December 2012  Barn Swallow News 2012
27 December Screened on the news this evening, mass Swallows sighted at Sea view Port Elizabeth, millions have arrived and never before seen in such huge numbers.
26 December Report just received from Chris Fey, Kokstad, South Africa. He phoned to let me know that the (Mount Moreland) Barn Swallows arrived there the same time the numbers depleted here due to the bad weather, he realized this when he read my daily log. Thanks Chris, it is always a bit of a mystery as to where they might have relocated to. They have not roosted there before now.
12 December The Mount Moreland Conservancy is now a registered and certified Nonprofit Organization(NPO)
10 December Rain, rain and more rain resulted in the Mdloti River to rise, swell and just flow over the top of the low level entrance bridge. The most unfortunate part of all this is the fact that the majority of Barn Swallows have moved to warmer, safer grounds due to the extreme cold and very wet conditions.
5 December After the long, warm autumn we finally have winter. A week ago, on Tuesday, the temperature sank below freezing and has stayed that way ever since. Today the temperature varied from -24 deg in the sunrise to -20 deg C in the daytime. That is by 10 deg colder than normally at this time of year. When there is strong wind the coldness feels even more than twice as chilling as without wind. There is 5 cm of snow and Lake Niinivesi got frozen two days ago. Soon the first bold villagers will go to the ice to set their fish nets under the ice or to do ice angling. A 5-cm steel ice is strong enough not to break under a man. I feel sorry for those wild animals that just have to try to survive in these freezing conditions with little food available. Those feeding systems almost every house has are most crucial for the survival of wintering birds. I started feeding birds before the winter so that they could know where food was to be found when the winter arrived. Enjoy your South African summer and swallows. Regards Risto
1 December They are there in their countless millions as far as the eye can see and further this is one of a number of videos that I took in near darkness at Jwaneng Botswana – By Michael Hickman
November 2012
27 November Local resident Hanna Evans brought me this injured lesser striped swallow, it had a sore eye and bloody beak, she left it with me and I nursed and cleaned the wounds, cuddled it for hours and made it a warm place for it to sleep for the night. This morning all was well and I released back into the wild. Thanks Hanna for your caring approach and intuition, your actions led to happy ending.
24 November Swallows feeding over Lake Victoria viewing site, Mount Moreland, this is not something that is seen very often but when it does it is an awesome experience.
17 November An African gentleman phoned me and asked to meet him at the swallow site at lunch time, he claimed he had swallows for me. On arrival he presented me with 2 lesser striped swallows which he had brought all the way from Newcastle and insisted I put rings on them. He then gave me the swallows and left. I returned home, photographed the birds and released them, I then made numerous phone calls to secure a ringer, this has all now happened and I pleased to announce that James Rawdon will be our site ringer.
15 November Maybe your website readers would be as interested as I was to hear the following Barn Swallow news from India. Pam Nichol of our Midlands Birdlife Club reports the following in the local Howick ‘ Village Talk’ newspaper……

Talking of Barn Swallows, I must tell you when I was recently in N E India on a pilgrimage to the forgotten battle fields of WW2 at Kohima and Imphal, there were many Barn Swallows around which delighted me no end, also of course Black Kites in abundance. House sparrows, House Swifts similar to our Little Swifts, and Common Mynah, to name a few. It really seemed like home from home.

Needless to say we are delighted to hear the Barn Swallows have arrived in Mt Moreland at last. We are also seeing an increase here around Howick. Will check out Midmar over the weekend as usually plentiful there. Interestingly although the rain is still around it is definitely warmer and now with the rains and warmth the insects will be hatching providing abundant food for the swallows. Cheers Hilary.

14 November Thanks for your interesting website. I’m glad to read that you are now seeing huge numbers of Swallows. I live in Eastbourne which is on the south coast of England. Barn Swallows have been leaving our shores since early September, and the last small flock of 12 were seen on 7th November.

We look forward to their return next April ! Best wishes, Tim Hanks

12 November South Africa: We have two swallows building a beautiful nest on our patio – around our alarm beam! They Have orangey heads, blue/black wings and White belly. They arrived about 10 days ago.

