Barn Swallow News 2015 | December 2015
24 December 2015 – Mabuasehube in Botswana : We have just returned from a trip to Mabuasehube in Botswana, on our return we overnighted at a hotel in the town of Jwaneng where we were treated to the most magnificent fly past of Barn Swallows. It started with a few flying over the pool scooping water, next thing the sky was full of them all flying from west to east, a fly past which lasted 30min at least. I noticed a short reference to them in a post on the 2012 record.
Regards Arthur Plint

18 December 2015 – Hibberdene, KZN – Report received about Barn Swallows roosting at a farm inland at Hibberdene, the Barn Swallows have never roosted there before.

11 December 2015 – Umzumbe KZN – Please find the report from BTO below regarding the Barn Swallow recapture. I’ve uploaded the details which can be accessed from: http://safring.adu.org.za/ring_info_f.php?ring=Z215476
Regards Andrew Pickles

Pretoria, South Africa – We ringed 5 barn swallows on Saturday at Rietvlei Dam.  Laura
Barn Swallow News 2015 | November 2015

29 November 2015 – Barn Swallows in Kokstad: Cris Kew phoned me to say that big numbers of Barn Swallows have arrived at his farm.

23 November 2015 – Pilot Mac – Eye in the Sky – From your web site it appears that your numbers of summer visitors is increasing. I thought I should let you know that I saw some today, which are unbelievably still in France in Toulouse, although no doubt heading South, but this is very late as the first snows are due on the Pyrenees, and Alps (already fallen) and possibly the Atlas mountains as well so they will have to get a move on! Anyway was down you way last week but not much to report, temp in the Sahara are down to more normal levels in the 20c and night a little cooler, but quite a strong East to West breeze which was causing some small dust storms. The normal “Chinese lantern’s” (my term for big thunderstorms at night in the Congo) and then that wonderful word from Joburg / Botswana when they say radar target identified and you know you are back under radar cover again! There is cover in between the Med and Botswana it’s just not so reliable, hence the chatter and  flashing of landing lights when we see a plane coming towards us, just to say high you are not alone. Indeed the skies are very dark over central Africa in comparison with SA or Europe, in fact Kinshasa at night appears to have no more lights than a small English town / village even though it is a sprawling city. Anyway one more trip over the pond and I am then on leave for 10 days and going of to Oman to fish and maybe see some Swallows. Will report if I see anything of interest down route. Glad your spring and visitors have arrived as it was not that warm in Joburg (19c), although my wife tells me we had snow at home this weekend as well – way too early !!!
All the best. Cheers Mac

10 November 2015 – Nairobi, Kenya – I saw 5 Barn Swallows from our hotel on the edge of Nairobi National Park feeding early this evening (10 November 2015). Secretly hoping it was the same 5 who left me on 30 September from Surrey, UK – Gail Matheson

Sunday 8 November 2015 – A truly beautiful day with some cloud forming along Western horizon, light Southerly breeze. Thank you to the many people and community members that came to celebrate this event with us. First Barn Swallows sighted 6.10pm with mass numbers and displays 6.25pm, some nice overhead fly overs. Skies clear 6.32pm
Return of the Swallows 8 Nov 2015Return of the Swallows 8 Nov 2015

Barn Swallows News 2015 | October 2015
Return of the Swallows 2015

29 October 2015 – Scotland – Our little family of barn swallows have finally migrated just 10 days ago from Ayrshire in Scotland. Hopefully all will be well with them on their long journey and look forward to their safe return next year.
Best wishes, Thomas.

27 October 2015 – Isle of Wight, UK – We are taking our annual October break on the Isle of Wight with the children for half term. I thought I had seem my last Swallows for the season but today there were significant numbers (50 plus) of juvenile birds feeding over fields near to Fishbourne on the north east side of the island. They were present all afternoon and I would imagine stopping off to feed up ahead of crossing the channel to France. I would assume these are late young from the north of the UK or Scandinavia. I have read that juveniles such as these from late in the season have a much smaller chance of survival. I was interested to read the news from Thomas Taylor in Ayrshire where a third brood of young was still around in October which is incredibly late. Our birds showed signs of a late brood in mid August but then seemed to lose interest before disappearing in early September. I don’t know if Swallows nest later the further north they are but resident Swallows seem to vacate the south of England by the second or third week of September. It seems strange to imagine that many birds are already with you whilst there are lingering juveniles still here who won’t be joining you for another 4/5 weeks. I noticed the opposite in early April when you were reporting mass numbers whilst the first males were returning here. Having not discovered your website until earlier this year, I am thoroughly enjoying being able to compare notes with other enthusiasts!

Best wishes Tom Parsons

23 October 2015 – Eastbourne, UK – Regrettably, we have seen our last Barn Swallows here in Eastbourne on the South Coast of England. There were good numbers last Saturday, but only four were seen on Monday 19th October. But at least they will be with you soon!- we shall be checking your sightings throughout our Winter.
Best wishes from Tim Hanks and Jackie Walsh

22 October 2015 – Umzumbe, South Africa – One of my Umzumbe birds(swallow) ringed at my first session for the season on 02.11.2012 was recaptured in Hungary at a known migration spot on the 26.09.2015. I ringed the bird as a bird of less than 6 months of age. I have contacted the ringer who’s English is very poor, but he tells me at this time of the year all their local birds had left so the bird was coming from further north.
regards Andrew

21 October 2015 – Limavady Northern Ireland.  Well, I must say it’s a first for me. I was just sitting thinking around half an hour ago, about a post on here by a lady in Orkney about a late brood of swallows still being fed on Oct 12th. I was wondering if they’d set out  for S Africa yet. Looked out my window and had to do a double take. I was shocked to see a lone young but adult swallow chasing flies. It’s quite windy here at the moment, can only assume it’s been blown off course. Seems to be doing the rounds that our migrants did all summer.they left 3 weeks ago,will keep an eye out as I suspect it may stay here overnight. Hoping it gets a safe break in our turbulent weather in order to get away. Will keep you posted, king regards, Val.

