It’s your destiny

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…..



Swallow Update 06.06

It is hard to believe how quickly these birds have grown. I think that they might fledge tomorrow. Tonight we still have five nestlings. I shall do my very best to catch at least one of them take it’s first flight.

I have been so  lucky to have been able to watch this.

Three videos for you tonight but they are not very long. They are proper little birds now.

Swallow Update: 02.06

This is another five minute video. You have been warned. You get to see quite a lot of the nestlings as they are outgrowing the nest quite quickly. The video wouldn’t be so long but I didn’t want to move the tripod in case Treacle fell off, plus I like this kind of thing. Best watched full screen.

Aspen, an excitable tree.

Coming back through the fields yesterday we passed under a stand of Aspen (Populus tremula). The trees were extremely animated on a pretty still day. I turn the camera on an Oak here just to show that none of the other trees were making a fuss. I don’t think that any other tree can do this even in a storm.

Aspen tremble like this, or shimmer if you prefer because the leaf stalk is flattened and very flexible at the point where it joins the leaf

Eyes Wide Open

This is just going to be a quick Swallow update.

I was a bit concerned about them last night, they seemed very subdued. At one point mum came and sat on the nest with them for a good five minutes and didn’t seem interested in feeding them at all. Now I think she was maybe just putting them down for the night as mums sometimes do with little ones.

I have watched through a lot of video and we still have five healthy little Swallows and their eyes are all open now.

The nest is beginning to look quite crowded.

Treacle: Critical Update 25.05

Today Treacle got a little bit bigger.

That video was actually taken yesterday. He has been eating more nettles today but in a subtly different way. He wrapped a leaf around himself and then from inside he started to eat it from the bottom up. Now he almost looks like he is hanging from the stem of the nettle inside what is left of his leaf but he has got it wrapped tightly around him like a poncho and I can hardly see what he is up to.

Sneaky Treacle.

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