We had some last year but they abandoned the nest before it was complete so we are hoping this pair will lay eggs. We live in a complex in Edgeview which is alongside Mt Edgecombe between the Estate and the N2

Regards Jill Herbst
Reply: These swallows are the lesser striped swallow and are a common breeding resident during our spring and summer months

11 November The Return of the Swallows event: See story and photos
8 November South Africa live on the Bluff overlooking the sea and love to see the flocks of swallows hawking late in the afternoon just before they return to Mount Moreland. With all the rain we have had in the past month, visibility has not been that good. I have not seen many swallows , and since the last week of rain, seen none at all! I am worried that they may have died of starvation so soon after their long migratory flights with no possibility of feeding. Are there still millions at Mt Moreland? I hope so. Looking forward to hearing from you. Brenda
Reply: Thank you your email and concern for the Barn Swallows Barn Swallows are very clever and will move to warmer grounds when the weather is not good here. Their food supply is affected and that is what dictates where they go. We’ve had some good shows but I must confess numbers are depleted at present due to the cold. The migration is still happening and I am hopeful that more will arrive once the weather settles down. This nature and we are seeing new patterns emerge over the past 3 seasons.
7 November Lingering Barn Swallows: Spotted a pair yesterday and today over the links by the sea at Nairn on the Moray Firth in North Scotland.

This area has a more sheltered climate than surrounding counties and so far we have not had very severe weather but hard to know if these are locally reared birds or on migration from elsewhere and have been knocked off course. Jim Wood

Just been out bird watching today and seen a late Barn Swallow in Yorkshire.
Location of sighting – Skipwith Common, North Yorkshire, UK
Date and time – 6th Nov at appx 13.00
Watched the bird for about 10 mins as it struggled south west into the teeth of a fairly brisk SW wind.
kind regards Tim Ward

5 November News from Spain: I wish you success with the arrival of the Barn Swallows. Here in Spain I have had a mystery. I have 3 nests at the house & every year each nest has been in use. There have been 2 hatching’s per nest, usually 4 or 5 young at a time.

This year, I noticed Swallows around, but only one nest was used. I checked daily & eventually just 2 eggs hatched. The young were fed for no more than 5 days & then the nest emptied. No young doing flying training or balancing precariously on a handy wire fence & no bodies around. I checked all 3 nests. They were clean.

All the swallows seemed to disappear from the area for about 2 months. Then they reappeared, but no more nesting & no obviously young birds. What happened to the young, I don’t know. It was exceptionally hot here this summer, which might explain why they all disappeared for a while, but why no second nesting or young birds I do not know. At night, they roosted under the eaves, beside the nests & by day, they were constantly flying to & from the nests, but never occupying them. Doug Lawrence.

Oct 2012
21 October Kilkenny, Ireland: I’m sure you’re looking forward to the return of your little friends. They should soon arrive. The last sighting I had was on 1st October here in Kilkenny but my father reckons they left his farmyard on 18 Sept in Wexford. They had a miserable summer here and the last brood were unusually late in arriving at the end of August in my father’s sheds so I wonder will they make it down south at all.

However, I am looking forward to seeing them in down in SA in Jan & February and hopefully meet up with you too. Look forward to your blog in the meantime.

Best regards Ann

18 October First mass arrivals of Barn Swallows at Mount Moreland, KZN, South Africa

Froggy Pond Viewing site in full flower

Submitted by: Angie Wilken

15 October Verse for November by Sara Teasdale 1884 – 1930 – from collection Flame and Shadow in 1920 – American lyrical poet.

