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Looking after Swallows

I fetched a ladder and took it back up to the nest, it wascold and not very lively, I didn’t really think it would survive. When Ireached the nest the nest had disintegrated and there was only one young on theledge where the nest had been. The nest had disintegrated because it was notmade of proper sticky mud, we had a dry spring and inspite of me putting somemud out for Swallows and House Martins in the garden they had not found it.

There had been 3 eggs and so I looked around for the thirdyoung, it had fallen down the back of the door runner. I went down the ladderinto the shop and picked up a Swallow nest cup and took it back up the ladderand wedged it into nearly the same place as the original nest had been and put the3 young Swallows in it.

Swallows normally lay five eggs and I would expect them tofledge their first brood of young at the end of June. Swallows feed on flies,mainly flies that live around farm animals but there are very few farm animalsin Deeping St Nicholas and the nearest ones to my farm are 600 yards away and Idon’t think the Swallows here would go that far for flies, so the Swallows hereonly laid three eggs knowing there wasn’t an abundance of flies and theydelayed laying eggs, waiting for the numbers of flies to build up .

Fifty years ago every farm except one in this village hadsome farm animals and we had plenty of Swallows but as the livestock hasdecreased so have the Swallows. I expect Swallows have declined in this villageby 80% in the last fifty years

I have heard quite a bit of twittering going on in theworkshop these last few days and this morning much to my delight there werethree young Swallow sat on the top of the Commer radiator badge high up in theworkshop but by the time I had my camera at the ready one had flown away.