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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Sunday, 21 August 2011

I'm A Horrible Person

The swallows were just about ready to fledge, so Ed told me to take a quick look, before they left the nest for good, probably next week.

I took the camera, and climbed up the ladder. one proud baby sat on the edge of the nest, checking me out, while the other two ducked inside. I set up a shot, but I didn't hink it would be very good, as I could hardly see the the other two. As I took the photo, the flash went off, and frightened the chicks. The biggest one flew off, and another one fell out of the nest at the same time, hitting me on the shoulder as it fell. Tragically, Max was waiting with great enthusiasm beneath me. I shouted at him, but he managed to catch the poor thing under the ladder, and ran off proudly with it in his mouth.

I was very upset, and shouted at him and Ed raced down to catch him. He spat it out, and it flew off, but, as it wasn't really ready to fly, Max managed to catch it again. Poor thing. Ed made him spit it back out again, and then he picked it up and put it straight back in the nest.

I felt awful. It was entirely my fault. The parents came back, and only found 1 and a half chicks. The next day, there were four swallows perched in the poolhouse. Two adults and two babies. Ed left it until the next day, then checked inside the nest. Sure enough, the one Max had had was dead. Ed put it in the septic tank. Hopefully they will still come back next year, but Ed thinks they might not, if they think the nest is unsafe.

That's the second lot of baby birds I've upset this year. I think I'll just stick to watching them for a while.

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