The Swallows have fledged, or at least they are fledging. They are still in the nest today but they have been out and they can fly.
It has taken me a few days watching and all that you get are a couple of short video’s but for me, my understanding and the pleasure that I got from watching them makes a few days just a drop in the ocean. It was time well spent.
Anyway you should be glad that you don’t have to watch the whole twenty hours of video, that I now have to sort and delete from my machine to free up space.
Here are the best bits.
Yesterday morning there were five birds on the nest, there were five birds on the nest and then there were four birds on the nest. I had missed the very first flight and only realised when number five returned to the nest.
This first video starts with the mother calling for them to leave the nest, there is a little comic interlude of the way that they follow flies, their little heads bobbing in unison and in the last bit the second bird to approach the nest is the returning chick. Does he bring food back or do the others just think that he has?
This next video shows them leaving the nest and returning. They spent most of the day fluttering around inside the little alley way that has become their home and by the end of the day they were all settled back on the nest but this is fledging. Today I think that they have ventured outside and seen the blue sky but they still return to the nest.
These birds have made me think a lot about nature as a whole thing and about life and death in the wild. The caterpillars that I am trying to raise are falling to the parasitoid flies that these Swallows depend on for food and survival. The parents have done a really good job of raising them given the wet weather we have been having. I have often looked out in the pouring rain and wondered how they are managing to raise a brood and now this, flight.
I am so in in love and in awe of them and so damned jealous.
I am jealous because they get to eat those delicious crunchy flies, or perhaps because they can raise offspring in a matter of weeks and not the 26 years it usually takes us. Maybe I am jealous of something else altogether…..