February 2018

URGENT NOTICE: Barn Swallow season now closed (as of 18 January 2018) until further notice due to no sightings of Barn Swallows since Christmas Day. Possible reasons for this was a cold snap between Christmas and New Year, this in turn impacts the insects and if there are no insects then the Swallows will move elsewhere.

Wed 14 February 2018 – Valentines Day – Overcast, light Northeasterly breeze, hot and humid. A few Barn Swallows sighted 6.05pm until 6.25pm arriving right sky and continuing left, binoculars needed. Very disappointing for spectators.

January 2018

URGENT NOTICE: Barn Swallow season now closed (as of 18 January 2018) until further notice due to no sightings of Barn Swallows since Christmas Day. Possible reasons for this was a cold snap between Christmas and New Year, even now the weather is really chilly on an evening, this in turn impacts the insects and if there are no insects then the Swallows will move elsewhere.

We will be open for Valentines Day(14 Feb 2018 at 5pm until sunset) evening with or without swallows

Wed 17 January 2018 – Hot day, northeasterly wind at Barn Swallow viewing time, a chill in the air(feels like autumn), clouds along Western skyline. Only some local lesser stripped swallows sighted. Took a drive to Umhlanga lagoon 7pm and there are the Barn Swallow masses, hot and humid as we opened the windows to view, this is not a safe area and impossible impossible to stop there.

Tues 16 January 2018 – Just under 6mm of rain last night and this morning, cool day with Northeasterly wind, fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time. Lots of dragon flies over the viewing site. At 6,45pm lesser striped swallows were feeding randomly over the terraces, mainly lower valley, small numbers. Gave up watching 7.10pm. Very disappointing

Mon 15 January 2018 – Cooking hot morning then a strong southwester(buster) wind came through 11am, cooling down promptly with overcast skies and spots of rain late afternoon. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening. I watched the weather on the news and we(KZN Coast) are the coldest area in the entire country! This is far from normal

Sun 14 January 2017 – Very hot day and on a drive along the coast the humidity was noticeably higher than that at Mount Moreland. Clear bright sky and sunset, strong Northeasterly wind, a slight chill in the air at 5pm. Very little sighted, some swifts, 4 yellow billed kites, falcon and a few swallows at 6.50pm some along the skyline (binoculars needed) some in the lower valley and some land surfing from left to right over the viewing site. Very disappointing for spectators.

Sat 13 January 2018 – Hot and humid day, Northeasterly breeze, bright at 5pm with slight cloud bank along Western skyline. Sky very quiet, calming sunset, a few swifts and yellow billed kites around. Only at 6.55pm some swallow activity sighted lower level of the viewing site and about 30 land surfed over fth viewing site from right to left. Very disappointing. A few dragon flies but very little to no insects present.

Fri 12 January 2018 – Hot day, pumping Northeasterly wind, a slight chill in the air at Barn Swallow viewing time, patchy sky. A few Swifts sighted, some yellow billed kites and about 2 dozen Swallows in handful batches land surfing over the viewing site 6.50pm. Very disappointing for spectators

Thurs 11 January 2018 – Hot day with a strong Easterly breeze, a slight chill at the end of the day, cloud banks along Western skyline, interesting sunset. A few lesser stripped swallows around from 5.55pm. A tiny flock of Barn Swallows sighted 6.55pm until 7.05pm, no where near enough to display. Very disappointing.

Wed 10 January 2018 – 4.8mm of rain last night. A chill in the air, fully overcast, virtually no wind. A few swifts and lesser stripped swallows seen at the viewing site, skies very quiet, very disappointing

Tues 9 January 2018 – Cold, overcast, Southerly wind with rain at 4.30pm. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening.

Mon 8 January 2018 – Hot morning clouding over 1pm with rain, strong southwesterly wind, dark more rain approaching. No Swallow watching this evening.

Sun 7 January 2018 – Very hot day, fully overcast at 5pm with small breaks in the clouds to display God rays, light Easterly breeze. A lot of dragonflies present. At 5.23pm I noticed a tiny flock of Barn Swallows showing interest in the reedbed, they were around for 15 minutes then disappeared until 7.10pm when they appeared lower valley, they were so quick I failed to see if they roosted at Lake Victoria.

