with a nice overhead experience. Barn Swallow Mass display was again on the left, difficult to ascertain numbers as many were hidden in the landscape. Skies clear 6.21pm
18-03-2012
Sunday
Overcast and dark from lunch time, light northeasterly wind. First Barn Swallows sighted 5.17pm then it was non-stop action building to a mega display, most Barn Swallows we have seen to date, incredible display against grey sky, spectators thrilled as masses of Barn Swallows pored in over their heads at very close proximity, totally amazing experience. Skies clear 6.16pm Peak performance.
17-03-2012
Saturday
Weather- howling southwesterly wind, overcast and dark since lunchtime, cold, started raining, miserable. No swallow watching for me tonight
16-03-2012
Friday
Bright evening, warm, light northeasterly wind, cloudy. Barn Swallows began arriving 5.56pm and chirped excitedly as they flew over the viewing site in full mass, awesome numbers, still mind blowing, indescribable. They performed a short yet spectacular display descending quickly as the light faded fast as a black cloud covered us. 6,17pm skies clear.
15-03-2012
Thursday
Patchy sky, warm, light northeasterly wind, dark clouds in the western sky, dark. First Barn Swallows arrived 5.29pm, numbers grew and grew filling the entire skyline vista, arrivals from all directions, some nice close overhead. Massive display, millions arrived, phenomenal numbers and all descended into the reedbed 6.24pm
14-03-2012
Wednesday
Poured down last night and this morning, clearing partially mid morning. Swallow time, patchy sky with dark clouds along western horizon, colourful sunset. Barn Swallows began arriving from 5,30pm and the numbers grew continually, incredible numbers the sky busy where ever you looked, millions arrived. Huge numbers of Barn Swallows glided in over head thrilling the spectators, binoculars needed to reveal mass display, awesome evening display, magnificent, a true wonder of nature and food for the soul to see this spectacle. skies clear 6.26pm
13-03-2012
Tuesday
Patchy clouds, interesting sky, rained briefly, southwesterly wind, warm. First Barn Swallows arrived 5.26pm and the numbers just continued to grow continually until 6.20pm when full mass was a spectacle to behold, millions, number too great to count. Spectators could not believe their eyes at the mass sighting. The Barn Swallows gave a breathtaking, mind blowing display descending into the reedbed 6.29pm skies clear. Awesome!
12-03-2012
Monday
Poured down in the night, flash flooding, the swallows must have been drenched in the reedbed, Rain continued until lunchtime today clearing to partially sunny skies, Swallow time and a magic sunset, first Barn Swallows arrived 5,25pm, slowly the skies became active with movement then from 6.10pm millions of swallows filled the skies at high altitude, near and far, mass display over the swallow site. The sky became a sea of motion, spectacular display, epic and awesome beyond words can ever describe. Skies clear 6.26pm
11-03-2012
Sunday
Lovely day, light northeasterly wind, dark, clouding over prior to swallow time and a massive rain storm, thunder and lightening, I still went to the swallow site in the pouring rain. Some spectators braved the weather and we all watched from the little entrance roof of the swallow site and what a reward we received. First Barn Swallows arrived 5.50pm, numbers grew and grew 6.10pm the entire sky became a moving mass of Barn Swallows, so many were the number that 2 incoming planes aborted landing, the first turned out and the second rose above skyward, radar must have issued warning (well done ACSA radar team). Incredible display in the rain, Barn Swallow numbers of incredible magnitude, totally awesome. skies clear 6.22pm
10-03-2012
Saturday
Overcast, patchy sky, westerly wind blowing. First swallows arrived 5.39pm, numbers built dramatically by 6.20pm, skies filled with Barn Swallows, binoculars were needed, huge Barn Swallow numbers thrilled the spectators, absolutely awesome display they performed, incredible mass numbers. Skies clear 6.31pm. Another spectacular display with numbers at full peak
9-03-2012
Friday
Very hot day, northeasterly wind, swallow time the wind calmed and a dark cloud bank filled the western sky. First swallows sighted 5.47pm, numbers continued to grow and grow and grow…. 6.22pm spectators were spoilt for choice as the where to look as the Barn Swallows were everywhere, millions, the sky was a moving mass, totally incredible sight, spectators gasped at the magnitude of the spectacle, What an incredible evening display they performed, through binoculars words cannot describe how intense the Barn Swallow presence is currently. Skies clear 6.34pm.
8-03-2012
Thursday
Semi overcast conditions, light northeasterly wind, warm. First Barn Swallows sighted at 5.30pm, sightings varied after that with the main Barn Swallow millions arriving at 6.20pm, the entire sky came to life with Barn Swallow movement, incredibly dense numbers, mind boggling to see so many, what a fantastic display they performed before dropping into the reedbed to roost. Skies clear 6,34pm.
If you have not seen the swallows in full mass then now is the time to come and witness this awesome phenomenon.
7-03-2012
Wednesday
Overcast, light northeasterly breeze, a nip in the air. First Barn Swallows arrived 5.45pm and numbers just kept pouring in, mass display from 6.20pm. Spectators comments “Millions” “like a moving carpet in the sky”. Magnificent display, binoculars were needed to see full mass, absolutely incredible numbers! Skies clear 6.34pm
6-03-2012
Tuesday
It’s like the weather has the flu, it was sunny and boiling hot then overcast, cold and raining! Swallow time was dark, overcast with no wind yet cold. 6.10pm Barn Swallows began arriving from all directions, huge, massive numbers, they were everywhere, what a mass sighting! incredible to see so many once again and what a display they gave before descending into the reedbed 6.27pm. Best awesome display so far this season!
5-03-2012
Monday
Rain stopped last night and we have had all types of weather today! strong southwesterly winds with some extra strong gusts, cloudy, sunshine, mist rain. Swallow time was overcast and a very cold, pumping wind, not pleasant. I was not sure what to expect and went purely out of curiosity, I was well rewarded! five distinct Barn Swallow flocks arrived at different times and from totally different directions, 6.12pm onwards. When they all massed together to perform the evening display the numbers were huge, very impressive indeed, wow! They had a practice run of roosting then rose, danced briefly and descended into the reedbed 6.34pm. Awesome display
Note: Spoke to the South broom conservancy about their swallows and they have had a similar experience with poor show of swallows since December, nothing normal about this swallow season.
4-03-2012
Sunday
Pouring rain since last entry, only stopped for 1 hour during the day, pouring down again, ground well and truly saturated, dark, southwesterly wind. No swallow watching tonight.
3-02-2012
Saturday
A hot day clouding over mid afternoon, Swallow time was very interesting, a gust of strong wind from the northeast brought a 5 minute rain shower, spectators sought cover under the entrance roof and nearby trees. Then a light westerly wind skies cleared partially along western horizon and we witnessed an awesome sunset, the landscape became rich in colour, we turned and saw a rainbow in eastern sky. Swallow arrival time came but no, not one Barn Swallow arrived! we watched until 6.46pm, no swallows.
7.30pm Cyclone rain has begun, no wind.
2-03-2012
Friday
Another cooking hot day, northeasterly wind, clouding over at swallow time. 6.10pm the lesser striped swallows were amazing, they flew through the on-site spectators, I have never seen this before! The Barn Swallows arrived 6.38pm ( very late) at low altitude, tiny number, no display, virtually went straight to roost. Skies clear 6.40pm, disappointing.
