First swallows/hirondelles

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First swallows/hirondelles

Post by Myriam on Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:49 pm

Yesterday I saw two swallows flying around the manor house opposite our house. In Dutch, there is a saying: "One swallow doesn't make it summer", but I saw two  Very Happy !

And we also heard a short-toed snake-eagle at a friend's house in the woods, which is supposed to be rare in the Limousin:-

http://www.eaglewatch.nl/roofvogels/Accipitres/Accipitidae/Accipitrinae/Slangenarend/Index.html
Plenty of snakes to feed on in the neighbourhood  affraid .
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Short toed snake eagle

Post by Inkflo on Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:54 pm

Well that's answered a question for me Myriam.
We saw one of these a few years back perched on a barn door, and I thought it was a Perigrine falcon.
This year, we've also heard this sound, and wondered what it was. Now we know, Thanks.
For anyone who would like to hear the call of this bird, here's the link
http://www.planetofbirds.com/accipitriformes-accipitridae-short-toed-snake-eagle-circaetus-gallicus

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Re: First swallows/hirondelles

Post by peirol on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:41 pm

And yesterday I heard my first cuckoo of spring!

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Re: First swallows/hirondelles

Post by Le-Dolly on Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:02 pm

peirol wrote:And yesterday I heard my first cuckoo of spring!

I heard one on Monday whilst working, at the very same moment that a bl00dy big snake wriggled out of the nettles and over my foot. Surprised

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Re: First swallows/hirondelles

Post by Myriam on Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:11 pm

The big ones are not usually poisonous.
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Re: First swallows/hirondelles

Post by Amber on Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:44 pm

Easy for you to say! lol! 

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Re: First swallows/hirondelles

Post by Le-Dolly on Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:51 pm

Myriam wrote:The big ones are not usually poisonous.
You may well be right, but in this case 'twas an adder.

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Re: First swallows/hirondelles

Post by maryr on Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:07 pm

thought you might find this article interesting
Number of returning swallows in decline

The iconic Irish swallow is on the decline due to the widening of the Sahara, soaking Irish summers, and human hunters, according to a leading bird expert.

On top of dodging nature’s predators during their epic 9,500km journey from Africa every spring, swallows have to run the gauntlet of gunmen shooting them for sport as they cross Cyprus and Malta on the migratory flyways of the Mediterranean.

Niall Hatch of Birdwatch Ireland said fewer swallows are returning to Ireland to nest each spring after their journey from wintering grounds in Johannesburg.

He said: “We’re seeing declines in the swallow. They are nowhere near the numbers they used to be years ago. Their arrival date seems to be getting earlier, which would point to climate change having an effect on migration and the survival of the chicks seems to be a bit lower. The Sahara desert is getting wider each year and more arid, and fewer can survive the crossing.

“There is nowhere for them to rest or drink or feed. They have to get across in one go and fewer are making it each time.

“There are also lots of human hunters out in Egypt, Malta, and Cyprus. They catch the birds in big numbers. A lot of it is just for fun. In places like Malta and Cyprus, it is appalling because it is flouting EU law and affecting our migratory birds.”

Mr Hatch said wet Irish summers also mean the birds have fewer flies to feed on before they leave.

While the estimated swallow population is half a million, he said the population is on a “knife-edge” and, on average, a pair that nests successfully raise 100 chicks but 98 will die.

To log swallows, swifts, or cuckoos in your area see: www.springalive.net
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved
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Re: First swallows/hirondelles

Post by STINKY1207 on Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:35 pm

We have always had the swallows feeding over our courtyard in the early evenings but none have ever shown any nesting tendencies on our property. Today I surprised a pair under the eaves of the barn. Fingers crossed they decide that this is a des res. (well I did!)

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Re: First swallows/hirondelles

Post by Myriam on Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:52 pm

We've got something nestling in the eves in between the ardoises and the wood timbers, but have not seen a birdie yet, just their poo... They're welcome, if they are clever enough to avoid our cats x3.
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Re: First swallows/hirondelles

Post by redburmese on Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:48 pm

Lots sit on our village telephone and electric wires each year ,i think they like all the empty barns round here
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Re: First swallows/hirondelles

Post by Tony H on Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:11 pm

We used to have lots.. regular visitors, and then about 3 years ago a late cold spell killed all the insects and they disappeared. Only a few now which goes to show that they often return to the same area. Hope we get some new ones. I do miss them even if they did do the occasional lap of the kitchen via the open door.

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Re: First swallows/hirondelles

Post by Myriam on Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:27 pm

Amber wrote:Easy for you to say! lol! 

You may say that, Amber, but as you may remember, our cat BBQ came into the kitchen twice (through two cat flaps) with a live viper aspic. I've never cried so loud in my life for my husband to come and he managed to get it to wriggle itself into a bucket with the aide of a poke for the wood burner. I put a lid on it and out it went.

Our beloved BBQ isn't alive anymore, but I will never forget these episodes. The first time he got bitten and was in quarantaine for 3 days at the vet's, he only just survived. One day after he recovered I opened the cat flap so he could go out again and within 15 minutes he returned home and brought the bugger back into the kitchen as to say: This was the one that bit me!" RIP BBQ  I love you I love you I love you .
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