[2020] Arrival of Swallows and House Martins

  • 6th May and still no swallows, house martins or swifts yet in north Shropshire - where are they?! North and easterly winds kept them further south?
  • Saw approx 20 swifts in rural part of Glos today. Biggest group I have seen in about a decade. House martin count has suddenly jumped to about a dozen in the area as well. Swallows though are noticeable by their absence. Just seen two in total and they were a week ago.
  • We have only seen a pair of swallows but about half a dozen House Martins,  one pair nesting in the old nest under the eaves;   so far the House Sparrows are ignoring them but I did see a male House Sparrow try to sidle up to one of the Swallows on the overhead wire to try make it move.....  until the Swallow gave it a sharp warning by lunging at the sparrow  !    

    One question for Rob if you see this …….  guessing like other birds the Swallows courtship feed ?     that is what it appeared to be just before this photo was taken;   the Swallow on left had just landed and appeared to pass food to the other..    although can't be 100% sure as at that moment both heads were obscured ….    unless he ?   kept the insects for itself as the mate still has her ? bill open !   

    and the House Martin (one of the pair) is sitting cosy in the old nest 


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to MattMS:

    MattMS said:
    North and easterly winds kept them further south?

    I'm in Greater Manchester/Lancs and some have certainly made it up here. The dates I first saw them are

    Sand Martin: 16th March

    Swallow: 7th April - regularly seen the odd few since and half a dozen seen over a horse field today

    House Martin: just the one group seen on 21st April

    Swift: just one so far on 30th April 

    I wouldn't like to say if numbers are normal as I'm not doing anything normal to compare it to but those first sighting dates are still reasonably consistent with the past few years for me personally.


    Nige   Flickr

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Nice pics Hazy


    Nige   Flickr

  • We now have Swifts, Swallows and House Martins flying over our garden in South Suffolk and HMs are at the nests on my neighbours house but sadly no interest in the nests on my house. No pics yet as they are far too fast for me.



  • I tell a lie from my previous post, I thought I'd just captured brick walls. Not the best focused but its a start!



  • We have swifts, they've been around for a couple of days at least, possibly longer, though it's taken me a couple of days to get a partially usable pic to id them.


    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • We now have lots of swallows here at our house in Wiltshire, but they're so quick it's hard to count them. 3 pairs have definitely taken up residence, but I think a fourth pair is in the process of choosing a nesting site. Today and yesterday, we have been having swallow wars. It's like watching fighter pilots! They twist and turn in the air at great speed and yesterday I even heard them touch wings. It's incredible that they can do all that without hitting anything.
  • Swallows arrived here in the Cairngorms 5th May!