“Swallows high, staying dry:
Swallows low, wet will blow”
The swallows are back at the Damson Dene, and very welcome they are too, even though their nest, which is just above the entrance to Reception, does create quite a mess. Our guests like to know at the start of each day what the weather’s going to be like and we print off a forecast which, as it’s prepared by the Met Office, is pretty useless. We’d do just as well to ask them to look at our Swallows. If they are flying high, the weather will be warm- this may be because they follow the insects, as the warm currents of air carry the insects upwards. If the weather is cool and wet the insects fly low and the birds follow them. An alternative, and better, theory, is that swallows have ear drums which are sensitive to air pressure, which acts like a built in barometer, which gives them a warning of a change in the weather.
Swallows are one of those birds whose population is rising, particularly here in the west of the country. Amazingly, they over-winter in South Africa. Their ultra-sensitivity to the weather is vital on the long perilous journey, but even so only 50% of adults survive the journey. They always come back to the same nest. Goodness knows what adventures our swallows have had on their journey here- but they’ve made it- and dead on time.