Sat 6 January 2018 – Very hot day, fully overcast at 5pm, light Southerly breeze. A few spots of rain 6.20pm, packed up and watched the skies from home. N sightings, sky void of any movement, very disappointing.

Fri 5 January 2018 – Hot day, fully overcast at 5pm, wind switching from Easterly to Westerly, not our normal Durban ‘Hot and Sticky weather at all’. Very little sighted at all, a few Swifts, 2 dozen Swallows from right to left over the viewing site very briefly at 6.53pm and some Hardedars. No Insects. Very disappointing for spectators.
Tracking cyclone Ava currently hitting Madagascar, ocean swells have increased in size along our coastline.

Thurs 4 January 2018 – Hot day, cooling off to a chill 5pm with Northeasterly wind. Lovely sunset, only a few(20) Swallows sighted, very disappointing. Lots of dragonflies on the viewing site. No mosquito’s…..the cold weather has impacted the insect food source for the Swallows

Wed 3 January 2018 – Hot day, cloud bank forming along Western Skyline, light Westerly breeze, a slight chill. Very little of anything seen, a few Quelea and only a handful of Swallows 7pm, horizons void of any movement. Very disappointing for spectators. A few dragonflies present

Tues 2 January 2018 – Full moon/super moon – Fully overcast at 5pm Southwesterly wind subsided somewhat to a gentle breeze, a chill in the air. Only a handful of Swallows sighted, horizons void of any movement. The sound emanating from the Lake Victoria reedbed was that of Quelea and we had about 9 flocks fly up the face of the viewing site  heading to Froggy Pond 6.55pm. Very disappointing for spectators

Mon 1 January 2018 – cloudy, overcast and very strong Southerly wind, not pleasant at all outside. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening.Thunder storm with 3,2mm rain by 6pm

December 2017

Sun 31 December 2017 – Hectic storm last night with 47mm of rain, hot and humid day bright at Barn Swallow viewing time 5pm. The odd Swallow sighted, I decided to convoy all the spectators round to the Froggy Pond viewing site 6.40pm. On arrival we saw a female bush buck, a few Barn Swallows overhead and then only 2 tiny flocks 7.10pm. Binoculars needed, very disappointing for spectators

Sat 30 December 2017 – Pumping Northeasterly wind, cold, not pleasant at all, overcast, thunder, about to rain, very dark Western sky. No Barn Swallow watching this evening

Fri 29 December 2017 – Hot and humid day to fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time, storm clouds approaching, Easterly wind. A few Barn Swallows sighted 6.20pm and then a tiny flock overhead 6.45pm as it started to rain, reedbed silent compared to previous weeks of huge numbers of Quelea present.
Very disappointing, I packed up and headed fro Froggy Pond, on arrival the chorus of quelea and others was impressive. a small flock of Barn Swallows circled and when to roost 6.56pm.

Thurs 28 December 2017 – Cold, fully overcast, strong and unpleasant Westerly wind. 5 Yellow billed kites sighted. Barn Swallows very few, a few tiny flocks skimmed over the viewing site 6.55pm in a few waves until 7.03pm. Nothing impressive, horizons quiet, very disappointing for spectators

Wed 27 December 2017 – Warmer day with strong Easterly wind, looks like a storm approaching. Skies very quiet, only 2 tiny flocks of less than 100 Barn Swallows sighted at 7.03pm when they flew up over over the viewing site, horizons void of any movement. Very disappointing for spectators

Tues 26 December 2017 – Fully overcast, dark, Southerly wind, cold. First Barn Swallow sighted 5.30pm then virtually nothing until 7pm to 7.15pm, small numbers, watched the skies in dismay at the virtual no show, less than 100 Barn Swallows sighted, report from eyes on Froggy Pond was the same, very disappointing for spectators. Possible cold snap has prompted the majority of Barn Swallows to move to warmer grounds.

Mon 25 December 2017 – Christmas Day – Not pleasant at all outside, pumping Southerly wind from early morning, cold, overcast, no Barn Swallow viewing this evening. Rain from 6pm

Sun 24 December 2017 – Christmas Eve – Dark and fully overcast at 5pm, pumping Easterly wind, cold. First Barn Swallows sighted 6.27pm with better numbers 6.55pm, binoculars needed, Swallow flocks very low in altitude skimming the landscape to avoid the cold wind, short and sweet, by 7.03pm most of the Barn Swallows had disappeared to froggy Pond. Not the Best evening for viewing, too dark for photos and very short sighting.

