|Swallow feeding fledged young (c. J. Fox)|
Every year we end up discussing the summer migrants and how they are faring, a bit like discussing the weather, its a kind of Irish thing.
We tend to advise caution on subjective assessments based on just the personal experience of a few folk. However, Swift watchers are reporting less birds from known haunts,and they are noway near as widespread as Swallows. They have of course departed for Africa at this stage, on of the first to leave our inky skies for the African winter. Seeing and hearing them in numbers in say the old perched villages of the south of France, I always feel that our migrant Swifts draw a short straw or something, heading into such an uncertain season that is the Irish summer.
Swallows are still here, beginning to gather on wires, I wouldn't expect any solid migration movements until mid September and onwards, so this is a good time to take stock: I reckon the late brood is all important for a good return on the breeding season: it was a pretty mixed/poor summer, weather wise.
Quite a few people e mailed us to air their suspicions about a lack of numbers around farmyards and buildings. However, recent Atlas results reveal they occur in 98% of survey squares, certainly one of the most widespread breeding birds we have.
|2 Young await a nourishing feed (c.J Fox)|
I would be happy to get local opinion, news of Swallows in your area, 2015, and now is the time to check around telegraph wires and sheds!