20 October 2015 – British Trust for Ornithology The Nunnery, Thetford – I’m not sure whether you received a copy of this report. Thank you very much for passing the information to us last February.
You have some recoveries of birds which you have ringed. Please click on the link(s) below to read them.

http://app.bto.org//ringingteam/ring-prints/Z115431-22985843-R-11022015-22097819-true

Best wishes
Dorian Moss
Ringing Database Officer

15 October 2015 – Mount Moreland, South Africa – First few hundred Barn Swallows sighted at Lake Victoria – Clive Hockley

12 October 2015 – News on the Barn Swallows from Scotland – I live in the village of Dundonald in Ayrshire Scotland and have had the pleasure of swallows nesting in my garden shed every year for the past 20 years. This year the pair have gone for a third late clutch with four young and are still here, date 12th October!! The parents are still flying about feeding the young and all roosting at night in the shed. I am worried as they should have gone by now. Surely they can’t winter here?
Thomas Taylor

11 October 2015 – Yorkshire, UK – I was up in North Yorkshire on the 10th Oct and was quite surprised to find a group of Swallows at a little village called Horton In Ribblesdale where they nest by the station each year apparently. An ex railway employee who worked there in the 1950,s advised me that they have been there for “Donkey’s years” and come back each April and leave late Sept early Oct. As we are having what we call an “Indian Summer” with light winds and warmish days this has obviously had delayed their departure. Weather forecast for UK is for a slow drop in daytime temps although the days are now noticeably shortening with mists in the mornings in the valley below us. Anyway I am quite sure that those will be the last UK Swallows I will see this year. I am still not bound for the “Dark Continent” just  yet, so cannot give you any weather or Swallow up dates further south, but will be heading your way soon. Hope your spring is warming up.
Cheers Mac

9 October 2015 – Clones, Monaghan – Ireland – The swallows were gathering in good numbers from early September and they left us on the 23 rd of September have seen none since that date. Jimmy Corr

7 October 2015 – St Georges de Reintembault, France: We have had some beautiful weather in September. After the bad weather we had at the end of August, I was worried that the swallows would leave early, but they have stayed later than usual. The last of our neighbour’s little brood left on the 28th September I think. Since then I have seen plenty of migrating swallows flying south over our house mid-afternoon and one morning last week there were about 50 feeding over the field next to our barn. It was an absolutely beautiful morning, clear blue sky and such a wonderful sight. I am going to miss these lovely little birds so much and look forward to the beginning of April when they return. In the meantime I will enjoy reading the swallow news from your part of the world. Look after them for us. It seems so quiet without their happy twittering. Like Mac, I too have a Robin following me round the garden each evening!
All the best, Veronica

6 October 2015 – Latest update from Wherwell Hampshire: Following my update last week, I can confirm that as of Saturday 3rd October, there have been no sightings of Swallows or House Martins in the area. I think we can safely say that our season is over now.I have purchased two artificial nests in readiness for next summer following our problems with the Sparrowhawks and a collapsed nest this summer. Over the winter I intend to take down the existing nests within our car port and the cover over our drive and replace them with the artificial nests. The aim will be to place these artificial nests higher up and away from any beams that can be perched on in the hope of preventing the Sparrowhawk from accessing the nests. I have also purchased a hawk deterrent (a sort of beach ball with eyes on it and streamers that is supposed to scare predators, who knows if it will work but worth a try) that I will hang over the entrances to the nest sites.
Best wishes for your upcoming swallow season and I look forward to reading about the displays.Tom

5 October 2015 – LIMAVADY – Northern Ireland: The remainder of our barn swallows , despite mist and fog, departed on Wednesday Sept 30th. saw an adult flying north eastwards, towards Belfast direction. They probably use the ferry route to cross to Cairnryan. We spotted some in the middle of the Irish sea last September on our return from Scotland, heading towards Scotland assuming since i didn’t see the small flock earlier that day, that they’d already left, and daddy swallow had stayed back in case of any returning family. Hope they don’t get caught up in the storms hitting southern France and south eastern England. Look forward to reading of their (hopefully safe) return to you. Val Moran

2 October 2015 – Sweden – Our swallows returned to you about Tuesday.29th September 2015. They are having to adjust. They used to build nests  in the eaves of our flats. but the space was filled in to prevent them from doing so. They used the barn instead nearby,This year all tele- overhead wires  were removed. The swallows used the trees nearby as a meeting place instead, which meant that it was not so easy to see when they were planning to go. I noted on your site that someone wrote that their swallows had chosen to live near marshy ground. This is the same here. There are many reeds but the water levels seem to be sinking somewhat. Streams have less water and they are becoming overgrown with both more reeds and trees. I wonder if this will influence the swallows. best wishes Ann Robinson Ahlgren

1 October 2015 – Latest update from Wherwell Hampshire: We’ve had a beautiful week of weather for the time of year with temperatures unseasonably warm. Don’t know if this has delayed the departure of the last swallows but this morning there are still a good 20/30 birds, all juveniles from what I can see, feeding in the skies over the village. The weather is set to return to something more English and seasonal on Monday so I would imagine these last birds will be on their way then and will keep you updated.
Best wishes Tom

Barn Swallows News 2015 | September 2015
30 September 2015 – Northern Ireland – A small number of barn swallows are still with us, we are having a bit of an Indian summer here in County Derry Northern Ireland, and they are lingering. Usually all have migrated south at this time, heavy mist and fog will have hindered that this morning. Despite us having a bad summer they seem to have done just fine. Wishing them a safe departure and safe passage back to you. Love how you celebrate their return, can’t tell you how hard it is to say cheerio to them, just love it when they arrive with us in April. Look after them for us , as we know you will. You’ll soon be experiencing the joy we do each spring. Always enjoy your updates in the diary.
Valerie Moran
30 September 2015 – Ireland – Three swallows heading south 29th September, larger groups passing previous week – Kevin Baker
30 September 2015 – Surrey, UK – Our Barn Swallows had their 2nd brood later this year, hatched last week of August. On 19 September 2015 the 3 chicks fledged, returning at night with Mum. Dad was helping feeding during the day. They have now left the nest (3 never returned on Fri 25 when I noticed a lot of others nearby had gone too) leaving 2 for 2 nights, then 1 came back for 2 nights. This 1 has finally left this morning Tue 30 Sep. They reuse a nest in my horses stable every year. Hoping you will be seeing them soon. Gail Matheson
28 September 2015 – I’m so lucky my swallows are still here in Wimborne Dorset UK, About 2-3dozen all flying round my fields today with me in the middle! Such a magical moment and you can sense the excitement in the air . will keep you updated as to when they go
Carol Fenemore

Rosslare Strand Co Wexford Ireland – 27 September 2015 – Just to let you know we witnessed a major departure of barn swallows yesterday (Monday)  although this was not the first. There are still a few stragglers but very few.
Kind regards Ethel Dwyer

Krusbjerg, Denmark 25 September 2015 – All Barn Swallows have departed – Submitted by Svend Jørgensen

21 September 2015 – Yorkshire, UK, Barn Swallow News: The Swallows have finally all gone on the 20/9/15, which is the latest we have seen them while we have lived here. As I said in my last post they returned after 3 days when we thought they had already left. I  do not why, but we had some stormy weather in southern UK and maybe the decided to wait for it to blow through. Anyway they are all on the way, and I would guess they will be with you in 7-8 weeks weather permitting. week !
All the best Mac

16 September 2015 – Yorkshire, UK: I think we just had the shortest migration ever as this morning we have all our Swallows back in the barn! There is some bad weather coming in over the next 2 days so I do not know if they sensed it and decided to come back, or they just went on a test cross country for the younger to get used to being away from the nest (they were gone 3 days) but they are all back. I had just started to clean up in their barn as well!  Will e-mail again when they do finally go.
Cheers Mac

17 September 2015 – South Africa : BirdLife South Africa’s Important Bird and Biodiversity (IBA) Programme is proud to announce the launch of the revised IBA Directory and IBA Status Report. This is the culmination of five years of work that has seen the entire network throughout South Africa assessed and updated. Many of you have played an important part in this process in one way or another and we would like to thank you for your inputs and support over the years.

