Barn swallow – Hirundo rustica

The barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) is the “British” bird with which we most commonly associate a sighting as being the arrival of summer (cuckoos are not so often seen, but heard). Of course, one swallow does not a summer make, as Aristotle (384–322 BC) had it. It is a distinctive passerine, perching, bird with glossy, dark blue-black upperparts, a ruddy throat, an off-white breast, and famously, a long, forked tail. Feeds on small invertebrates and is often seen swirling in flocks low over water to drink and eat, or gatherong on overhead wires. The perching swallow pictured here was photographed on an April evening (very early summer) in Trallong, Powys, Mid-Wales and the pond-dipping swallow on the moor top a few miles from there.



One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy