Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Swallow!!!

Just a very short blog today as I have been out all day and have people staying. But I came on just to say that our first swallow has arrived on site! This is the earliest that the farmer can ever remember them coming - April 9th was the earliest before. This morning , when he went out into the yard, a swallow was perched on the wire - where they always sit. It is only one but no doubt others will join it shortly. The miracle is that they arrive here - to the place where they were born - on time, every year - all the way from Africa. What a joy it is to see them and to know that more will follow.

29 comments:

EB said...

I haven't seen any yet, down in Surrey! I read a very sad story recently about how cuckoos and swallows may stop coming here, (to England I mean) because of pollution in Africa. I hope this doesn't happen.

Sal said...

For years,I've kept a record of when the first Swallow, House Martin, Swift arrive plus unusual birds in the garden etc..also when the first spring flowers are in bloom etc. It's fascinating to look back through it.
;-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Swallows aren't the thing here—we watch for vultures. Which have been back for some time along the river, but are just now returning to states such a Minnesota.

I did have a new returnee today, though. Come and see when you get time.

acornmoon said...

How lovely! "one swallow does not make a summer" but it certainly bodes well for spring.

willow said...

All the way from Africa? That little guy must have been all tuckered out! Happy Swallow Day!

Poet in Residence said...

I haven't seen my first swallow yet but the storks have arrived - well, I've seen one - but I may see more at the weekend. They also come from Africa. It always amazes me how the new borns manage to fly from their nests here in Austria and also in nearby Hungary and Poland all the way to Africa when they are only a few months old. The little ones flying south in autumn must be the most "tuckered out" as Willow so quaintly puts it.
By the way Weaver on PiR someone from the production of THE LAST SUPPER has answered your question re the photos. I had a look and there are 8.
Gwilym

Heather said...

What a lovely thought Weaver - they are marvellous little creatures to make such a journey.

Jenn Jilks said...

How much fun! Our birds are early, too. They're a little freaked out as the lake has slushed over. It's not frozen, but there is a couple of inches of snow that did not melt. We've had about 8 or 9" in two days...

Crafty Green Poet said...

oh how lovely to see them, though the early date could be worrying in a sense i guess.

BT said...

Wow, that photo above is glorious. I can't believe you hava a swallow already! That must be some sort of record. Have you been on the local birding site? They might be interested.

elizabethm said...

We have swallows nesting in the old pigsties but no sign yet. I am envious - I think you must be further north than we are! Lovely photo.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

How lovely! It amazes me that they come back to the same places. We have house martens here every year,(slightly longer necks than yours), and I love watching them building their nests under the eaves.

Leenie said...

Your fun posts tell us what to expect in a few weeks. I love the little purple and orange barn swallows with their mud nests. I was always amazed at how they carried that mud in their mouth just to make a home. That is dedicated parenting.

Woman in a Window said...

Now there is spring. No arguing.

Dubois said...

Such an early swallow
Perhaps he hitched a ride on an aeroplane
All the way from Arica

Arija said...

I'm happy for you. We had very few swallows this year with the severe dry there was minimal food, one year I counted more than a gross. When there is water in the dams it is a great pleasure to watch them grazing the surface. With empty dams there is little entertainment.
Enjoy your guests.

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

Once they arrive "properly" we will have a line of them outside the kitchen window (which happens to be 1st floor). The nests are fine, so long as you don't have a bench below!!

Leilani Lee said...

I had a lovely experience with a swallow one time. I was throwing chicken feathers into the air and a swallow swooped down and caught one in mid-air and took off with it. The big news here is the return of the vultures.

Mistlethrush said...

I happened upon my first swallow this year on Sunday. It was flying round a farm. Spring is really here!

The Weaver of Grass said...

EB - that is awful - I rarely hear a cuckoo - and I miss it - but to lose swallows as well is unimaginable.

The Weaver of Grass said...

sal - we keep records too and the earliest a swallow came before this year was April 9th - the average date is about 17th, so they are really early this year - at least one is.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Isn't it lovely Scribe that we mark our year with the return of creatures? Shall pop over shortly and see your returnee.

The Weaver of Grass said...

acornmoon - I don't think there is one amongst us that is not cheered by the return of the swallow.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Willow - have you ever read Gilbert White's History of Selborne? When it was written he thought it probable that swallows dived down into the mud below ponds to spend the winter Now that we know that they travel back and forth to Africa it is even more remarkable.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Gwilym. How envious I am of your storks - I do wish we had them here - when I have seen them on various chimney stacks abroad I have been so chuffed. And yes - I love the expression "tuckered out" too! Am just off to your blog to see the photos for myself.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Raph - we have house martins under our eaves too, but they are not back yet.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I hope everyone has read of Leilani Lee's experience with the swallow catching the feather. Isn't it wonderful that we are all so uplifted by such a little fellow? I think it is his mammoth journey tjhat inspires us.

Red Clover said...

Wow! Doesn't this world just amaze you?

Janice Thomson said...

Wow! All the way from Africa - now that's a long flight. Here it's the Trumpeter Swans that signal spring is finally here.