14 September 2015 – Yorkshire, UK – Just thought I would send you these few pictures of our14 Sept last barn swallows in Yorkshire UK outbound little squadron contemplating the journey on Friday 11th Sept at about 6.00am. They left according to Mrs Mac on Sun /Monday as they are not around this evening upon my return.

As best we can make out we think that about 20 birds are heading South from both our and our neighbours barns. They had two sets of young and all the birds survived to start the Trek south. Weather was quite mild up here in early September but has now changed to mist and rain so I do not blame them for clearing off. They have been replaced by a young Robin who has taken to following me around the garden and appears to now recognize my car as I feed him meal worms and he appears every time I either go out the door or return. I do think he gets a little confused when I do a longer trip though.

The Swifts have also left this weekend as well, so they are probably in Spain by now given their speed of flight. I have nothing South bound until October but as ever will keep you posted if I hear, or see anything of bearing during my travels.
Hope the Spring is coming early for you, and you got all the work done for your visitors. Look after our little brood and return to sender in spring (ours that is).
Cheers Mac

14 September 2015 – UK – Some of the Barn Swallows must’ve left Europe very early to get to you by now, is that normal to see a few this early? Just for info, my earliest sighting in Hampshire was 22nd March in 2014 and the latest was November 1st in 2013 although that was on the Isle of Wight (don’t know if you are familiar with it, just opposite Southampton water but further south than most of Hampshire).
Look forward to hearing the reports of your arrivals en masse.

Best wishes Tom.


13 September 2015 – A Barn Swallow update from Wherwell Hampshire UK: The two surviving babies from the fallen nest both fledged although after 3/4 days only one returned to roost so the other presumably perished. A disappointing Barn Swallow season for us with the Sparrowhawk taking the young of the first pair and causing them to desert our garage and the fallen nest of the second pair seemingly resulting in only one survivor.  The remaining pair were around until last week returning to roost but now appear to have left and they only had one brood having arrived later in the summer. There are some swallows still around in the area, mostly juveniles, but also plenty passing through on migration too. The House Martins are still here with young in nests so we are clutching on to some signs of summer but the inevitable onset of autumn is all too obvious.

Best wishes Tom Parsons


11 September 2015 – Third Barn Swallow brood fledged Third Barn Swallow brood fledged today Wimborne Dorsettoday Wimborne Dorset, UK | All looking bonny.
Carol Fenemore

9 September – Scotland – Many of our swallows have already left although a group of approx 20 were high in the sky tonight over Peebles feeding. Our weather has chilled to 13 degrees C today although 20degrees expected tomorrow. We have had an unusually high a concentration of house martins here in Peebles this year and they have now all left – our weather hasn’t been good this summer, I hope they find better weather in South Africa
Ann Southwood

7 September – UK  – Reasonable number of Barn Swallows migrating west along the south coast of England between Brighton and Portsmouth last weekend. Expect the main numbers in the next few days. – Tim Lux

Sunday the 6th September – France -, the weather changed finally, easterly winds bringing sunny clear days but cold nights 9/10c. Sunday evening we saw the first signs of migrating swallows, a group of about 60 passed slowly overhead, there was much chattering and whirring. The following morning our fledglings returned to the nest site (our boiler cupboard) making lots of noise. They have not been around much this summer so it was nice to have them around. Later on we saw 15 swallows on the electricity line, chattering noisily like they do pre migration.  Last year we had 90 swallows, the year before 60. We seem to be down on numbers this year.  Today 10th, there are still a few around, our local group of about 20 are still here, I see them every morning flying over the fields next to our house.  I have never shared a house with swallows until we moved here and it is the most wonderful thing. They are amazing to watch feeding and flying, dive bombing our cats at nestling time and 2 weeks ago we saw them see off a small falcon with such skill.
I will miss there chattering until next year.

Regards Ella

2 September 2015 – First Barn Swallow arrivals – mass numbers expected early November – Angie Wilken

Barn Swallow News 2015 August 2015

31 August Howick, South Africa – First Barn Swallows sighted – Ted Vickers

30 August – Barn Swallow website www.barnswallow.co.za completely rebuilt and launched – Angie Wilken

22 August South Africa: First Barn Swallows sighted Umkomaas – Andrew Pickles


17 August Brittany, France: On the morning of the 13th August the Swallows were congregating on the electric cable outside our house. This is very early as they usually start mid-September. There were about 100 of them. I haven’t seen them do this since, but our neighbor Swallows are still here flying in and out of his barn. There must be 10 or more. The weather has been unsettled this Summer and it now feels like Autumn. It is very cool in the mornings for the time of year. Last Friday afternoon (14th) we had very heavy rain and strong winds. I hope the Swallows aren’t going to leave just yet!
Kind regards, Veronica


15 August Brittany, Northern France: All our hatchlings are dead. Yesterday I found one on the ground under the nest alive and I popped him back in the nest without looking in the nest. This morning I looked in just in case he had fallen out again and yes he was on the floor, landed on his back and was dead.  I then noticed the parent  swallows were not flying in and out of the boiler room. After an hour or so, I looked in the nest and 3 hatchlings were dead. Early this morning I remember all the parent swallows and family members ( who all suddenly came back last weekend) were making a lot of shrieking noises outside the nest and flying around.

Last week we have had every type of weather. Yesterday morning it rained very heavy.  I saw ALL the swallows resting inside on the clothes line. Last night we hit 9c, very cold for august.  I think the hatchlings were about 2 weeks old.

Incidentally, 6pm on 11th August was the first time the swallows started to congregate on the electric line, there were 23.  Every year for a couple of weeks before migrating, they gather here until the numbers build up.  Last year we had 100 before they left the first weekend of September.
Eleanor


7 August Yorkshire, UK: See attached photos of this year’s 1st brood, who have fledged and have been out of the nest for about 4 weeks now.
Aug 2015 Barn Swallows Yorkshire UK

To be honest the weather has been so poor in northern UK this year this is one of the first fine days that I have had the opportunity, and been home, to photograph them for you. That damned Jet-stream over the North Atlantic has moved south over central UK, which means we have had a summer of unseasonable gales and rain. Although there is an upside for me when flying East bound over the Atlantic, we get home earlier, and do not burn so much fuel (the accountants love it !).

