Back to the school run today – with a vengeance. Do I hate the internal combustion engine? YES! When the oil has been sucked from this whacky planet and cars and planes rust en masse all will be….quiet! But I transgress…..
I returned from the first school run, got the valet to park the auto and….got buzzed by a large swallow. I turned to see it zoom through the open barn window when a following swallow buzzed 2 foot overhead. Another 3 swallows were swooping and swerving over the garden as the first swallow exited the barn again to join the frolics. I spent the next 20 minutes, when I should have been working, transfixed like a tennis spectator at a 50-stroke rally watching the antics of our swallow compliment.
One week after the first swallow I can now report the state of swallowness at Great Bickering Farm…..2 swallows in the shed, 2 swallows in the garage and 5 swallows in the barn – now, my imaginative feeling is that there is one very lucky swallow in the barn.
I think I’m also pretty close to cracking what goes down in the first week of the swallows returning. The scout swallow arrives to check out the old homestead, kicks out the noisy pigeon neighbours and then goes and gets some fresh straw and mud for a comfortable new bed. Then, it’s a couple of raucous days, without the impending missus, buzzing around town, chatting up a few different birds and gorging on some very tasty morsels.
(There are 2 swallows who are so aerially frisky with the most contorted courtship that I fear for their safety)
When the others arrive they all put on a series of aerial pyrotechnics, obviously for the sake of us poor disadvantaged mortals, and after dark it’s constant carousing and rampant nookey. I’m not sure I could get 100 foot in the air after a heavy night in a dark barn but these energetic blighters can. Some neighbours we have here.