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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Swallow Attack

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The park, golf coarse and playing fields have had swallows flying low again some inchs off the ground and very fast I had a hard time getting any sort of photo there are lots of them and they fly straight at you and miss by only a foot.

When the swallows fly high, the weather will be dry. This weather folklore rolls easily off the tongue and there is even some truth to it.

In this case the swallows are not flying high to admire the view; instead they are chasing their next meal. On fine summers' days warm air rises upwards. Insects are also swept up in these bubbles of warmth, sometimes carried hundreds of metres aloft. And, since swallows eat insects, they have to fly higher on fine days to find their food.

Conversely during unsettled and cold weather insects will seek the shelter of trees and buildings, so swallows have to swoop low to find them.

So far this year the swallows haven't had to do much high-level flying. Thanks to a meandering jet stream (the high level band of westerly winds that brings much of the UK's weather) April and May have been pretty soggy affairs.

At the end of March the jet stream meandered north around the UK, anchoring a high pressure system over us and bringing fine sunny days. But since April the jet stream has been turning south at the UK, allowing the low pressure systems, cloud and rain to come our way. Worse still, the winding nature of the jet stream means there is no strong west to east airflow to blow the weather systems through.

Let's just hope the jet stream changes its tune soon, bringing us the kind of weather that will make the swallows fly high.

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The young Canada geese are still very well protected by the parents swimming along side them in convoy and you can see how quick they are growing in a few weeks.

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A few new ducks chics are about very late  but some are very quite this mother only has the one

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