NOTE: severe weather warning just issued, cyclone may hit us, rainfall predictions of 100mm to 300mm over days to come. I am sure the Barn Swallows know this and their virtual no show tonight can be read as sign.
1-03-2012
Thursday
A 30 second sprinkle of rain last night. Today was very hot with a pumping northeasterly wind clouding over at swallow time. First Barn Swallows arrived 6.3pm at low altitude, hugging the landscape, then more arrived but it appeared a small flock. All disappeared into the reedbed then rose together to reveal a medium size flock, dense numbers, for their finale they rose high and the sky and plumier into the reedbed to roost. Binoculars were needed. Skies clear 6.40pm
 Barn Swallow Daily Log 2011-2012 Season
29-02-2012
Wednesday
Southwesterly wind all day dying down to no wind at swallow time, dark cloud formation along western horizon, visibility poor due to haze after hot day. Binoculars were needed to view the Barn Swallows. Arrival time 6.34pm numbers grew to same as last night, nice display, skies clear 6.41pm. Still no rain!
28-02-2012
Tuesday
Pumping northeasterly wind, extremely hot day, beautiful sunset. Lesser striped swallows were seen 6.05pm. First Barn Swallows sighted 6.34pm they arrived at low altitude using the landscape and surveyed the reedbed, numbers were 3 times more than last night, quite possibly migratory flocks arrived to sleep over, nice, dense display and slow descend into reeds 6.45pm. Everything so dry, we need rain.
27-02-2012
Monday
Extremely hot day, northeasterly wind, clear, bright conditions with a cloud bank forming along western horizon at swallow time. Spectators had the experience of lesser striped swallows feeding at the base of the Lake Victoria viewing site from 6.11pm onwards. The Barn Swallows arrived 6.39pm at low altitude, a small yet very watchable flock formed beautifully and displayed briefly and suddenly descended into the reedbed 6.44pm, skies clear.
26-02-2012
Sunday
Very hot and humid day, clear sunny skies, light north easterly breeze, clouded over at swallow time and became hazy. Barn Swallows arrived in small numbers, 2 main tiny flocks 6.39pm but they remained independent, no real formation or display, they flew over once then when down to roost, late arrivals flew over are heads and went straight down. Skies clear 6.49pm. We need rain, it has been really hot.
25-02-2012
Saturday
Clear, hot and humid day, light northeasterly breeze, cloud bank building along western horizon as the sunset. Spectators were treated to an on-site dragonfly display prior to the swallows arrival. First Barn Swallows arrived 6.40pm, numbers grew to a small yet spectacular display, visibility was good and even though the swallows were at low altitude one could see with the naked eye. Skies clear 6.50pm.
Note: mosquitoes very active on site
24-02-2012
Friday
Strong northeasterly wind, clear, hot day. Swallow time and skies were bright, the Barn Swallows arrived late, 6.43pm and at very low altitude blending with the landscape. Small flock gave a thrilling display, skies clear 6.52pm.
Numbers will vary from night to night as the migration has begun.
23-02-2012
Thursday
Westerly wind, dark, overcast at swallow time. First flock of swallows spotted 6pm then went quiet until 6.37pm, mass Barn Swallows arrived at low altitude, it began spotting with rain, a smaller flock arrived over our heads and went straight to roost, binoculars were needed, a short display at the Lake Victoria reedbed. Skies clear 6.47pm. Some rain fell in the night but not enough.
22-02-2012
Wednesday
Extremely hot and humid day, northeasterly wind, bright, colourful sunset. some swallows seen 6pm but it was 6.40pm when the mass arrival began. Due to clear sky conditions the Barn Swallows arrived low and displayed low, using the landscape, incredible numbers, awesome display. Skies clear 6.51pm
21-02-2012
Tuesday
Hot and humid day with westerly wind, overcast at swallow time. First Barn Swallow arrivals from 6.15pm numbers grew steadily, binoculars were needed to see against dark sky and landscape. They were in full mass from 6.40pm awesome numbers and at lower altitude than last night. Skies clear 6.50pm.
Migration defiantly happening, numbers varying, exceptional viewing from now until mid April.
20-02-2012
Monday
Strong northeasterly wind dropping to no wind at swallow time, overcast. First Barn Swallows were seen 6.15pm. then from 6.35 onwards the numbers just poured in, a feeding frenzy occurred on site, I was bitten by mosquitoes so insects are emerging. Absolutely spectacular mass display, incredible numbers, so much so one was spoilt for choice as to where to look next, as spots of rain began to fall the swallows descended into the reedbed 7.47pm.
19-02-2012
Sunday
Strong northeasterly wind, cool, overcast, thick, dark cloud bank on western horizon. The Barn Swallows began arriving from as early as 6pm, numbers just continued to grow, a nice flight over spectator heads then they massed, hugging the hilltops along the Verulam skyline, awesome display, awesome numbers, binoculars magnified the incredible spectacle.
Skies clear 6.52pm
18-02-2012
Saturday
Overcast the entire day, mist rain in the morning then pored down from 4pm, dark, visibility poor, no Barn Swallow viewing tonight.
17-02-2012
Friday
Dark, thunder and lightening, southwesterly wind, started to rain, no swallow watching for me this evening.
16-02-2012
Thursday
Hot and humid clouding over mid afternoon, northeasterly wind, dark. First Barn Swallows arrived 6.44pm, late and at very low altitude, 3 flocks roosted independently of each other, numbers reduced considerably, never saw a display like this before! Skies clear 6.50pm.
Just viewed weather forecast, cyclone moving down from Madagascar, heavy rains predicted.
15-02-2012
Wednesday
Overcast day with strong southwesterly wind. Visibility hazy at swallow time, first Barn Swallow arrivals 6.37pm at low altitude, they blended with the landscape, only briefly appearing in the sky, difficult to ascertain numbers. Not a full mass display, descend into the reedbed was spread out over 5 minutes and late arrivals just went straight to roost. Skies clear 6.53pm.
NOTE: Had water samples taken from the Mdloti river as was black in colour and smelled foul.
14-02-2012
Tuesday
Valentines Day and lovely to see a nice crowd of spectators. It was a clear skied evening, magic sunset, strong northeasterly wind, hot and humid, some swallows seen dotted about from 5.50pm but it was only 6.44pm that the Barn Swallows started their mass arrival, huge numbers filled the skies and thrilled onlookers, swallows visible without binoculars, brilliant display, bigger number than last night, totally awesome. Skies clear 6.59pm.
13-02-2012
Monday
Cloudy and cool at swallow time, light northeasterly wind, dark. The Barn Swallow mass arrived in style this evening, flying overhead to announce their arrival at 6.47pm and mass they did, visibility was improved with binoculars and revealed huge numbers as they performed their evening dance and then the graceful, layered descent into the reedbed 7pm skies clear.
12-02-2012
Sunday
Weather cleared partially then clouded over again mid afternoon, dark, chilly, strong northeasterly wind dying down at sunset. First Barn Swallow flock sighted 6.15pm then mass arrival 6.45pm, incredible numbers although slightly less than 2 evenings ago, short but awesome display, they arrived low, blending with the landscape, binoculars needed, descent into the reedbed was well staggered 6.54pm skies clear.
