Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Swallow on migration


We have just received some information with regard to a Swallow ringed by the Northants Ringing Group at Brixworth on 27th May 2014. This bird was re-caught by a ringer at a place called Dinnyes, Fejero in Hungary on 13th September 2014! When originally mist-netted locally this bird was aged and sexed as an adult male and it is likely that it was destined to be a breeding bird somewhere in the UK and possibly in the county.

In September it would be a reasonable assertion to think that this bird was very much on migration en-route to Africa. Swallows migrate the full length of the African continent from European breeding quarters but it is generally assumed that 'our' Swallows move through France and Iberia and through the Western Mediterranean area. This bird appears to be attempting to try a crossing further east, perhaps out over the Med via Greece or even potentially going all the way around via Israel and down the Red Sea route.

How many kilometers this bird has clocked up as it has winged it's way south is anyone's guess but it had traveled 1510 km in an east south-east direction to be in Hungary 109 days later. Even on migration, Swallows will attempt to feed on the wing, and the distances these birds travel on a 'normal' day is quite staggering.


Neil M


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