Sat 23 December 2017 – Hot day clouding over mid afternoon, light Southerly breeze. Very few Barn Swallows sighted until 6.43pm then the numbers came, awesome displays thrilling spectators with some nice overhead fly overs, magnificent sightings,best in past 4 evenings. There was roosting in Lake Victoria this evening 7.07pm then they rose and headed for Froggy Pond. Skies clear 7.10pm
A spectator reported that a very large bush buck was sighted in Lake Victoria
Barn Swallows 23 Dec 2017

Fri 22 December 2017 – Rain on and off clearing mid afternoon, patchy sky at 5pm Barn Swallow viewing time, light Northerly breeze. A few Barn Swallows present at arrival to the site, pretty sunset, bigger numbers began arriving 6.28pm, I went to Froggy Pond to see if viewing was better there, very hazy, Barn Swallows literally arriving and going straight to roost in final minutes. Skies clear 7.07pm. At least now I know that viewing displays is much better at Lake Victoria viewing site.
Barn Swallows 22 Dec 2017

Thurs 21 December 2017 (December solstice) – Overcast with easterly breeze, a slight chill in the air, dark, hazy. First Barn Swallows seen on arrival 5pm at the viewing sight, bigger numbers by 6.20pm, nice overhead flyovers, more present than previous 2 evenings, binoculars needed to see true numbers, very enjoyable sightings. Interest shown in Lake Victoria but all the Barn Swallows headed for Froggy Pond to roost in final minutes. Skies clear 6.51pm
Barn Swallows 21 December 2017

Wed 20 December 2017 – Very hot and bright day, light Easterly breeze. First Barn Swallows sighted 6.27pm very few until 7pm, they arrived hugging the landscape around us on the viewing site flying up the face and overhead, brief sightings. No skyline arrivals or displays, reduced numbers no display just straight to roost, some seen heading to Froggy Pond, very unusual, a nip in the air and more rain forecast for Friday. Disappointing for spectators

Tues 19 December 2017 – Cold with rain on and off all day, dark at 5pm, light Easterly breeze. First Barn Swallows sighted 6.27pm with mass numbers from 6.45pm, Then a 10 second shower of rain, numbers somewhat reduced from previous evening, strong possibility of roosting in Froggy Pond reedbed, nice displays overhead, lower valley preferred, quick display and descend into the reedbed. Skies clear 7.01pm too dark for photos

Mon 18 December 2017 – Rain on and off all day, overcast and very strong Southwesterly wind at Barn Swallow viewing time. I went to the Lake Victoria viewing site and Barn Swallows were already arriving. Not pleasant at all, I got very cold and packed up at 6.30pm as it was starting to rain, I watched the skies from home, incredible numbers arriving, hugging the lower landscape to escape the cold wind. Skies clear 6.52pm
Barn Swallows 18 Dec 2017

Sun 17 December 2017 – Sunny and hot day clouding over mid afternoon with a 5 minute sprinkle of rain at Barn Swallow viewing time, Dark and hazy, Westerly wind. The Barn Swallows began their arrival at 6,25pm with mass numbers and displays 6.45pm, mind blowing numbers, magnificent displays, awesome beyond words, too dark for photos. Skies clear 7.04pm

Sat 16 December 2017 – Sunshine and heat today, bright at Barn Swallow viewing time, light Northeasterly breeze, classic sunset. Skies quiet until 6.35pm arrivals began slowly, hazy backdrop, binoculars needed, uncountable Barn Swallows arrived with some nice, spectacular overhead and close up fly overs thrilling spectators, lower landscape a buzz with activity and all too soon skies went quiet 7.07pm when all the Barn Swallows went down to roost in the reedbed.
Barn Swallows 16 Dec 2017

Fri 15 December 2017 – Cold, overcast, Easterly wind. The Barn Swallows were few and far between until 6.32pm then the arrival began we much speed, hugging the landscape and preferring the lower valley only a few brief skyline displays, huge numbers, binoculars needed, too dark for photos. Skies clear 7pm