Anyway with regards Swallows we appear to have a slight problem which could be potentially disastrous for our little colony, in that only one female came back, so we have the situation of 5 male frustrated Swallows, and one female who does not appear to get a minutes peace. She is incubating a second brood so hopefully numbers will increase, but currently we only have

9 Swallows in our barn, which given the attrition rate does not bode well for the future. I will photograph them before they set off South in September, and you can compare with previous years to see the drop in numbers. The Swifts are going from strength to strength with now as many as 10 being visable at one time. There were none when we moved here so we must

be doing something right. All the best Mac


5 August Brittany, Northern France: Update. The dominant pair took over their old nest in the boiler cupboard, my husband saw them mating on the 15th May, 20th May they were sitting on 5 eggs. 4th May they hatched. One baby got crushed in the nest and I found him dead half emerged from his shell which the parent had dropped out in front of  the nest 3 days later. The 4 fledglings left the nest and after a couple of weeks we did not see them anymore which was not like last year. Last year they stayed together and stayed around to help bring up the second clutch.

Second clutch; 3 eggs laid in a new nest 14th July, hatched 29th July.  We put up homemade nests last winter, none were used. A single swallow used the supports I put up and made a nest, it never found a partner and this one too disappeared with the others.

We have had a very cold July, is that why they left ????  Summer would not be the same without them. Looking forward to September to count the swallows when they congregate on the wires before migrating south.
Eleanor


4 August Normanton on Soar Leicestershire UK – This year the annual movement south has started unusually early here. Our barn swallow numbers were much reduced by the end of last week and over the weekend our last birds disappeared from the farm.
We are also seeing a general movement of small groups all flying south taking advantage of the good weather.
We have had another very favourable summer for raising chicks and as a result the youngsters from two broods fledged and were ready to go by early/mid July.
So our early arrivals in April are already en- route via France and Spain with their youngsters whilst the later arrivals elsewhere are still preparing for the journey to come.
Kind Regards Andy Roberts


2 August An update from Wherwell, Hampshire, UK: Pair number 1, who lost their young to the Sparrowhawk, have not returned to the carport and have presumably moved to nest elsewhere in the area.Barn Swallow nest recovery Wherwell Hampshire UK

Unfortunately pair number 2,who built their nest under the cover over our drive, have also suffered misfortune as their nest fell down on Wednesday. One of the 4 young had already fallen out fatally on Monday (the parents built the nest very quickly and it seemed very small to me) and I noticed that the nest looked to be disintegrating. I placed a net beneath it on Tuesday in case it fell and on Wednesday we were out for most of the day and on our return we found 2 of the young in the net with fallen nest (the third baby had disappeared, presumably it fell to the ground and was picked up by the local cat). With help from the neighbours we tied a basket to the beam below the nest site and put the 2 survivors in it on a bed of grass and happily the parents have been feeding them since then. The photo shows the 2 surviving babies sitting on the edge of the basket this morning. Fingers crossed the Sparrowhawk doesn’t discover this nest site and they successfully fly the nest within the next few days. It will be interesting to see whether the parents decide to attempt to rebuild the fallen nest for a second brood given that this is a late first brood. There is potentially time left in the summer but this would take them well into September by which time most Swallows will be leaving. I’ll keep you updated!

Best wishes Tom Parsons


Barn Swallow News 2015 – July 2015

22 July Southwick Mass. USA: I wanted to let you know the. Barn Swallows had departed for the season,I think! We haven’t seen them for a couple days. There were probably 20 by the time they left. A good mild season for them here . But seemed short. It’s about 2 weeks early for the departure.
Happy birding, Karen


16 July Cumbria UK: Year after year I have been privileged to have numerous swallows nesting in and around our barns. I await their return each spring, and feel personally responsible (I know….) for them somehow. They are truly remarkable birds and summer would not be the same without them.
The five who flew the nest yesterday are still returning to ledges by the nest to rest/roost.
And contrary to what I have read, the whole family is sticking together. The two adults and the five young are flying together, the adults seemingly keeping the youngsters ’rounded up’. One youngster has just been left behind fluttering pitifully at the window. I lifted him out, and watched him join the family,he is flying perfectly well and ‘keeping up’. Every year I have swallows mistaking the kitchen split door for the barn, and am accompanied as I work. They sit on the game hooks in my kitchen ceiling! One year a pair of returning swallows roosted for the first fortnight on top of the wardrobe in my bedroom (top floor of a tall farmhouse) and seemed totally comfortable with my presence!!
I love your site as the postings allow us to track the progress of our winged friends as they travel between us.
So a big thank you. Best wishes, Judy Mortimer


14 July UK, Cumbria: I have four breeding pairs, with youngsters getting ready to fly any day now. Judy Mortimer


11 July Mount Moreland – South Africa: First Lesser Striped Swallows are starting to return. Angie Wilken


10 July Londonderry, Northern Ireland: At the moment we have a swallows nest with chicks inside our garage. We leave the door open for them. They are really beautiful. I hope they come back next year. Hazel Gregg


9 July Scotland: My barn swallows returned for a fourth year to their nest in my garage. Went out every day when their alarm calls went off. I have three cats. There is the answer.

They came to eh33 2qd on 7 May this year and had four chicks. Went to garage just now and they have all fledged As always hopefully will return to nest to rest and sleep. Wonderful wee birds.

Lesley


7 July USA: Every spring, barn swallows return to our Loveland, CO neighborhood and settle in the mud nest above our front porch. I’m devastated because this year two different “couples” tried to settle there but something has killed all four of them. The first couple was killed about two weeks after they came to the nest, then a few months passed and the other couple settled there. About a month after, they were killed. Whatever is killing them decapitates the bird, leaves the body for a few hours, then takes the body away (unless something else is taking the bodies). The dead bodies are usually on top of our roof and I’ve never seen them taken, they’re just gone a while later. We had an owl this winter in the neighborhood but we haven’t seen or heard it all spring/summer long. There are bald eagles on the other side of our neighborhood but we’ve never seen them flying near our home. There are no cats (domestic or feral) in the area, plus, other swallows are doing fine nesting on the porches of some of our neighbors.

