Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Hard to Swallow

After a dry winter resulting in a less than spectacular spring floral show, the 20mm (inch or so) of rain the last week was very welcome. It also meant that there are mud puddles and so finally the swallows are able to start building their homes.

On a trip up the Montagu pass after the rain I happened upon this pair of Greater-striped swallows collecting mud on the roadside. Watching them made me realise how much work it must be to build a swallow nest – a couple of beaks full of mud at a time.  Having with limited success attempted to take photos of swallows flying over our Lucerne fields the week prior, it was a pleasure to have these little aerial acrobats sitting in one place I could actually focus on to obtain a sharp photo.

Greater Striped Swallows (Hirundo cucullata) are monogamous and the same pair will reuse a site year after year. They breed in South Africa and spend their non-breeding times (our winter) around central Africa – fun places like the Congo. They are easy to confuse with the very similar Lesser Striped Swallow, which has more orange on it and bolder stripes, but is a tiny bit smaller.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome pics as always. Have you seen these ones? - Meris


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