There will come soft rain and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
Submitted by Hilary Vickers

11 October Swallows finally left Wales: Glad to see the first of the swallow migration has arrived, great news. Good that many left early from Wales, with still appalling weather persisting without a break. My swallow wisely decided to depart on the 4th of October.. Just a few left settled on electric wires in the morning, then in a instant gone. Barn is free now to catch up with everything neglected during the swallow season here. Eventually found my lathes after scraping away droppings, god bless them. Well that’s it now until next year. Lots of dead swallows reported early in the season through what might be starvation. Hope they have a wonderful time out with you. Wish I could fly, my thoughts would be see you soon. Peter
9 October First images of Barn Swallows at Mount Moreland, KZN, South Africa. There was a storm approaching fast from the west and light was poor but here is proof that these seasoned Barn Swallow travelers have arrived. Angie Wilken
6 October Mount Moreland, KZN, South Africa, largest Barn Swallow roosting grounds. I am delighted to tell you that the first flock of Barn Swallows has arrived, numbers still low, possibly a few thousand. If you are planning to come and see the Barn Swallow spectacle please wait at least another 10 days to 2 weeks, I will advise when numbers have increased and which roost they have chosen for this season. Barn Swallow Daily Log now live and will be updated daily
6 October Just four barn swallows spotted on the morning 3rd Oct over Ballito, South Africa – 15 mins north of Mount Moreland, but they soon moved on elsewhere. They were in the company of a couple of lesser stripped swallows. Our weather appears to be warming up somewhat, so hopefully that will suit our new arrivals when they get here -bless them! Adrian
6 October Probably the last update from Sligo, Ireland for 2012. My last update was 20th September, only occasional sightings for the next few days then around 5pm on the 25th September I was down by the lake and the whole bay was alive with Swallows. Looked like a summer scene with dozens of birds skimming just inches above the water (obviously topping up on loads of insect life). They were all gone by morning.
A few sightings for the following few days, just stragglers, no more than 6 or so at a time but nothing at all for the last week so it seems that they’re all on there way to you now. Looking forward to their return in April.
Cheers Craig
4 October News from Finland: Now I can already say that this year´s Barn Swallow season at our farm is over. It started by the unusually early arrival of the first House Martins, April 28, and ended by the unusually late leaving of the last Barn Swallow, September 24. The total swallow season length was nearly five months, three weeks longer than normally. The Barn Swallow season lasted from May 6 to September 24, for two weeks longer than last year. There were 17 first-brood nests and 6 second-brood nests. The last migrating Barn Swallows coming from further north I saw on September 26, when three swallows circled at noon for ten minutes over our yard and then disappeared.How is it possible that here up north the swallow season was very good, whereas in many places elsewhere in Europe there were much fewer swallows nesting than normally? The only explanation I have found is that the swallows nesting in Northern Europe must leave later from South Africa than their more southern counterparts because otherwise they would get here too early, when it would be still too cold for them. From that assumption speaks also the fact that here swallows have only two broods at the most whereas in more southern areas three broods are common. I have read that bad weather conditions during and after the spring migration killed lots of swallows heading for Southern and Western Europe. I can only speak of our area but maybe the northern swallows were saved because during their migration the weather conditions were already better. That would give a reasonable explanation to the initial question.

Learning to live, once again, without swallows. Regards Risto

2 October That last swallows of the around 150 couples I have followed during the breeding season left the Svendborg area 26-27 September. The last I saw of the city living barn swallows was the 2 parents and their 4 chicks circling around the Church Tower in the evening of the 25th. The next day they were all gone. The last couple at a pig farm left the 27th with their 3 chicks – the last chick didn’t make it. Hope they will all do well on their long journey to SA. Best regards Peter
1 October News from Wales: long time without update and not very much to update you with. Atthe close of the day there were sixteen babies from two pairs that made it. Four eggs just removed from another nest deserted last April. Weather the worst I have know it here in Wales, and lucky anything survived. All the Barn Swallows departed last week apart from one still spending the night in the barn. One of the babies from second brood. He or she will if it is strong enough be on its way any time now. Bucketing down rain all day, and haven’t

a clue where little swallow spends it’s day. Comes in around 7pm. Been very cold at night with almost freezing temperatures. All the very best Peter