Thurs 14 December 2017 – Cold, overcast, Westerly wind and raining from just after lunch. No Swallow watching this evening

Wed 13 December 2017 – Fully overcast at 5pm, light Westerly wind, first Barn Swallows sighted 5.40pm, the reedbed was full of song from the Queleas. By 6.10pm the sky was filled with Barn Swallows from every direction, it is years since we have seen such phenomenal numbers, a touch of colour as the sun set, uncountable Barn Swallows gave a memorable performance before skies clear 6.55pm
Barn Swallows 13 Dec 2017

Tues 12 December 2017 – Overcast the entire day, pouring down from 4pm, strong Westerly wind, cold. No Swallow watching this evening

Mon 11 December 2017 – Overcast with rain, pouring down at Barn Swallow viewing time, virtually no wind. No Swallow watching this evening

Sun 10 December 2017 – Westerly wind the entire day, fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time, a chill in the wind. First Barn Swallows sighted 5.20pm, numbers starting to build by 5.45pm then a 5 minute rain shower and skies clear of Barn Swallows until 6.25pm then the masses arrived concentrated in the lower valley with very close overhead displays, awesome. Skies clear 6.53pm
Barn Swallows 10 December 2017

Sat 9 December 2017 – Beautiful blue skies this morning then at lunch time the Westerly wind began to pump, it wasn’t cold then at Barn Swallow viewing time a dark cloud bank forming along Western skyline, hazy, an interesting sunset and the wind turned cold. First Barn Swallows sighted 6.15pm with mass numbers 6.35pm arrivals from every direction, binoculars needed but the overhead displays were spectacular, the swallows flew through the viewing site at head height, totally exhilarating, uncountable numbers, spectators were thrilled. Skies clear 7.01pm. Many large flocks of queleas sighted
Barn Swallows 9 December 2017

Fri 8 December 2017 – Nice to see some blue sky this morning, clouded over mid afternoon with very strong Northeasterly wind, not pleasant nut went to the viewing site after seeing incredible unbelievable numbers from home last night. First Barn Swallows sighted 5.25pm with mass numbers and displays from 6.20pm, nice sunset, hazy, the Swallows preferring lower landscape to avoid the cold wind, Awesome numbers, phenomenal, skies clear 6.56pm
Barn Swallows 8 Dec 2017

Thurs 7 December 2017– Overcast the entire day, strong Easterly wind, about to rain, not pleasant outside, no swallow watching this evening

Wed 6 December 2017– Rain, rain and more rain, has not stopped, Easterly wind, Mdloti river swollen and flowing fast, swallows sitting on telephone lines all up the D757. No Swallow watching today

Tues 5 December 2017 – Rain on and off all day, dark, light Easterly wind. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening

Mon 4 December 2017– Overcast, strong Westerly wind, about to rain, no swallow watching this evening

Sun 3 December 2017 – Strong Westerly wind the entire day, cloud bank forming along western skyline at swallow viewing time, wind getting colder, hazy. First Barn Swallows around from 5.20pm with mass arrivals 6.10pm, awesome numbers, uncountable, binoculars needed even though there were nice over head fly overs, lower landscape preferred, entire vista was full of Barn Swallows, spectacular. Skies clear 6.51pm (full moon this evening)
Barn Swallows 3 Dec 2017

Sat 2 December 2017 – Very hot and humid day, at Barn Swallow viewing time a Westerly wind, gusts at times that blew so hard I has to pack some of my things away, it then settled to no wind. The sky was ablaze with colour at sunset and clouds that looked like they were bleeding into the horizon, I have never seen such a dynamic sunset, the Barn Swallows were late 6.25pm and in front of the colourful sky was just breath taking beautiful, uncountable numbers, awesome displays. Skies clear 6.55pm
Barn Swallows 2 Dec 2017

Fri 1 December 2017 – Very hot and humid day cooling off at swallow time(5pm), westerly wind and overcast, skies darkened quickly. First Barn Swallows sighted 5.20pm with mass displays from 6.10pm, mind blowing numbers, spectacular, visibility hazy binoculars needed, some nice overhead fly overs. Skies clear 6.34pm
Barn Swallows 1 December 2017

November 2017

Thurs 30 November 2017 – I went to the viewing site, conditions cold, windy, strong Northeasterly, dark, fully overcast and then it started to spit rain, not pleasant outside. I packed up and came home, no swallow watching this evening.

