Swallows

I read in the Guardian the other day that a swallow has turned up already somewhere down south. As we all know – one swallow does not a summer make and it’s a whole month earlier than usual in England. Despite our unseasonally very mild weather I think it’ll be quite a while before swallows appear again in Fife.

Some of the houses around my neighbourhood have actually been lucky enough to have swallows build their nests under the eaves and I had hoped they would make their home with us too, so I was a wee bit miffed when I noticed swallows beginning to build a nest next door to us. I quickly realised though that it was a good thing as we had a perfect view of all the comings and goings from our sun room.

Towards the end of summer I was surprised to see the nest being sort of flash mobbed by swallows. There seemed to be a couple of reluctant fledglings hanging over the edge of the nest and I thought maybe they were being encouraged to leave the nest by the older birds. They were at it for a few days and I think there was only one baby bird left in the nest when it succumbed to the barrage and began to fall apart, well there were lots of swallows hanging on to the sides of it and these modern houses aren’t ideal for nest building. I think the underneath of the guttering is too smooth. It’ll be interesting to see if they try to rebuild again this year.

I’m wondering if any of you know if this sort of behaviour is normal for swallows.

Swallows Fledging

Sorry. The video I took is a bit blurry but you get the idea.

4 thoughts on “Swallows

  1. Our swallows arrive in the first 10 days of April. I’m hoping they will be back in numbers this year after last year’s decline. Your mobbing swallows are fascinating. I understood that they return to old nests in following years. I assume it was more important to get the fledglings flying. I wonder if they will be back this year?

    • Sandra,
      I think they’ll be with you a week or so before they get to us. I’ll be amazed if they remember there was a nest next door as there’s no sign of it at all now, but I’m sure they usually do return to their old nests.

  2. We had a small flock robins show up here a couple weeks ago. We have over a meter of snow on the ground and temperatures well below freezing. I’ve heard reports from a friend where the robins were sheltering that she keeps finding dead and distressed birds. She had one huddling in her doorway yesterday. I can’t imagine what induced them to arrive so early. Now they are regretting it.

    • Stefanie,
      It’s tragic when things like that happen. I think it’ll be a while before the swallows turn up here from South Africa, I hope so anyway as they wouldn’t survive yet. I think your robins are different from ours – bigger, and ours stay here all the time, they’re happy in the cold but I doubt if they would be happy with your weather.

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