April 2018

21 April 2018 – Ireland – So thrilled that at last a pair of Barn Swallows have made it back to Dalystown this evening, April 21st. Exactly the same date as last year.
Gorgeous day here with plenty of insects flitting over our fields, such a joy to see the Swallows swooping down to pick them out of the air.
Best Wishes
Cathy Cooper

16 April 2018 – Wherwell – UK – Our male returned last night at around 7pm, did a few fly-pasts of the car port before flying in. He didn’t roost in there last night but is back this morning flying in and out. There has been a distinct lack of swallows around since I saw my first bird nearly two weeks ago but with warmer weather ahead this week, we should finally see numbers of all migrants increasing.
Just seen the female follow the male into the car port accompanied by lots of song and enticement calling from the male. She is back a good week earlier than last year. Very exciting for the start of a new week!
Best wishes
Tom

15 April 2018 – Bradmore – UK – I’ve been scanning our skies for a week, and today saw my first pair of swallows over the village of East Leake nearby.
Truth to say that my heart leapt…..! How joyous they seem, and how sleek and beautiful, given the arduous journey they have had.
We will take good care of them and let them come back to you in six months!
Best wishes
Cynthia

11 April 2018 – Cornwall – UK – At 1 pm today he made a beeline across the field at the back of us, and flew straight into our garage and alighted on “his” perch, as if he’d never been gone ! He looks in fine condition with nice long streamers to his tail.
He’s been out chasing the occasional passing birds, but they have continued on. Hopefully his mate and some of last years broods will also soon return.
It’s a balmy 14*C at the moment, dropping to 7* overnight, so there should be plenty of food flying. Will update on developments.
We shall have a celebratory glass…or two, of Porcupine Ridge tonight !
Cheers, John.

11 April 2018 – Northern Ireland  – I was so delighted to see it, it was flying past the lounge window as if to say “look at me, I’m back!”. Hopefully more will arrive soon, although the weather is still cold, and we have had such a cold, wet winter.  There is no or little growth in vegetation, especially the grass.
Flying insects are scant, a few Bumble bees about, but we desperately need some sun and heat to dry things up?!
On or around April 15th is usually the date when the Swallows arrive, but with the SE winds this week, I’m not surprised to see Swallows already.
Sand Martins nest in the Quarry near us, I saw no sign of them on Sunday when I rode my horse past, and they usually arrive here first. I will check again this evening when the quarry is closed.
I love your website, interesting reading your daily blogs, sounds like you had a cold Winter too?  Poor Swallows!!
Kind regards,
Helen.

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9 April 2018 – Rosslare Strand Co Wexford Ireland – The first barn swallow was sighted on Saturday 7th April and further ones the following day. After the really bad weather of the last 6 or 7 weeks we’re glad to see them although I’m not sure there is much food for them at the moment as livestock is still indoors and “nunus” are just about non-existent.
Regards Ethel Dwyer

9 April 2018 – Ireland – Single barn swallow arrival, i am surprised to see considering the cold weather on route. Forecast is for warming weather in Ireland, so some more insects around.
Kevin Baker

8 April 2018 – Brittany NW France.  Barn Swallows arrived this morning 11am and another single one this afternoon.  I have been expecting them as we have had 2 days of southerly jet Stream from tip of Africa.  Yesterday was a lovely sunny day but this week forecast is rain.  The flies have not hatched yet due to the cold.  We have had the wettest cloudiest winter in living memory according to the old people.  Farmers are late in the fields as water logged. Plenty of mosquitoes around though.  More southerlies the following weekend and good weather forecast.
Regards Ella

8 April 2018 – UKWe had snow here in the south of England just three weeks ago. However yesterday, 7th April, we saw our first returned male barn swallow at the breeding site at Arlington Reservoir in Sussex.  Hopefully more will follow soon, but they are already about five days later than in the last few years.
Best wishes from Tim Hanks and Jackie Walsh