Has the migration begun? or has the cold snap had an effect?
11-02-2012
Saturday
Cloudy, dark day, rained from mid afternoon and throughout the night, light southwesterly wind. Poor visibility due to rainy and dark conditions so did not venture out to the swallow site. Cold.
Barn Swallow daily log 10-02-2012
Friday
Hot and very humid, rained slightly at lunch time, felt like a sauna outside. Clouded over heavily at swallow time, misty, started to spit, strong westerly wind came up and really cooled it down. Not swallow watching weather but was curious to see if same numbers present as last night. First Barn Swallows arrived 6.34pm and the numbers just grew and grew, they arrived at varied altitudes, looking through binoculars the swallows were everywhere you looked, massive number, same as last night, awesome display and a slow motion descend into the reedbed 6.56pm.
9-02-2012
Thursday
Hot and humid, light southwesterly breeze, clouded over mid afternoon, dark, went to the swallow site and it started to rain. Spectators arrived in the rain and we sheltered together under the entrance roof. 6pm the Barn Swallows began to appear from all directions and altitudes, binoculars were needed. Wow, a flash of lightening and a crack of thunder, the numbers just kept growing and growing, yeeeha, our Barn Swallow millions have just returned and what an awesome display they performed, it was none stop viewing until 6.53pm when all made final descend into the reedbed in the pouring rain. Totally brilliant, awesome display! Contact Us for more details
8-02-2012
Wednesday
Hot and humid 31°C, northeasterly wind dropping to no wind at swallow time, overcast. The Barn Swallows arrived 6.37pm at low altitudes blending with the landscape, numbers grew and in final display they rose to reveal a truly awesome evening dance, dropping into the reedbed 6.56pm. Best numbers yet!
7-02-2012
Tuesday
Some rain fell in the night so awoke to a misty morning, clearing to hot and humid 31°C, clouded over fully from 3 pm, northeasterly wind cooling down, dark. Barn Swallows arrived at low altitude 6.34pm, blending with the landscape, binoculars were needed to see against dark backdrop, awesome display, low descend into reedbed 6.57pm, skies clear.
6-02-2012
Monday
Hot, dry, overcast, no rain, light south westerly breeze, dark. Swallows arrived from 6.40pm, binoculars were needed as they arrived low, blending with the landscape. Numbers have grown, starting to look impressive, their display was awesome, at low altitude and a slow motion descent into the reedbed 7.00pm, skies clear. The Barn Swallows fluttered from reed to reed until settled at 7.03pm.
Mosquitoes were noted on site.
5-02-2012
Sunday
Barn Swallow daily log: Still no rain, hot day, clouding over mid afternoon, south westerly wind, cool. First Barn Swallow arrivals 6.37pm at varied altitudes, small yet nice numbers, they did 2 practice runs of test roosting, rising for the final display only a few meters above the reedbed, the final descent was almost in slow motion, they then fluttered from reed to reed before settling for the night. Binoculars were needed to view last 5 minutes. Skies clear 6.55pm.
4-02-2012
Saturday
Very hot sticky day, clouding over at lunch time, south westerly wind from mid afternoon cooling things down somewhat. Swallow time it was fully over cast, the odd sighting of swallows from 6.20pm onwards then at 6.40pm the Barn Swallows stared to arrive from left of the viewing site, displaying overhead, then moving left and then right, numbers largest we’ve seen in weeks and what a display they gave us! spectators thrilled at the spectacle.
Skies clear 6.55pm
3-02-2012
Friday
Super hot day, light northeasterly wind, clouding over at swallow time, we so desperately need rain. First Barn Swallow sightings 7pm, small in number compared to last night. They didn’t mass and display, they just went straight to roost in small groups, Binoculars were needed. Skies clear 7.10pm
2-02-2012
Thursday
Very hot day, northeasterly wind, patchy clouds, western cloud bank at swallow time. Skies were empty until 7pm when nice size flock of Barn Swallows appear from left side of viewing site. Backwards and forwards they flew performing their evening dance, binoculars needed to see full mass, descending into the Lake Victoria reedbed 7.10pm, skies clear.
1-02-2012
Wednesday
Hot day, clouded over at swallow time, dark, no wind. A few Barn Swallows flew along the horizon, binoculars were needed, arriving 6.58pm over Verulam moving left, they didn’t stay, they just disappeared to the left. Skies clear of movement 7.05pm
 Barn Swallow Daily Log 2011-2012 Season
31-01-2012
Tuesday
A dash of rain this morning resulted in hot and humid conditions throughout the day, northeasterly wind, clear sky, bright, slightly cooler as the sun disappeared, magic sunset. Swallows started showing at 7.04pm at the far left of swallow viewing site, more arrived from right of Verulam skies, a constant flow until 7.10pm, binoculars were needed. A small Barn Swallow flock formed left of the viewing site, trees blocked full view, could not see descent, some late arrivals didn’t display at all and went straight to roost. No real formation or display tonight.
30-01-2012
Monday
Overcast at swallow time with a strong northeasterly wind, a slight chill in the air, dry. A couple of swallows flew over the site 6.45pm then to my astonishment there was a flock of Barn Swallows arriving from the left of the swallow site 6.56pm. Backwards and forwards they flew, more swallows joined in the display. They formed into a tighter mass (not huge in number but nice in amount and exciting to watch) then they dropped into the reedbed 7.10pm, skies clear.
29-01-2012
Sunday
Northeasterly breeze, chilly, the air crisp, feels a lot like autumn! no humidity, beautiful sunset. A few lesser striped swallows and swifts flew by but that was it! Not a single Barn Swallow was seen anywhere, horizons void of any movement, gave up at 7.20pm the Barn Swallows didn’t arrive at all.
28-01-2012
Saturday
A dark cloud hugged the western skyline, a slight westerly breeze, magic sunset, a real nip in the air. Some lesser striped swallows and swifts were hunting for insects over the swallow site from 6.35pm. The swallow spectators and I waited patiently until the Barn Swallow time of arrival as per the last 2 evenings, and we waited, and waited but no Barn Swallows arrived, none at all! Very disappointing. Gave up at 7.25pm.
Note: Still no mosquitoes !
27-01-2012
Friday
Light northeasterly wind, bright, clouded over at swallow time. Very few Barn Swallows seen until 7.07pm, arriving at the last minute, hardly displaying at all before descending into the reedbed 7.11pm as it began to rain, a second flock joined at high speed flying extremely low over the swallow site and went straight down to roost.
26-01-2012
Thursday
An occasional soft breeze blew from the southwest breaking the stillness spasmodically. The sky was ¾ thick grey clouds and the far left sky was bright and clear, much warmer tonight. Virtually no swallow sightings earlier possibly due to brighter conditions and horizons void of any movement. Then suddenly at 7.07pm the Barn Swallow mass moved through blending with the landscape opposite us, backwards and forwards they flew and performed their evening dance, more joined from the left, beautiful, numbers same as previous evening. Skies clear 7.13pm
25-0-2012
Wednesday
Overcast, thick cloud cover, chilly, strong south westerly wind, some swallow movement from 6.20pm then it rained 6.30pm for 5 minutes, Barn Swallows began arriving 6.37pm from the Umdloti valley on the left of the viewing site, a mass of Barn Swallows gathered directly in front of the swallow site with Verulam as the backdrop, it was dark so binoculars were needed to sharpen the sight and what a dance they performed, totally awesome, numbers look as if they have grown even more than previous few nights. Skies clear 7.07pm
24-01-2012
Tuesday
Some heavy rain in the night, remained cloudy most of the day, strong westerly wind, overcast at swallow time, slightly chilly. First sightings of Barn Swallows 6.15pm, nice close up viewing, numbers continued to arrived then all disappeared for about 10 minutes only to reappear at 6.48pm in larger numbers than last night, they performed their evening dance, binoculars magnified this awesome display, spectators were in awe of the sighting. All descended into the reedbed 7.01pm.
