Barn Swallow Season CLOSED as of 28 March 2017 due to virtual NO SHOW of Barn Swallows since 15 December 2016, this is far from the normal Barn Swallow experience that we want you to see and has caused much upset with expectant spectators. This is a first on record of such.
Possible reasons for this are: Drought, Polluted river. rain too late – Swallows settled elsewhere. Lower than normal water levels in Lake Victoria

Please revisit November 2017 on the return migration from Europe

March 2017

Monday 27 March 2017 – Sunny day with Southerly wind. Some Barn Swallows sighted along Western skyline, arriving from right and disappearing left 5.50pm, binoculars needed. Very disappointing for spectators.

Sunday 26 March 2017 – Sun and clouds to fully overcast and chilly at Barn Swallow viewing time. Northeasterly wind. A flock of Barn Swallows sighted at 5.30pm moving in the direction of the Umhlanga lagoon, no sightings thereafter.

Saturday 25 March 2017 – Much cooler day ,fully overcast, strong Southerly wind with squalls of rain in the later part of the day, smell of paraffin in the air as the factory fire continues to smoulder. I watched the skies from home and saw no Barn Swallows.

Friday 24 March 2017– We were covered with thick black clouds most of the day, fueled with a strong Southwesterly wind, these were not rain clouds but thick smoke from a factory fire 40km south of us. By 4pm it did begin to rain, no Barn Swallow viewing this evening.

Thursday 23 March 2017 – Very hot day, clouds building in the West, Light Northeasterly breeze, hazy. Barn Swallows sighted 5.10pm right sky at varied altitudes with continued sightings until 5.50pm, very interesting, binoculars needed. No roosting.

Wednesday 22 March 2017 – Very hot day with Northeasterly wind. I watched the skies from home but there were no Barn Swallow sightings at all

Tuesday 21 March 2017 – Very hot day clouding over to quite dark at Barn Swallow viewing time, strong Northeasterly wind. 6pm a flock of Barn Swallows moved through behind us, over the Froggy Pond viewing site, No Barn Swallows at all at Lake Victoria, very disappointing for spectators. Watched until 6.15pm when the bats came out.

Monday 20 March 2017 – Beautiful day, small cloud formation along Western skyline, classic sunset, light Northeasterly breeze. A Flock of Barn Swallows arrived right sky and moved left at variable altitudes 5.54pm, binoculars needed. Another flock at varied altitudes behind us, over the gazebo park, mainly high. An 7minute show and nothing thereafter, no roosting. Very disappointing for spectators.

Sunday 19 March 2017 – Fully overcast midday, dark at Barn Swallow viewing time, strong and cold Southerly wind dropping to no wind but looks like it could rain. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening.

Saturday 18 March 2017 – Overcast, dark, strong Southerly wind. Watched the skies from home, no Barn Swallows sighted.

Friday 17 March 2017 – Hot day with strong Northeasterly wind, clear sky at Barn Swallow viewing time, hazy. A brief show of a  tiny flock of Barn Swallows sighted 6.05pm, lost sight of them in the landscape. Bats came out 6.20pm. Very disappointing for spectators

Thursday 16 March 2017 – hot day clouding over late afternoon. Interesting sunset, virtually no wind. Only a handful of Barn Swallows sighted

Wednesday 15 March 2017 – Very hot and humid morning, clouding over mid afternoon to dark and storm approaching, rain, strong Southwesterly wind. A tiny flock of Barn Swallows came over my house flying in the direction of Lake Victoria.

Tuesday 14 March 2017 – Lovely day with Northeasterly wind and interesting clouds at Barn Swallow viewing time. A few handfuls of Barn Swallows sighted at high altitude. No roosting.

Monday 13 March 2017 – A grey, overcast day, Northeasterly wind, the air is dry, dark at Barn Swallow viewing time. Watched the skies from home, sky void of any Barn Swallow presence.
NOTE: High seas hit the coast yesterday afternoon from 2 cyclones at sea

Sunday 12 March 2017 – Lovely day turning to fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time with strong, cold Southwesterly wind, full moon. A handful of swallows came through at 5.50pm and nothing thereafter. Very disappointing for spectators

Saturday 11 March 2017 – Sunny day, cooler, light Northeasterly breeze, clear sky at Barn Swallow viewing time. Only a few Barn Swallows sighted and at 6.20pm a tiny flock looked as if they went to roost in the lower end of Lake Victoria. Lots of bats, more bats than swallows!

Friday 10 March 2017 – A real autumn day, nice to put on a jersey! some rain and very strong Southwesterly wind, cold, rain approaching at Barn Swallow viewing time. Only a handful of Barn Swallows sighted, still waiting to see if the Barn Swallows return on the migration North.

