One of the nesting successes here this year has been the brood of swallows (family Hirundinidae) born in our wood shed. They love outbuildings like this and this is the first nest we have had since moving here exactly five years ago. The nest is secure from our cats which have had a dose of swallow mobbing to contend with. That won’t do them any harm.
I sneaked quietly into the wood shed shortly before they fledged to grab a couple of pictures – I will confess to being no wild life photographer and I did not wish to disturb the young – hence the slightly fuzzy shots. They were alert and ready to fly when these pictures were taken. A day later and out they went, enjoying the warn sunshine. There are four young in total, a bit of s squeeze in that nest to which they return to from time to time.
I hope this success together with the really good supply of insects this year will encourage the nesting pair to return again next year. In the meantime, we keep our distance, monitor carefully and protect the nest as best we can. It will be left in situ throughout the winter as swallows do resuse their old nesting sites. In the meantime, our winter supply of firewood is sitting outside getting wet instead of being stacked to dry in the wood shed! There is no way we could do any stacking whilst that nest was active and piles of firewood would put the nest at risk from predators. For more information, visit the RSPB web site at which has useful information on the legal status of swallows, how to encourage them to nest and how to rescue a broken nest should the unthinkable happen.