NOTE: ACSA radar team confirmed the roosting of the Barn Swallows last night and reported that numbers are still low in comparison to this time last year
23-01-2012
Monday
Northeasterly wind, hot and humid day, thick black clouds at swallow time, dark. First sighting of Barn Swallow 6.15pm arriving at assorted spots along the horizon, some stopped slightly to the left of the viewing site and swirled, performing an evening display that lasted almost 25 minutes thrilling spectators, nice medium flock numbers, they then descended into the reedbed to roost for the night. Skies clear 7.07pm. Awesome!
22-01-2012
Sunday
Clouded over early with slight drizzle then cleared completely to hot and sticky day. Swallow time some cloud hugged the western hazy horizon, slight south westerly breeze. Small show of Barn Swallows mixed with swifts at 6.50pm arriving from base of swallow site flying up and over in a easterly direction, close proximity. Horizons void of any movement, some spectators gave up just after 7pm but then something amazing happened…… 7.10pm a medium flock arrived from the left of the swallow site and began their evening dance, backwards and forwards until they descended into the reedbed, I was extremely encouraged to see this. Then 20 seconds later they rose, flew up over the swallow site and headed off east. Skies clear 7.15pm NOTE: Tiny Insects starting to emerge
21-01-2012
Saturday
Extremely hot day, hardly any breeze at all, clouding over from the west at swallow time. 6.46pm first Barn Swallows seen moving along horizon. Arriving right of Verulam moving left blending with the landscape, flying at low altitude, very small sighting compared to previous 2 nights, binoculars were needed. Skies clear 7.01pm.
20-01-2012
Friday
Hot and humid, pumping northeasterly wind again, clouds building along western horizon. Barn Swallow were seen form 6.40pm along horizon moving from left of to right. Arriving over Verulam skies and far right of Mount Moreland, constant flow of Barn Swallows until 7.03pm, numbers increasing. Flying through at varied altitudes. Without binoculars you would not have seen any at all.
19-01-2012
Thursday
Hot and humid, pumping northeasterly wind, cooling down considerably at swallow time. First swallow sightings 6.30 pm sky right of swallow site, small flocks over Nollsworth sky, wave of movement from right to left, binoculars were needed. Barn swallow numbers improving but still small and no roosting, some swallows even flew over the swallow site. Skies clear 7.00pm
18-01-2012
Wednesday
Hot and humid, northeasterly wind, cloudy sky at sunset. Went down to the bottom of the viewing site (no mosquitoes) and viewed from there, no Barn swallow movement over Mount Moreland, small flocks seen moving in a constant stream along horizon at varied altitudes, appearing right of Verulam 6.45pm moving left, disappearing just left of Waterloo skies, binoculars were needed, no swallows over reedbed. Skies clear 6.55pm.
17-01-2012
Tuesday
Heavy down pours in the night, awoke to fine rain, sunshine and a rainbow. Cleared up by 10am to hot and humid day, patchy clouds at swallow time, northeasterly wind. Small number of swallows arrived 6.50pm foraging over Mount Moreland’s tree tops and some Barn Swallow scouts surveyed the reedbed, skies clear 7.03pm. Insects (mosquitoes) starting to emerge.
16-01-2012
Monday
Intermittent rain throughout the night and today. A shower at swallow time, southwesterly wind, patchy sky, looks like more rain to come. I went to site despite the unsettled weather, no sign of any Barn Swallows so returned home to view the Froggy Pond skies, no sightings of Barn Swallows at all, I watched until 7.10pm.
15-01-2012
Sunday
Hot, humid day with light southwesterly wind, pretty sunset, patchy clouds then a cloud burst. Only a few Barn Swallows seen individually, no flock sightings, no mass display, skies empty of movement. A late swallow watcher arrived and said that he had seen lots of swallows flying over the lower road heading southeast 6.55pm. No sightings from the swallow site.
13 & 14-01-2012
Fri & Sat
Took time off from swallow watching in local territory and went away to Cape Vidal, a natural paradise, the swallows were present with me all the way.
The ladies on swallow duty reported that no large flocks of swallows were seen.
12-01-2012
Thursday
Hot and humid day with pumping northeasterly wind, nice sunset. Not much of Barn Swallow activity until 6.40pm when small flocks began moving from the sky right of Verulam traveling left at varied altitudes, this continued until 7.09pm. Binoculars were needed.
11-01-2012
Wednesday
Strong northeasterly wind, hot and very humid day. Magic sunset, small Barn Swallow flock sightings arriving in the sky right of Verulam, moving left along horizon 6.50pm, movement continued until 7.05pm skies clear, binoculars were needed.
Note: no mosquitoes since Saturday.
10-01-2012
Tuesday
Sizzling hot and humid day, light northeasterly breeze, grey cloud bank building in the west, lovely sunset. One small Barn Swallow flock seen over Waterloo horizon 5.30pm. Some individual swallows flew over the site and a small flock were feeding low, on the opposite side of Lake Victoria, binoculars were needed. No Display, no Barn Swallow mass show. Horizons quiet.
9-01-2012
Monday
Hot and humid, northeasterly wind, overcast at swallow time. We heard the fish eagles calling. Binoculars were needed to see small flocks of Barn Swallows (from6.45pm) move along the horizon, arriving over Verulam and moving left . Skies clear 6.58pm.
8-01-2012
Sunday
Very hot day, northeasterly wind, fully overcast at swallow time cooling things down a lot. Some small flocks of Barn Swallows seen from 6.15pm to 6.45pm flying along horizon from right side of site to left, thereafter no sightings, no display, no mass.
7-01-2012
Saturday
Hot day with northeasterly winds, semi overcast at swallow time. Very little swallow movement, a small number moved from Verulam skies left along horizon. No show, no display, very disappointing. Skies clear 7.05pm
Note: The sugar cane fields surrounding Mount Moreland were crop sprayed this morning. An insecticide applied over a period of 6 applications for the control of Eldana Borer.
Is this what is having an effect on the Barn Swallows this season?
6-01-2012
Friday
Hot day, patchy clouds at swallow time, no wind. The reedbed was a hive of activity, weavers busy building nests and colourful red bishops fluttered amongst the reeds. 6.30pm Barn Swallows started arriving in waves, brushing the tops of the reeds and perching every now and then as if testing the bed. This Barn Swallow wave movement continued for 30 minutes, arriving from the right of the site and moving left. 7pm and they flew in from the left and a mass began to form, they used the hillside on approach, very low altitude, 6 minutes of this and then they flew off to roost elsewhere. Skies clear 7.10pm.
Was this a practice run for the Barn Swallows coming back to roost? Is this the start of the return of our swallows?
