Friday, 17 September 2010

taper time

its taper time in our household. but not for me and charlie. for these two little chaps (or chappesses).

born around 10-12 weeks ago in our barn, i get the feeling they're preparing to leave soon with their mum and dad.

they'll be travelling over 5000miles to spend their winter in South Africa. 5000miles! they travel through western France, across the Pyrenees, down eastern Spain into Morocco, and across the Sahara.

they migrate by day at low altitudes and find food on the way. despite accumulating some fat reserves before crossing large areas such as the Sahara Desert, they are vulnerable to starvation during these crossings. migration is a hazardous time and many birds die from starvation, exhaustion and in storms.

migrating swallows cover 200 miles a day, mainly during daylight, at speeds of 17-22 miles per hour. the maximum flight speed is 35 mph.

i'm in absolute awe of these little fellas and the task that lies ahead of them. hats of to them. the swallows have been coming to our house ever since we moved in 15years ago. nesting in the same barn amazes do they pinpoint it with such accuracy? their arrival and departure signal change.

it kinda puts doing 100 miles into perspective don't you think?


Johann said...

I admire them as well. Maybe I get to see the same ones here in SA! We have two pairs that come back every year to or garden. Amazing!

Julie said...

The birds around here are starting to get into flocks too! They are so fun to watch as they prpare to leave for warmer temps:)

I hope that you and Charlie have an excellent weekend!

Karen said...

I agree, the little fellas are truly amazing! how do they do it??? love it when they appear and sad when they leave,the stables are empty without their chattering! just hope they manage the long journey : from bird watcherbillXX

Drunkeneuphoria said...

Heck of an ultra. This flying seems a clever way of avoiding blisters too.

sbrt said...

Safe journey. See you next year.

kate said...

nature is amazing. can't begin to imagine where i'd end up i was a swallow ;)

ultra collie said...

they've all gone of luck guys