A congregation of Swallows .

By

As I approached the church next door I heard a sound ..not exactly singing as such but thought should take a look.

As I stepped inside the porch and looked up it was certainly music to my ears ..

Of course as soon as they saw me it went very quiet ..one s inquisitiveness got the better of him I wondered how many more ?

Two..

Three ..

Four – as they could hear parent bird approaching the sound got louder and they got bolder ..

Feed me ..feed me now ! Wheres number 4 ?

At first parent bird was a bit wary of me .. flew in and out chattering but need to feed soon out weighed those concerns.

..and of course Number 4 wasn t forgotten .

Finally with four youngsters in such a small space ..housework is essential.

They say one swallow doesnt make a summer .. but this little group sure made mine !

One week on ..what a difference 7 days make .

All fully feathered and almost ready to fledge.

Still shouting the odds .

Despite frequent showers parent birds still delivering the goods.

Have you forgotten me ? Last of the 4 to fledge ..others receiving flight and feeding instructions.

Excuse the mess ..sorry we ve been untidy tenants but we have a long way to go and time is of the essence !

See you next year ..

Comments

5 Sep, 2010
And_kids_057
mactumpshie said:

great photos jane .you beat me with your three tenors .

5 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Lol Mac...I remember your two and a half tenors at Edinburgh Zoo !!

5 Sep, 2010
015
aster said:

What a lovely find Jane,they'll certainly be more housekeeping for someone who has to clean the floor ! :)

5 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Thanks Aster...you are not joking...it was about an inch deep ! Lol

5 Sep, 2010
Dipper
david said:

Fantastic blog and pics, Jane - loved the "build up" to all those gaping beaks. They look like they are really singing for their supper!! Great find - Many Thanks for that discovery, and sharing with us. :-)))

Have felt compelled to nominate this magnificent blog for Birdpedia "Summer Migrants" page, so you better get OH onto that pronto!!! :-D)

PS I really like the term "congregation" of swallows, too :-))

5 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Thanks David..remembered your blog back in June at your parents..these have left it so late.Hope they all make it ! Thanks for nomination...will sort it immediately !!!

5 Sep, 2010
Dipper
david said:

You're very welcome!! :-))

The trailer at my parents all quiet, now. Lots of these birds seen on overhead telephone wires, now. Hope "my" wee ones are among them.

6 Sep, 2010
Fulmar_cropped
bulbaholic said:

So these are current pictures then, Jane? I thought that you had taken them during the summer!
Most of our swallows have already gone south and I expect that the rest will be away within the week.:-(

6 Sep, 2010
Dscf8283
deida said:

Thanks Jane .what a lovely blog, great pics
I also like your local church.

6 Sep, 2010
Photo-0003_29
sixpence said:

Wonderful blog Jane I bet that little choir were singing.

. Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God's own temple, come;
Raise the song of harvest home!

2. We ourselves are God's own field,
Fruit unto his praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown
Unto joy or sorrow grown;
First the blade and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear;
Grant, O harvest Lord, that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

6 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Yes Bulbaholic...I only took these photos at the weekend.Most of the swallows around here have gone....so this is a testing time...especially as the weather is set to turn quite bad tomorrow.....
Thank you Deida...the church was built in the 13th century...and still has the original beams !
The Harvest festival hymn ! Thank you for bringing back memories Sixpence !! :o)

6 Sep, 2010
015
aster said:

Oh memories of harvest festival ! I can smell it now :) All the fruit and veg we children took to church.
Then they had to spoil it and we could only take in tins and packets in case anyone became ill !!!!

6 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Crazy isnt it Aster...I used to love seeing the freshly baked loaves of bread baked in the shape of wheatsheaves !!

6 Sep, 2010
015
aster said:

Yes Jane the displays were really creative. I don't know why I liked it so much as it did herald winter really !

6 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

I know what you mean Aster...think it was just the celebration of a wonderful harvest myself.Nowadays looks more like a celebration of supermarket shelves ! Lol

6 Sep, 2010
Photo-0003_29
sixpence said:

Your welcome Jane, on the rspb site it s asking if any one can see where swifts nests to get in touch read this last month, not sure if you have to notify them or another site.

6 Sep, 2010
P1220732
bonkersbon said:

Thanks Sixpence...will get Jane to check it out........

6 Sep, 2010
Dipper
david said:

Harvest Festival sponsored by Tesco Well, Every Little Helps - and with clubcard points, too!?Not here, it ain't!! Real produce, with lovely Autumn colours, fruits, cereals, and berries, which we can enjoy as much as our feathered friends. It is just a short hop, skip and jump to Christmas, with its ivy, holly, mistletoe, etc., and then but a short flight to Spring - and we start all over again!!! But, our lovely birds don't see it like this - always something to attract the crowds in Mother Nature's Superstore - open 24/7, 52/52, 12/12...Gosh, I can't get my bird-brain round the figures!! Lol!

