Swallow, Swift and Martin watch!


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I saw lots of swallows at Lake Whatcom in Washington state USA last week, none in UK. Parents who live in the Borders have House Martins but no swallows. No swifts to be seen.



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two arrived today sat on the power lines warming their feet , only 2 deg C and wind chill minus something or other , I think this global cooling is to blame.


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I heard a cuckoo tonight and saw a few bonxies last week. Just the terns and corncrakes to go. Cold Northerly wind here but bright and dry


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I heard a cuckoo tonight and saw a few bonxies last week. Just the terns and corncrakes to go. Cold Northerly wind here but bright and dry
Here near Southport 'our' pair of swallows that nest in our garage both arrived on 15th April, almost a month earlier than is usual ! They have been busy renovating their old nest since arriving. The first egg was layed on Sunday!
Incidentally, I was stalking last Thursday in Eskdalemuir and heard my first cuckoo !
ATB, 'Camodog'


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Finally some swallows at a farm maybe 10 miles from here but still low numbers and very late. Two House Martins also buzzed the house and then seemed to disappear they may be back tomorrow - no swifts, no cuckoo, heard a curlew on the same farm as the swallows.
We seem to have raised at least two broods of Greylag on our pond and possibly a brood of Canadas.


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Well it’s finally summer!! Our sqeekies (swifts) are back home entertaining us with their acrobatics and seeking!!
Not sure why they bothered it’s been flipping wet out there!!


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We’ve only had one swallow return so far this year did a bit of research and found this very disturbing.
Bird Trapping in Egypt and Libya


Egypt and Libya are located on the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and thus situated on internationally important migration routes for birds travelling between their breeding grounds in Eurasia and their wintering sites in Africa. Each spring and autumn, many millions of birds make the journey across the Mediterranean, including large proportions of the world populations of many European migrants.

On the African-Eurasian flyway, 64 (34%) of the 188 passerine migrants are in decline. Major declines have been detected in iconic species such as Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), Eurasian Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) and European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur), whilst species such as Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) and Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) have suffered massive reductions in distribution and are already missing from large swathes of their former ranges.

The hunting of migratory birds in Egypt is an ancient practice that has endured for centuries and has developed into a significant socio-economic activity in the region, particularly in rural areas. It has been estimated to involve hundreds of thousands of people supporting a variety of groups at both subsistence and livelihoods levels.

The primary quarry species is Quail (Coturnix coturnix), but the nature of the hunting techniques is indiscriminate, resulting in a wide range of other migrant species also being caught. Trapped birds are offered as a delicacy for human consumption via markets and in restaurants across Egypt.

Some smaller species of birds of prey such as Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) and Merlin (Falco columbarius) are attracted by the already trapped songbirds and become entangled themselves. Larger falcons, such as the Saker (Falco cherrug) and Peregrine (Falco peregrinus) are also caught for falconry in significant numbers, using specialized trapping techniques.

Methods, Scale and Legal Status of Bird Trapping

In 2012, several local and international media outlets published articles documenting an apparent increase in potentially unsustainable trapping practices along Egypt's Mediterranean coast; evidence emerged that such practices extended along around 700 kilometres of Egypt’s Mediterranean coastline (approx. three quarters of the coast) and the far eastern part of the Libyan coast with up to three rows of fine-mesh trapping nets set contiguously. These nets are very difficult for many migrants to avoid as they form a barrier across their flight path.

Many species tend to fly low at the trapping sites due to having crossed either the Mediterranean Sea (in autumn) or the Sahara (in spring), while looking for a place to rest. Although there have been a variety of estimates as to the number of birds caught in these nets, no scientific research has been conducted during the last decade to assess the actual scale of trapped birds.

Additional illegal traps are also used; including the munsaab, a trap composed of grass or sticks in a tent like structure to catch ground-dwelling birds seeking shelter (quail, larks, wheatears, corncrakes etc.), and eb nets where trees and scrub are covered in large mist nets to catch perching species. Other trapping methods include the use of lime, a sticky substance smeared on small branches that are attached as prominent perches to bushes and shrubs. The lime adheres to the feathers of passerines and prevents them flying away. Falcons are trapped for trade using live bird lures and hunting with guns has become more prevalent in recent years.

Different species of birds are hunted in Libya, either by trapping, such as Quail, Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus), doves, falcons for falconry and trade, shooting ducks, medium-sized waders, Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) and herons or by falconry for Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata).

Hunting regulations are considered out of date and not enforced. Moreover, guns and traps are sold without license and a notable increase in unregulated shooting has been recorded since the political uprising in 2011.

The scale and indiscriminate methods used in today’s hunting activities, particularly in the context of wider threats, such as extensive habitat destruction and climate change, is considered potentially unsustainable and could, in fact, already be affecting many African-Eurasian migrants at the population level. A comprehensive and regular monitoring programme is required to assess and disseminate data on the scale of trapping along the Mediterranean coasts of Egypt and Libya.

While certain forms of bird trapping are already illegal in Egypt and there are statutory requirements in place to regulate mist netting (such as minimum distances between nets and maximum stipulated heights), the enforcement of such regulations has become an increasingly difficult task due to regional instability, supplemented by the lack of capacity for law enforcement and awareness of the potential impacts.


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Well, what a treat. We had a few swallows appear over us last evening, here in North Cornwall. Nothing special you might think-- but we never had a sighting at all last year. Pleased to say they're back again this morning:thumb::tiphat:


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We have NO resident swallows at this location.
The odd swallow seen at something like weekly intervals but nothing where they used to nest.
No resident house martins and we still have four old nests under the eaves. Last spring (May time) I was watering the soil near the yard so that the birds could use the mud for their nests, as elsewhere it was so dry. I counted approximately 30 birds collecting mud from the puddles at one time with the same number circling above, literally a 'cloud' of them.

I have no idea where they have gone but almost none here as I type.
On the bright side I can hear greylags calling from the pond down the field, I wont go down there until June/July, give them chance to get a brood off.


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We have a swallow looking to nest in the steel framed building in the yard, it came this morning so will advise if any progress.


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Swifts returned to my patch last weekend, great to see and hear them, it's the sight & sound of summer for me


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Tonight the sky was full of house martins - I counted 12, the swallow is starting a nest and amazingly a swift at a high altitude.
A month late at least - what is going on ?


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Our swallows are back at the nests in the bird hide at the bottom of the garden, fresh **** on the bench seat, LOL

A fortnight ago most of the pink footed geese had gone but then another lot appeared last weekend approx 1000, and last night I was up putting them off the spring barley, hopefully with the moon making as it is they should go by the end of the week. I doesn't leave them a lot of time for breeding and returning in September, even allowing for the longer daylight hours up there.

Plenty eider ducks at the burn at the bottom of the garden too, the last couple of days with it being calm you could hear them cooing away in the small hours.

Osprey going back and fore with fish inland most evenings and plenty of Chiff Chaffy birdies giving it laldy up behind the farm.

Not seen any swifts yet.




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Swifts today on the old winchelsea ( cliff road) road from Hastings at least 10 of em

Spring is gradually arriving :)


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Saw my first swift of the year today. Lots of swallows as usual, some house hunting in our kitchen yesterday!