I contacted the British Trust for Ornithology about the decline in swallow numbers. This is their reply.
I contacted the British Trust for Ornithology about the decline in swallow numbers. This is their reply –
From reports we are getting, it does look as if numbers are down – and many birds were late.
There can be so many reasons for Swallow losses.
Last year’s poor summer was probably not good for them and there are lots of potential problems to face each winter; was the weather bad on migration, were there particular issues in stop-over areas, was it hard to find food in South Africa etc.
Northerly winds over the Sahara in spring would make that particular crossing harder. The only thing that I am aware of is the presence of weather systems across Spain & Portugal in April/May which probably contributed to the Swallows’ difficulties.
Here’s hoping for a good breeding season to top up numbers ready for next year.
If loads of pairs can rear two lots of five youngsters then that will make a huge difference.