7 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Agree with everything you say David !! At this ancient church they still celebrate in the traditional way you mention...but sadly many churches in the town have chosen the road of tins etc....an indicement of the times Im afraid.
"My" swallows are frantically flying to and fro trying to bring this late brood on as quickly as possible...will continue to monitor them as best I can..

7 Sep, 2010
Image
gillblair said:

jane, these are really great pics...love the story they tell as i scrolled through the pics
looks like there being well cared for by mum...let us know how they all get on

love the old church aswell...they picked a great place to set up home

7 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Thanks Gill..they did pick a good place..quiet and secluded..very late to fledge..Will update as they progress ! The parents are trying so hard...........

9 Sep, 2010
Dscf8283
deida said:

The migrant bird,in winter fled,
shall come again with spring,and build in this same shady tree;
By secret wisdom surely led,
Homeward across the clover-field
Hurries the honey-bee

9 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Aww Deida....just in from work and found this...it is a lovely verse..and so full of hope. Did you write it? Thank you so much........

9 Sep, 2010
Dscf8283
deida said:

Sorry Jane no such talent.but Iam glad you like it..
It is part of another harvest song..

9 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

What is the song called Deida please ?

9 Sep, 2010
Dscf8283
deida said:

Jane
The song is called
How wonderful this world of thine,
it is sung to a tune called (Manna)
and written by F.Pratt Green (1903)

9 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Well well Deida...just done a search and it turns out that F.P Green served as rector at a church 5 miles away from us...in a seaside town called Filey. He also was chaplain at a girls boarding school in a village 4 miles away !! What a small world ! Thank you for the information....

11 Sep, 2010
Dscf8283
deida said:

well well.. amazing..it is a small world
just had a look myself .very interesting..

11 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

I thought so too Deida ! Just a quick update on this brood of swallows.Took a peek and all babies fully feathered...doing well and due to leave nest sometime between Tuesday and Friday of next week ! Fingers crossed .......

11 Sep, 2010
Dscf8283
deida said:

Thats great news Jane
thanks for update

12 Sep, 2010
015
aster said:

Looking good,they've been wonderful parents :)

12 Sep, 2010
Image
gillblair said:

love the new pics jane...good too hear their doing well...

13 Sep, 2010
Dipper
david said:

Many, Many Thanks for the update pics here and in the photo gallery, Jane. Their parents have done them proud!!

13 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Thanks Aster Gill and David....just popped in to look after work this afternoon and all babies lined up out of nest on the ledge ! Despite heavy rain here all day parents continue to feed them regularly and look set for the off soon. Sure,like me,you will all wish them well !! Talking to the church verger at the weekend...this is their second brood this year and they have been returning every year for as long as he can remember !!!

13 Sep, 2010
015
aster said:

Aww that's even better then Jane,they obviously have it timed down to the last minute :))

13 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

They do Aster. I will be checking daily now and so will be able to see when they finally go.Only 3000 miles to negotiate.......Amazing !

13 Sep, 2010
Dipper
david said:

Certainly do wish them well!!! Great news that you should be able to see these beautiful birds next year, too. :-))

13 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Thank you David...love the new avatar !!! Given the ospreys are also heading to Africa...would be good to think of them meeting up with my swallows too !! :o)

19 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

At approximately midday today the last of the juvenile swallows fledged.They are currently circling the churchyard with parents probably dreaming of warmer weather to come .. wish them well on their journey.

19 Sep, 2010
015
aster said:

That's brilliant news Jane.I was only thinking about them this morning as it's been a few days since your last comment on them.
Good to know they are building up their muscles for their maiden flight.I wish them a safe journey and hope you see them next summer :))

19 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Thanks so much Aster.If you take a look at my last pic on the blog...there is a nice job for the verger before the evening service at 6 !!! Lol....

19 Sep, 2010
015
aster said:

Aww nice one Jane :)) The verger will be glad they've flown the nest too !!
Love the little face on the last one to fledge,I think he'll remember you next year :)

19 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Lol Aster ! That sweet little face looked straight at me then about 5 minutes later one of the parents called it and off it went ! Have really enjoyed following their progress and will miss them a lot.......

19 Sep, 2010
Image
gillblair said:

Aww jane so glad they all fledged safely...bet you ll miss them now there gone...wouldnt like the clean up job though... Lol

19 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Thanks Gill...had a bit of a lump in my throat I must admit when the last one flew out ! Clean up job was done by 4pm this afternoon (but not by me ) ! Lol

20 Sep, 2010
Dscf8283
deida said:

Farewell little Swallows..have a save journey.looking forward to seeing you back in spring.
So glad they have made it Jane
thanks for a wonderful Blog (Pictures)

22 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Aww thanks Deida....I really enjoyed following their progress....and was scared at first they had left it too late !! Must have set off now...none flying in the skies today.........