September 2012  Barn Swallow News 2012
30 September Foreign travels with Swallows: Have been traveling recently so just need to update you. First our Swallows did not leave on the 16/9 as Mrs M said (Mr M being sent to optician !!), as they were still in the Barn on the am 20/9 when I got back, but had gone by evening. Have recently been in Oman on the Musandam (Straits of Hormuze) peninsular and on second day of trip some Swallows turned up as attached. Do not know where they roosted as they only come out evening and early morning as day time temps still 40c +.
Checked with locals and Swallows are in Oman most of the year but leave in May and do not return until late Sept to avoid the 50c+ of high summer. However a local bird book left in the room advised that they get many birds migrating through Oman, of which the Swallow is just one, as it is an easy crossing point from Iran and central Asia to Arabian peninsula and onto Africa. Interestingly the place we stayed was only built 7 yrs ago and they did not have any Swallows at first, but they started arriving a couple of years ago as there is fresh water available, of which there is very little in this area.
Weather in UK is foul with heavy rain and gales so would suggest most Swallows will have left UK air space if they have any sense. Will advise if I see or hear of anything else on my travels regards our little friends. Regards Mac
27 September Think I have some Swallows from Risto on visit to Denmark: Svend
Migrating Barn Swallows resting and having food on their long journey to South Africahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3b9skNui3Q
26 September Scotland: Just to let you know, that the swallows decided to leave yesterday. As they say in Scotland “Will You No Come back Again”. The weather here in Edinburgh is very bad with severe gales and flooding. “A month of rain has fallen in the last 48hrs”. PS. I wish I could Fly to Africa now, the winter is to long here.

Anyway it has and was an experience,to see the chicks grow up and fledge. The swallows are so beautiful to look at, especially there cute faces and big eyes.

They can fly so well and change course so rapidly, if only more people new about the journeys they have to cover. 1/4 of an ounce in weight hard to believe what they can do.

This year I have gone out to study them more and have grown to respect this little bird and it’s magnificence of aerobatics and endurance.

To be honest I am not really a bird watcher “I am now a designated Swallow Watcher.

Listen to this wee Scottish song: The Swallow by Scotch Measure (with Lyrics) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkp6sURSzZ4

I will let you know when they arrive next year all the best and take care. Gary Jones

25 September The very late barn swallows – Denmark: Most of the barn swallows have left the Svendborg area but still a few couples are left with their chicks. Today’s temperatures (24 September) have been quite low – around 10-13 degrees, it has rained all day and it has been very windy. Not weather for barn swallows, so to speak. The single couple left in Svendborg City has been around their old nest all day with their 4 chicks trying to stay warm. The chicks fledged 10 days ago, they are excellent flyers now, but why haven’t the left for SA?
The other couple that is left (on a pig farm) have still got at least about one week to go before their newly fledged chicks will be ready for their south bound journey. Will they manage? I very much hope so. Best regards Peter Teglhøj
24 September
Barn Swallow departure Edinburgh scotland: Just to let you know that our swallows have not yet decided to migrate yet? I can see they are not ready to go yet. (The family of five three chicks) They are fully fledged. I wonder when they will decide to go?.The chicks are still sitting on beams and the parents are feeding them quite often on those beams. They are just sitting around. You probably know it was not a very good summer here in Edinburgh Scotland, too much rain. and with the temperatures dropping and showing slight frost in the morning. I am concerned and hope they will make it to South Africa. They should have gone by now. Can you tell me how long a distance do you think they can cover in a day when migrating south and how long will they take to migrate from Scotland to you. Regards Gary Jones
20 September 2 week ago I left Denmark to go on holiday in Alsace (France). There was still a lot of Barn Swallows in the air above our house. To day I returned from Alsace. And now there were no swallows. I think they have begun their long journey to you. I send you some photos taken of a young swallow from the last brood. This brood was ringed by me. I hope they will survive the trip. Best Wishes Kurt
20 September Latest From Sligo, Ireland : The morning sightings continued up until a couple of days ago.
Since then it’s been just the odd straggler except for a group of 20 plus birds that I happened to spot heading south about 4pm today. Unlike most of the other groups mentioned before these were in a hurry, a tight group, at speed and stopping for nothing.
Spoke to a neighbor who has lived here all his life, like me he thinks it’s unusual to have so many swallows passing through so long after all our local residents have left.
Between us we’ve concluded that the regular morning sightings are probably birds that have spent the night near the lake shore and their seemingly unhurried ambling about is just feeding before they strike out on another leg of their journey. This would tie in with the fact that apart from the morning sightings any other group seen later in the day have just gone straight through the area or, if they stopped, it was only for minutes.
I’m now wondering what triggers the urge to migrate, it can’t be length of day, given that our own residents left nearly 2 weeks ago and we aren’t much more than 100 miles from the very northern tip of Ireland. It can’t be temperature because we’ve had a really lousy summer, quite cold at times and even September is cooler than normal. If it was either you would think that the birds to the north of us would be long gone.
Would appreciate any comments. Cheers Craig
17 September Stewarton House, Eddleston, Peebles,Scotland: It’s that time of year again! And nearly all our barn swallows have set off on their epic journey. It always fascinates me. Every year, around the 1st week in September, suddenly, a large proportion of them are gone, then a couple of days later, just the late broods, preparing for the off. Right now – and this is the date when we usually see the last of them, we have a few new arrivals, those who have summered a little further North, and passing through. The house martins are still here, but in reduced numbers of course.

