Saturday, 20 March 2010

Swallow at Par. Roger Lane Repots 20th March 2010

"Trust that you enjoyed the week, despite the weather, and did not loose too much ! I'm afraid the weather stopped play for me, rain bearable with car, but couldn't see through the fog!
"After the Rains of 18th,19th & 20thMarch". The rains stopped for the afternoon of Sat.20thMarch giving time only to visit Par, typically uninteresting and 'twixt winter and spring. All I could find initially were a few Goldfinches and Greenfinches. But I was determined to park up and WAIT by PBPool. I found 3 x Tufties (1 fem) straight away, then after half-hour a Little Grebe, in mostly summer plumage came out of the reeds. Worth watching out for since they have attempted to breed at Par in most years (April-June). Then a Little Egret appeared from the back of the island. (They too nested at Par 2 yrs ago), but that's all ON the water.
I was of course hoping for Hirundines (late this year). But looking skyward all I found was a flock of 25+, B.H.Gulls migrating high and fast to the NE (none on the Pool). Amongst them was one slightly larger, but too high for I.D.. By a process of elimination a Comm.Gull would seem most likely, or just maybe a Med Gull ! While using the 'bins I found a high-flying hirundine, soon joined by another ! They were over the dunes where the insects were being blown by the strong NW wind. They turned out to be 2 x SAND MARTINS, and had presumably been feeding up there for hours, before 3.30pm, almost above eye-sight and they were still there at 5.30pm !
Meanwile (c.4.30pm) the 'best' bird came hurtling along the roadway dodged my car and veered to circle the pond, sleek and blue-black, was all I could say. Feeding at less than a foot high in high winds, it was quite different to the Sd.Martins still v. high up. Fortunately it came back low and twisted to fly round my car bonnet showing a touch of orange/red on underbelly and sizeable tail streamers. All this happened in about 15 seconds, but there was no doubt it was my first SWALLOW of the year, probably passing through Par not staying, being in typical ground-hugging migration mode, at speed !"

Thanks for the fantastic report Roger.
A feather in your cap today I reckon.


  1. Its brilliant to see the Swallows, I hope we have a good summer this year. I will havea trip up to your patch one.

  2. I was wondering when the swallows would start to show. At least one pair always (touch wood) nest in the 'tunnel' at the side of our cottage. I shall keep my eyes peeled.

  3. Hi Sam.
    It is a little quiet at the moment but it will soon pick up. It is well worth a visit especially if you can incorporate a few other local sites.

  4. Hi Michelle.
    I would be interested to hear of any further news of your *resident* Swallows.


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