Thursday 9 March 2017 – Much cooler with strong Southwesterly wind and rain most of the day. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening

Wednesday 8 March 2017 – Very hot and humid day, hazy, light Northeasterly breeze, clouds forming along Western skyline. A handful of Barn Swallows sighted 6.12pm and nothing thereafter. Very disappointing for spectators

Tuesday 7 March 2017 – Very hot and humid day, light Northeasterly breeze, dark cloud bank along western skyline, interesting clouds. Only a handful of swallows sighted 6,12pm horizons void of any movement at all. Very disappointing for spectators.

Monday 6 March 2017 – Hot and humid, hazy, virtually no wind, overcast. I watched the skies from home and did not see any Barn Swallows arriving uo the Mdloti river valley.

Sunday 5 March 2017 – Very hot and humid, clouding over mid afternoon with strong Southwesterly wind, hazy at Barn Swallow viewing time. A few waves on Barn Swallows came over the viewing site 5.55pm until 6.20pm approximately 200 in total and a tiny flock looked like they went to roost in the lower end of Lake Victoria.

Saturday 4 March 2017 – Very hot and humid day, fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time, only a handful of Swallows sighted and then it started to spot with rain 6.30pm

Friday 3 March 2017 – Could not be at swallows this evening

Thursday 2 March 2017 – Very hot and humid day partly cloudy with light Northeasterly breeze. No Barn Swallows sighted

Wednesday 1 March 2017 – Hot and cloudy day with strong Southerly wind mid afternoon. A tiny flock of Barn Swallows overhead 6.29pm. No Roosting

February 2017

Tuesday 28 February 2017 – Hot and humid day with strong Northeasterly wind, no Barn Swallows sighted.

Monday 27 February 2017 – Cooler day clouding over late afternoon, light Northeasterly breeze. Skies void of any Barn Swallows. Waiting for cold fronts to arrive and hopefully trigger the migration North.

Sunday 26 February 2017 – Much cooler with rain late afternoon, southerly wind. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening

Saturday 25 February 2017 – Very hot and humid day with strong Westerly wind mid afternoon becoming overcast with spots of rain. No Barn Swallows sighted

Friday 24 February 2017 – Hot, humid and windy day, Northeasterly, spots of rain at Barn Swallow viewing time. No Barn Swallows sighted.

Thursday 23 February 2017 – Very hot and humid day, light Northeasterly wind, partly cloudy at Barn Swallow viewing time with the possibility of rain, watched the skies from home. Sadly nothing to report. We now have to wait until the migration North begins (any time from now to roughly the first 10 days into March) depending on when the cold fronts of autumn start

Wednesday 22 February 2017 – Heavy rain last night up until mid afternoon today, chilly, light Southerly wind. Nice to see everything water-logged and the Mdloti river flowing so strongly, clouds and rain persisting. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening.

Tuesday 21 February 2017 – Still raining, nice, much cooler, light Southerly wind, dark and very wet outside. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening

Monday 20 February 2017 – Rain on and off all day, light Southerly wind, much cooler. pouring down at Barn Swallow viewing time. No viewing this evening

Sunday 19 February 2017 – Fully overcast, much cooler, Southerly wind, no Barn Swallow viewing this evening

Saturday 18 February 2017 – Very hot and humid day, pumping Northeasterly wind, weather building along Western skyline. A handful of swallows sighted 6.50pm very disappointing

Friday 17 February 2017 – Very hot and humid day with a freak 10 minutes storm mid afternoon, northeasterly wind, Small flock of Barn Swallows sighted 6,32pm moving along western skyline from right sky to left and disappeared. no display, no roosting

Thursday 16 February 2017 – Very hot and humid day, easterly wind, semi overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time, hazy. Small flock of Barn Swallows sighted 6,36pm, they had a look but didn’t stay, very disappointing

Wednesday 15 February 2017 – more rain today (so grateful) and feels like a sauna outside, clouding over again at Barn Swallow viewing time, virtually no wind. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening. We are all watching the tropical cyclone North of us to see where it is heading

Tuesday 14 February 2017 – Hectic storm last night, intense lightening and heavy down pour of much needed rain. This resulting in very humid and hot conditions today with the occasional shower, light Easterly breeze, cloudy at Barn Swallow viewing time. A few swallows sighted 5.57pm defiantly looking, a tiny flock seen moving along Western skyline 6.27pm and nothing thereafter. Very disappointing for Valentines Day spectators

Monday 13 February 2017 – Only a sprinkle of rain last night. Another hot and humid day, fully overcast and dark at Barn Swallow viewing time, now it looks like we might get some decent rain. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening.

Sunday 12 February 2017 – Very hot and humid 34°C, fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time. A few hundred Barn Swallows land surfed over the viewing site literally 2 feet off the ground 5.55pm, this continued for 3 minutes, it then started to rain. No other swallow sightings and no roosting

Saturday 11 February 2017 – Full moon – Very hot and humid day, overcast and hazy with storm approaching along Western skyline, Northeasterly wind. Only a handful of swallows sighted. Very disappointing for spectators.

