28 Sep 2015

Late swallows - NOT amateur radio

Eating lunch at the Maid's Head
Today we went for a walk around Wicken Fen and afterwards we ate at the "Maid's Head" in Wicken  village. In 1982 this thatched pub was badly damaged by fire but it was beautifully restored. Wicken is a lovely sleepy village with nice greens.

We went all around the boardwalk route at Wicken Fen and got back in the car when we saw 4 swallows overhead and quite close. This is, I think, the latest time I've seen swallows up here in East Anglia. I have seen them much later in Devon, but most have gone south by now. There are usually some late younger birds at Wimpole Hall but the latest I saw these was Sept 21st.

As I get older, I wonder if this will be the last time I ever see a swallow in my lifetime? Hopefully I shall be around for their return next spring and for many springs to come, but there is something comforting in knowing this cycle will be going on long after I am just dust.

See  http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/s/swallow/  .


John said...

Hello Roger.
Pleased to note your interest in bird life and the wonders of migration.
There are still lots of Swallows and House Martins here in North Wales. They are likely to be second brood.
The latest I recorded a swallow in North Wales was on the 5th November 2013.
That said, one over-wintered near Colwyn Bay last year, but I am not sure of its fate in early spring. I lost track of it after the turn of the year.
John - GW3OIN.

Roger G3XBM said...

Thank you John. I am very much a "fair weather birder" but always on the lookout for the bird migrants returning from Africa. My heart screams with the swifts when they make it back!

Roger G3XBM said...

You seem to hang on to these migrants much longer than we do John. I heard stories of swallows over wintering in Cornwall and living off insects near seaweed but not sure if this (these?) bird survived all they way through the winter. As we get milder I guess some will decide to stay.