Date: 2015-08-07 11:10:44 | Category: Bird Protection | Author: David Cole
If it’s not one thing then it’s another…..

Delighted to see our swallows (hirundo rustica) have returned from their 6,000 mile winter holiday in South Africa – not so pleased to see that this week they have selected a security light for the base of a nest for the year.

Usually we do not intrude in our guests nesting selections, but this time it will be necessary – the lights get extremely hot when they are on – and the swallow's presence will ensure that the sensors switch them on. Too hot for safe nesting – a brood of gently braised nestlings is not something that I want to think about.


So, up the ladder, secure a flat bracket to the same surface a couple of feet away and move the started nest over – then stand well back and hope that they have accepted the relocation. (Mrs C is quick to point out septuagenarians and ladders are not always a good idea – but ‘needs must’ as granny said!)

Parent swallows feed a wide variety of insects to their nestlings — including wasps. Flies are certainly favourites, particularly for first broods. Eight out of every 10 insects eaten are flies. Surprisingly, most are large including greenbottles, bluebottles and horseflies. So they are doubly welcome!

Yes, I know they do make a real mess below the nest sites – but a large sheet of cardboard or plastic sheeting can easily be cleared away – and it is a small price to pay for having these international guests for a few months.