Friday 10 February 2017 – Hot and humid day, fully overcast and dark at Barn Swallow viewing time, light Northeasterly breeze, a handful of swallows sighted 6.36pm and nothing thereafter

Thursday 9 February 2017 – Hot and humid clouding over mid afternoon, fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time, light Easterly breeze. No sightings of Barn Swallows, very disappointing.

Wednesday 8 February 2017 – Very hot and humid day clouding over late afternoon with strong Southwesterly wind, somewhat unpleasant. Viewed the skies from home

Tuesday 7 February 2017 – A sprinkle of rain this morning and then hot and humid with patchy sky, light Northeasterly breeze. A few swallows sighted along Western skyline 6.50pm, binoculars needed, no roosting. Very disappointing

Monday 6 February 2017 – Nice rain this morning, cooler, Southerly wind. No Swallow watching this evening.

Sunday 5 February 2017 – Overcast with spots of rain, strong Southerly wind, cooler. N Barn Swallow viewing this evening

Saturday 4 February 2017 – Very hot and humid day, Northeasterly wind, Dark cloud bank building along Western skyline, I pray for rain, it is far too dry. No Barn Swallows arrived, very disappointing for spectators

Friday 3 February 2017 – Cooler, light Northeasterly breeze, fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time. No sightings to report, very disappointing for spectators

Thursday 2 February 2017 – Overcast with a few spots of rain after another scorching hot and humid day, light Westerly wind. No Swallow watching this evening

Wednesday 1 February 2017 – Very hot 33°C and humid day, hazy at Barn Swallow viewing time. Skies void of any Barn Swallow activity, very disappointing for spectators

January 2017

Tuesday 31 January 2017 – Very hot and humid day, small cloud bank along western skyline, light Northeasterly breeze. Flock of Barn Swallows sighted 6.47pm, short and they didn’t stay. Very disappointing

Monday 30 January 2017 – Very hot and humid day partially overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time, colourful sunset, no wind. No Barn Swallows sighted, very disappointing

Sunday 29 January 2017 – Hot and humid, patchy sky at Barn Swallow viewing time, virtually no wind, only a handful of swallows sighted. Very disappointing for spectators.

Saturday 28 January 2017 – Hot day with patchy sky, light Westerly breeze, classic sunset, A few Barn Swallows sighted 6.33pm and then a tiny flock 6.47pm for 2 minutes, no roosting. Very disappointing.

Friday 27 January 2017 – Overcast from late afternoon, light Westerly breeze, raining at Barn Swallow viewing time. No swallow watching this evening

Thursday 26 January 2017 – Dark and overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time, light Northeasterly breeze. cooler. Tiny flock of Barn Swallows sighted 6.53pm and nothing thereafter, very disappointing.

Wednesday 25 January 2017 – After a very powerful storm last night with only a few drops of rain conditions today are somewhat cooler. Overcast and dark at Barn Swallow viewing time, the wind chilly. I watched the skies from home and saw only a handful of Barn Swallows briefly at 6.32pm and nothing thereafter.

Tuesday 24 January 2017 – Another scorching hot day, thunder storm approaching rapidly 5pm. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening.

Monday 23 January 2017 – Scorching hot day 35°C, interesting sky at Barn Swallow site, small rainbow on part of a cloud, hazy, only a handful of swallows sighted 6.53pm, very disappointing.

Sunday 22 January 2017 – Very hot day clouding over mid afternoon, strong Northeastern breeze. A few Barn Swallows sighted 6.32pm for about 5 minutes then nothing thereafter, very disappointing.

Saturday 21 January 2017 – Hot and humid and fully overcast, insects are starting to emerge, only a handful of Barn Swallows sighted 6.35pm nothing thereafter. Watched until 7.10pm. Very disappointing.

Friday 20 January 2017 – Raining since 3.30pm. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening

Thursday 19 January 2017 – Had to attend a meeting. No Swallow watching this evening

Wednesday 18 January 2017 – Lovely evening, cool, clear sky, beautiful sunset, feels like autumn. A tiny flock of Barn Swallows sighted 6.56pm left sky, lost sight of them in the landscape, not sure if they roosted here, binoculars needed, very disappointing for spectators.

Tuesday 17 January 2017 – Overcast and cold, dark at Barn Swallow viewing time, light Easterly breeze. Only a handful of swallows sighted 7.03pm hugging the contours of the viewing site then disappeared. Horizons void of any sightings. Report of blue duiker on lowest terrace.

Monday 16 January 2017 – Cooler day with strong Southwesterly wind and squalls of rain the entire day, nice downpours. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening.