It’s all very upsetting to me, every year we’ve seen baby birds and I love to show my little girl the birds at night when the entire family is huddled in the nest. Let me know if you might have a theory. Thank you! Alisa
————
I wrote to Barn Swallow expert Anders Pape MØLLER for his input, here is his reply:
Lots of animals make life difficult for swallows. These include falcons, hawks, barn owls, rats, martens and many others. If this happened at night, most likely it was rats or owls. If it was rats or martens, the best protection is to spray chili pepper on the rim of the nest – mammals do not like that, but birds do not mind and it is cheap.
All the best, Anders


Barn Swallow News 2015 6 July USA. PA: I have tons of barn swallows.  One couple has claimed my porch.  A few days ago 3 babies were born.  I have been watching them and noticed something I never seen before.  Both parents feed the babies. but the babies regurgitate a white substance.  The parent then takes it away.  It’s a yucky thing to see.
Do you have any idea what this is?  Are they sick?  or is it just something baby swallows do?
Michelle
————
I wrote to Barn Swallow expert Anders Pape MØLLER for his input, here is his reply:
I have never heard about this or seen anything similar before. To me this sounds like a toxic or unpalatable prey item that the young try to get rid of.
All the best, Anders


1 July Hampshire, UK: Mixed news from Wherwell Hampshire. Our established pair of Swallows had been rearing young in our carport until disaster struck on Sunday evening when I heard an almighty din of alarm calls and saw a Sparrowhawk enter. My presence scared him off but he must have returned as the nest was empty on Monday morning with feathers scattered Barn Swallows Wherwell Hampshire June 2015on the floor and the Sparrowhawk has even entered the carport again since taking the young. Of course it’s nature and that male Sparrowhawk almost certainly has young of his own to feed (I’ve seen him unsuccessfully chase several House Martins) but I was looking forward to sending you some pictures of those babies. I have mixed feelings about hoping the pair nest again in the carport as undoubtedly the Sparrowhawk will return but the pair are in and out still and I wouldn’t be surprised if they try again. Unfortunately the current nest is on a beam that would make it easy for the hawk to perch on and simply take the young out so any chance of success would depend on them building a new nest high up in the roof structure.

When I last posted I reported a second male on the scene and he paired up with a female soon afterwards but unfortunately they began to nest within a partially built house under construction adjacent to us. I advised the builders to remove the nest before eggs were laid (the house was due to be sealed with windows/doors etc) and I am pleased to say that pair 2 have now ‘relocated’ and built a nest within the porch over our drive. I am especially pleased that they have built the nest on on a ledge I placed for them high up on the wall when they began investigating the porch as a possible nest site (photo attached of female this evening, just visible incubating eggs on the nest attached). I am keeping my fingers crossed the Sparrowhawk doesn’t notice this nest site and am investigating possible hawk deterrents as it would be really upsetting to lose another brood to the hawk.

I will keep you updated and really hope we have at least one successful brood this summer to tell you about from one of our pairs.
Best wishes Tom Parsons

June 2015
Barn Swallow News 2015

30 June Sedgehill, UK: Just thought I would drop you a line or two about the summer swallows.
The lonesome swallow that sits and sings to me is still a singleton, but I have hopes that she may come back next year with a mate from the pair nesting in the farm behind me.

The grass in the meadow is luscious, the once totally yellow buttercup meadows are now pink with waving grasses and as tall as me, fat butterfly’s flit, and the House Martins sweep at eye level in chattering packs of young fledglings and adults. The three swallows are a constant in my garden and I often see them cruising the meadow.

I still feel the loss of the happy crowd of swallows, and the sky is so silent.
Speaking to a lady from Shaftesbury about my missing swallows, she said that the other side of Shaftesbury, (more populated than my side), someone has put up posters with a swallow photo asking, have you seen this bird….
Blessings and Regards, Yve


28 June UK: Date of Barn Swallow arrival 22 April 2015. Date started nesting 3-4 May 2015 But later deserted the barn and currently no swallows nesting there, in the past there have been 8-12 viable nests.
Neighbors agree that this year there seem to be fewer swallows in the sky above the village. Kind regards Terri Green


26 June Ireland: Made in Ireland ,some pictures of theIreland baby Barn Swallows June 2015 next Barn Swallow generation that will visit you later in the year. By Jimmy Corr

 

 

 

 

 


8 June France: Barn Swallow rescued after falling from nest Barn Swallow fledgling June 2015….so here’s little Scruff the Barn Swallow!  He’s had an enormous breakfast (I resorted to tiny bits of raw mince, as the crickets seem to have taken themselves off to a distant part of the field?!), and there’s been much preening and wing flapping again, as well as having a little walk around; now having a doze…2 days later he was fully recovered and fledged and flew away safely.
Best wishes Ros


5 June Turkey: I know very little about birds, but was trying to identify the species of bird that attacked me (well, not attacked, per say – she was clearly protecting her babies!) while I was on holiday in Turkey just last week – and I came across this site.

I was in Izmir province near Pamukkale for my birthday, making use of an outdoor changing room outside a public swimming area, when the bird pictured below swooped in directly overhead to my stall several times, inches from my head…I looked up and noticed her nest full of chicks near the door opening and instantly understood I was trespassing…!

She is beautiful!!! I just had to share….Can you please confirm I’ve correctly identified her as a Barn Swallow? I understand they essentially exist worldwide-
Many thanks, Cheers! Zoe fro of NYC
Barn Swallows in Turkey 2015


2 June Wimborne Dorset UK:
Thought everyone would like to see our first First brood Barn swallows June 2015brood fledged today 2 June.
They are in our barn so quite safe as it’s very windy here in Dorset UK they look good the parents have been working hard. Hope everyone else is having luck with the babies this year , now we have 6 swallows to dodge when we walk through the barn.
Thanks for a great web site it’s fantastic that we have such a great swallow following. Carol Fenemore

April 2015

26 April Spain: A quick up date.  All 8 of the swallows that arrived at our house in Southern Spain in the dark, and raining on 17th March, did not stay they were all gone in the morning, so we were obviously “A port in a storm”.
I am pleased to say 6 more have arrived and all have decided to nest inside my house, one nest almost over the top of the TV. I wonder if some of them are offspring of the family who were raised last year in my lounge.  Sadly last year the female did not make it back and the male sat outside singing to attract a female but each time he brought one inside they were nervous, so we spent 2 weeks with no TV down stairs, and it worked, they had 5 young.
One pair must be youngsters, as they have been trying for over a week to get a nest started on a large nut head joining one of the beams, but we have swept up the equivalent of a number of nests from the floor and this afternoon I am so pleased to say we have about third of a nest.  One of the other pairs is already sitting on eggs.  Regards Pauline.