5-01-2012
Thursday
Woke to the song of the Golden Oracle. Rained most of the day and poured down at swallow time so I viewed the skies from home. Dark, thunder and lightening, one thunder crash so loud that we felt it, westerly wind. Some Barn Swallow movement, no large flocks. Skies clear 6.30pm
4-01-2012
Wednesday
Cooking hot day with northeasterly breeze. Arrived at swallow site 5pm, small movement of Barn Swallows in right sky 5.35pm then no swallow movement until 7pm. A large Barn Swallow flock came from the right of the site, down, at high speed just above the reedbed, this movement continued for almost 10 minutes. No display, none stayed to roost. Skies clear 7.10pm. Westerly wind just starting, large dark clouds approaching.
3-01-2012
Tuesday
Overcast, slight drizzle intermittent, strong southwesterly wind. 5pm went to the swallow site, cold, not pleasant, very strong wind. Some spectators braved the cold and Barn Swallows were seen from 5.30pm to 6.15pm, small flocks on horizons, flying over reedbed and over the swallow site, no large flocks, no mass display. Waited another 30 minutes and at 6.45pm called it a day, very cold and dark.
2-01-2012
Monday
Hot day with light northeasterly wind dropping completely to a still evening at swallow watching time, some grey cloud cover over the western horizon. The Barn Swallows were almost individual in arrival from 6.45pm, small flock flew over the swallow site, horizons quite. 7.02pm large numbers of Barn Swallows arrived from the right of the site flying left over the reeds and just above, one flock turned coming back almost beginning the evening display, all disappeared out of sight 7.10pm could not see to far left of site if they roosted.
1-01-2012
Sunday
News years day and what a glorious, hot ,sunshine summer day it was. No wind at swallow site this evening, as spectators were arriving 5.30pm a fish eagle soared over the site calling as it moved through. Magic sunset, almost as if the sky was divided in half, the left side a colourful sunset, the right side a large dark cloud with lightening within it. 6.50pm small flocks of swallows moved along the horizon from the right of the site to left, binoculars were needed, some surveyed the reedbed, a few flew over the swallow site. No display, no roosting at Lake Victoria. Skies clear 7.02pm.
One of the first evenings it wasn’t cold.
 Barn Swallow Daily Log 2011-2012 Season
31-12-2011
Saturday
New Years eve. I went to swallow site even though it was seriously clouded over and began to rain, light northeasterly, dark, thunder and lightening along western horizon. 5.30pm quite a nice size flock of Barn Swallows arrived, 15 minutes of active skies then the wind changed to south westerly, unpleasant, relocated with spectators to Froggy Pond, small flocks moving along all skylines, no final display, no roosting. Skies clear 6.55pm.
Note: 9.30pm first signs of mosquitoes emerging.
30-12-2011
Friday
Hot day, cooling off at swallow time, mixed cloudy colourful sky, nice sunset, north easterly wind. Packed with spectators, some Barn Swallows flew over the site, smaller flocks were seen moving along the Verulam skyline from right to left from 6.35pm. The swallows didn’t stay, no display, no roosting, very disappointing. Skies clear 6.55pm
29-12-2011
Thursday
Hot, cloudy, breezy day, westerly wind. Went to the lake Victoria viewing site, very overcast. No flocks of Barn Swallows were seen, only a few odd ones flew over, not one flock along the horizons. I drove round to the Froggy Pond viewing site to survey the skyline, small flock spotted moving towards the estuary, nothing at all similar to what I had seen last night.
Skies clear 6.50pm.
 8-12-2011
Wednesday
Rained most if the day, south westerly wind, not pleasant outdoors. The fish eagles were around at lunch time surveying the Mdloti river. At swallow time I watched the skies from home and there were quite a lot of Barn Swallows that came up from the Mdloti estuary, biggest flock I’ve seen in weeks. Could not establish where they went down to roost, will view from swallow sites tomorrow.
27-12-2011
Tuesday
 Hot and humid day with pumping northeasterly wind, clouded over in the west, very dark clouds at swallow time and cooled down to chilly. Some small flocks of swallows were seen moving from the right of the site to left, binoculars were needed, no numbers of impact, no display, very disappointing.
Looks like heavy rain coming
26-12-2011
Monday
Hot and humid day with pumping northeasterly wind, clouded over in the west at swallow time and cooled down to chilly. Vast numbers of spectators arrived and unfortunately were not rewarded with any display by the Barn Swallows. Small flocks flew over the site and along the distant hillside, binoculars were needed, none stayed to roost. Skies clear 6.46pm. still no insects present.
25-12-2011
Sunday Christmas Day
Very hot day 32°C with strong north easterly winds, clouding over at swallow time. I did not go to the swallow site due to the fact that our electricity was off the entire day and Christmas lunch was cooked in a Weber and took longer than anticipated. I did look out and saw some Barn Swallows flying towards the Umdloti Lagoon.
24-12-2011
Saturday
Christmas eve
Overcast with rain most of the day, southwesterly wind, cleared partially at swallow time. Small numbers of Barn Swallows seen, a flock of swifts but no swallow display. Barn Swallows all moving through towards Umdloti estuary.
Skies clear 6.50pm, it began raining again.
23-12-2011
Friday
Overcast with rain most of the day, southwesterly wind, cold. I did go to swallows as it wasn’t raining. Some small flocks of Barn Swallows were seen moving through, no major shows. I relocated to Froggy Pond 6.30pm and there were some small flocks of swallows also moving through towards the estuary, started pouring with rain.
Skies clear 7pm
22-12-2011
Thursday
4th hot and humid day in a row, strong north easterly winds changing to south westerly at swallow time, overcast. Arrived at the site 5pm and there was already a small Barn Swallow flock hovering over the site. From 5.50pm until 6.22pm small flocks (slightly bigger in number than previous evenings but still no major show) of Barn Swallows kept flying at very low altitude over the viewing site, some even surveyed the reedbed.
There was no final display as a thunder storm was fast approaching 6.50pm.
Here comes the rain, let’s see how much we get!
21-12-2011
Wednesday
Hot and humid day with strong north easterly wind, dark clouds building along western horizon. A colourful sunset. Some swallows around from 6pm then 6.30pm small Barn Swallow flocks moved from the right vista to the left and this movement continued for 30 minutes along the horizon, binoculars were needed. We had a few Barn Swallows fly close over the viewing site. No final display.
Skies clear 7pm. Umdloti estuary opens to the sea reducing the water level in the Mdloti river.
20 -12-2011
Tuesday
Hot and humid day, north easterly wind, clouding over and cooling down at swallow time. Spectators arrived in large numbers from 5.30pm onwards. There was a small flock of Barn Swallows feeding over the trees on the right on the viewing site. A low fly over but the small barn Swallow numbers had little impact on the eagerly awaiting swallow watchers. Skies clear 6.53pm. Still no insect life.
Weather forecast is heavy rain for the next few days, we will have to see how heavy ( will it flood?) and if this is the catalyst to generate the Barn Swallows much needed food supply.
19-12-2011
Monday
Hot and humid day (first full day of humidity). Swallow time clouded over, grey skies again with a south westerly wind putting a nip in the air. Small sighting of Barn Swallows to the right of the viewing site. A very close up fly over by approximately 50 swallows, they must be starving as we still do not have the insects that they so desperately need to feed upon. Skies clear 6.50pm.