Sunday 15 January 2017 – Hot day, strong Northeasterly wind at Barn Swallow viewing time, hazy, interesting clouds. Small numbers of Barn Swallows moving along distant hills 6.50pm until 7,05pm, binoculars needed, very disappointing.

Saturday 14 January 2017 – Hot day clouding over to dark at Barn Swallow viewing time, light Easterly breeze switching to Southwesterly. We did see Barn Swallows 6.10pm until 6.45pm, some nice flock sizes flying overhead and along Western skyline, no mass display and no roosting.

Friday 13 January 2017 – Barn Swallows seen sitting on the wires up the road this morning, raining currently so no viewing this evening, Light Southwesterly wind, cool

Thursday 12 January 2017 – Had to attend a meeting, no Barn Swallow viewing this evening

Wednesday 11 January 2017 – Hot day clouding over mid afternoon with pumping Northeasterly wind, not very pleasant. All the Dieties(wild iris, indigenous) in full flower at the viewing site, a sure sign of coming rain! Barn Swallows sighted 6.35pm to 6.50pm random flybys, small numbers, 5 yellow billed kites above left hills. I didn’t see roosting but Barn Swallows were here at that time, watched until 7pm.
Barn Swallow viewing site 11 Jan 2017

Tuesday 10 January 2017 – Hot day clouding over at Barn Swallow viewing time, light Southwesterly breeze, cool, dry, interesting clouds. I decided to watch the Mdloti river and see if there were any arrivals from the coast inland but no, skies very quiet, no Barn Swallow sightings.

Monday 9 January 2017 – Hot day with a sort of dryness in the air, very bright on arrival at the Barn Swallow viewing site, pretty sunset, unusual clouds along Western skyline, Northeasterly breeze. A few tiny flocks of Barn Swallows sighted 6.50pm as the sun disappeared behind the opposite hillside, arriving right sky and moving left. a few overhead, binoculars needed and all disappearing left, no roosting. No more seen after 7.07pm

Sunday 8 January 2017 – Overcast, cooler, light Easterly breeze at Barn Swallow viewing time. Binoculars needed, random flocks sighted 6.34pm moving form right sky along hilltops and disappearing far left sky. This movement continued until 6.48pm, no roosting. Really encouraged to see a few hundred Barn Swallows, perhaps surveying environment for possible return!

Friday 6 January 2017 – Dark and overcast the entire day, cooler, southwesterly wind, only a few spots of rain until 5.10pm then the rain started. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening.
NOTE: In memory of Roy Cowgill – Birdlife Port Natal president whom passed away earlier today

Saturday 7 January 2017 – Overcast with rain on and off all day, no heavy down pours, light Southerly breeze, cooler, drizzle continues at Barn Swallow viewing time. Looked out and still no sign of Barn Swallows.

Thursday 5 January 2017 – Pumping Northeasterly wind, hot, dark clouds moving over from Southwesterly direction. Viewed the skies from home to see if there was any movement up the Mdloti river. Yes, 2 tiny Barn Swallow flocks sighted 6.50pm moving towards Lake Victoria and a Yellow billed kite in hot pursuit. More rain on the forecast for tomorrow.

Wednesday 4 January 2017 – Cooler, sprinkles of rain on and off all day. Dark at Barn Swallow viewing time. No change in sightings, no Barn Swallows sighted. We need a lot more rain!

Tuesday 3 January 2017 – Much cooler, fully overcast and trying to rain, spitting with rain at Barn Swallow viewing time, No Swallow watching this evening.

Monday 2 January 2017 – Extremely hot and humid day with very strong Northeasterly wind. Clear Sky at Barn Swallow viewing time, classic sunset, only a handful of Barn Swallows sighted, very disappointing. Watched the skies until 7.15pm. Weather forecast predicts rain moving up the coast towards us.

Sunday 1 January 2017 – Very hot and humid day, light Northeasterly breeze, almost fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time, hazy. A few Barn Swallows sighted left lower valley 6.10pm and 2 birds of prey, nothing thereafter until 6.56pm when 3 small Barn Swallow flocks arrived, 1 overhead, 1 from right to left along skyline and 1 small display just left in lower valley, binoculars needed. No Mass arrival but very encouraged by the short and tiny sighting this evening. Skies clear 7.01pm
Weather hot and sticky – feels more like Durban weather this evening

December 2016

Saturday 31 December 2016 – New Years Eve – Semi overcast, a chill in the Northeasterly wind, clouds moving in a Northwesterly direction. everything very dry. Less than a handful of swallows sighted, skies very quiet of any movement, very disappointing. Watched until 7,05pm
Wishing all the many Barn Swallow visitors, spectators, contributors and fellow environmentalists a Blessed New Year

Friday 30 December 2016 – Hot day with light Northeasterly breeze, a chill in the air at Barn Swallow viewing time, interesting sky that transformed into a colourful sunset. Only a handful of swallows arrived, very disappointing for spectators. We need rain

Thursday 29 December 2016 – Cooler day with patchy sky, very dark cloud bank along Western skyline, Southwesterly wind dropping to no wind during viewing times. Only a handful of swallows sighted, very disappointing for spectators, watched the skies until 7.20pm. Still waiting for rain.

