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Swallows at Parsonage Farm


Swallow chicks 22 June 2023

Janet Brownlie has provided an update on the Parsonage Farm Swallows. She writes:

"Really good news on this front. We have three nests with chicks in and two other nests where we're fairly certain there are chicks but it's difficult to see because they're up in the eaves in the dark but definitely adult swallows are going in there.

5th chick at the back?

In the first stable the nest has five chicks which have just fledged. The latest photo was taken on the morning of the 22nd June and by the afternoon four of those chicks had left the nest and were perching on the adjacent ledge. In the middle stable we had drama on the same afternoon as one of the chicks had fallen out of the nest and was sitting in the doorway. Kerry O'Connor had to carry out a rescue and push it back into the nest and all seems to be well there for the moment as we haven't had any more casualties! (From past experience though, that fallen chick may not be the first and the stepladders may have to remain at the farm for a little while in case they are needed again!)


In the end stable we have a bit of a puzzle. Adult birds are flying in and out but we cannot see where they are going. We think there is a nest up in the eaves but again, because it is dark it is difficult to see. No doubt we shall find out later.


In the remaining stable there are definitely three healthy chicks which look as though they are on the point of fledging. There were originally five, but sadly we found two dead ones on the ground, one very young (perhaps there was something wrong with it and the mother pushed it out), and the other slightly older.


We feel very privileged to watch these events at such close quarters - they're quite magical. Also very pleased that there is an increase on last year's numbers. Sometimes we get two broods in a year so, keep watching this space."

Janet Brownlie

23 May 2023

An Update from Janet Brownlie 16 May


There's really good news on the swallows. We now have a total of 4 pairs, with one pair nesting in each of the stables!


They are all very busy nest building at the moment, (mostly refurbishing old ones) and this can take up to 20 days before they lay their eggs and start sitting on them. The aerial acrobatics are something to behold and sometimes when they fly into the stables they fly so close to your head. But I've never been hit by one yet!


Will keep you updated on their progress: it's good to see two more pairs than last year. I think weather conditions must be more favourable for them.


Janet Brownlie

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Original News Story - 29 April 2023 The swallows have been coming to nest in the stables adjoining the barn since they were built there nearly 40 years ago. At one time in the past they were nesting in all three stables with some of them having three broods apiece. Sadly, however, over the years the numbers have declined and last year we only had two pairs, each having only one brood.


This year the pattern has changed again, possibly due to the continued wet and cold weather. The first arrival was spotted on the 5th April and then he disappeared completely until the 16th when he was seen again. Again, no more activity until almost a fortnight later when the sun came out and the temperatures rose and suddenly at least 5 or 6 appeared (possibly more - it's hard to count as they fly so fast!) diving in and out of the stables,

checking old nests and chattering away to each other. Let's hope we get an increase in numbers this year. Watch this space!


Janet Brownlie




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