Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 203 - Barn Swallow

As you may have gathered I was in Scotland for the last two weeks, with a work load that did not really let me keep on top of blogging. All I can say is 'Thank God for the Schedule Function'.  Anyway, normal service will be restored as soon as possible!

Although winter in Australia had not really got its act together when I left, the same could not be said for Spring - or even Summer - in Scotland.  Days of bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid and high twenties.  There was a consensus among all of the taxi drivers I encountered that sunshine in Glasgow was deeply unusual, and that it would start to rain soon.  However, they were wrong!

The Barn Swallow - or just the Swallow as I knew it as a kid - is a true harbinger of Summer, so it seems fitting to feature this bird in my first WBW from Scotland.

The Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) is a common and widespread visitor to the UK, and these shots were taken on the Orkney Islands, which lie 30 miles north of the 'top end' of Scotland.

These birds differ from the Welcome Swallow (H. neoxena), which is the 'standard' swallow in Australia, in a number of ways, the most obvious being the presence of a dark band between the chestnut of the chest and the white of the underparts.

This Barn Swallow is perched on top of a gravestone outside a small church on the Island of South Ronaldsay, nr. Burwick.  I could get all philosophical about a bird that seems to symbolise 'rebirth' in a year atop a grave - but I'll leave you to sort that out!





And now it's over to you.  Click the blue button and off you go.  Cheers SM.


27 comments:

Brian King said...

Love these guys! Their acrobatics are awesome!

Margaret Adamson said...

Lovely shots Stewart. I was at Mount Stewart today and found a Swallow's nest just before you enter the house however the parents both were franically flying in and out with food for perhaps 4 chicks so no chance of any decent shots. MAny thanks for hosting.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Stewart, pretty shots of the Barn Swallow. I am glad you were able to see this pretty bird. Thanks for hosting, Have a happy week ahead!

Frank Boxell said...

Lovely images of the bird that heralds Summer.

The weather in the south isn't much better with lots of rain!!

Beth said...

Beautiful bird with the stone and lichen. A very attractive photo series.

NatureFootstep said...

beautiful images of the barn swallows :)
Thanks for sharing.

Phil Slade said...

Hope you enjoyed ypour return to Bonnie Scotland Stewart. yes, the weather in the |NW was great for a few weeks but it's back to normal now.

Bob Bushell said...

A Swallow in Scotland, beautiful sight Stewart..

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Those shots sitting on the lichen are wonderful

Gunilla Bäck said...

Beautiful captures! You know it's summer when the swallows have arrived.

TexWisGirl said...

love these adorable bug-eaters. :)

Dave Lewis said...

Beautiful! I love to watch those swallows zooming around.

Missy George said...

The Barn Swallow is one of my favorite birds..They used to swoop in front of my riding mower after the bugs that I would stir up..They also used to rob the blue bird houses..Nature at work!! Glad you are home safe and sound..No birds for me to share this week...

Andrea Priebe said...

Maybe he should symbolize recycle as opposed to rebirth ... then sitting on top of a grave would make perfect sense :) At first when I saw your Barn Swallow I thought ah ha ... finally, we have something in common, but alas it is not to be. Not only is your Barn Swallow from Scotland, it doesn't really look like my Barn Swallow. I think we are just doomed to live in different worlds with different birds. So glad you are home safe and sound albeit a bit tired. I remember, only too well, the effect of jet lag ... good luck with that. Your pictures are wonderful as always ...

Andrea @ From the Sol

Minoru Saito said...

Hi! I enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing.

Denise inVA said...

A lovely series of barn swallow pics Stewart. Happy traveling in Bonnie Scotland. Hope it's not all business.

Vineeta Yashswi said...

one of my favorite bird...

Jane of Levant said...

Hello Stewart - lovely shot - I have not been to the Orkney Isles but I have been to Shetland close by - so much to see - take care - Jane

A Quiet Corner said...

Wish I had some of them around here...love their flight patterns!!! ...:)JP

Francisco Manuel Carrajola Oliveira said...

Excelente trabalho e belas fotografias.
Um abraço.

Andarilhar

June Caedmon said...

Excellent captures of these guys, Stewart. We have barn swallows, cliff swallows and cave swallows here. All very similar. Here's to a more restful week!

photodoug said...

Stewart, swallows and summer - a perfect fit. Thanks for sharing.

Adam Jones said...

It's a great to see them back here for Summer. Hope your trip allowed lots of time for birding,

Nora said...

Hope you are having a wonderful trip Stewart. We have our swallows back again now. They never sit still for me. You got some good good shots! I just noticed on your header you have the boat, and then I saw the whales! (I have poor eyes!).

Anne (cornucopia) said...

This is a beautiful bird, Stewart. I especially like the one with them sitting on the roof.

Phyllis Oller said...

beautiful bird,Stewart,thanks for sharing & hosting,phyllis

pattisjarrett said...

One of the prettiest birds, in my opinion. Glad you've got some nice weather!