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

Ireland baby Barn Swallows June 2015
Barn Swallows in Ireland
Barn Swallows in Ireland

18 May 2015 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.
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

29 July 2014 Ireland: The good news is the first brood have hatched and fledged and are flying around eating their fill of the local insect life, the bad news is I’ve seen no sign of  a 2nd brood so far and numbers are way way down on last year, which were down on the year before, which were down on the year before and so on..
It’s near 20:30 local time and even last year, at this time, we’d have had lots of swallows sitting on the phone and power cables, I’ve just looked outside and all I see is one swallow flying around.
Insect life seems more plentiful this year but there is one significant difference, we’ve always had bats around here but we’ve just discovered that there is a very significant bat colony living in a roof space just a few meters from the swallows.
Don’t know if there is a connection but this bat colony has exploded, one dawn, about a month ago, we lost count when over 50 went into the roof space, the air was still thick with them, there must have been hundreds.
Cheers Craig 

6 October 2013 Ireland: We live on the south-eastern corner of Ireland in Rosslare Strand, Co. Bedford and are therefore quite well-placed to note arrivals and departures of Barn Swallows. They arrived somewhat later this year (first sighting only on 15 April) due, no doubt to the very late spring, but they arrived in numbers and have been noted in relatively large numbers throughout the summer.  It appears that only one brood has been hatched this year.  A few weeks ago we noted that groups were gathering but not yet leaving due, we think, to very strong easterly winds and inclement weather.    Last Friday (4th October), we noted a major departure of swallows, all flying towards Wales/South West England which is not too far from us across the St George’s Channel.  Today, Sunday 6th we have only seen very few so it would seem that the majority of the swallows from our area have left.    Traditionally we have seen the odd stragglers around until at least the end of October and even sometimes into early November.   For some reason, we have kept notes of arrival/departure dates for a good few years and would be happy to let you have them should you be interested.
Kind regards, Ethel Dwyer

29 September 2013 Ireland:News from the little Saltee island. 14 pairs bred this year and fledged 61 babies. they left on migration on the 22nd September they have a good flight!
This year due to building work, I had to exclude a few pairs from their normal nesting sites. So i built a few nest boxes.2 pairs used them and a few others showed interest, theres space for 8 nests  so maybe next year i can get up to 20 pairs nesting!!
Best wishes Patrick Nellew

Barn Swallow nests Ireland
Barn Swallow nests Ireland

25 September 2013 Ireland, Fortstewart, Ramelton, Co. Donegal: an update on our family in the porch (one chick managed to make it’s way into the sitting room). As you can see they are still with us.

They occasionally leave the nest and sit in the clematis. They had a couple of flights but they still return to the porch to be fed. Are these guys reluctant to leave? regards. Ray and Jeanette
Barn Swallow nests Ireland
Barn Swallows in Ireland

Barn Swallows in Ireland | 20 September 2013 Ireland, Fortstewart, Ramelton, Co. Donegal: Barn Swallows in Ireland
We are the proud landlords of what appears to be the last swallow family in the county. They built their new nest in our porch in early August and as of today they are still with us with their two chicks. The weather is reasonably mild but damp, so food maybe a problem for them.
Hopefully they will be strong enough to make their journey. We are very concerned for them but are royally entertained.
Jeanette & Ray

8 September 2013 Sligo, Ireland: Looked back at last year, our own gang left the same day last year even though they were late arriving. Saw a large flock of Swallows over our lake shore this morning, gone 20 minutes later. We’ll see if we get the same as last year, flocks of various sizes passing through for the next couple of weeks. Images of Barn Swallows still feeding their young. Cheers Craig

Barn Swallow flight Ireland
Barn Swallow flight Ireland

7 September 2013 Sligo, Ireland: Sad day here, the summer is over Barn Swallows about to leave Ireland because our resident Swallows hit the road around midday.
There was frantic flying around for the last few days, lots of activity and maybe a dozen or more birds at a time swirling around but this morning was different ….. at least 50 birds perched on the roof, every few minutes they took off in mass and did a circuit of the place. They were still at this at 11:30am but an hour later they were all gone.
No where near as many as in previous years but at least it seems that the few (15 or so) pairs that made it back had a good summer.
Attached picture is a small sample of what was going on (it’s a redundant TV aerial with my various ham radio aerials hanging out of it).
Hope they all make it to your part of the world. Cheers Craig 

23 July 2013 West Cork Ireland: All the barn swallows which were very much in evidence a week ago in

Dunmanus East, West Cork. Ireland have suddenly disappeared from our farm house where they have been returning year after year to roost in the rafters of an open stone shed and large barn. After three dismal summers of rain and sub normal temperatures, this month has been marked by a prolonged heat wave. Is it possible a water shortage has caused not only the barn swallows but also the other small birds to suddenly disappear in search of water or have they emigrated earlier than usual this year after the abundance of insects?
 
Sadly, cats have been responsible for a couple of causality’s but this has happened during previous years. The sudden disappearance of all small birds more or less overnight is a source of great distress. Can you throw any light on the situation or advise us on how to lurethem back. We live within a mile of the sea and also a river.
 
Magpies are also frequent callers but do not dominate and have never frightened away the swallows  before. Your insight on the situation would be more than welcome and greatly appreciated. Thank you, Nona Pettersen

5 July 2011 Barn Swallows in Ireland By Craig RobinsonBarn Swallows in Ireland

Barn Swallows 3 days out of the nest, the 4 chicks in our back room, they roost on this cable each evening after a day out with the parents. Here the first Swallows arrived 10th April 2011 in the mid afternoon, initially just a lone pair but by early evening there were 12. Significant numbers were here the following day.
Not sure when nest building began but if you trawl through our Facebook page I comment about having to abandon our laundry room. Last year a pair tried to nest in it, we discouraged them by stapling old pillow cases to the ceiling, this year they returned but the pillow stunt didn’t fool them. This all happened about a week after nesting started in our outside sheds.
These chicks hatched around the 16th June and left the nest 2 days ago.
In total we have at least 40 nesting pairs on the property.
We are located on the shore of Lough Arrow in the Northwest of Ireland.
At this stage the young are all out of the nests and seem to spend the day in “flight school” with the parents returning to the nest site (roost close to but not in the nest) in early evening some 2 hours or so before nightfall.