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Swallow Watch

Welcome to our page dedicated to all the nature we have at the farm!

The EAGLE-eyed amongst you will have noticed that swallows are a large part of our branding. That's because they play a huge role in the ambience of our farm. Every year, a raft of Swallows and House Martins return to the old barns. The place is littered with nests, and each year sees the fledging of many new birds. 

We feel incredibly lucky that these beautiful birds chose our farm each year and we are keen to preserve as much of their home as possible, so we can continue to enjoy their company.

Follow this page as we learn about the birds on the farm and track their progress, along with some other wildlife visitors.

If you are a fan of wildlife and have taken some shots in our area, feel free to send them to info@boltongatefarm.co.uk and we will promote them on our website!

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Photos by Staffordshire based wildlife photographer Sophie Bestwick Photography. Check out her website here. She's fab! 
 

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The first thing to say is that we by no means claim to be experts, just very passionate! 

We have both Swallows and House Martins on the farm, which are from the same family of bird and for amateurs like us are quite difficult to tell apart. So here's a few starting points we've picked up to help spot the difference...

Swallows are generally a little bit larger than House Martins.
 

Look out for the these wispy forked tails and tail streamers. The House Martins have much shallower forks. 
 

Swallows have this beautiful flash of red underneath their chin and throat area.
 

Where the swallow has an entirely dark blue back, the House Martin will have a splash of white on the rump.
 

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Mar-Oct

Swallows can be seen all over the UK from March through to October before flying south for the winter

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Food

Swallows feed on an array of invertebrates which they will catch on the wing. Farms are perfect for these birds because they attract a lot of flying insects, and we love the Swallows because they mop up all the bugs! 

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Nesting

The first sightings of chicks on the farm. Our Swallows nest high up in the rafters of our barn, building nests out of wet mud. They often come back to the same nests each year. 

15-17th May 2021

Once Swallows have established a partner they mate for life and return to the same nesting spot each year. They will have 2-3 broods with about 4-5 chicks. We caught a pair in the lower barn, building their nest, and cleaning themselves.

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30th June 2021

Stunning footage of the Mother feeding the first brood of chicks!

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More updates coming soon...

21st April 2021

This was our first attempt at capturing the birds. It took a while figuring out which nests they were going back to. They weren't too happy about the cameras to start with but have soon gotten used to them.

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@sophiebestwickphotography

A beautiful Jay and Robin spotted in Park Hall Country Park 

@sophiebestwickphotography

@sophiebestwickphotography

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