Hi Garth, Good to hear from you again and so pleased about your swallow news.
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 replied to this post –
and I’m really pleased he did.