NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Swallows  (Read 720 times)

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Swallows
« on: July 15, 2017, 08:32:42 pm »
Twice over the past few days a swallow has had a go at me.  Both times she made repeated attempts.  She gets lined up from about 30m away and flies straight at my head, swerving to miss me when less than a metre away - every time I have been unable to stop myself ducking she came so close!  Yesterday she did the same to the cat which gave the cat quite a fright (and gave me quite a laugh!)

I have encountered Arctic Skuas doing this (which is intimidating considering they are so big) but never a swallow and I have never seen them come so close.  I know she will have a nest nearby but is this normal behavior for a swallow?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Swallows
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2017, 10:55:38 pm »
I had a summer of this when we converted a stable to a chicken house.  We blocked the door with a framed meshed door, and the window with a mesh grille, but left a gap at the top of the window for the swallows who nested in there.  They did use it, and did rear a brood successfully, but they were cross about it and made sure we knew that. :love:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Swallows
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2017, 11:57:55 pm »
We've not had swallows dive bombing us - ours are very laid back and don't seem to mind us working away quite close to them.  Our cat was a different case.  From the moment they arrived until they left, the swallows and the cat had a running battle.  They would repeatedly dive bomb her, coming just a few inches above her head.  Unfortunately she did catch a couple over the years but mostly they were more acrobatic than she was.   Cats are awful - she used to taunt the swallows by deliberately sitting on their path to and from the nest, washing her paws nonchalantly but in reality poised to burst into action and catch one.
The swallows number one enemy now is a pair of sparrow hawks, feeding their own nestlings.  We have seen them take a couple of young swallows from the air, and they have just had their second newly fledged blackbird - they are so vulnerable for the first 2 or 3 days after fledging.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Swallows
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2017, 11:44:21 pm »
I have a new shed in the last 5 years that have attracted 3 nests so far - but this year a couple which i think maybe a new pair are nesting for the second batch. (the other s have not reappeared)

This year I had the two (new) swallows land on each foot while i was sat down to colect nesting material that has made the most awesome nest I have ever seen.

Are they getting more forthright?

They seem to be almost coming in my window when they normally just play on the electric lines outside..

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Swallows
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2017, 07:13:42 am »
When I was living in a caravan 30+ years ago I could not leave the doors open otherwise there would be swallows inside.  It was not unusual for one to fly in one door and out the other while I was cleaning.  Often with pan pipe music playing..  I decided the music was an atractant for them.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Swallows
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2017, 12:20:31 pm »
I have windows and doors open in the house whenever it's not raining and swallows frequently come in.  It's always a bit of mayhem with the dogs trying to catch the swallows, and the swallows inevitably landing by the cacti, so catching them is an 'ouch' job.  What can end in disaster is if they fly into a shed when the door is open then can't get out.  We had that happen one year and didn't realise until we were clearing the shed and found a mummified swallow by the window  :(
www.scothebs.co.uk

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

PK

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • West Suffolk
    • Notes from a Suffolk Smallholding
Re: Swallows
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2017, 09:51:44 pm »
Last summer walking along a track, for about 100m swallows were swooping down and around me as I walked. I didn't think they were attacking me. In fact I felt a bit like Snow White when all the woodland creatures cooing and twittering around her. Obviously I don't have her looks, so when I described this to my bird watching brother he said it was likely that as I walked along I was disturbing/attracting insects and it was these that the swallows were swooping after.

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Swallows
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2017, 06:03:07 am »
Just like mowing the grass the tractor is escorted by our swallow population .

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Swallows
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 09:47:33 am »
This morning in the sunshine there are 40+ of this years brood sunning themselves on the roof of the steading, the chatter is incredible  , mums and dads singing replies as they pass down the yard .

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Swallows
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2017, 11:26:59 am »
Its amazing to watch isnt it = we have a few in other sheds but the shed i spend most my time in has, I think, four little heads and big bums poking out the nest - boy they grow up fast dont they.

Looking forward to seeing them fledge - I can clean up the poop ;)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Swallows
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2017, 11:47:30 am »
I love to watch the young ones learning to drink from our garden pond - they compete with each other and have such fun.
After a slow start to the swallow season, we have many nests here now, so the air is full of them.  There are also loads of flies, so that's a match made in heaven  ;D
www.scothebs.co.uk

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Swallows
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2017, 06:22:52 pm »
Ours dive bomb the cat, but aren't bothered about us.

We had a pair of them nesting just above our front door this year. Their nest fell off twice whilst they were building it, so I screwed some chicken wire up so they had something secure to attach it to. They're on their second brood now  :love: .
Experience is what you get just after you needed it.

penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Swallows
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2017, 06:35:25 pm »
Our 2nd brood are just leaving, got a photo on Monday and they were playing out on Tuesday, barn has rigid metal tubes  (for light cables running through), so it's ideal for their practise flights, then they spend a few nights all lined up on one.
Earlier this year, I'm sure it was September last year.

penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Swallows
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2017, 11:45:51 am »
Ours went Friday, barn seems a lonelier place without them. :(

 

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