Wed 29 November 2017 = Hot day cooling off late afternoon to chilly with Westerly wind and overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time. First Swallows sighted 5.35pm and small flocks arrived thereafter at random intervals, the lower valley preferred. Mass numbers and arrivals 5.55pm, the burning of sugar cane on adjacent hill made for pictures of interest. The Barn Swallows were amazing, uncountable numbers, absolutely spectacular displays. Skies clear 6.43pm.
Barn Swallows 29 Nov 2017

Tues 28 November 2017 – Hot and sunny day, very bright, strong Northeasterly wind. The Barn Swallows were somewhat later in arrival, a few dotted right and left sky with most of the activity just over the reedbed. As the sunset 6.33pm, very colourful, the Barn Swallows made a rapid appearance, awesome numbers, from every direction hugging the landscape,beautiful mass displays with uncountable numbers until skies clear 6.47pm
Barn Swallows 28 Nov 2017

Mon 27 November 2017 – Fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time 5pm, light Easterly breeze, cool. Arrivals from 5.15pm, binoculars needed, the Barn Swallows hugged the lower landscape and adjacent hills, flight at lower altitude this evening, mass numbers. They began forming at 5.55pm possibly due to light fading fast. Descent into the reedbed started at 6.10pm and skies empty 6.35pm. Thrilling display.
Barn swallows 27 November 2017

Sun 26 November 2017 – Lovely day, some sunshine to fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time with Southwesterly wind, hazy. Swallows were already arriving in the lower valley and along skyline, binoculars needed. By 6.10pm the sky was filled with uncountable numbers of Barn Swallows arriving from every direction, nice overhead fly overs, rain began to fall and the light faded fast, spectators all came and viewed from the entrance kiosk as the rain continued to fall, mind blowing displays then skies quiet 6.37pm and the rain.

Barn Swallows 26 Nov 2017 Barn Swallows 26 Nov 2017

Sat 25 November 2017 – 60mm of rain in the night with more heavy down pours, so pleased to see the Swallows out and about feeding this morning. Skies cleared up after lunch with some patchy clouds at Barn Swallow viewing time, virtually no wind, a touch of pink as the sunset. Barn Swallows sighted from 5.10pm, binoculars needed, numbers slowly increased with some nice overhead fly overs, the entire vista was a buzz of Swallows where ever you looked, very vocal, Super mass displays from 6.35pm until 6.55pm. This is what everyone needs to see!

Barn Swallows 25 Nov 2017 Barn Swallows 25 Nov 2017

Fri 24 November 2017 – Cool day, fully overcast with a few spots of rain at Barn Swallow viewing time, light southerly wind, dark. Barn Swallows around from before 5pm, awesome numbers present, masses upon masses arrived, very vocal. Descent into the reedbed began from 6,20pm then lightening flashed and thunder cracked and heavy rain poured down so heavily that the swallows fled the reedbed, flying up the face of the viewing site, so close up and sort refuge in nearby trees and on the telephone wires next to the entrance desk. The rain pelted down for 10 minutes and then subsided, slowly the Barn Swallows took flight, gathered, massed and danced into the lake Victoria reedbed. Skies clear 6.47pm. Numbers were uncountable, totally min blowing

Barn Swallows 24 Nov 2017 Barn Swallows 24 Nov 2017 Barn Swallows 24 Nov 2017

Thurs 23 November 2017 – Watching the skies from home last night the Barn Swallows must have roosted as it was late when they were here. This morning this was confirmed and vast numbers of swallows lined the telephone wires all up the dirt road. An overcast and cooler day, light Southerly breeze, cool, random intervals of spots of rain. At Barn Swallow viewing time, 5pm Swallows already present in large numbers and the movement somewhat different in that they began arriving from the left sky moving right, they were noticeably vocal. Awesome numbers, constant movement, nice overhead flyovers and then at 6.30pm the Barn Swallows arrived in mass from every direction, uncountable, tightened in formation and then danced their way into the reedbed. Then another huge flock arrived 80% bedded down in Lake Victoria and the remnant headed for Froggy Pond. Skies clear 6.46pm.

