One of the Greatest Shows on Earth, just got Greater

 

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A Flock of Barn Swallows flies within meters of where we sat

I had to update this post after tonight’s incredible display. The birds were amazing, and so was the sunset. I don’t think I have seen a better sunset in my life. All the following photos were taken from my deck.

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100’s of 1000’s  of birds gather over the vlei
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The sky lighting up
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The last of the swallows circling at the last light
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The humble Barn Swallow is actually a beautiful little bird

This isn’t a blog only on fishing. It’s a journal of all significant things to do with the outdoors and farming that I want to show to my kids one day. Most of it will be about hiking into the hills with a rod and rucksack, but this event is just too special to leave out.

The European Barn Swallows are migrants in this country. They arrive from their great migration in the spring each year. They spend our winter in Europe where they breed. There is a well known flock that spends most of the summer roosting in a wetland called Mount Moorland near the new airport, north of Durban. Two years ago they disappeared from Mount Moorland and decided our garden was a good place to roost. They came in their 100s of thousands, if not millions.

Last year they came in small numbers, maybe a few thousand for week or two. They are now back and getting more every day. There aren’t as many as two years ago but they are getting more every day and we may well have the entire flock pretty soon. Mount Moorland has a whole tourist centre and venue dedicated to watching them come in to roost. Check out the amazing footage from the 1st December this year. This was 50m from my balcony. I have loaded the video onto YouTube. Here is the link:

Watch Swallows Roosting in Kokstad

If you dont believe me that this natural wonder takes place in my garden, here is the photographic evidence. It’s quite gloomy outside but you can see the little smudges in the sky. The photo is taken out of my bathroom window.

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For more information on them and their habits you can check out the website www.barnswallow.co.za.

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