Last Friday we drove up the hill, and a solitary swallow was sitting on the telephone line. She dived and swooped and flew through the buildings, and I hoped there were enough insects for her. The exceptional cold of winter and another bitter snap just as life was stirring has knocked the numbers of insects down a lot. I have been especially grieved at the shortage of bumble bees, which last year were everywhere you looked by April. And there is something melancholy in a single swallow.
Mid week, another arrived. Then, this Friday, another. Three. I am hoping for more to arrive yet as last year they arrived over at least a three week period. Nationally, numbers of these summer migrants fall steadily all the time. Last year I had five pairs.
I am also concerned over my frogs – lots of spawn was laid and then came the deluge. You can’t drown frog spawn but it does sweep away. I am trusting that though it is not very visible, some is even now maturing into taddies. But I can’t see it. I keep hoping.