Monday, 22 April 2013

One swallow doesn’t make a summer

There is an old saying that one swallow does not make a summer. It’s true of course, but two swallows do make a breeding pair and the swallows that return to my farm every year have arrived this week!
Their nest, which is in a low roofed pig unit, is still there from last year so there’s not much for them to do in terms of preparing for this year’s brood.  They are fastidious little birds however and I’m sure that they will want to add a few new mud balls and some fresh feathers before they start the new family.
The wind is a bit too strong for flying today and the tiny birds have been buffeted about like corks on the ocean. So, they have decided to spend most of today just sitting on the fence beside the building that they nest in, enjoying the sun.
I’m always so inspired, humbled and honoured by their visit. These tiny little creatures have flown so many thousands of miles, through the night, over oceans, back to my little farm and the nest on the low beam in the building where I store my wheelbarrows.
Last year's brood
They managed to raise a good number of chicks last year and their only threat came from the cats, Polly and Toby. Fortunately though, these tough little birds hadn’t gone through all this hard work and adventure to have their offspring eaten by a couple of overfed moggies. They instigated an effective dive-bombing campaign on the cats! They were brilliantly effective and the cats soon got the message.
I am hoping that the cats will remember their lesson from last year, but I’m sure that the swallow family will give them an effective reminder this year, just to make sure!


  1. Hi Sue
    Our swallows arrived last weekend too. It was brilliant to see them back. Now we just have to hear the cuckooo and I'll KNOW summer is nearly here.

  2. We're near Malvern and we saw the first arrivals late last week. It's always an event!

  3. Ours also arrived this weekend. We have two pairs that nest in our tatty lean-to shed every year. They will be sharing quarters with a robin (nesting in a roll of wire), a wren (her covered nest is hanging off a beam) and a blackbird with a nest on an acro-prop!

  4. Love it when they arrive every year and start wheeling over the pond collecting mud to make house repairs.

  5. They are such a wonderful indication that winter is over and their chubby little chicks make me smile with their clown like mouths.The ducks arrived too this week so I will give you an update on them soon.

  6. They've arrived here in Durham now too! They are investigating their old nest under the overhang of our house.


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