Every year from March these beautifully graceful fliers arrive from Southern Africa to breed on these shores, only to make the long and dangerous journey back to the sunshine around October.
After the cold winter months, the first Swallow of the spring is always a momentous day and a sign that warmer weather is just around the corner.
I get a lot of satisfaction from watching Swallows...Their mesmerizing aerial displays can leave you almost in a hypnotic state and trying to second guess which direction these supremely fast birds will take next is a task nigh on impossible!
Sadly, Swallows like so many of our migrant birds are in decline in the UK and a major factor is the same old story...Loss of habitat.
Thankfully this is not the case at a farm down the road from my home...
This farm offers perfect surroundings for these lovely birds and the farmer, I'm pleased to say cares very much about the plight of the birdlife on his land.
Every year Swallows return to this farm in large numbers and nest in the barns and outbuildings.
They are a familiar and very welcome sight during the summer months, swooping low across the fields and resting briefly on telephone lines...
I'm pleased to say that this year appears to be another bumper season for my local Swallows, with plenty of young despite some losses to the local Little Owls.
Modern building techniques don't really do much to help Swallows and new building regulations now insist on vents covering the soffits which have traditionally been used by the birds.
Fortunately our local farmer is only too aware of this problem and all his buildings have plenty of access points for the Swallows.
I payed a brief visit yesterday morning to see how this years batch of youngster were getting on and I was very pleased to see these fledglings at the side of the farmhouse...