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Appletons Wildlife Diary – Swallows


words by Alex White

The Swallows have returned. The bird above is possibly an older male, who are the first to return to a nesting site. The females can be up to two weeks later in returning.

For as long as I can remember, each summer swallows have nested in my neighbours disused pig-sty.

I’ve spend many hours watching them darting across the field, over the gardens and in and out of the nest site. Each nest can take over 1000 trips of bringing in nest material.

Swallows that spend the summer in the UK, spend their winter in South Africa. Travelling up through the Sahara or following the West coast of Africa, through Spain, the Pyrenees and France.

Flying by day, finding food while they can, they can cover up to 200 miles per day, at speeds of between 17 and 22 mph.

It can be a dangerous journey, and many die from exhaustion and starvation so I’m always really excited to hear the tell tale sounds of their return.

Want to read more about the Swallows , follow the link to Alex’s blog

© Alex White / Appleton Wildlife Diary 2019

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