Wednesday 28 December 2016 – Cooler, strong Southwesterly wind, semi overcast, hazy at Barn Swallow viewing time. The ground and air dry, only a few Barn Swallows sighted. no mass presence. Rain is needed.

Tuesday 27 December 2016 – Very hot day, pumping Northeasterly wind, clouding over at Barn Swallow viewing time. Spectators given the choice of either viewing site, I was stationed at Lake Victoria. A few Barn Swallows sighted 6.03pm, very few and far between thereafter. Dragonflies very active on top level, far right viewing terrace. Two yellow billed kites patrolled the skies at random intervals. Barn Swallows seen, flew over hugging the tree tops and road avenue. No mass arrival, very disappointing, Watched the skies till 7.10pm

Monday 26 December 2016 – Overcast with Northeasterly wind, a chill in the air. Patchy sky at Barn Swallow viewing time. Some dragonflies present and only a handful of Swallows seen. Very disappointing for spectators. Watched the skies until 7.05pm

Sunday 25 December 2016 – Christmas Day – Much cooler, only a sprinkle of rain, still very dry, Northeasterly wind, mostly overcast and dark. No Barn Swallows arrived, insects appear absent. Will monitor the skies for the next 7 days.

Saturday 24 December 2016 – Christmas Eve – Big change in the weather, 3am Southwesterly buster came through and has been lashing us all day, fully overcast, temperatures have dropped considerably, trying to rain. Not pleasant at all outside. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening.

Friday 23 December 2016 – We had 5 minutes of rain last night with a brief storm. Today sauna conditions at 34°C, virtually no wind at Barn swallow viewing time, hazy. A few Barn Swallows sighted in lower valley, binoculars needed, reports of sightings on the road and nearby sugar cane fields, no mass arrival or display. After such relentless heat I assume they are arriving and going straight to roost. Numbers at all time low. Very disappointing.

Thursday 22 December 2016 – Sweltering hot and humid day 33°C, Southwesterly wind at Barn Swallow viewing time (for a change) cooling slightly. Classic sunset. I was stationed at Lake Victoria viewing site and offered a lucky dip evening of letting the spectators choose which viewing site they would prefer. At 6.05pm we saw a few Barn Swallows and a yellow billed kite. At 6.45pm a small flock of Barn Swallows appeared right of the site and flew over spectator heads moving left at low altitude, they did this 4 times. Horizons void of any movement. Gave up watching 7.10pm. No mass display. We need rain.
Barn Swallows 22 Dec 2016

Wednesday 21 December 2016 – Another hot and humid day, sweltering, clouding over at Barn Swallow viewing time to fully overcast, hazy, wind variable and switching between Northeasterly to Westerly and back to Northeasterly. Viewing at Lake Victoria viewing site, very disappointing, no show, a handful of Barn Swallows sighted. Went for a look see at other possible roosting options and a tiny flock sighted above scary cliffs. We need rain, from reports received that has happened South and inland from Mount Moreland. Gave up watching at 7.20pm

Tuesday 20 December 2016 – Very hot and humid, still no rain, overcast at Barn Swallow time 5pm at Froggy Pond, light Northeasterly breeze. Some Barn Swallows sighted from 6.24pm, slow arrival, hugging the landscape as they flew by. Not a good sighting at all, skies clear by 6.50pm, no roosting or final display, I could see movement up the Mdloti river, heading in the direction of Lake Victoria. Will revert back to Lake Victoria viewing site tomorrow evening.

Monday 19 December 2016 – Extremely hot and humid day 33°C, light Northeasterly breeze, some interesting clouds streaked across the blue sky on arrival at Froggy Pond viewing site 5pm. First Barn Swallows sighted 5.10pm feeding in the distance, binoculars needed, very few and far between. Only at 6.28pm as the bright daylight softened the Barn Swallows began their arrival, some nice overhead flyovers and along adjacent hills all moving in a Southwesterly direction. Sightings until 6.56pm, no mass display, no roosting. Yellow billed kite patrolled overhead 4 times at varied intervals. We need rain!

