THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER 2010 – DUE TO AN ERROR IT IS 9 MONTHS LATE. BUT BETTER LATE THAN NOT AT ALL
Garth has been in touch about swallows migrating. Really pleased he has seen a good swallow season in West Worcestershire
The young swallows will move south as directed by the genetic chip in their brain, but only a small number of the total get to S. Africa and back. It only needs two to survive to replace their parents should they fail to get back.
It does take them two months to do the whole journey as they feed en-route and might stay in one place for a few days if the weather is not suitable to continue south, so late hatched birds can build up their strength on the way.
Evidence shows that when young swallows return next spring they do not go back to nest where they were hatched but could be in the locality. This then avoids genetic problems. I have had a good season in West Worcestershire with no very late broods to worry about.
Garth was partly replying to