21 April Lannion, North Brittany, France: The first swallow arrived on 12th April about 6pm, made a lot of noise inspecting his old nest. He was alone for 3 days. 15th April 2nd swallow arrived, lots of noise inspecting favourite roost sites in our barn and boiler cupboard. 16th April 3rd swallow arrived. Good weather, lots of mosquitoes and flies.  19th April, 6 swallows are fighting over the nest site, we have made 4 nests this week and put them in the barn to encourage the others to nest there.  A few days later we have settled with just 3 swallows sleeping together on the light cable. Spotted other swallows high in the sky. I am thrilled to have them back with their chatter.  Regards Ella


21 April Yorkshire, UK: Nothing Barn Swallow celebrationmuch to report on this last trip to SA, down to Capetown and back, so over the Atlantic all the way after leaving Nigeria, the return being the same way. Nothing in the way of unusual weather, although the Sahara is getting hotter,  with temp up to 33c during the day and 15c at night at Tamanrasset . You should be aware Tam is on a range of hills so is cooler than much of the surrounding area, so it will be warmer below. Gives you some idea what the Swallows and other migrants have to put up with. Most airliners cross at night so there is not much to see from our lofty cruising height 39-40kft, so not much point in sending you a photo to show how big it is ! However if you work on the fact that we cruise at approx 480kts in the cruise, and we take 3 hrs to cross from the Atlas to the Sahel region of central Africa where the desert gives way to scrub it gives you some idea of the size of the issue for all migrants who cross it twice a year. We have now got 2 Swallows back both male and one each for us and our neighbor so will have to see how we get on over the coming weeks. I have one more trip to SA and then it’s the Far East  for me, followed by US, so will update you on my last trip on my return. Regards Mac


20 April Mount Moreland KZN South Africa: Barn Swallows Season Now Closed, Please revisit mid October 2015. Last flock of Barn Swallows evening 20 April 2015
A very BIG THANK YOU to all whom have supported and come and experienced this incredible Barn Swallow phenomenon, this was without a doubt a first class viewing season from start to finish.
Stay tuned for Barn Swallow news and stories from the Northern hemisphere
Angie Wilken


19 April Scotland: Our swallows seem to be a little later arriving this year. This morning, 19 April 2015 at 8.45am a group of approximately 20 swallows were flying fairly low over head. They passed by after a few minutes. Our mornings are chilly around 4 degrees today which will increase to 11 degrees by lunchtime. I saw a single swallow and a couple of swifts last week but this is the first larger group that I have seen. What a joy to see them again. Ann Southwood


16 April Bulgaria: Spring has arrived at last, although the last winter was not too severe. Some snow, ice and very cold days but it was not too bad, kids just love to toboggan down the slopes in the park, endless fun.
Around our area we have a lot of trees and parks, it seems just in the last few weeks there are new buds, spring flowers and butterflies appearing. And yesterday I heard and saw our swallow friends arrived back at last, it makes one feel springtime is official.
Pity I cannot send you the fragrance from the flower and blossoms, it is indeed lovely. best regards Patrick


16 April Rosetta, KZN, South Africa: Thank you so much for the information on the Barn Swallow migration! We had the privilege of a returning pair of Lesser Striped Swallows building a nest for the second time under our verandah, and successfully raising three fledglings.  It was with great excitement that we watched them develop from the cutest ‘gel haired punk rockers’ to taking their first flight! A few days ago the mother, whose regular spot is sitting on the top of our open bedroom window, sang a song to us, and we haven’t seen them again.
We wish them a safe journey, and hope that we will see them next spring. Aren’t they absolutely amazing! Thanks and Regards Sharon


12 April Scotland: Single Barn Swallow sheltering from snow in my workshop this morning. Don McLellan


 

12 April Yorkshire, UK: Got back today from SA, not much to report on South bound flight apart from normal thunderstorms in central Africa in the ITCZ region, although there was a good breeze coming from the South from North Africa up to the UK, which will have helped many a north bound migrant last week. Mrs Mac advised on the phone that the weather was staying warm at home, and in fact was for a time warmer than Joberg ! However when I spoke to her on Sat from SA there was snow falling ! The weather has changed and turned cool for the weekend with gales and rain / hail / snow. North bound flight had the normal thunderstorms in central Africa, however as we started cross the Sahara I checked on the weather at Tamanrasset Algeria  which was off to the west of our track, and they were getting day time temp of 30c with night time 11c. However we were notified  that there were big dust storms in Chad and Mali with visibility down to 200m which is on the flight path for some migrants and us, and these were expected to continue into next week. Anyway  home safe, and ready to do it all again next week, after some sleep. Incidentally no Swallows home yet but I do not blame them after coming home to this miserable weather. Regards Mac


 

10 April France: I live in rural Brittany next to a farm and each year the Swallows build their nests in the farmer’s barn quite close to our house. The first pair of Swallows arrived on the 6th April and a second pair turned up the following day. They are a few days early this year (usually arrive between 10th and 13th). They are my favourite birds; I love to hear their chatter as they fly and I miss them when they aren’t here. I enjoy reading the Swallow news. The website is great. Thank you, keep up the good work. Kind regards, Veronica


8 April Lampeter in West Wales.(UK): Today was like Christmas Day for me because in the Morning I was privileged to see my first Swallow of the year, and guess what – in the afternoon I saw another pair sitting on a power cable a further 2 miles down the road. Cant wait till morning in some 7hours time to greet some more I hope.
Keep up the good work and thank you for the opportunity to take part in your interesting survey. Eddie Davies


7 April Normanton on Soar Leicestershire UK : This morning our first two barn swallows have appeared back at the farm. We have had really good weather over the Easter weekend and this must have assisted the last little bit of their long journey north.
So my ‘first’ for this spring is 7th April which is four days later than last year. We had been expecting a later arrival date this year given the numbers that you still have with you and the fact that cold weather had lingered with us for most of March.
Kind Regards Andy Roberts


6 April Yorkshire, UK: Just a quick note, to advise that we are having our first taste of summer up here, with temperatures even at our houses elevation of around 18c, with cloudless skies, and little or no wind. We have yet to have any Swallows back here, though if the “boys” are on schedule, we expect to see them between the 10th – 17th April  based on previous years. I have done a short hop to Dubai, but have not seen anything there either. Back to Joburg this week so will update you on Saharan weather patterns upon my return as promised, or anything else (heavy storms in the ITCZ for instance) which might cause issues on their Trek.  Will keep in touch. Mac

Barn Swallow News 2015 – May 2015

Sedgehill swallows: Thought I would keep you up dated on our barn swallows, a pair have turned up about 3 days ago, but sadly the vast numbers I am used to are still absent from my sky.
The enclosed photo of last years drawing I fear will not happen this year, and my favorite pass time of laying under the oak on hot summer days watching the young swallows like fighter pilots sweeping over the tall meadow, in hot per suit of their parents.
Barn Swallow drawing

