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
"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.
In reply to HAZY:
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
I now have (half decent) photos of swifts in flight.
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