It has been a frightful summer – aside from about 10 days of good solid sunshine in late May, we have seen little of the sun, while 400 miles further South in London the Olympics seemed to be in near-permanent sunshine. So, a very wet summer, and we could almost hear the swallows yearning for the Southern Hemisphere! But they are, at last, on their way to you; I wish them a safe journey.

With every good wish, James & Elizabeth Taylor

17 September Yorkshire, UK: Please see attached photos of the last of our Swallows which left Southbound on 16.9.12 . Photos were taken early morning on that day as I was leaving for airport, and my wife said they had all gone by evening of that day. There are still Swallows in our area (approx 1 mile away in another barn) with 10 – 15 still flying around according to Mrs M, but she feels that these will also leave soon as the weather has started to cool with NW gales and rain, although still getting odd sunny days with 19c temps. They seem to have their own clock as they have left on the same day as last year and arrival was also just a little late due to

poor spring weather. Despite our wet summer (worst in 100 years) they have reared their normal quota of chicks and lost none post hatching.

I will see if I can pick up some pics of other Swallows on migration when on my travels, although all trips (currently) up to New Year are Far & Mid East so little opportunity to see European Swallows but you never know. Hope you have a good summer (better than ours anyway) and please look after “our” Swallows as we need them back in Spring, as

Summer would not be the same with out them. Regards Mac

16 September There are still late breeding barn swallows around in the Svendborg Area (Denmark) doing an intense job to catch enough insects for their chicks to make them ready for their long migration by the end of the month. I attached a couple of photos with baby barn swallows that fledged the last couple of days and a photo of chicks that will leaving their nest in a couple of days. Best regards, Peter Teglhøj
15 September Belton-in-Rutland, UK : Our barn swallows who nest in our carport every year arrived on 2nd April 2012 – the earliest ever. In spite of the cold, wet summer, they again reared 2 broods. They are still happily flying around our 12th century church – will let you know when they set off. Interestingly, they’ll seem to all roost in our carport during the day and then in the morning they go and we know they are on their way south.

