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Swallows.

For the first time that I can remember, the swallows appear to have left us without "saying goodbye" All previous years they spent time on overhead wires between the sheds chatting for many days before finally heading off. I feel quite sad, though thankful that I believe they had three broods this year.

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  • Last year I took a photo of them gathered on the wire between our house and our only neighbour, at the farm next door where they also nest. There were 38 in the pic and we had 2 nests in our shed that had had 3 broods. There may well have been other birds that missed being recorded.
    Only about a third of them made it back after the disastrous  Mediterranean storm in the spring, though they were joined by a pair of swifts and some housemartins. They all drink from our large pond and it is a delight of late afternoons in summer to watch them swooping down to take a drink, or even lower to dip their feathers.
    We had only one pair this year, and not a brilliant summer, so they only managed 2 broods. I did see some perched on the wire one day, quite socially distanced, but though they did not leave for more than a week after that, I did not see them together again.
    I think that the loss in their numbers has affected the community of the birds. Though some will inevitably be lost each year, the loss this time was so large that it has disrupted family connections and it will take a couple of years, of hopefully better fortune, for them to rebuild them.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 6,539
    I think they had a very favourable northerly wind earlier than expected and probably took advantage. I'm still seeing a few about though so they haven't all gone just yet.
    Unlike the brain, the stomach warns you when it's empty.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,456
    I was going to ask whereabouts you are @cowslip2. It seems early.
    They don't normally leave here until about the 1st, or even 2nd, week of October, and there's certainly still some here. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • I haven't seen a swift, swallow or house martin since late August. I noticed one day of swooping displays and then they were gone, compared to most years where they are very visible for a few weeks before adios. Perhaps the hot, then cold, then hot weather confused them. Much like @cowslip2 I was disappointed that they seem to have quietly departed without saying goodbye this year.
  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 796
    We love our annual swallows. This year, some raised three broods. There is nothing better than the sight of them flying in the sky above our heads, sitting on the telephone wires and perching on our pitched roof. I understood the decline in numbers was largely due to the practice of catching them in big nets in North Africa, the ultimate destination being consumption. https://www.cms.int/en/page/bird-trapping-egypt-and-libya
  • Fairygirl, I am in South Gloucestershire, close to west Wilts. I miss them so much........
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,456
    But we know they'll come back @cowslip2.
    Optimism is everything  -never more so than this year  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • dennispymmdennispymm DorsetPosts: 4
    cowslip2 said:
    For the first time that I can remember, the swallows appear to have left us without "saying goodbye" All previous years they spent time on overhead wires between the sheds chatting for many days before finally heading off. I feel quite sad, though thankful that I believe they had three broods this year.

    Same here.  Only 1 solitary bird arrived on 25th April but soon paired with another and produced 3 broods. Previous years they have been quite friendly, but this year, and I assume after that disastrous Med storm, they were quite aggressive, dive-bombing me within millimeters. Probably a new family but they soon got used to us.  But again they left suddenly. I'm sure they will recover from the storm, they produced at least 8 chicks that I counted.  They've used the same nest for at least 6 years now.  Beautiful and very intelligent creatures.
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