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Wye Valley Webcam
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output of Wye Valley Webcam
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Home Live Camera

 

Swallows' Nest
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~13 May - sitting
~27 April - nest building under way on side of a beam, not in previous locations. We added a wooden shelf to where they want the nest; they have used this.
~24 April - female arrives.
18 April - single male swallow in residence
~14 April - single swallow seen in sky.

2010
1-day-old swallow chicks
15 July 5 chicks of 2nd brood hatched
7 July Only one nest ended up with eggs in, 5 in number, now incubating. Neighbour's swallow chicks and nest were destroyed recently, we assume (not proven) by magpies. This year we had reduced the access opening to approx 400mm (16") wide x 150mm (6") high that the swallows seem perfectly happy with and which we think (hope) discourages large birds
23 June 2 new nests right next to each other - how will potentially 10 chicks fit on that shelf? Build an extension?
12 June - 5 chicks flew out today as I went in to put some washing in!
~27 May - 5 chicks growing.
~25 May - 5 chicks hatched.
~13 May - sitting on 5 eggs.
~27 April - nest building under way.
~24 April - female arrives.
18 April - single male swallow taken up residence in shed.
14 April - single swallow seen in sky.
9 April - Camera back online ready for arrival of swallows, hoped for around 21 April.


2009
Plenty more room on top!
13 August 08 - all 4 chicks can now fly and have flown outside. The nest is so small that they sleep head to tail like sardines in a can - there are 4 chicks in this photo!
04 August 08 - 4 chicks growing - nest looks very small so I have added a piece of wood behind it for them to spread on to when they get larger. 1 was found dead beneath nest 3 days after hatching, presumably died in the nest and was ejected. On the day they hatched, all 5 of the first brood from the shed arrived and gathered on the wires outside.
~27 July 08 - 5 chicks, gonna be a squeeze in that small nest!
22 July 08 - 5 eggs still unhatched.
01 July 08 - 5 chicks still return to the cat5 perch each evening to sleep the night
02 July 08 - discovery of 2nd nest, almost completed - female putting the finishing touches to it, getting it just how she wants it difficult to tell but don't think eggs are laid yet - nest goes unoccupied for lengthy periods so probably nothing there yet.
24th June 08 Another pair of swallows seem to be doing a recce of the shed - another nest to come? 1st nest chicks continue to grow in strength and flying artistry.
Checked the Bat Cave today: there were ~ 30 Lesser Horseshoe bats all clinging together in 1 big cluster!
19th June 08 All 5 chicks have flown and are out all day now, learning to catch insects. Around dusk they all return with their parents swooping round the garden - a fine sight. They spend the night huddled together on the Cat5 cable.
18th June 08 3 chicks have had exploratory flights around the shed today, watched with interest by their siblings!  The Cat5 cable has been used as a perch, also the antlers hanging at the back of the shed.
14 June 08 5 chicks in the nest, despite the nest getting damp before hatching due to leaky roof. Roof is now repaired and the chicks are growing fast.
28 April 08 Pair of swallows now chosen nesting site near wooden perch. They had started trying to build on the cables of the camera which would not have worked. So yesterday we moved the camera and re-cleaned some old nest sites and they seem to have taken the hint!
21 April 08 Swallows return. One male swallow seen looking for nest space in shed. When the site is chosen I'll move the camera to a better position.

2008
2 September 2007 - after many little local sorties, flying around in the shed, all five swallow chicks have now flown and are learning to catch insects for themselves.

photo of 5 swallow chicks on parade
photo of 3 bats roosting

Happily the Lesser Horseshoe bats that winter in the Bat Cave (a covered area between the back of the house and the retaining wall) come into the shed to roost, eat and (going by the 'output' below the roost) digest their insect catch, especially at night. So I have turned the camera on to their usual roosting place. I have seen 10 bats here during daylight hours!

Lesser Horseshoe bats are listed as 'Vulnerable' by the 2000 IUCN Red List. They have become extinct in much of their former range, including all of the north of England down to and including the north Midlands. More details here

bat with wings spread