Just as I was giving up hope, yesterday, 15th October 2015, I heard the musical call and chuckling of my Swallows as they flew over the house! And I'm dancing with joy! The night before last we had some rain, a bit, but it left the garden with enough to start the Marigolds sprouting, and then, there were the Swallows! I guess they really are an indication that the rain is on it's way!
It amazes me that these little birds travel all the way from Central Africa (their non-breeding grounds during our winter in Angola, Tanzania and southern Zaire) and I'm wondering whether they travelled through the night and arrived early-morning or stopped over for the night not far away and then left at first dawn, to arrive here at about lunch time. They have been recorded to travel a distance of 3154km’s. I'm also wondering if they are going to be using one of last year's nests or find a new place to build one. Time will tell.
And now I'm waiting for the Red-chested Cuckoo (Cuculus solitarius) to arrive, usually mid- to end-October. This bird is a brood parasite, meaning that it lays its eggs in other bird nests. The host, thinking that the egg is its own, incubates the egg and cares for the chick. On our previous smallholding, I watched as the poor Karoo Thrush reared a nestling twice it's size, struggling to keep up with its voracious appetite.