Barn Swallows 23 Nov 2017 barn swallows 23 nov 2017

Wed 22 November 2017 – Overcast with spots of rain this morning, Westerly wind, from lunch time rain and at Barn Swallow viewing time heavy rain with thunder storm. No Swallow viewing this evening. Drop in temperature to 20°C

Tues 21 November 2017 – Very hot and humid day, light Northeasterly breeze, fully overcast at Barn Swallow viewing time, swallows around from mid afternoon. Vista was hazy, binoculars needed, nice numbers moving through lower valley hugging the landscape with occasional overhead displays. Skies quiet 6,35pm. No roosting. Weather changed suddenly with strong Southwesterly buster as we were packing up.
Barn Swallows 21 Nov 2017

Mon 20 November 2017 – Steamy hot day at 35°C, a welcome Easterly breeze at Barn Swallow viewing time, patchy sky, hazy. First Barn Swallows sighted 5.10pm all along skyline and in the lower valley at random intervals, this movement continued throughout the vista with an occasional overhead fly over until 6.32pm. No form or display for roosting, interest was shown towards the reedbed, failed to see any descent. Rain daisy’s in full bloom on the viewing site, a magical sunset, we saw more swallows than last night but far from the masses we are accustomed to.
Fireflies sighted after 7pm
Barn Swallows 20 Nov 2017

Sun 19 November 2017 – Lovely sunny day clouding over late afternoon, wind light Northeasterly switching to Southerly breeze during viewing times, fully overcast and hazy. Some Barn Swallows sighted 5.10pm and then wafts from 5.55pm over our heads and down in the valley surveying the reedbed until 6.25pm then skies went quiet. No roosting, we saw more this evening than last night but still very disappointing for spectators. Gave up watching 6.45pm.

Sat 18 November 2017 – A classic day, virtually no wind, bright at Barn Swallow viewing time with cloud bank along Western skyline. Some Barn Swallow activity 5.10pm to 5.35pm then the skies went quiet. A magnificent sunset but only a tiny flock of Barn Swallows arrived 6.35pm very disappointing for spectators and quite bazaar after the numbers we have seen this week.
Barn Swallows 18 November 2017

Fri 17 November 2017 – Overcast, cold with a few spots of rain. I went to the viewing site to see if the newly arrived Barn Swallows had stayed………YES. Millions arrived and displayed from 6.10pm until 6.38pm. Awesome numbers where ever you looked. I am over joyed that they are here, better late than never.

Barn Swallows 17 November 2017 Barn Swallows 17 November 2017

Wed 15 and Thurs 16 November 2017 – Smacked by a cold front with pouring rain and gale force winds, temperatures dropped. No Swallow watching and am worried about this cold snap, snow on the mountains. Watched the skies from home and feared for the swallows as they battled the elements and used the lower river valley on route to roost

Tues 14 November 2017 – Overcast and hazy, some rumbling of thunder and big spots of rain, the few spectators packed up early as the weather changed. I sat it out and waited and was rewarded, the Barn Swallows arrived in mass numbers 6.05pm, awesome displays, so pleased to see them…..they were later than usual this year. Roosting upper part Lake Victoria. Skies clear 6.32pm. Very dull to get a descent photo
Barn Swallows 14 November 2017

Mon 13 November 2017 – Horrible weather not pleasant at all. No Barn Swallow viewing this evening

The Return of the Barn Swallows 12 November 2017 – Great turn out of Barn Swallow supporters, the wind was pumping Northeasterly and not that pleasant outdoors. To compliment the arrival local cuisine was on sale with works of art. See Return of the Swallows 2017 for more

Spectators waited and at 6.25pm a tiny flock of less than 100 Barn Swallows arrived and gave a 20 second show before diving into the reedbed. Very disappointing for the spectators and far from normal…..very worrying and a huge cause for concern. This is all a reminder to us that this is nature and has it’s own time frame that can change at any time.
We saw the first Barn Swallow arrivals only yesterday so perhaps with the mixed weather we have been experiencing the Barn Swallows are late in arrival this season and the strong possibility of a shallow lake. Also of note are a few thousand quelia whom are also residing in the Lake Victoria reedbed.

Return of the Swallows 2017

Phone lines were down and no internet connection for 8 days, apologies to people whom tried to contact and have been eagerly awaiting news of this event.