Swallow chicks in our carport from this year.
Today probably proves just how crazy I can be but it was not the day I had planned. I headed to my studio first thing this morning to work on all the emails I have received enquiring after my 2018 Workshop programme which I have to admit is almost fully booked already. I had then hoped to work on my book. But my husband came into my studio and told me I should check the garage to see what had happened. I dreaded the sight when he explained what it would be.
Each year we have enjoyed watching swallows return to nest in our car port. We patiently move our cars out of the car port each year so that the swallows may nest without us disturbing them or them making a mess on our cars. When the last of the fledglings has learnt to fly we happily move our cars back in the car port. The swallows have had two broods this year and as we thought they had finished nesting for the season we moved the cars in yet again. But lo and behold more nesting seemed to continue and we recently again moved the cars out of the car port.
And so, I have been watching the parents fly in and out of the new nest and I have been eagerly waiting for the latest young family to show their tiny heads, eagerly waiting to be fed. Its actually the first thing I do every morning, check to see if all is okay. But this morning I raced to my studio first and missed the awful sight that was awaiting me.
Magpies have been attacking these beautiful birds all year but the swallow parents seemed to have always won and protected their young. Not so today. Their nest was completely destroyed and tiny bodies of their chicks were lain all over the garage floor. I was heartbroken. I gently picked each little cold form up and checked to see if there was any life in it but no. I could feel tears welling up because I adore these additional wildlife family members each year. But then something happened as I held the last but one chick. I held it in my hands for a while. And I thought I would try something completely stupid. before I knew what I was doing I held the little bird to my mouth and I breathed warm air into its beak. I know. I am nuts. But I just couldn't bear to see these poor little things lose their lives so horribly. I know nature is cruel but not on my watch it isn't. Believe it or not, the little birds tummy moved. I breathed into its beak gently again and there was a flicker of life. I wasn't mistaken. It was so cold but it was breathing. I quickly tried the same trick on the last little chick and that too started breathing again. I carried both the chicks inside, wrapped them snuggly as if they were still in a nest and gave them some fluids, then let them rest in the warm.
Shocked but recovering. Baby swallows
I raced outside to see if the parents were in sight but no. They hadn't been all day. I then doubled checked all the other little birds but they really had lost the fight. So now I had two little chicks, no parents to look after them. Great. What now? My husband John was out. So here I was carrying a little make shift nest around trying to keep the chicks warm as I then started phoning around to see where I could get help. Our vet gave me the number of a wildlife centre and John kindly drove me there late afternoon where we were assured the chicks stood a really good chance of surviving. I am thrilled because I love our swallows so much and at least I felt I had helped.
Coming around and wanting to be fed.
We returned home and I have continued to look to see if the parents have returned. As yet there is no sign of them. I have been told once a nest is destroyed the parents rarely return.
What a day, I am exhausted from trying to keep up with all my emails, write and rescue.
But I can honestly say I have never given a baby bird the kiss of life before. And perhaps I shouldn't be telling anyone that I did.
But isn't this a nice change from all my art posts?
Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned.
Perhaps when you walk into a hopeless situation you should never give up.
Perhaps a miracle can happen.
This is how I found one of the tiny birds.
Cold and lifeless.
But it has a chance now.
I didn't give up.