8 April 2018 – Yorkshire UK – I pack to leave for Africa, guess what showed up early in our barn ! I did seFirst Barn Swallow srrival Yorkshire UK April 2018e another Swallow yesterday some miles away on my way to our Farm shop so they are obviously working their way up country. Shows how little I know about Swallows given my last post where I was expecting them a little later. The 8th April is an early return for us, as normally I would have expected them in another 5-10 days especially given the poor weather in Europe in general this spring. Anyway one home, Mrs Mac will be having the customary White wine tonight on her own, as I for obvious reasons will not be partaking.
Looking at the weather on my route we have continued heavy thunderstorms which the LH captain talked about last week, so it looks as though it will be a long and in parts bumpy night!
Kind regards
Mac

7 April 2018 – Northern Ireland – Just now Sunday April 7th I was looking out of the window,scanning the skies and I was rewarded earlier than I expected, a beautiful pair of barn Swallows flying over their old haunt after insects. I am so glad they’ve made it back. Our temperatures are only recently getting into double figures and the aphid explosion has begun. Bottle of sparkly reservoir every year for this triumphant occasion. Wishing the rest a safe journey.
Valerie Moran

6 April 2018 – Mount Moreland South Africa – We have been experiencing severe thunder storms past 2 evenings with heavy down pours resulting in very humid conditions and temperatures remain high 32°C, still seeing swallows when out and about.
Angie

5 April 2018 – Yorkshire – UK – Well here we are as you can see still in the frozen North ! Returned from Sunny climbs from Lagos I did see some Swifts about, but no Swallows. This morning woke to find snow again on the hills from last night. Mrs Mac found about 5 inches of snow on her door step Sunday morning with no hubbie to dig. Luckily it melted later that day so she got out OK on Tuesday.
Anyway quick up date from central Sahara, temp in daytime around 30c with night down to mid teens, so still not bad for migrants. Further north they will have a good tail wind as the air over UK and Europe coming from the south and Africa. Temp are building over Europe with 20c forecast for Paris. I was speaking to a Lufthansa captain when we were heading north who had come up from Joburg, and he said they had experienced extensive thunderstorms over central Africa on their route, and had to pick a way through. He reported a solid wall from East to West (that is not fun at night even with modern radar !) over Zaire Zambia Botswana, and they really did not come out of them till north of Guinea which is a band of circa 2000 miles wide which makes for tiring flying.

I have prepared for arrival of our Swallows cleaning nest areas etc, but I think it has been a very cold spring in Europe, and I would be surprised to see any arrivals
at our home much before mid April. Anyway down your way next trip so will keep you updated.

Kind regards
Mac

5 April 2018 – Cornwall – UK – The temperature here has today reached 9*C, so spent today in the garden on Swallow watch, and have just been rewarded to see my first ….a handsome looking cock bird flew over , hesitated overhead,….and continued in a westerly direction with great urgency.
I anticipate the numbers now building daily, and hopefully ours will arrive as has been usual on the 14 th. The excitement builds !!
Regards. John.

5 April 2018 – UK – First 2 Swallows sighted today flying over the house and quite high up, one bird in song. Probably local birds given the singing make . Will let you know when our birds arrive.
Best wishes
Tom

March 2018

29 March 2018 – Cornwall UK – Excitement Builds – Nests cleaned out, garage tidy’d up, cars moved outside in rain ! Tenvis camera set up ……all we need now is the Swallows to arrive. The temperature at the moment is only 5*C, but is forecast to make 9/10* by the week end, so should be OK.
Mind you, some have been sighted over the last week, and temps have been down to zero, so They would have had a tough time ?!.
If you take look at “www.cbwps.org.uk” you can see the daily log of bird sightings for our area, Cornwall.
Will let you know when the one we saw at Mount Moreland arrives !!
John.

21 March 2018 – Hollister,CA, USA – First Barn Swallow arrived at the nest at my front door. That is the 15th time they have returned. It is still very cold here hope they can find insects.
Joyce Richman

18 March 2018 – An update from Wherwell, UK – Winter has returned! It is not normal to have snow this far into March but a high pressure system is sitting to the north of the U.K. and pulling in the Siberian winds. You can see the amount of snow in the shot of the garden table and the car port. It is wetter snow this time so at least the roads are passable.