Audrey Walker

15 September Latest From Sligo, Ireland : Happened again yesterday (13th September). Around midday a group of 7 swallows arrived. They stopped here for about half an hour, spending most of the time swooping over the marshland behind us (suppose they were a bit peckish). Whilst they were here another group of 4 swallows traveled through without stopping.
Will keep a lookout for more activity. Cheers Craig
14 September For those who might not have seen it yet the British Trust for Ornithology launched their Autumn Migration Blog today 13th September http://btomigrationblog.blogspot.co.uk/
There is a link in the first paragraph to the BirdTrack reporting rates. In order to track the Barn Swallow migration out of the UK and Ireland the path is as follows.
Once in BirdTrack click on Reports by Species
Choose 2012
Select Animated mapsSwallow
Then in the boxes provided select from August to October and click Go
A map will appear for Week 32, 5Aug – 11Aug
If you then click on PLAY beneath the map you will see an animated record of the barn swallow migration as they all leave the UK for you guys in SA.The data is provided by registered recorders all over the UK and Ireland.
Very interesting to see that there was a migration surge week commencing 26th August and already by 9th September numbers have dwindled considerably.
They are on their way! Regards Andrew
12 September Latest From Sligo, Ireland : As expected we hadn’t seen any swallows for a few days then today, around lunchtime I went out the front door and heard swallows chirping all over the place. Couldn’t believe my ears but it turned out to be a small group of 6 or so VERY noisy birds passing through, 10 minutes later they were gone. Will let you know if we spot anymore stragglers. Cheers Craig
12 September Denmark: For a few days more we still got chicks in (at least) two nests.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flNK173L1Hk by Svend
12 September Alsace, France: In spring we got two Pairs of Barn Swallows. Once they arrived they were in nests in the buildings belonging to the apple farm. One pair in the Barn and one pair I the Garage. Just like last year. You borrowed us two pairs = 4 Barn swallows. Now I can tell you, that the 4 swallows have become 24!!!, which we can return to you and say thank you for lending them. I think it has been a very fine year for our Swallows! A week ago there were still young birds in a nest!! It is very late, but I hope soon they can be ready to be on the long journey to you. Med venlig hilsen, Kurt Servé
11 September Denmark: This morning the Barn Swallows rose to a magical sunrise, what a show!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvBZ8rPooUU by Svend
10 September News from Modena, Italy: the migration of the Barn Swallows began here, the days are much shorter and autumn is upon us. You do not see more than a few swallows isolated individuals, while groups of 10/20 sometimes are seen busy in-flight preparations for departure. Waiting for data from the census this summer and hopefully good news about the birth increase and in general health of the Italian population of Barn Swallows.
Greetings and good southern spring. Mark Lamberti
10 September Dordogne, France: we first saw your site back in March, when we were anxiously awaiting our ‘boys’ (barn Swallows) to arrive at our holiday home in the Dordogne, France. On previous years, they had always arrived between 15th and 19th March. When we left in early April, they had still not arrived, although a few had been seen in the area. We would estimate that numbers were approx 90% down in the region. We returned to the house in June, hopeful that ours had just been late, avoiding the terrible weather, but no. The nests which remain in the house, were empty. We used to love sharing our space with them, and always welcomed their chatter.

Although sad for ourselves, it is now a joy to see large numbers of birds heading South. They have been streaming over the house for the last four days – look out for them, they are coming! Happy sighting. Carole and Les Kirkland

