Where have the Swallows gone ?

This is our 4th spring in our current house and every year we have always had a lot of swallows flying around and a few nesting in our outbuilding. Last April we were pleased to see them return, however, after just a few days they disappeared and we have barely seen a single swallow flying around, certainly not even one nesting, why is this, where have they gone and why ?

  • Yes, definitely fewer in this area this year. The same appeared the case for house martins, but they turned up late and seem to have over Wintered and migrated ok, at least here. Swifts (the few there are) seem to be similar in number.

    Re your swallows, has there been any change to the surrounding area? New estate built? Breeding conditions should have been good for much of UK last Summer, so very concerning the population appears to be down this year.
  • Could it be the declining insect population is beginning to kick in and some areas no longer have a sustainable food source so they have to go elsewhere? I still have swallows this year but I live in a very rural area
  • Decline of insects is definitely a factor. However, you'd think that same factor would have a similar effect on all other species reliant on flying insects. I'm not sure they had a good breeding season last year despite the weather being ideal. Would be interesting to know that as I know house martins did ok here last year in the end......compared to previous recent years. Weather was perfect for them.