Simon asked about swallows in the guestbook so I did some research. Their longer name is barn swallows and they like to live along side people – in houses, sheds, or barns.
Five interesting facts about barn swallows:
Until the late 19th century, swallows were thought to hibernate under water; now we know that British swallows spend the winter in South Africa.
The trip between the northern breeding areas and southern Africa usually takes a couple of months but one bird flew 12000 km from Johannesburg to Russia in just 34 days.
Swallows often nested in chimneys before the advent of central heating.
European female swallows incubate the eggs by themselves but in North America males and females share this task.
A brood of swallows will have eaten some 150000 insects by the time they fledge.
Simon also said something that was not true. In fact it is the swift (a bird similar to a swallow) that never lands on the ground and spends most of its life flying.
I have not been able to find out anything about them flying for 3 or 4 years, and I can’t see why they would since they only migrate for a season.
I think Swallows have got it about right. They are leaving about now, just as the UK gets cold and wet, and are going to Africa for the winter. They will be back again in the spring.