The House Martins arrived a few weeks ago, and I am pleased to see them, but the swallows are usually nesting by the time of the Martins get hear. Have you any news about the swallows journey? I will let you know if they suddenly turn up, but it feels like summer is missing without a sky of cheeping.I hope you are well and that your swallows return.Blessing to you day, Yve


26 May mid-west United States : I live in the country and for the last 20 years have had barn swallows nest on our house and barn.  In the past they arrive about May and leave early fall.  Last year we had five mud nests on the house and garage with dozens more in the area – on power lines, etc..  This year we have only seen four.  There is one nesting pair that have returned, but that is all.  There are none others flying over the pond, on the power lines or seen anywhere.  Do you have any idea why?  Thank you for any ideas.
Rob

REPLY: There are a number of reasons for a small return
1) they may still be coming……….they left the Southern hemisphere later than usual and with good weather on route they would be in no hurry
2) Food, if there is less insect activity then there will be fewer swallows
3) We have noted weather pattern changes (Global warming), this in turn impacts on the insects
4) Severe weather in close proximity, they sense this and will seek safer quarters
This is nature and it does change constantly, that is what keeps us watching, questioning, wondering and interested
Enjoy the pair that have returned, they are such a joy to have at one’s home
I hope this in some way helps
Best Wishes Angie


25 May England: I discovered your website for the first time this winter (your summer) and was fascinated to read about the incredible Swallow displays you have the privilege to witness. I absolutely love Swallows and miss them immensely through our Winter and found great comfort in being able to ‘keep in touch’ with them whilst they were away via your website. Every year I eagerly await the return of the Swallows to the UK (we live in a village called Wherwell in Hampshire, Southern England) and the return of our resident pair in our car port. This year the male (pretty certain last year’s bird as he only has 1 tail streamer!) arrived back early on 7th April whilst you were reporting vast numbers still with you. He flew around unaccompanied singing and displaying for several weeks with no sign of a mate (or many other Swallows) and roosted alone in the car port on a beam next to the old nest. The Swallows seemed to arrive en mass here during the first week of May and it was May 4th before he attracted a female to the old nest site. After two weeks of displays and rebuilding the old nest, the female is beginning to spend more time sitting on the nest so I guess she is laying and beginning to incubate. Interestingly a second male has arrived and is following the established pair around and possibly competing with the original male for territory and maybe the female. I suspect this male is one of last year’s young as he behaves as an inexperienced bird and his song is not fully developed yet. I will keep you updated with the progress of our birds as the summer progresses and hopefully report two successful broods as we had last year.
Best wishes Tom Parsons


18 May Ireland: Well the good news is we seem to have around 5 or 6 pairs living in our shed …Not too sure of the numbers last year, we were away for most of the summer because a family member was in hospital.
The bad news, we are so sad about this, only 5 or 6 years ago we had at least 50 pairs breeding in our shed. It is so sad to see all the empty nests, not much left of some of them but you can see where they were. I remember just a few years ago trying to do a count of active nests and getting fed up when I passed 50 and there were many more to go.
Just a few years ago Swallows filled the sky here all summer, only 5 years ago I saw dozens fly out of our shed to chase away a nearby Cuckoo, this year the Cuckoo is totally unmolested.
Have noticed the drop in numbers year on year but to see the population crash so much is so depressing.
We’re thinking of planting wild flowers to encourage insect life but it’s looking a bit late for our guys. Will keep in touch. Craig


2 May France:these are last summers photos…..Ella Ronchi
Barn Swallows in France 2015


1 May Yorkshire, UK: The trip back up from SA was uneventful as was the trip down just normal scattered thunder storms over central Africa though the desert has now warming up with 34c in Tam during the day and 17c at night so the door is closing for migrants soon. We also are leaving SA to a degree, as we no longer do Cape Town with our last flight being this weekend so only Joburg now for us. Weather when I got back was sunny, but with a cold NW wind which would you believe is causing us to have snow showers, indeed as I type it has just started to Snow ! Swallows are in the barn so OK if a little bemused I suspect. We have had further returnees since I left,  we now have 5 with near neighbours having 3 and 4 respectively, so not a bad showing after my concerns of last summer. Indeed the all look very plump and well compared with what we have seen in previous years, so obviously had a good trip up. I will send up dates when we have young or further birds arrive. Mac
____________________
As you may know most flight to and from Europe are over night, as a result we all tend to cross the Sahara at night both going North and South (on radar we look like a flock of giant migrating birds and we all chatter to each other as well !). Some regional airlines like Moroccan and Algerian do, I know fly the routes during daylight, but usually its dark when we cross, even in summer. That said I have found you a couple of Photos which are taken over Africa. The first is the one the Swallows probably most like to see, it is the coast of Algeria at sunrise heading north. The second is over the Congo, and is of the large thunderstorms you get in the ITCZ which we all (birds and bird men !) have to cross heading in each direction. I think these are more of a problem for me, and fellow bird men than the Swallows . That was taken at 40kft with the storm width of approx 80 miles, and these monsters often form a wall through which we have to go through or around across central Africa, as you maybe well aware of from your local weather reports. The last photo was actually taken by Mrs Mac , while husband was flying, and is of sunset over Northern Algeria when Southbound, and she claims it gives the feeling of the still air you get in the Sahara at night (I think she just wanted to show her camera work !) . I will see if I can find something with the Sahara in daylight in old photos, or ask if any of my colleagues have any. There are some of my younger colleagues who are always asking if they can stick a GO-PRO camera on the widow, so will see if they have anything.
air view

One of my colleagues  sent the following through when I requested some Sahara photos, First Officer took the photo. He says we were Northbound from Capetown, and it was mid June and we were running late hence the daylight and about 40kft.air view1

Pic left Below: we used to come over these on the way south, especially to East Africa but no longer do so for obvious reasons. They are quadraphonic farms with water pumped up from below the desert, and are huge in size 2-3km wide and you can see these both day and night due to sharp contrast in colour. I do not know if they are still working, given what’s going on there, but there are many of them. Part of the late Colonel’s  desert bloom project I think.
air view2
Pic Right Above: I have not seen this but apparently it is visible, even on Google Earth. It is in the Niger and commemorates the loss of a UTA (French airline) aircraft which was flying from PRP Congo to Paris via N,Djamena in Chad and had a bomb on board. 156 passengers and 14 crew died when she blew up at 35kft on 19th Sept 1989- no survivors unsurprisingly. The bomb was linked to Libya who ended up paying some compensation. The memorial is the size of a full size DC10 and made of a Black Basalt out line with Mirrors around the edge. We fly over this area a lot but as I say this is in the early hours so it is always dark. Very poignant though. You can see more on wiki I guess. Regards Mac

