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Author Topic: Our swallows?  (Read 11198 times)

Bodger

  • Joined Jul 2009
Our swallows?
« on: August 22, 2013, 05:49:53 am »
They're every ones swallows of course but as in most years, this year we have a number of pairs of these very special birds staying with us for the all too short summer. They stay and nest in and around the outbuildings before flying off to warmer climes.
One couple have found a new nesting site this year under the eaves of our stable block. It seems to have been a good choice and so far, its working for them. I took this snap last night just before it went dark. The parent birds were still out getting that last mouthful of insects.
 


 
The nest has been made with a special compound supplied by Pru the pig. I've been able to watch the swallows picking poopy mud from the pig wallow and carrying pieces of straw. The nest also has the draw string from an animal feed back incorporated in its construction.  :knit:
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Factotum

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2013, 10:07:00 am »
Brilliant.

There's nothing like a bit of 'shud' for nest building.

Our swallows are thinking about going south again - keep seeing family groups on the telegraph wires and lining up on the top fence wires. They're always the first to go, our house martins stay till mid September making the most of our insect population before the long trek.

Autumn is just around the corner - then the wait till next April before they return - always look forward to seeing them take up residence again.

Sue

Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2013, 10:31:24 am »
Yes iv noticed this they will be gone from the highlands next week. The robins have there new coats on for winter also iv just looked at the wether and i think a nice spell wensday to about sunday next week coming to the end of august. So the fires will be lit very soon as the dark moves in and a new season arrives Autumn my fa varate month every think going to sleep.

Factotum

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2013, 11:22:54 am »
We're only a few miles from you - we're in Moray - 'twixt the mountains and the sea. So I guess our summer visitors depart around the same time as yours.

I love the colours of Autumn - the trees show so many variants of yellow and gold - and the wonderful purple carpets of heather on the moorland.


Don't mind Winter too much -especially if sitting inside next to the wood burner, watching the weather go by - if only the cows could drive the tractor & get a fresh bale of hay for themselves...

Sue





shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2013, 11:40:59 am »
we had a failed nest of what i think are housemartins or could be swallows (i just cant tell the difference) this year. it was full of feathers and skeletons. quite sad, maybe the parents died. they have been here every year.
we also had a "blackbird" (i really dont know my breeds  :-[) nesting near them to for the first. they all choose the barn to nest in.  a proper stick nest this time.
how come wild birds love it here but when i bought some doves they disappeared at first opportunity?  :roflanim:
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 11:44:52 am by shygirl »

Factotum

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2013, 12:17:02 pm »
To tell them apart:

We get both swallows and house martins nesting here - the martins build their nests on the end of the house and in the outbuildings. The swallows only nest in the outbuildings - they don't like to be too close to humans, though they don't mind sharing with the cows.

If you watch them in flight - martins have a small white patch on their rump, swallows don't.
Here the martins tend to fly when feeding at house height or higher, the swallows swoop very low over the fields.

Sue

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2013, 12:22:55 pm »
I love having swallows staying for the summer, in spite of the copious guano deposited on everything in the barn.  They seemed slow to arrive and start nest building this year but soon got going. Bodger, the lovely moist contents of your pig pen probably made all the difference to nest building when the mud outside was rock hard.
 
I love the fact that the baby swallows aren't remotely bothered by having people just below their nests, and the adults get very annoyed when a person dares to get in their way as they fly back and forth so busily with beakfuls of daddy long legs and other insects.  Then there's the day those chubby youngsters which have been hanging over the edge of the nest decide to give flying a go.  They have such fun swooping about calling excitedly to each other.  makes me wish I could fly.   We have 6 or 7 nests here this year, in spite of the evil cat catching a parent early on, and at least two still have chicks in - one lot should fledge any minute, the other is a few days behind.
 
Shygirl - swallows nests look like mowhaugh's pic, with an open top, usually inside a building, and red fronted black and white babies.  Martins tend to nest outside the building, maybe under a gutter, and their nests are almost complete, with a single access hole right at the top.  Martins are black and white but have no red on.   We had a martin nest last year but they didn't make it back this time around.
 
Cross posted with Sue
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2013, 10:11:26 am »

I love the fact that the baby swallows aren't remotely bothered by having people just below their nests,

Ditto was farrowing a july birth and was aware of being watched, looked up and four little pairs of beady eyes satred back at me, 4 baby swallows all crouched together on the edge of their nest i have a picture somewhere. We have swallows in all our pig arks, byres & stables, have even seen a swift or two this year however we are plagued by starlings who have discovered the creep feed left behind by the piglets. There also seems to be loads of magpies this year and you can hear them cackling away in the trees. Swallows usually leave us mid sept. Autumn is my fave time of year too, nice and warm enuff to be outside working during the day but lovely to go in and cosy up of a chilly evening.
Mandy :pig:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2013, 12:04:27 pm »
Lovely  :)
 
This morning we were watching the brood which fledged yesterday being taught how to drink from the pond, on the wing.  It requires some accurate flying and they didn't always get it right so a couple had a good dunking but managed to get airborne again.  Very entertaining.  So just one more nest to fledge that we know of.   I worry so much about the really late broods which get left behind by the parents when mid-Sept comes around, and have to make their own way south.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2013, 03:03:46 pm »
One pair successfully nested in the new stable last summer on top of the light fitting ::) .  A pair raised a brood of 4 earlier this year :thumbsup: in the same place.  But over the winter OH put some pieces of cedar offcuts under the ridge timbers and now one is nesting there.  I hope she manages to raise them before flying off for the winter :-\ .  We now have a camera installed there so I can watch from a distance ;D .
The barn owls raised 2 chicks successfully  :excited: and will be leaving soon I guess.  I wonder how many hours I have 'wasted' watching them - not that I'm obsessed of course.

Bodger

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2013, 04:54:30 pm »
An update on those swallows, I took these pictures this afternoon.
 


 


 


 
A day or two should see them leave the nest.

Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2013, 05:55:06 pm »
Fantastic

Factotum

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2013, 07:17:11 pm »
Beautiful picture.

Read some info somewhere (can't remember where, sorry) that swallows & house martins return to the same place each year. So your original post title could be accurate - they really are your swallows.

It's nice to think that the same 'family' returns every year.

Sue

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2013, 07:27:36 pm »
To tell them apart:
 The swallows only nest in the outbuildings - they don't like to be too close to humans, though they don't mind sharing with the cows.
My house martins nested in four places in the eaves of my brand newly built house, even before teh roof was on - my builders had to chase them away and get the tiles on FAST!  But they also nested inside in my old falling apart at the seams stone barn - big double door had huge spaces round it.. Not many swallows in rural Aberdeenshire.

The main difference apart from theri flight pattern is that the swallow has a deep rusty-red chin patch and cream/buff under the wings when in flight. It's tail feathers (V shaped) tend to be a good bit longer too.  It has a more defined flight pattern (speedy, and swooping)  while the house martin tends to be more erratic and sort of fluttery.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Our swallows?
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2013, 10:55:35 am »
well for the last 5 yrs we have had housemartins nesting in the barn, now they are definately swallows in the same stable. today we had about 20 swallows chasing a lone housemartin around the garden, which might explain the abandoned nest full of dead chicks.

 

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