Thursday, 13 July 2017

"Grumpy Babes" Young Swallows

"Grumpy Babes"
Young Swallows waiting to be fed.

It happens every year.  And I look forward to it. My husband John has mixed feelings about it but admits he loves it too. The arrival of the swallows who nest in our car port. We know it is Summer the minute we see the first one checking out their nesting site which they have used ever since our car port was built a few years ago.  They build their nests and then the initial magic happens as we wait to hear and see the first of the tiny chicks bobbing their heads just above the nest, to look around for the first time.

Then their is the truly magical event of the fledglings leaving their nest for the first time.  I love seeing thsi so much. The tiny things edge their way along the car port beams and sit waiting for their parents to feed them. The parents do this on the wing and it is an incredible sight. Better still, you know the parents are coming as the little baby birds cheep continually until the feeding swoop is complete. I love this cheerful sound of excitement. 

Translated cheeps probably mean

"Mums Coming "  
"Food, food !" 
"Me, me me!!"

These greedy little fluff balls are endless in their need for food.  
But then the sad day that I dread arrives and I think it is today. I have raced to the carport this morning, as I have done daily for a while this year, to check to see how the babes are doing but my car port is silent. The nest is empty and the parents are nowhere in sight. I think they have left. And my heart sank dreadfully as I had started painting the cute rows of little fluff balls on the wooden beams. Apart from that I simply adored seeing them each day.

But I am so happy that all the chicks survived. I have chased away predators daily including groups of magpie intent on eating the baby birds. Every day has seen me racing around with my arms flapping like windmills to keep these little ones safe. And they are now. They made it and they have left " home" for another year.

What a privilege to witness nature and what joy to have a watercolour subject that is so appealing.

The photo below is one of a series of photographs I took over the last few weeks.

Young swallows bravely leaving their nest in our car port this week.

They say there is a positive out of every negative. The positive of the baby birds leaving their nests is that we can now use our car port again. We had patiently moved our cars to save them from getting messy from the nests directly above them.. So its' back to clean cars for us now but how I miss our feathered " family"


Artists tip for the day?

Paint what you can when you see it because you never know if it will be there tomorrow! 


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