As we eagerly await the return of the migrant birds, you can't help but ponder on there incredible journey back from Africa.
The swallow is such a special sight when it flies over our home. We have swallows in the old farm buildings around us and house martins around the house.
Since we have been here in 2002 the old farm buildings have not been used for any modern farming purposes, so we have gradually took them over. Back in 2004 we started to keep our free range chickens in the chicken house, and stored their food in the stable next door. When I opened the top door of the stable I would have a swallow shoot by me. Obviously it was nesting in he stable, but I couldn't ever see a nest. After a few days
I noticed that a couple of old jugs hanging from a wooden beam were always rocking and looking into them I was amazed to find a nest and some chicks in one of the jugs. After a few more days they fledged.
The following year the jug again was occupied and the chicks fledged successfully. It had to be the same swallow, to think that bird flew all the way back from South Africa just to head for a jug hanging in an old stable in mid wales, just mind boggling. It returned again the next year, laid 3 eggs, but sadly didn't keep going, so I assume it died.
The jug is still there but never used again, but what a tale.