Look at this fabulous picture: (the subject not the actual photo)
We have a building here which was previously used as a stable. When we moved in we were told not to close the top of the door as swallows were nesting in there.
We have watched the parents swooping in and out all day long for the last month. They have worked so hard and barely seem to stop. I suppose it is only a short time compared to the 18 years and beyond which we humans care for our young.
We have kept out of their way as much as possible but I noticed that five little heads were peeping over the edge of the nest. I went back with my camera when the parents were out and quickly took a photo (no flash).
Can you believe how they fit in there? It reminds me of a saying - Little birds in their nest agree. I think it was my Grandad who used to say it to my sister and I as we were always fighting. I wonder if these birds squabble. It does look rather sqashed.
I think it was in the next couple of days that I took this:
One little chap has braved it down to the shelf. I suspect actually, that they had all been out and back in a again by this time. I wondered how they would get out the door and if we needed to open it for them. But of course the parents knew what they were doing and they all got out perfectly well without my help! We can see that they had been perched on botton half of the door.
The following day I was out and about but the parents were swooping around and warning me away so I hid in my greenhouse and kept away from them. Later in the day the nest was empty and they were all flying. Imagine being able to fly like that as soon as you leave the nest!
We saw them swoop in and out a few times over the next few days, sometimes it seemed, for fun. But then sadly for us they seem to have gone and we rarely see them. I miss watching them and their amazingly fast and accurate flying. It was such a privilege to see them.