NOTE: We advise all spectators to go to the Froggy Pond viewing site, the Barn Swallows have switched reedbeds. First viewing at this site will be Sunday 18 December 2016

Sunday 18 December 2016 – Very hot day, dry with pumping Northeasterly wind, bright. Barn Swallow viewing at Froggy Pond this evening as previous 5 nights very disappointing at Lake Victoria. On arrival at Froggy Pond Barn Swallows were already present 5pm, really nice numbers all around us and this show continued until 6.45pm when all disappeared. No mass display or roosting at Froggy Pond! but the sightings earlier were an experience in themselves and the yellow billed kite came cruising overhead.
Barn Swallows 18 December 2016

Saturday 17 December 2016 – Hot and humid, bright, cloud bank along Western skyline, Northeasterly wind. Four Yellow billed kites present in a group and then divided, gliding through the entire valley in anticipation of Barn Swallows arrival. A few Barn Swallows sighted along adjacent hills and a few over head, virtually a NO SHOW, no display whatsoever, very disappointing for spectators, watched the sky until 7.15pm. Lots of Dragonflies present over the viewing site.

Friday 16 December 2016 – Hot and humid day, overcast, strong Northeasterly wind, hazy. Four Yellow billed kites were surveying the wetland the entire evening. First Barn Swallows sighted 6.18pm, small flocks moving along hilltops for 10 minutes and that was it, no mass display or anything thereafter, very disappointing for spectators. Hopefully with the predicted rain the swallows should regroup. I think the cold of 14 Dec had a greater impact than we realized!

Thursday 15 December 2016 – Very hot and humid day, light Northeasterly breeze, classic sunset, hazy in lower valley. First Barn Swallows sighted 6.29pm, very few and far between, in fact no display at all, very disappointing. Watched the skies until 7.10pm, cold last night must have had a major impact hopefully this will recover with next rain.

Wednesday 14 December 2016 – Pumping Northeasterly wind, cold, fully overcast. Barn Swallows sighted 6.20pm and small flock arrivals thereafter until 6.52pm, very disappointing as no mass display, on arrival the Barn Swallows went straight to roost, binoculars needed.

Tuesday 13 December 2016 – Hot day clouding over with pumping Southerly wind, cold, overcast with squalls of rain at Barn Swallow viewing time. no viewing this evening.
NOTE: Super Moon (full) this is the third and final one for this year.

Monday 12 December 2016 – Overcast and strong Northerly wind, cold quite dark at Barn Swallow viewing time. First Barn Swallows arrived 6,10pm with mass displays from 6.32pm, binoculars needed, some low flyers over the viewing site. The roosting pattern shifted with the upper part of the reedbed chosen for the night. Skies clear 6,57pm

Sunday 11 December 2016 – Rained most of the day, fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time, a slight chill in the air. Visibility not good, dark, binoculars needed. First Barn Swallows arrived mid sky 6.28pm which was a surprise! slow arrival with main display left sky, nice numbers. Skies clear 6.55pm

Saturday 10 December 2016 – Started raining at lunch time, light Southeasterly breeze a chill in the air. Barn Swallows around since 3pm feeding everywhere. No Swallow duty this evening.

Friday 9 December 2016 – Very hot and humid day with nice, cool westerly wind, a storm that by-past with a few spots of rain and some very interesting clouds and colours at sunset. Had the viewing site all to myself, first Barn Swallows sighted 5.50pm with mass arrivals 6.40pm, awesome Barn Swallow numbers displayed along the entire vista then grouping tightly and into the reedbed 6.54pm.
Barn Swallows 9 December 2016

Thursday 8 December 2016 – Extremely hot and humid day 32°C clouded over at Barn Swallow viewing time. Had to attend a meeting so no report this evening.

Wednesday 7 December 2016 – Very hot day with southerly wind clouding over mid afternoon and rain. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening

Tuesday 6 December 2016 – Cooking hot day with pumping Northeasterly wind, cloud bank forming along western sky, some pink at sunset. First Barn Swallows arrived 6.29pm from all directions mass groupings left and far left sky and lower valley, awesome numbers, a yellow billed kite came in and the entire flock shifted and displayed right in front of the viewing site with some low flyers literally inches above spectator heads, spectacular. Skies clear 6.57pm
Barn Swallows 6 December 2016

Monday 5 December 2016 – Rain on and off most of the day, light Southwesterly wind, dark with more rain approaching at 5pm Barn Swallow viewing time. No Swallow watching this evening.

Sunday 4 December 2016 – Gale force Southwesterly wind, chill in the air, patchy sky mainly overcast at Barn Swallow time. Barn Swallow numbers began arriving 6.26pm at varied altitudes and many just went straight to roost. A slice of pink between land and cloud as the sunset nice barn Swallow flock display, brief. Then another display far left, also brief. A lot of land surfing Barn Swallows darted through to roost. Skies clear 6.50pm. Many Barn Swallows present just not a full unified mass display this evening.

