I am told that I’ve become a member of the sandwich generation. Caring for both a child and ageing parents. Albeit largely from a distance for the latter. And the former is not so much a child as a young man.

The last couple of weeks have certainly been quite full on as a result hence no posts here during that time.

On the bird side of things, having been delighted to see swallows arrive, I’m gutted that ‘ours’ haven’t yet. And are increasingly unlikely to. Usually we get two pairs, sometimes three, nesting in the barn we share with our neighbours for parking our vehicles. Obviously, over the years these must be multiple generations, given their average lifespan is two years.

Then there seems to be a couple of other small groups that nest elsewhere in the village. One lot at the farm, and it seems they are the ones that have arrived. The other lot nest in the outbuildings of another property and I’ve not seen them at all.

You do hear of swallow populations getting decimated while on migration by sandstorms in the Sahara, for example. Maybe that’s what’s happened with ours. I don’t know how knowledge of nesting sites is carried forward through multiple generations. I hope that if the one group in our village produce successful broods that perhaps we’ll get larger numbers returning in subsequent years and that they will repopulate the now empty nesting sites.

Given they have been here every year of the seventeen years we’ve been here, I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss them.

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