It warmed up a bit last week and the first early migrants such as Sand Martin and Chiffchaff were arriving- the Sand Martins in particular are really going to struggle to find any airborne insects in this weather. This is probably going to delay the arrival of the swallows although I’ve seen reports a few early arrivals on the coasts and they will surely perish. Out on my walk this morning I noted a number of Red wing and Field fare which winter here from Scandinavia and I thought had left so I can only assume they’ve had to come back!
Best wishes
Tom
Snow UK March 2018

18 March 2018 – Cornwall UK – We have had some early arrivals of Sand Martins and Barn Swallows.
Unfortunately for them the weather has taken a turn for the worse, and very unusually we are experiencing a cold air stream from the continent, our temperature today is Minus 2* C and it is now snowing !! I find it quite upsetting, but we just have to accept that that’s the vagaries of nature. Fortunately ours don’t usually arrive until the second week in April.

It still bugs me as to why your birds are behaving the way they have, I lie awake sometimes thinking about it. I expect that you do to, but then sometimes life and nature is like that, and one has to accept some situations that you cannot control, and move forward.
All the same, I don’t like to be beaten and am still thinking and researching to perhaps finding out why, and who knows something maybe able to be done to persuade them back. If I find what I think is the answer I’l let you know.

Kindest Regards to You.
John.

17 March 2018 – San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Last year the Barn Swallows arrived two months earlier on March 15, than they had the year before on May 15. They left around October 15 the first year I was in this house and about 2 weeks later last year. I had 9 nests, and I think they all had babies, but the first sets of babies…at least one set of them, all died due to lack of food in the dry season.
I am waiting to see what happens this year. Was hoping your site would give me a clue about other places in Mexico and where they are coming from south of me. SMA has the only Mex Audubon chapter, but they often don’t seem to know about what I want to know.
Christine Eleanor Anderson

16 March 2018 – Barn Swallows at Simbithi, Ballito, South Africa – My friend on the golf side of Simbithi had Barn Swallows on her roof today, ready to go to Europe.
Elayne Tranter
Barn Swallows Ballito March 2018

11 March 2016 – Southbroom / Marina Beach – Umkobi Lagoon – South Africa – We also have part of the migration here who roost in the evenings in our reed bed at Umkobi lagoon which is situated between the coastal towns of Southbroom and Marina Beach on the South Coast of Kwazulu-Natal South Africa.Our barn swallows arrived here in October last year and then left around late January this year around the 20th – very early for them and unusual.
Taryn

6 March 2018 – Yorkshire, UK – The Barn Swallow report in Yorkshire was from a BTO observer at Filey on the Yorkshire Coast near Bridlington, so they should know what they were looking at, but it does seem early. The winds have been from East and very cold and have now swung to SW but usually it is later this month when we get southerly winds and when the migrants come in, maybe they are in fact early. I will let you know if I hear anything further.
Mac

March 2018 – participate in international insect survey
Data is needed for March and August, please participate in this, where ever you are in the world

This web site presents a project, in which persons interested in nature can make a difference. We will determine the causes of the dramatic fall in the abundance of insects since 1990 and relate this decline to the abundance of insectivorous birds.

About the project

The number of insects has decreased by more than 70% I large nature reserves in Germany, but also in farmland in Denmark during just 27 years. These declines in the number of insects can be measured from the number of insects on the windscreen of cars. The objective of this study is to use citizen science to (1) determine whether the number of insectivorous birds decreases with a decreasing number of insects on the windscreen of cars, and (2) determine the main factors that explain variation in the abundance of insects.

Anders Pape MØLLER 
Ecologie Systématique Evolution
Equipe Diversité, Ecologie et Evolution Microbiennes
Université Paris-Sud, CNRS, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, F-91405 Orsay Cedex, France
Chernobyl and Fukushima Research: http://cricket.biol.sc.edu/Mousseau/Mousseau.html 
Tel: +33169155688
February 2018

February 2018 – NO Change in sightings of Barn Swallows, a few seen occasionally and still no roosting. Insects noticeably absent

January 2018

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

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