Radar team have reported that the swallows are roosting in the Umdloti estuary, a similar pattern to last season. The reason for this is probably due to the slightly warmer conditions in that area.
18-12-2011
Sunday
Very hot day, sunshine with pumping easterly wind all day, clouded over at swallow time, thick grey clouds, cold, wearing jerseys again. Some small sightings of swallows from 6.10 pm, groups arriving from the right of the site moving left, no display, no roosting.
NOTE: No insects for the Barn Swallows to feed on, no humidity, no mosquito’s, cold
17-12-2011
Saturday
Hot day, clouded over at swallow time, dark heavy clouds along the western skyline with a northerly wind that was cold, some spectators even wrapped in blankets. Once again no Barn Swallow arrival, so no display. Some of the nesting swallows (lesser striped, white throated, wire tailed, grey rumped) were seen flying over the site.
16-12-2011
Friday
Overcast, northeasterly wind. Lots of spectators arrived to see the swallows. As time ticked towards sunset less than 50 single event swallows had been seen, a no show, not one single flock to view, not even a fly through, very disappointing.
15-12-2011
Thursday
Overcast, on-off rain all day, south westerly wind. Didn’t go to the swallow site, stayed home and viewed the Froggy Pond and Mdloti river skies. Some Barn Swallow movement, no large flocks, looked like they were heading for Lake Victoria.
Skies clear 6.52pm
14-12-2011
Wednesday
Hot, humid morning, overcast all day, easterly wind. Barn Swallows were seen from 6.20pm moving from the right to left of Lake Victoria along the horizons, binoculars were needed. This pattern continued for 20 minutes, more swallows (nice numbers) than I have seen in 10 days but they didn’t stay and display, they only moved through, almost as if surveying the reedbed.
Reports of mass sightings at the Umhlanga lagoon ± 20km southeast of Mount Moreland.
Note: mosquito’s and flies are noticeably absent presently at Mount Moreland for this time of year
13-12-2011
Tuesday
Beautiful day with strong north easterly wind. Swallow site packed with spectators. A few swallows were seen along the horizons from 6.20pm, binoculars were needed. They moved from the right side of Lake Victoria to the left side and disappeared from sight. NO display at all. Swallows watchers were extremely disappointed.
The fireflies came out at ± 7pm
12-12-2011
Monday
Overcast with fine rain most of the day, miserable. Didn’t go to the swallows site due to bad weather, I went to Umdloti and I did see some Barn Swallows, they appeared confused and not sure where they were going to roost, it was unclear where they went.
11-12-2011
Sunday
A glorious, sunshine day, hot. At swallow time it did cloud over, spat a bit of rain then cleared partially to reveal a beautiful sunset. Spectators reported sightings of Barn Swallows sitting on the wires approaching Mount Moreland. Some Barn Swallows were seen arriving from 6.20pm along the horizons, binoculars were needed. The flock was small and sparse with no final display. Possibly a new migrating flock that just arrived, too tired to display.
10-12-2011
Saturday
Some sunshine this morning but clouded over from lunch time, dark, strong north easterly wind, chilly again. As I walked out the door, packed up and ready to go and do swallow duty the heavens opened and it poured down. I took the opportunity to drive to alternative roosting sites to have a look see and my observations confirmed, there are no Barn Swallows anywhere around here.
9-12-2011
Friday
Another overcast day with intermittent rain, very cold, south westerly wind. Went to the Lake Victoria swallow site, it started raining, no sign of any swallows by 6.30pm, disappointing, it was really cold for this time of year, nothing like summer weather at all.
8-12-2011
Thursday
Overcast all day, strong westerly winds with intermittent rain, cold. No swallows to be seen anywhere when out and about to nearby villages, very odd. Will wait and see what transpires with the weather, do the Barn Swallows know something that we don’t?
7-12-2011
Wednesday
Had an appointment and had Sandra stand in and do swallow duty. Skies overcast and no sightings of swallows.
6-12-2011
Tuesday
Hot day with strong easterly wind, clouded over at swallow time and had a small pink sunset. Very few Barn Swallows arrived 5.24pm, very hard to see, odd fly over, tiny flock went down to roost on south eastern side of Lake Victoria.
Skies clear 6.50pm
5-12-2011
Monday
The sun did come out today but the easterly wind howled the entire day, overcast and dark once again at swallow time with chilling easterly wind. Small show of swallows, tiny flock ± 100 Barn Swallows, this is not normal at all. Skies clear 6.50pm.
Is this is a sign of floods to come? Time will tell.
4-12-2011
Sunday
Overcast once again at swallow time with cold easterly wind. Spectators arrived and were not rewarded, there was a really small flock of Barn Swallows that arrived on the eastern side of Lake Victoria and did not give a display, very disappointing. skies clear 6.50pm.
10 minutes later the fire flies twinkled on site, our very own natural Christmas lights.
3-12-2011
Saturday
Overcast at swallow time with a strong, cold westerly wind. It was really cold this evening and the few Barn Swallows flew low over the site. There was a small flock display on the left side of Lake Victoria, very brief and then to bed. It once again sounded as if there were more swallows in the reedbed than were seen.
*The Lake Victoria Conservancy (of which I am Chairperson) received the RHINO AWARD from the eThekwini Conservancies today – for outstanding contribution, effort, dedication and commitment.
Wow, what an honour, really pleased with this.
2-12-2011
Friday
Clear patchy day, overcast mid afternoon, strong south westerly wind. Spectators arrived at the Lake Victoria site, God rays broke through the grey back drop, lighting the distant hills, very picturesque. Barn Swallows were flying low from 5.50pm and sweeping through the site  and then disappearing from sight. Then an unusual Barn Swallow display, it would appear that many smaller flocks arrived and went to roost independent of each other, then 2 slightly larger flocks arrived and each gave an individual display at separate times, then a late flock arrival. There are more Barn Swallows in the reedbed than what we saw, cupping ones hands over ones ears revealed the sounds of a very full reedbed,. Skies clear 6.48pm
1-12-2011
Thursday
Hot and humid day, winds variable, thick clouds at swallow time. Once again a small show of Barn Swallows at Lake Victoria and no display, severe weather coming.
Storm approaching from the west, started raining 6.31pm.
 Barn Swallow Daily Log 2011-2012 Season
30-11-2011
Wednesday
Very pink sky this morning, a very hot and humid day, no wind, swallow time and a magic sunset. Very few Barn Swallows again, arriving 5.55pm, they did fly over the site but no display, small fly by’s and binoculars were needed.
Heavy rain predicted, the swallows know something we don’t and have moved to safer grounds temporarily.
29-11-2011
Tuesday
Warmed up today but overcast, humid, grey skies, no wind at swallow time. Swallows were feeding at the site when I arrived but only a small group. Things didn’t improve when it was display time, the flock was so small I kept losing sight of them. Skies clear 6.39pm.
The small show of Barn Swallows I am sure is a sign of more bad weather to come.
28-11-2011
Monday
Hectic rain last night with major flood damage in surrounding areas, the Mdloti river flowing rapidly this morning. Sun came out and temperatures rose to 27° then we had showers in the afternoon and come swallow time the west wind had put a chill in the air again with grey clouds building. Small number of Barn Swallows around from 5.55pm arriving at very low altitude, tree top height. Only a small flock gathered and didn’t really display at all, skies clear 6.45pm. More rain is forecasted.
