Swallows in the potting shed!
Of course, nesting birds will find the most unlikely of places to set up their nest, we have Goldfinches in our Wisteria plant, right next to the noisy road. Now two Swallows have made a mud nest in the potting shed, a low brick-built building with exposed beams. The birds have found a spot right in the middle of the shed. The potting shed is only about twelve feet by eight and so when the birds fly into it, they have to stop very quickly and accurately to avoid catastrophic collisions! mainly me as I enter the doorway.
The two birds have been there for about two weeks now and they have three eggs. unfortunately for us, this means the shed door can't be closed at all, and although nothing of value is stored there, we doo keep some cardboard boxes in the shed and so these have to
be covered up to avoid the mess they make.
Swallows eat mainly insects and a brood of Swallows may consume as many as 160,000 in their time before they migrate to South Africa in September / October. They arrive in the UK in early April, so I think these two have been flying around for a while checking out the best place for a nest site. The female selects her male by the length and symmetry of his tail feathers. If you would like to encourage Swallows to nest in your garden take a look at our Swallow nesting bowls.
Just outside our potting shed is a car port and the birds often fly under the exposed roof to catch insects that lurk there. Also there is a small well nearby and that keeps the area damp, they would not go down to the well for a drink, but we do have plenty of water butts around and other water for them to drink from.
The garden is particularly busy right now, Starlings are bringing lots of fledglings to the feeders (which is a good job because their numbers were down 80% this year). Last week a Jay landed on a half (suet filled) coco nut
, I haven't seen him back again since but it was a treat to be so close to the beautiful bird. Lots of Green finches are eating the Black Sunflower seeds
and the Blue Tits are loving the Spring / Summer mix
. The suet pellets go down pretty quickly at this time of year too.