Every Spring heralds in a mood of optimism and anticipation as we await the return of our ‘carport swallows’. We try to quell our anxiety if they are late and delight in the first sighting of what is usually a lone bird on the wire above the patio. It is soon joined by the other arrivals.
Once they have spring-cleaned and repaired the previous year’s nest or built a new one from scratch we leave them alone to do what they have to do and watch from a distance in order to gauge when the hatchlings first appear. We never tire of watching the first hesitant sorties of the fledglings from the nest and have only once intervened when a novice flier landed in the middle of the garden pond and could not work out how to escape back to safety. We feel like proud parents ourselves when one, two and, sometimes, three broods are raised successfully.
All too soon, it seems, the birds start to gather on the wires, preparing for their long and, we imagine, treacherous migration. It is always a sad moment when we realise they have all finally gone and the skies are devoid of swallows once again.
Posted by Terri Clarke