The swallows returned this morning and bought a fabulously sunny day with them. It is such a delight to see them cartwheeling around Dodpen and over the valley again, and what a journey they have been on since we last saw them.
It will only be a few weeks before they are lining their ‘mud cup’ nests with turkey feathers. It is the same every year. Typically they spot a feather on the ground and do a ‘fly past’ to assess it, and then it’s a quick low swoop to pick it up without landing. The swallow immediately climbs quite high before dropping the feather and letting it float down towards the ground. Then with lightning speed and in mid-flight, it grabs the feather again, but this time in a more appropriate position. The turkey feather is then taken off to line the swallow’s nest and provide comfort and warmth for its chicks. Recycling, is not a modern thing, nature has been doing it for years.
These acrobatics are just ‘poetry in motion’, utterly brilliant, and I have enjoyed many an hour watching this aerial ballet being played out in our fields……
Returning swallows, are always for me one of the year’s milestone events, a positive sign of things to come…..