The swallows and house martins usually come around the 12th April. In the last couple of year they’ve been late and this year was no exception. I saw one Tullykevin Road on the 19th, but it was several days before they appeared around the house. What is more there were only about 8 breeding pairs. I talked to BD’s son WM and he said it was the same around his farm. We rather felt it was a little worrying. A few weeks ago when we were back from Denmark, I did see a couple of swifts. We have very few of them, so that was encouraging.
This afternoon I wanted to walk up to the Walled Garden to do some weeding and on my way out of the conservatory I was greeted by a lot of noise from a huge flock of swallows and house martins. It looked like the air was alive. You could see them congregating on any flat surface around the house.
As many birds mate for life I was wondering if this was a gigantic party, where young swallows and house martins find their mates. The parents are still feeding young ones in their nests under the eaves of the house. I can count at most 42 in my pictures, not bad going if I was right about 8 breeding pairs. Who knows how many will leave Ballywalter Park when the time comes?