8 September Sligo in Ireland: Just a quick note to say our local Swallows hit the road yesterday morning (7th September). From 1st light there was loads of activity, groups of 10 to 15 flying round in formation, turning left and right in unison and then returning to our sheds. It looked like it was a last minute practice session for the young.
The last time I noticed this activity was around 10 AM, I then went on to cut the grass. About 3 hours later I took a break and immediately noticed the silence – no endless chirping from our resident Swallows. They’d gone and I missed it (again).
Since then we’ve had a stream of birds passing through, sometimes just 2 or 3, other times groups of 20 or more but always, if they stop at all it’s just for a few minutes.
I don’t know if this is true for other places but the numbers were well down this year, can’t give an accurate count but at a guess about a 3rd of last years nests were not re-used this year. I counted over 40 nests re-used this year but the many abandoned nests were a sad sight.
It was particularly noticeable that we didn’t have the usual battles to keep Swallows out of rooms and places we didn’t want them – obviously there were enough locations for all.
I had promised to let you have a video of the numerous “Cat vs Swallow” incidents but sadly never had the camera with me when they happened. But they did – countless times.
The funniest was back in late July. Two fledgling swallows were sitting in our car-park, just outside the front door. They were there for hours. Eventually they were spotted by Dusty (one of our cats). He watched them through a window for nearly an hour then decided it was time to investigate.
We were in our dining room (with floor to ceiling windows) when we saw him go past (in stealth mode) on his way to “check out” the chicks. I was about to dash to the front door to chase him away when he re-appeared.
This time he was heading in the opposite direction (doing a greyhound impression and traveling at high speed), 2 swallows were swooping at his head, but the funniest part of the whole tableau was that another 2 swallows were just a few centimeters from his rear end, flying just above the ground and looking like they were intent on giving him a serious “internal” examination.
The bottom line was that the chicks spent the rest of the afternoon unmolested in the car park before going off to roost and Dusty just retreated to his bed (where he probably convinced himself it was just a bad dream). Cheers for now. Craig
8 September Denmark: This morning migration preparation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LO-4IojltI by Svend
7 September Denmark: 3 pairs of barn swallows still to be seen in the city center of Svendborg, Denmark. The rest have left. 1 couple is still busy feeding their chicks in the nest, the others are still feeding the fledged chicks that return to their nests in the evenings. A few days more and they will also be on their way to SA. Best regards Peter Teglhøj
6 September Little Barrington, Oxfordshire, UK: Last of our swallows fledged only last week, yesterday evening we sat and watched them still being fed by their parents on the overhead cables and joined by 20 or so other swallows. This morning, 6th September, a warm bright clear blue day but after our first night with an autumnal chill to it, all have left on the trip South. I have seen just two stragglers all morning simply transiting through. Our sky is now empty and the sudden silence without their continuous joyful calls almost eerie.

Enjoy their arrival you lucky folk in SA. Cheers Paul Meaby

5 September Mount Moreland, KZN, South Africa: Severe weather warning issued. Flash flooding, formation of cut off low system, thunder storms and possible hail
By Angie Wilken
5 September UK Loughborough: A spot of rest and relaxation on the long journey south. This group were part of the steady flow south across our patch this morning. A chance also for the youngsters (still being fed by their parents) to get some food for the onward journey.
Regards Andrew
4 September Yorkshire, UK: The last Swifts have fledged and I have attached some photos of the full family sat out in the evening sun from both our barn and our neighbors which is approx 38 – 40 all told. Our Swifts left us this last week and at the speed they go, they should be well down to southern Spain if not North Africa by early this week ( will be with them tonight as I am also Southbound to Africa just a bit higher up I hope !)The comments made by several posters re Kestrels is interesting as we have a pair who hunt over our fields and the Swallows chase them off every time they appear, even if there are only two Swallows and they chase them for over a mile on average.

Will post when last Swallows leave. Regards Mac

3 September Denmark: In a week or so last babies will be airborne
2 September Belgium: Last photos of House Martin babies prior to the start of the long migration – Ali
August 2012  Barn Swallow News 2012
25 August News from Svendborg – Denmark:Barn swallows are still very busy feeding their chicks of their 2nd clutches in the Svendborg area of Fyn, Denmark. Many of the second clutches are of numbers 4-5 and the chicks look healthy and in good condition. A few couples are still incubating their eggs – very late taking into account that their long migration to South Africa is waiting ahead in mid-late September. Hope they will manage to bring up their chick in time. Yesterday a nest with 3, 14 days old chicks was destroyed by a man cleaning a down town city gate. He discovered the chicks and put them into a milk carton and attached it to the wall, but the barn swallow parents were not feeding the chicks there. So instead I got one of my artificial nests and attached it to the wall at the spot where the old nest had been. And fortunately the parents have accepted the artificial nest and continue to feed the chicks. A happy ending of a sad story. During the spring and summer I have ringed approximately 450 barn swallow chicks – so maybe you will report back on a few of them when they may be around at your huge roosting site by the end of October

Here are some pictures of the above mentioned milk cartoon, the artificial nest, and 4 of 5 chicks from a down town nest they left 5 days ago. Best wishes. Peter Teglhøj

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