27-11-2011
Sunday
Bitterly cold morning then the sun appeared and warmed things up a bit but the east wind pumped the entire day. Time for swallows and the sound of thunder echoed through the clouds above, I went to the swallow site curious to see if we had any new Barn Swallow arrivals. As I stepped onto site there were 2 Trumpeter Hornbills perched on a nearby dead tree, unusual. A few spectators arrived for the evening viewing and the Barn Swallows began appearing 6.15pm and built to a watchable number, small flock, binoculars were needed against grey sky we also had some close up fly by’s.
Skies clear 6.31pm, as the Barn Swallows bedded down it began to rain.
26-11-2011
Saturday
Overcast the entire day, cold, easterly wind. This evening at the Lake Victoria swallow viewing site there was a repeat non-performance, a no-show of Barn Swallows. This is very disappointing and worrying.
Perhaps it is too cold for our arriving Barn Swallows? or is this a sign of more serious weather still to come?
Dragon flies were seen for the first time on site this evening followed by the fire flies.
25-11-2011
Friday
The sun peeped through a cloudy sky today and it remained cold with a strong westerly wind. Went to the Lake Victoria swallow site wrapped in jerseys and sat with some spectators. 6.40pm we had about 100 swallows fly through us at about 1m height off the ground and they were moving at extreme speed, not sure where they went!
First time ever no Barn Swallow mass display, no main arrival of the Barn Swallows, I scanned the horizons with no results of movement. What has happened?
The cold weather most probably the cause but is there more, something coming we don’t know……….. maybe a flood ????
In all my 18 years of Swallow watching this is truly a first for me!
24-11-2011
Thursday
Heavy rain the entire day, dark and cold, not swallow watching weather at all, so took my eyes off the skies for tonight.
23-11-2011
Wednesday
Time to go to swallows and it began to rain intermittently, so I didn’t go. The Barn Swallows arrived late 6.33pm and all headed for Lake Victoria. Numbers looked very low.
The ACSA radar team reported earlier today that my swallow watching reports are accurate with the exception that there is a small Barn Swallow flock roosting at Froggy Pond. They confirmed that the full complement of Swallows arrived on Saturday and they are roosting in Lake Victoria.
22-11-2011
Tuesday
Went to the Swallow site at Lake Victoria but came home as it started raining, there were some Barn Swallows around, the Barn Swallow mass arrived 6.20pm and casually glided overhead. All headed over to Lake Victoria to roost.
Skies clear 6.40pm
21-11-2011
Monday
Our Barn Swallows are back! They have returned in great numbers.
The day started out hot, humid, sunshine only to cloud over at lunch time with strong south westerly winds bringing rain at 4pm onwards.
The Barn Swallows were thick in number from 5.35pm arriving at low altitudes not at all perturbed by the falling rain, their presence evident at every skyline view. Numbers grew to mass display and all descended into a wet reedbed 6.34pm.
20-11-2011
Sunday
Stared out a misty, fine rainy morning and then cleared up about 10am, strong north easterly wind, sunshine. Barn Swallows were around from 5.30pm and they just continued to grow in numbers, huge numbers, binoculars were needed to see against westerly cloud bank.
Brilliant display, wonderful to see the Barn Swallows have arrived in great numbers again.
Skies clear 6.44pm
19-11-2011
Saturday
Hasn’t stopped raining, poured all night and day and the Barn Swallows have been around and feasting the entire day on flying ants. the breeze is undecided, one hour from the south then one hour from the north. 5.50pm masses of Barn Swallows arrived, the sky was busy with flight where ever you looked and they arrived at all altitudes. Was today the day the masses arrived?
6.26pm and all the Barn Swallows flew towards Lake Victoria where I am sure they bedded down for the night. I am so looking forward to going to the viewing site when the weather clears to see the massive number of new Barn Swallow arrivals.
The ground is soaked and more rain is forecasted for the next 3 days.
18-11-2011
Friday
Cloudy day but humid. Went to Lake Victoria viewing site and it started to rain, misty, low cloud, south easterly wind, poor visibility. Some holiday makers braved the weather and were rewarded, the Barn Swallows were around from as early as 5.35pm. At 6.25pm 2 very large separate flocks of Barn Swallows gathered and displayed, one flock descended to the left the other centre.
Nice numbers, skies clear 6.31pm
17-11-2011
Thursday
The swamp was alive with sounds and in full chorus this morning. Mist, foggy rain the entire day but not cold, in fact quite humid, light westerly wind. I did not go to the viewing site. Viewed the Mdloti river skies and Froggy Pond, the Barn Swallows arrived at 6.24pm at tree top height feeding frantically, must be really hungry.
6.28pm the skies filled with Barn Swallows, thousands and thousands, nice to see good numbers again 6.30pm they all went over in the direction of Lake Victoria where I assume they bedded down for the night.
16-11-2011
Wednesday
Overcast, grey, light easterly wind, still a nip in the air, looks like mist rain approaching. Lots of spectators arrived and were treated to the Barn Swallows feeding over and through the viewing site at 6pm. Then the Barn Swallows began to gather to the left side of Lake Victoria, numbers depleted considerably possibly due to cold weather. 6.23pm Small flock moved from left to right and then descended into the reedbed 6.29pm, binoculars were needed, Barn Swallow viewing difficult against grey sky.
The Fire flies came out 7pm.
15-11-2011
Tuesday
Strong easterly wind, chilly, not pleasant, overcast grey sky. Spectators arrived at Lake Victoria viewing site and were treated to a close up Barn Swallow experience with an on-site swallow feeding frenzy, awesome. 6.18pm. The main swallow display was very different with one large group that gave a short display then went to bed and then 10 other smaller flocks arrived and just went straight to bed, very odd, must be due to chill in the strong wind.
Skies clear 6.28pm.
14-11-2011
Monday
Started out a rainy, miserable day with strong south westerly winds but cleared up at lunch time, the sun came out and the wind dropped to a breeze.
Went to the Lake Victoria viewing site where quite a few spectators arrived. It was a beautiful evening and we all watched an amazing, colourful sunset the first mass swallows arrived 6.28pm and arrive they did, what an awesome show they gave us thrilling onlookers.
Skies clear 6.49pm
Waited 10 minutes for the firefly display and the site became alive with many twinkling lights.
13-11-2011
Sunday
The Return of the Swallows event
The weather started out overcast with no wind, pleasant, spectators began arriving from 3pm and continued so until 4.30pm when low cloud, mist and rain began to fall. Many spectators persevered and were rewarded with a top Barn Swallow number sighting only at 6.15pm, visibility was the worst I have ever seen but looking through binoculars the swallows gave a short yet awesome display.
Skies clear 6.20pm
12-11-2011
Saturday
Miserable weather, dark, overcast and unpleasantly strong south westerly wind, chilly. Went to swallows and was surprised to see so many spectators had arrived. The Barn Swallows arrived extremely low using the Waterloo hillside as protection from the strong wind, so viewing was not good, arrival 6.15pm, binoculars were needed. There was a quick mass display and then the Barn Swallows were in bed 6.20pm
11-11-2011
Friday
Rained this morning then cleared up but more rain forecast for this evening. Went to Lake Victoria Barn Swallow viewing site, light easterly wind, overcast. Barn Swallows were around from 5.30pm numbers increased at 5.55pm, lots of close-up fly by’s. Lovely display but binoculars were needed, more Barn Swallows have arrived and the mass number is growing.
