I mentioned in the October round-up of birds in my garden that the resident pair of Lesser-striped Swallows have had a torrid time, defending their nest against a bevy of White-rumped Swifts intent on usurping it to breed their own offspring. The aerial combat was so fast and furious and the acrobatics so remarkable that these birds easily put the Silver Falcons to shame.

The swallows had left their mud nest intact at the end of last summer and I had such high hopes for them that it was with a degree of triumph that I ended my October report with the words, so far the swallows are winning.

They haven’t.

To quote from the delightful nursery rhyme, Who killed cock robin?

All the birds of the air

Fell a-sighing and a-sobbing

Well, most wouldn’t care, would they, but I felt and heard the keening and sad chirruping as the swallows contemplated their future. They discussed their ‘home grab’ at length in the late afternoons while perched on the ledge of the bathroom window. They eyed different locations and met to discuss their building plans as they perched on the telephone wire.

They mourned the loss of their snug little home as they wheeled about the sky. You see, the swifts had taken over the home of Mr and Mrs Swallow. It is the swifts who have now lined the snug nest with feathers glued together with their saliva.

The ever-practical swallows have returned to the blueprint they attempted last summer – shortly before building their dream home – and have rebuilt a nest under the eaves outside the bathroom.

The tiny balls of mud on the right-hand side is a remnant from their nest that fell down last year.


9 thoughts on “AND THE BATTLE WAS LOST

  1. Dis nou interessant…ek het nie geweet windswaels is nesgrypers nie! Miskien dink hulle dis hoe dit hier in SA gedoen word 😄
    Die arme swaeltjies. Ek hoop hulle bou weer iewers naby, dat jy hulle kan dophou!


  2. So many stories so little time – i took photos of swallows in December. Do not no if they were lessor or rumped or sirloin or fillet. Probably minute steak, no not minute as in time, minute as in small. i digress have meant to blog about it for about a year now…


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