Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

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Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby Monika » Fri May 08, 2020 9:11 pm

We seem to have very very few swallows, swifts and house martins this year.The recent warm and fairly still weather should mean they are really active, but I have barely seen any so far. How are other places doing?
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Re: Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby Geoff » Fri May 08, 2020 10:51 pm

We had an early solitary swallow and it still remains so though my wife thought she spotted a second today. There is a sprinkling of house martins (is that a new collective noun?), we have had a mini flock of 6 about for a few days. A swift arrived on the 5th and two more a couple of days later though a friend in the village says both his boxes are occupied. There are very thin despite plenty of food for them like those strange black dangly flies whatever they are.
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Re: Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby Clive. » Sat May 09, 2020 7:46 am

Have seen a couple of swallows and the house martins here. Twice the martins were here in number but then seemed to disappear...heading on further north, maybe.? but no swifts as yet.

I saw a green woodpecker yesterday evening, which we don't see too often, having a tap at the electric pole two gardens along....

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Re: Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby HelenH » Sat May 09, 2020 7:48 am

This year we have had five swallows compared with just one pair last year. They nest in the stables next door to us.
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Re: Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby retropants » Sat May 09, 2020 9:02 am

We have a family of dunnocks this year, bobbing about the lawn. They are quite brave and let us walk past without panicking. This may not sound exciting, but I live near Heathrow, so we don't get many species here. We do get a woodpecker now and again, and the birdbath seems to bring all and sundry to our garden. Most of the other gardens along my road are just a rectangle of grass, mine is an tropical jungle. So we have nesting blackbirds and robins, collared doves, wood pigeons, wrens and goldfinch. I don't remember seeing any swifts or swallows I'm sorry to say.
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Re: Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby Johnboy » Sat May 09, 2020 10:38 am

Well three years ago we had 18 pairs of Swallows in the stable and barn and we think the number of young produced was in excess of fifty and since then the next year we got none and saw two Swallows on the power line last year which moved on and to date I have not seen a Swallow, Swift or House Martin but I understand there are Sand Martins down on the river but very depleated in numbers from previous years. I and on a seclusion order at present but I have masses of private lane to travel but I simply haven't seen what is really my favourite Summer Visitors. Summer is simply not the same without them
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Re: Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby tigerburnie » Sat May 09, 2020 10:41 am

We have Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins, no Swifts yet, as I can't go too far from home, no idea if the Ospreys are back yet, they should be.
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Re: Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby peter » Sat May 09, 2020 11:34 am

Cheap plastic netting from China is being used by the mile to trap migrating birds along the Mediterranean coast of Africa.
Hungry people are less discerning about s protein source than we are.
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Monika
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Re: Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby Monika » Sat May 09, 2020 11:48 am

Cheap plastic netting from China is being used by the mile to trap migrating birds along the Mediterranean coast of Africa.


That is awful, Peter, but I suppose it's a case of human survival.

Our house martins have virtually disappeared during the last few years and swallows and swifts have greatly decreased in numbers, but this year seems to be the worst ever when, as far as I can tell, nothing has changed locally, so, Peter, your comment could certainly be a contributing factor.
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Re: Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby oldherbaceous » Sat May 09, 2020 7:06 pm

There were 14 Swallows flitting about over the allotments this afternoon, so I was over the moon...
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Re: Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby Clive. » Sat May 16, 2020 7:38 pm

Just spotted a Swift... :)

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Re: Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby Primrose » Sat May 16, 2020 7:56 pm

We're still self isolating so haven't really been into our village where they congregate which is a few minutes walk away. So far however we've only seen a couple of swifts and no swallows or house martins. Quite a lot of comparatively modern houses around here so unfortunately not many suitable nesting sites for them.
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Re: Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby Monika » Sun May 17, 2020 12:12 pm

We have now counted two swallows and eight swifts - better than none but nothing like the numbers we used to get. Plenty of blackbirds, they are driving me crackers with digging up the vegetable beds in search for worms because we still have not had a drop of rain. Everything has to be covered with netting!
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Re: Swallows, swifts and house martins ......

Postby Primrose » Sun May 17, 2020 12:34 pm

We,re having the same problem with blackbirds and our patio pots Monika. Every morning there,s compost dug out and flipped all over the place. And we now have a pair of almost resident crows who are becoming almost tame and arriving several times daily to be fed
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