Skies clear 6.20pm
10-11-2011
Thursday
Intermittent rain throughout the day but clear enough to go swallow watching. I started off at Lake Victoria and first Barn swallows arrived 5.50pm. I then relocated to Froggy Pond curious to see if same pattern happened as last night. My hunch paid off and The Barn Swallows massed at 6.12pm, nice short display, nice numbers.
Skies clear 6.15pm
9-11-2011
Wednesday
Hot day again, clouding over mid afternoon. Went to Lake Victoria viewing site, east wind blowing and thunder storm approaching from the west, dark. Lots of Barn Swallows around, flying through low. Mass arrived 5.57pm and in mass number they were, at a guess maybe a hundred thousand, lovely to see these new arrivals, all displayed over Lake Victoria against grey cloud cover, awesome, then 3 minutes prior to roosting a split occurred and the majority went to roost at Froggy Pond a small flock bedded down at Lake Victoria.
Skies clear 6.15pm started raining
8-11-2011
Tuesday
Very hot day, beautiful colourful sunset, a stillness in the air. Barn swallows were around from 5.30pm but few and far between. 6.30pm very few arrived for the evening display.
A disappointing show, skies clear 6.45pm
Full moon tomorrow night and rain approaching from the West maybe this is what the swallows are waiting for!
7-11-2011
Monday
Good, soaking rain during the night, we also had 2 minutes of hail (very unusual)the size of large peas, cleared today, strong north easterly wind, beautiful sunset, not a cloud in the sky. Went to Lake Victoria viewing site, spectators had an early fly by 6pm but the small Barn Swallow show started at 6.30pm, a strange formation, better numbers than previous evenings of recent. Then the Barn Swallow mass split and half headed for Froggy Pond where I assume they possibly spent the night. Still a chill in the wind.
Skies clear 6.44pm.
6-11-2011
Sunday
Rained throughout the night then cleared this morning only to cloud over again at lunch time with constant rain since then. The rain is wonderful and much needed to wake up the insects (food for the Barn Swallows), this is currently happening, the ground is erupting with flying ants, a feast awaits the arriving hungry Barn Swallows. No Swallow viewing tonight due to rain. Still a chill in the air.
5-11-2011
Saturday
Barn Swallows arrived 6.20pm against a very dark grey sky, rain threatening again, and we really need it. Barn Swallows thrilled spectators by flying through low and feeding at very close proximity. Better Barn Swallow display than the previous 5 evenings, numbers are climbing again but not millions, binoculars were needed.
Skies clear 6.39pm
10 minutes later the viewing site was transformed into a fantasy display of fire flies.
4-11-2011
Friday
Much needed rain began to fall from 4pm so no swallow watching tonight
3-11-2011
Thursday
Magic sunset, still a chill in the air, light north easterly wind. The Barn Swallows arrived at 6.28pm very low, were feeding over the swallow site. Very small flock displayed, disappointing show.
Skies clear 6.43pm.
2-11-2011
Wednesday
Lovely day but clouded over at swallow time with a chilly north easterly wind. Very dark cloud over western horizon view from Lake Victoria site. Spectators were treated to a Barn Swallow feeding frenzy on site ± 50 swallows flew low and through the onlookers, so special to experience this. The Main Swallow display was a no show, very disappointing with only a small flock appearing at 6.25pm. The few Barn Swallows that did show were in the reedbed by 6.34pm.
The cold air and lack of heavy rainfall are possible reasons for the decline in resident swallows presently.
1-11-2011
Tuesday
Dark, overcast, south westerly wind, cold, I had 2 jerseys on! Barn Swallows had a few fly overs from 6.05pm. numbers greatly reduced from previous entries possibly due to cold weather. The few Barn Swallows massed at 6.20pm and were in the reedbed by 6.26pm.
 Barn Swallow Daily Log 2011-2012 Season
31-10-2011
Monday
Started raining at 4pm, cold, dark, light south westerly wind, miserable outside, no swallow viewing for me this evening.
30-10-2011
Sunday
Strong south westerly wind, unpleasant, afternoon thunder and rain, dark. Watched the Barn Swallows arrive through the Umdloti river valley from my house 6.05pm.
29-10-2011
Saturday
I did not go to the Barn Swallow site as it began to rain with thunder storm approaching. Barn Swallow flocks flew low over my house and were in a hurry to get to Lake Victoria reedbed.
28-10-2011
Friday
Overcast, dark, strong south westerly wind, chilly, fine drizzle. First Barn Swallows arrived 5.45pm, unusual display possible due to strong wind. Huge Barn Swallow numbers, binoculars were needed to see full spectacle.
Skies clear 6.29pm.
27-10-2011
Thursday
Overcast, dark, cold, fine drizzle. I did not go to the swallow site as I had another appointment, I did drive past at 6.20pm and the swallows had already gone down to roost.
26-10-2011
Wednesday
Gray skies, thick cloud cover, no wind. Went to Lake Victoria and sat with groups of tourists.
The Barn Swallows arrived at 6.03pm and what a magnificent display they put on, huge numbers swirled near and far.
Skies clear 6.30pm.
* 10 minutes later an abundance of fire flies twinkled above the grass on the Lake Victoria swallow viewing site.
25-10-2011
Tuesday
Rained all day, dark, low cloud cover. Went to Froggy Pond to see what, if anything was happening over this reedbed. To my amazement about 200 Barn Swallows flew over my head towards Lake Victoria. I scanned the horizons, and no Barn Swallows, not one to see, time 6.20pm. I rushed round the corner to Lake Victoria and just saw the last Barn Swallow flock descend into the reedbed. Spectators visiting from the UK confirmed a spectacular display was witnessed and they thoroughly enjoyed it.
Skies clear 6.23pm.
24-10-2011
Monday
Grey skies over Lake Victoria but curious spectators arrived in wait of the evening display of Barn Swallows. Huge Barn Swallow numbers arrived 6.03pm, binoculars were needed to maximize the sighting, brilliant display.
Skies clear 6.20pm
23-10-2011
Sunday
A grey cloud hung on top of the horizon and the sun set behind it, a beautiful evening. The Barn Swallows started arriving 6.10pm, nice mass display with over head fly overs thrilling spectators. Awesome.
Skies clear 6.23pm
22-10-2011
Saturday
Barn Swallows arrived 6.03pm at Lake Victoria against pink sunset and still skies. About 1 million Barn Swallows gathered and gave an awesome display, at times some flying low through the numerous spectators on site. This is the first evening that the Barn Swallow mass is beginning to swell and from now on the displays and Barn Swallow numbers will become greater and more and more spectacular.
Barn Swallows went down to roost 6.21pm. Skies clear.
Barn Swallow 2010-2011
Barn Swallow daily log 2011-2012
Barn Swallow daily log 2012-2013
Barn Swallow daily log 2013-2014
Barn Swallow daily log 2014-2015
Barn Swallow daily log 2015-2016