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Country News - 2004

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Strange spring confuses swallows

Tuesday 18 May 2004

ALTHOUGH migrating swallows arrived in Britain exceptionally early this year, thousands of them have yet to start taking up their traditional nesting sites on barns or other buildings, reports the British Trust for Ornithology.

Although the first arrivals from Africa were reported early in February, many of them are still feeding around lakes and rivers – where fly life is abundant – rather than starting to nest.

Many bid-watchers believe that the strange weather has confused the birds – as it has many humans – because the weather was exceptionally mild in late winter but we have had a cold, wet and windy spring.

This could have an adverse effect on this year’s breeding season, says the trust, because swallows regularly raise two broods in a summer and sometimes as many as three.


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