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March 2015

25 March Kokstad, South Africa: We live on Long Island farm  S 30.28’16.5″ E 29.29’34.3″  1351 M just north of Kokstad KZN. For the past 4 – 6 weeks hundreds if not thousands of barn swallows have bee roosting in the reeds of our small dam in front of the house. They seem to arrive, then gather in big flocks, then settle at 5. – 6.15 in the evening.  The same happens about 5.30 – 6.00 in the morning. The 6 – 9 flocks are getting bigger, flying off in the same direction W – SW every day.  Difficult to take photos, because of the light. They were here last 3 – 4 years ago, There have been at Fishermen s Bend farm just south of Kokstad in the past, but there are hardly any this year there. Regards Tim + Edda Stubbs


21 March UK: Quick up date for you’re Swallows in Accra. Did not see any, although plenty of Swifts about. As for the Sahara we had a nice quiet flight with a few thunderstorms of track, but temperatures at Tamanrasset which is in Southern Algeria and pretty central in the Sahara, are still reasonable with daytime temps of around 20-23c (night 15c) so still cool. I will report as it rises, as it does over, my next trips, which are through March and April to Joburg. The rain currently falling in the Sahara will at least mean some of the oasis will be topped up. You better tell our little friends to get their flight feather’s in gear and get going to beat the heat. Weather up here is warming up slowly with temps around 7c (4c at night) but there is no snow forecast for the foreseeable future (10 days), so maybe winter is losing its grip a little. Local birds are starting their own nest building, so all bodes well. Glad you have had such a good season, and so many Swallows made it down there, will be interesting to see what we get back. Regards Mac (pilot)


18 March Japan: Since the swallows are just arriving in Japan, I thought the swallows starts migration from their wintering areas much earlier. However, there are more and more swallows coming to nesting sites in April and even in May, I guess the main part of the swallows could start migration by you around now.
KOYAMA Kazuo (Mr.)
Japan Bird Research Association


17 March Spain: Hi Angie, 8 swallows have just arrived in the at 19.30. It is dark and raining very hard. They are all huddling together close to the house, where there is a little protection from the rain, on a wire supporting the grape vine. It is now 1 hour later and two of them are now under the veranda upstairs.  The others may be in my front porch but I don’t want to look and disturb them if they are there. Another thing I forgot to mention the ones who arrived in the dark appeared to be mostly males.  The first three who arrived some time ago were all females and the fourth one was a male and paired up with a female the next day and got on with starting a family immediately. Regards Pauline.


16 March Joburg, South Africa: In the evenings over the past few weeks we have noticed hundreds on swallows overhead in the evenings, We live in a housing estate and it’s caused quite some interest. Many thanks and kind regards Ashly Main


7 March SPAIN- GUARO / MALAGA
The First swallows normally arrive each year on Valentines day 14th February.  Eight years ago this was 4 swallows and finally this year there is just one females.
1 Female  arrived  22nd February  2015
1 Female arrived   2nd  March 2015
1 Male arrived 7th March. 2015
8 years ago the total number of occupied nests in and around my house 15 slowly it is getting less and last year only 6 nests were occupied.
10 March 2015 – The pair of swallows who live in my lounge above my sofa have just arrived.  Regards Pauline.


4 March – Such exciting news……this is the first time we will witness the Barn Swallow migration North in three years. The migration started yesterday at Mount Moreland, KZN, South Africa

Come and see the Barn Swallows at peak numbers over the next +/- 4 to 6 weeks as they gather in mass numbers before heading North

This is the Best viewing Month with autumn colour sunsets and uncountable/millions of Barn Swallows

NOW is the time to come and see this awesome phenomenon
Time to arrive: 5pm till sunset, open everyday (weather permitting)
What to bring: chairs, sun-downers, picnic, mozzie spray and binoculars
Cost: R 10.00per person
Barn Swallow Memorabilia on sale at entrance desk: books, badges magnets etc
Extend the invitation to friends, family, colleagues and business associates, this is something to be seen and experienced by everyone.
Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to view the Barn Swallow display
Best Wishes Angie

February 2015

20 Feb My Getaway blog on The Barn Swallows Viewing at Mount Moreland:
I hope you’re so well and that your swallows are still visiting and wowing all the visitors to the site. My husband and I visited the swallows site a few weeks ago on a magical evening’s viewing. It was our first visit and we were absolutely in awe of the birds and the setting.
You’re doing such a great thing by making the spectacle accessible to us all and raising awareness for the pretty birds.
I am a blogger and wrote about our experience.

Getaway Magazine published my story on their blog this week and I have shared it on my own personal site too here:

http://bushbabyblog.com/2015/02/20/sundowners-with-the-barn-swallows/

I am excited to share it with you and hope you enjoy the read.

I am just thrilled to be able to share our experience with others who might like to visit the site for a wonderful evening with the swallows too.I hope it brings some good exposure your way.

Have a fabulous weekend Warmest Regards Kelly


11 Feb JHB, South Africa: Lost Barn SwallowOn the hottest day recorded in JHB since 1973 a little fellow presumably overtaken by the heat of the day (it was 5:30pm and I was watering the garden) swooped down and proceeded to sit under the sprinkler. He looked very small and I decided to take a closer look. He didn’t fly away and I was able to pick him up. I thought I’d better help dry him off a bit so that he could at least fly away to roost. While drying him off I noticed he had a tag on with the following inscription:Museum,London, SW7 Z115431

I’m going to keep him a little longer because he seems a bit weak, he was alone and I didn’t see any other swallows around. Its just that the bird is so small.
Many thanks Charlene Tucker

January 2015

23 Jan Belgium: By Ali
Barn Swallow Belgium 2015


Mount Moreland: I was brought another injured Little swift, a drink of water, some TLC and this one took flight the next day. Angie Wilken


20 Jan Denmark: Only 3 months to go. Svend
Barn Swallow in flight Denmark

 

 

 

 

 

 


13 Jan South Africa: We had a wonderful viewing on Sunday evening, 11 Jan 2015, but also had an even more spectacular secondary experience!
We were seated right at the bottom of the viewing area at end of the stairs, just before the path heads down. Right at the end of the evening watching the swallows mass we had a large black mamba (±2.5m) slither past us far too close, literally a meter away. My husband saw it out the corner of his eyes and didn’t alert us so as not to cause a commotion and movement. I saw it once it was moving into the grass in front.
We had our 1 and 4 year old sons with us an thank heavens we were all sitting very still watching aeroplanes above and swallows in front.
It was a terrifying experience but something totally natural in that environment, although one hopes you never see mambas EVER!
We were super lucky that it passed by our side and that we never moved or disturbed it.
I wanted to let you know this in case the mamba is a resident in that area as I would hate for someone else to be less fortunate – perhaps small signage needs to be erected reminding people about snakes / keeping an eye in that same area for a while.
Thanks Angie. Kind regards, Julie Anderson
*NOTED