Saturday 3 December 2016 – Very hot and humid day with pumping Northeasterly wind, bright. Hundreds of spectators arrived to view the Barn Swallows. A classic sunset and first Barn Swallow arrivals 6.30pm, clear background to view against and it was an awesome display, Barn Swallows arrived from every direction, some low over head thrilling spectators. Best display so far this season. Skies clear 7pm
barn-swallows-3-dec-2016

Friday 2 December 2016 – Very hot day, bright at Swallow time with dark cloud bank along Western skyline, light Northeasterly breeze. First Barn Swallows sighted 6.10pm feeding over the viewing site then nothing until 6.45pm, a fast arrival from all directions, people without binoculars would have been disappointed. very brief display with slies clear 7pm. Many Barn Swallows arrived and went straight to roost without displaying, we need rain and humidity.

Thursday 1 December 2016 – Overcast, Easterly breeze, chill in the air. Had a Graduation function to attend so no Barn Swallow viewing this evening.

November 2016

Wednesday 30 November 2016 – Dark, overcast and a chill in the air the entire day. First Barn Swallows arrived 6.32pm with a small flack display far left sky, binoculars needed, disappointing numbers. Skies clear 6.51pm

Tuesday 29 November 2016 – Overcast with light Southerly breeze, a slight chill in the air, dark. First Barn Swallows sighted  between 5.30 and 6pm feeding on the left side of the viewing site. Two yellow billed kites present again this evening. Barn Swallows skimmed the landscape 6.34pm moving to far left mid valley where they massed, too dark for photos, binoculars needed. Skies clear 6.45pm

Monday 28 November 2016 – Very hot day with pumping easterly wind switching to Westerly mid afternoon cooling things down, interesting sky at Barn Swallow viewing time. First Barn Swallows sighted 5.57pm very few and far between until 6.40pm, arrival hugging the vegetation and mass display far left sky. There were 5 yellow billed kites constantly present. Skies clear 6.55pm
Barn Swallows 28 Nov 2016

Sunday 27 November 2016 – Bright sunshine day (for a change!) strong Northeasterly wind, Classic sunset. First Barn Swallows sighted 5.20pm, 2 Marsh harriers came scouting the reedbed. Barn Swallow numbers arriving in force 6.27pm full mass 6.40pm, awesome numbers arriving from every direction, some nice overhead flyovers, binoculars revealed even greater amounts present. Far left sky proffered for display, skies clear 6.50pm

barn-swallows-27-nov-2016
barn-swallows-27-nov-2016

Saturday 26 November 2016 – Overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time, light Northeasterly breeze, a slight chill, some God rays breaking through the clouds. First Barn Swallows sighted 5.50pm, some feeding activity over the viewing site. At 6.27pm everything began to work, Barn Swallows arriving from every direction, nice overhead flyovers, mixed altitude displays and higher than normal, numbers brilliant, binoculars needed, awesome displays. Skies clear 6.47pm
barn-swallows-26-nov-2016

Friday 25 November 2016 – Dark, overcast, about to rain, cold southerly wind, not pleasant at all. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening.

Thursday 24 November 2016 – Overcast day, cold, very strong Southerly wind at Barn Swallow viewing time. First Barn Swallows sighted 5.10pm with flock movement from 5.24pm, a lot of activity over the reedbed. Had to leave early for a meeting so did not see mass display and roosting time

Wednesday 23 November 2016 – Overcast the entire day, pumping Northwesterly wind, fine rain at Barn Swallows viewing time, not pleasant at all outside. No Barn Swallow viewing tonight

Tuesday 22 November 2016 – Overcast with rain intermittently the whole day, southwesterly wind, fully raining from 4pm, Barn Swallows feeding everywhere in the gardens. No viewing site watching this evening

Monday 21 November 2016 – Some normal Durban weather for a change, hot and humid, patchy sky at Barn Swallow time, light Northeasterly breeze with storm forming Southwesterly sky. Barn Swallows everywhere en-route to the viewing site hugging the landscape, very low altitudes. Binoculars needed and left sky preferred for mass display. Skies clear 6.35pm as the wind switched to buster (very strong Southwesterly wind), black clouds and lightening, first big gust of wind hit and all the Barn Swallows rose out of the reedbed over entire viewing site and filling the lower valley, Awesome numbers, this happened twice briefly and then they dived back into the reedbed for the night, Skies clear again 5.38pm.

On my return home Chris Kew telephoned me from Kokstad to announce that his Barn Swallows had just arrived this evening, such wonderful news.

Byron Bell in Zinkwazi also phoned to say that millions of Barn Swallows were heading south past them heading for us.

