More Interesting Swallow Observations

message from swallow lady to Garth re:swallows.  (Below is a link to the article where Garth wrote an article / comment  )
Your observations match mine completely.our swallows(now in 16th year)always nest up on the eaves in  a messy sort of garage.

they fly in through a little open window.

last year was our best ever with approx.  30 fledglings. 3 concurrent nests with 4 chicks each,and then 2 further sequences. Big Daddy with the longest forks sings to me sitting on the Sky dish when I garden.I think that’s his right as he owns the sky.We live in Wales +have a cattle opposite so lots of flies..

The house martins are very different +make the nest under eaves outside with lots of mud +produce lots of darker mess cf. the white from swallows!
I,m not” official,recorder” just a swallow lover.I do read the BTO website though.
  “swallow lady”

4 thoughts on “More Interesting Swallow Observations

  1. Trish Post author

    Hi Char, Great to hear from you. We’ve known each other through the Internet for years haven’t we. That shows the internet can be good
    It’s connected us – One in England and one in Australia. Maybe that is the reason I wanted to do an email letter- connecting to other garden bird people.

    I hope you are well. I’m sure your mentoring will be going well.

    Thanks for saying that about my newsletter. I’ve had a friend help me and it was really hard to learn to do. I sometimes crave for pen and paper!
    If I don’t have any technical problems (technical problems seem to be following me about at the moment) then there will be another one in a month.

    Your email has made my day (or night as it is now 11.30 in the evening)
    Take care. Trisha xxx

  2. garth lowe


    Yesterday I called in at my best swallow site, which is a triple stable block and other out buildings and found at least 10 pairs nesting. Three of them already had young, one brood big enough to ring. They are a communal lot here and in the beams between stables I found three nest within the distance of my outstretched hands containing eggs or chicks. Normally swallow pairs like a space to themselves.
    At another site where they nest in a cellar the chicks were large enough to ring and the female, which I caught was the same bird I ringed almost exactly a year ago. It is wonderful to think that this small bird in my hand had been to S. Africa and back to return to the same nesting site!
    My conclusions are that in this part of west Worcestershire we have good numbers back but I do still have some sites where individual pairs have not returned yet. Horses have replaced cattle around here so muck heaps still exist and there are always flies around horses. Swallows could still be wandering around finding mates as nests do start up later in the seasson. Year old birds have to find a site to start nesting, invariable away from where they were hatched, maybe to avoid a genetic problem.

    Garth Lowe

  3. Hannah White

    Hi, I need help regarding sparrow hawks killing all the swallows we have nesting here! It’s awful. I am a nervous wreck from trying to keep him away. Up at 5am to help them and hate leaving the house in case he strikes. Usually 5 times a day or more. Such carnage my heart is breaking for them. He flies into the barns and just takes females nesting and the young. Then any fledglings in flight. I shut the doors and cut openings for the swallows to come in and out. But am worried the hawk could still get in if he wanted as I had to make long gaps for the swallows to even consider flying through them. They seemed upset they no longer had open door entrance! I wish I could help them more . i think he will take them all eventually. Day by day there are fewer and fewer. The swallows mob him but he still can take them in flight if he wants…what else can I do? Why is there no protection against these birds of prey to help the defenceless. Swallows have such a hard life now made even harde by so many sparrowhawks in uk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *