Tuesday 12 July 2011

Surviving swallow

The sound of Sunday morning rain warranted a lie-in but by 7:30 the day was beckoning. I dressed and knelt down to peer out of the bedroom window at the nest of baby swallows, but it was gone. It had fallen 10 feet or so and 1 of the chicks was dead on its back. The other 2 occupants were face down in the nest, but breathing. 

Still raining, no sign of the parents, what to do? I scoured the shed and found a shoe-box size plastic shelving tray, strapped a board over the top, wedged the nest with a block of wood and an old sock. Finally a stick across the front to stop anything falling out then placed it on the nearest windowsill.

When the rain eased off the parents returned, 1 with its beak full of flies, and flew repeated sorties into the corner where the nest had been. Frustratingly they perched nearby but failed to look at my impromptu haven.

I got a laptop to the open window and played back the sound of baby swallows crying for food, but still they didn’t get the message. After 20 minutes of pressing the play button I gave up on the strategy and, feeling quite sad, took the dog for a walk.

But on my return what joy, there were the parents flying in and out with food and removing the poo sack. From the overlooking window I can see only 1 chick so I suspect the other must have died. Will it stay in the nest or will the parents throw it out?

In the meantime the 8 day old surviving swallow is getting lots of rations and parental care.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Huw,

    A distressing moment finding that downed nest :-o

    Re: http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/northwest/sites/history/pages/plasdduallt.shtml

    What are these marks at Plas Y Dduallt please?

    Thank you,