Sunday 20 November 2016 – Overcast and dark, northeasterly wind, cold when I arrived at the Lake Victoria viewing site 5pm. Rain visible in the distance along western skyline. First Barn Swallows sighted 5.50pm and to my surprise some nice numbers arrived, 6.10pm flocks in left, right and lower landscape, binoculars needed. Watchable. Skies clear 6.25pm

Saturday 19 November 2016 – Hot morning clouding over just after lunch, cold Northerly wind. Fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time and cold. Barn Swallows random feeding over the viewing site from 5.40pm. Small flock arrived hugging the landscape and top of the reedbed making a very brief display in left sky. Skies clear 6.27pm. Very disappointing, small flock, a fraction of what we are normally seeing at this time of year. Maybe something to do with the cold snap.

Friday 18 November 2016 – Bright sunny day with cold Northeasterly breeze, patchy sky at Barn Swallow viewing time. Very few Barn Swallows seen until 6.10pm then all went quiet again, there was some movement on top on the reedbed and some arrivals hugging the landscape, straight to roost. A small flock display lower left valley and very brief. Skies clear 6.42pm. Very disappointing.
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Thursday 17 November 2016 – Very hot morning clouding over just after lunch, strong Southwesterly wind, started raining 3.30pm. I noticed the Barn Swallows making their way up the Mdloti river valley 4.50pm. No Swallow viewing this evening.
Not a good start to the season, we need the rain and I am sure the weather will change soon.

Wednesday 16 November 2016 – Extremely hot and humid day, northeasterly breeze, thunder storm approaching at Barn Swallow viewing time. I watched the skies from home as the Barn Swallows came through at very low altitude 6.10pm on route to the reedbed roost.

Tuesday 15 November 2016 – Dark, cold and overcast, northeasterly wind. Went the viewing site but visibility poor due to dark, binoculars needed. First Barn Swallows sighted 5.50pm with distinct flock displays 6.10pm, Barn Swallows preferring left sky and lower landscape. Skies clear 6.23pm. We need some sunshine to warm things up a bit.

Monday 14 November 2016 – Overcast the entire day with strong southwesterly wind, cold. Started raining 3.10pm. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening.
NOTE: Supermoon this evening, biggest moon in 70 years

Sunday 13 November 2016 – Overcast the entire day, light southerly breeze, a chill in the air. First Barn Swallows arrived 4.50pm. Binoculars needed against dark sky, mass displays 5.50pm. Staggered descent into the reedbed, skies clear 6.23pm
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Saturday 12 November 2016 – Started out a nice sunny day, well, that all changed suddenly at 3pm with massive, angry storm that brought strong winds from the south, hail, thunder lightening and heavy rain, a flash flood. The ground erupted with masses of flying ants, plenty of food for the Barn Swallows. No viewing this evening as the rain continued.

Friday 11 November 2016 – Over cast and dark, Easterly wind, I went to the viewing site, by 5.20pm some bangs of thunder and then the rain started, first Barn Swallows arrived 5.25pm. Binoculars needed, variable altitude displays, better numbers by 6.10pm. Skies clear 6.23pm.
Rained most of the day

Thursday 10 November 2016 – Overcast with rain, light southerly breeze, dark. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening. Thunder storm

Wednesday 9 November 2016 – Pumping Southwesterly wind, fully overcast, dark, not pleasant outside. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening.

Tuesday 8 November 2016 – Very hot and humid day, clouding over mid afternoon with strong Southwesterly wind. Fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time, dark with rain approaching. No swallow watching this evening, Watching the skies from home First arrivals 5.20pm

Monday 7 November 2016 – Partly cloudy sky at 5pm at Lake Victoria viewing site, strong Northeasterly wind, chilly, very dark cloud bank along Western skyline. Barn Swallows around from 5.34pm with numbers increasing considerably by 6.10pm. Awesome numbers visible without binoculars, spectacular displays, there were 4 mass attempts to settle in the reedbed, the Barn Swallows diving in and then rising again, surfing the nearby landscape, before flocking again. Skies clear 6.37pm

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The Return of the Barn Swallows 6 November 2016
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Not the best weather for such an event! poured down, hazy and very wet, but people still came to celebrate this event.
First Barn Swallows sighted 5.05pm with growing numbers by 6.05pm then the sky got an orange/warm colour to it and the full mass display began, Awesome numbers and the flight speed of the Barn Swallows was somewhat slower, more graceful and enchanting to watch, spectators that braved the weather were truly rewarded. The Barn Swallows dropped into their Lake Victoria reedbed for the night, Skies clear 6.27pm.

This year we had home made treats on sale from Megan and Eve, with an assortment of drinks from Shapes of Africa.
Also a raffle with prizes sponsored by Umdloti Spar, Buxtons Spar and Barn Swallow Gifts

Many Thanks to Sponsors, Stall holders and spectators

We are so Thankful for the rain, we need a lot more to break the drought.

This event marks the opening of the Barn Swallow season and we will be open every evening from 5pm until sunset, entrance is R10 per person.
NOTE: Normally on rainy evenings the viewing site is closed.

barn-swallow-invitation-2016
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