Swallows in a natural nest site – a first for Northumberland

By Ian Kerr

A thriving Swallow population has long been a feature of my regular patch, Holy Island, and 2014 has proved by far the best year since I started monitoring and ringing the species more than a decade ago.
At least 78 broods, involving a minimum of 270 young, fledged around the village, harbour, St Coombs Farm, Snook House and the Lough. Many pair produced two broods and a small number of nests produced third broods although it was impossible to say if the same pairs were involved.
Whatever the circumstance, the 2014 breeding season far surpassed the previous record year of 2009 when 56 pairs fledged around 150 young. Continue reading