The Swallow that visits the UK each year (thats Hirunda rustic) for reference, arrives in April having flown all the way from Southern Africa. This includes crossing the Sahara dessert on the way, a spectacular journey for such a small vulnerable looking creature.
Invariably they return to the exact location each year to build their nests. They can rear 2 to 3 broods whilst here. As busy parents the adults spend all of their time flying low over fields catching flies etc to feed the young.
You can see two immature birds below having left the nest waiting for food to be delivered by the parents.
The first one is somewhat older or more advanced than the second.
Feeding by the parents is quite an art and involves low and very accurate flying.
You can see a number of sequences below that I shot this week of this activity.
Once the immature have grown sufficiently they are able to fly and catch food themselves.
Towards the end of September and into October they start to flock together perching on trees, cables bridges etc ready for the off. They move to the South of the country and then begin the long journey to South Africa.