22 Sep, 2010
Dscf8283
deida said:

None here ..left us 2 days ago..empty sky...
sob. sob..

22 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

I know Deida..bitter sweet feelings..truly the end of summer.Wish them all well........such a long journey ahead....

22 Sep, 2010
Dscf8283
deida said:

bless..

22 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

:o)

25 Sep, 2010
Img_0138_1
robashfield said:

Brill blog Jane!loved it.

25 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Aww thanks Rob...all gone now and making their way to Africa ! Fingers crossed..:o)

28 Sep, 2010
001_1_
janette said:

Love all the latest photo,s glad the,ve all gone maybe the,ll pass 29 on their flight to africa.....

28 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Thank you Janette..now theres a lovely thought........

30 Sep, 2010
Dscf8283
deida said:

Red Rumped Swallow

Swallow warbles ,
chirrup,chirrup,
swooping low,
steers the air.
Graceful,slender,
long wing tilting,
snaping flies
on wing and prayer

Red rumped,haughty
balanced artist,
high the wiry circus act.
Far above the farmstead stirring
fellow Swallows
form a pact.

Row on row in unison,
feeling pull of other shores.
Africa their destination,
other oceans,
other moors.

Poem by
Alice Jeanette Potts

30 Sep, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

What a lovely poem Deida...it perfectly describes the swallow in all its beauty. Thank you for posting it here...

30 Sep, 2010
Dscf8283
deida said:

you are welcome Jane..

8 Dec, 2010
Dsc_0268
terry said:

You are certainly a "Dark Horse" Jane,I was thinking to myself,that you are always posting nice comments on peoples photographs,and not posting any yourself.And then by chance i came across your blog;"A Congregation Of Swallows"{I still do not know my way around this site]It really is a masterpiece,i just could not believe,what i was seeing,it is a marvellous,amazing,brilliant,awesome and excellent story.The way you set it out,and the perfect sequence of photographs,and the captions to go with them,were all truly incredible.I just do not know how to praise you enough.If there was an award for this sort of thing,you would win hands down.!!I am just so pleased,that i found it,it really gave me a lot of pleasure looking at it.And thank you very much for posting this really great blog.Kind regards.Terry.

8 Dec, 2010
P1150022_1
jane said:

Oh thank you so much Terry...it was great following their progress.and the church is only next door to the cottage !! Am blushing at your kind remarks..thank you again. To be honest have been with the site since it began in May and seeing it grow and flourish has been lovely. I edit some of the categories into Birdpedia too...which takes a bit of time.I love seeing all the beautiful photos by members...dont have time to submit many myself but will pop some on soon !

22 Feb, 2011
Wren_nest_building_edited_2
littlewren said:

another amazing blog....and lovely to read all the comments and poems......I agree about your church.....absolutely beautiful......

22 Feb, 2011
P1150022_1
jane said:

Thank you so much Littlewren.Looking back it was wonderful to chart their progress...and I now long to see the returning parents again this summer ! Happy days ahead..:o)

22 Feb, 2011
P1000246_edited_1
muddywalters said:

Hi Jane, this site never fails to amaze me - what gems you can find when you randomly browse - and this is proof. What a wonderful blog.
I have a week's holiday every May, in an old railway cottage between Levisham and Newtondale and in an outhouse with the washing machine, a Swallow nests on top of the fluorescent light. Last May, for the first time in five years, it wasn't there. I'll have my fingers crossed this year (and my camera, just in case!).

22 Feb, 2011
P1150022_1
jane said:

Aww thanks Muddy....Levisham...about 10 miles from us !! Fingers and toes crossed for your swallows this coming year.Lived here for 5 years and didnt even know they nested next door ! If I hadnt heard the twittering as I walked past I might never have found out...yet see them circling overhead every summer !!

Leave a comment

You need to be logged in to comment


Featured on

summer migrants

Related posts

New arrivals

Swallows

Ospreys

Life in the Cemetry Cont 1a:

Gone Fishing (Part One)

Liked by

  • Bird watching with friends since
    14 May, 2010

  • Bird watching with friends since
    14 May, 2010

  • Bird watching with friends since
    16 May, 2010

  • Bird watching with friends since
    18 May, 2010

  • Bird watching with friends since
    19 May, 2010

  • Bird watching with friends since
    26 May, 2010

  • Bird watching with friends since
    3 Jun, 2010

  • Bird watching with friends since
    6 Jun, 2010

  • Bird watching with friends since
    23 Jun, 2010

  • Bird watching with friends since
    15 Aug, 2010