Tag Archives: swallows


Can you help Robin with this question

Does anyone know if the Swallow festival still happens in Rhodes, 

It is to celebrate the return of swallows.

Each year children dress up in cloaks, black back, white front and run through the streets carrying poles with carved swallows on the top.

There is still so much to learn about swallows, tho we have moved on from the idea that they hid in the mud over winter!

Thankyou so much for this website, fascinating


If there is such a Festival I’d love to go.  Does anyone know?  Can anyone help?


Have been wondering about the migratory paths of swallows so  I  contacted  Mothers Garden, Catalonia, Spain by email to ask if there had been a decline in swallows in their area.  This is their reply


Nothing has changed – we still have our swallows in the barn and drinking from our reservoir.

They seem as plentiful as ever.  Hope this is helpful.

Catalonia is an autonomous region of Spain located on the  Mediterranean Sea next to France. 


Related Posts




Bird Ringing

 The comings and goings of the swifts and swallows near our house has always fascinated me and it seems it has fascinated other bird watchers over the years.

About the 12th Century in Germany a Prior in a Monastery fixed a parchment to a swallow’s leg asking –


‘Swallow where do you live in winter’

The following spring the Prior received the reply attached to the swallow’s leg

‘In Asia, the home of Petrus’.


Amazing.  What a simple idea.  How did the Prior catch the swallow?  Did he expect a reply? 

From that piece of parchment it was discovered that swallows flew from Germany to Asia. 


About 1740 a man called Johann Leonard Frisch tied some wool to swallows’ legs. 

He wanted to find out if the same swallow returned to the same nest year after year. 

The following Spring he found out that they do!


I anticipate the return of the swifts and swallows every Spring and know they return to us from warmer climates.

 I have never considered that  a swallows disappearance may once have been a mystery to people. 

Although I remember I was told  that many years ago people thought that swifts and swallows hibernated in winter!  I didn’t believe that fact, but now wonder if it’s true.

Bird ringing in Britain has been going on since 1937. 

  • Numbered metal rings which carry a return address are used. 
  • The records are put on a computer and stored using an international standard method of recording.

Here are two amazing facts have been found by bird ringing.

  • A swallow has been recorded as covering nearly a quarter of a million miles on its migration journies.  This was over a period of 16 years.  A 16 year old swallow!

It’s interesting to see what happened in the past.

  • In 1963 during the cold winter a redwing flew 2,400 miles in three days searching for food. 

Birds still search for food.  We cannot help swallows but we can help other birds. – so help a bird.  Feed a bird!

Swallows, chiffchaffs and blackcaps in Yorkshire

swallows  on a wire

swallow on a wire

It’s great to hear some local news about bird migration, swallows, chiffchaffs and blackcaps.  As well as nesting time, bird migration time is here.

We haven’t seen any swallows where I live yet – am looking forward to seeing them return, but David sends his bird watching observations and he  lives on the Yorkshire Wolds as well.  Thanks David –

Despite some miserable weather over Easter it looks like the bird migration is underway. I saw my first Swallow perched on the wires  on 7th April and have seen one nearly everyday since. They are also appearing in ones and two elsewhere locally including Cowlam and Kirby Grindalythe.

For the last couple of weeks there have been Chiffchaffs in suitable habitat everywhere. I heard my first singing males at Weaverthorpe and Sherburn a couple of weekends ago with more at Sledmere and Cowlam over Easter. The first Willow Warblers came in over Easter with birds in scrubby patches again at Cowlam and Sledmere.

The first local Blackcap was at Haverdale Lane near West Lutton on Easter Monday.