We’ve been a little concerned about the swallows & house martins this year; but all seems to be well now. Having heard of the poor weather in southern Africa just when their northerly migration was starting, it was worrying to see fewer than normal in the initial arrival. As time has gone on more & more have arrived such that we now have large numbers hunting for insects over the fields.
The house martin chicks in the nests on the house are now quite close to fledging, it seems quite a squeeze in those mud nests. In one particular nest the 5th chick has been pushed out, falling to his death in the nighttime but the other 4 seem very well, as per the image sequence below:
The parents are both hunting almost constantly through the daylight hours and with only 3 or so minutes between each foray there must be a large number of insects going in to the chicks!