One of the reasons the Welcome Swallow images are in an ‘Archive Photos’ post is that I was hoping to get better photos of them. On a cold August day a pair arrived and began constructing a nest of mud on top of a high beam beneath the tin roof of our deck. As it was cold, we didn’t venture outside for a day or two. Then the weather fined up and the birds realised they would be disturbed by humans coming and going. I later saw a pair of Welcome Swallows at the back of our block, in the bush section. It could have been a different pair, but they were definitely nesting up there too.
Welcome Swallows are so graceful, but very fast in flight. When they were on the deck, they tended to sit in the dark protected corners. Both of these things make them hard to photograph. I have quite a few blurry shots and only a few clear ones. Most of these have spider webs in the background – another thing I was hoping to avoid posting online.
As I’ve seen the species two years in a row now, I think it is high time I added them to the species list.
Welcome Swallows are found the entire length of the East Coast of Australia, in Tasmania and in parts of Western Australia and South Australia. I think one of the reasons the birds initially chose to nest on the deck is related to a new garden I was establishing alongside it. The Swallows would fly in figure 8 formation out over the garden, catch insects and then in under the deck, doing another loop before sweeping over the garden again. I found it fascinating to watch them in this flight pattern for extended periods of time.
Here are a few more photographs of the Welcome Swallows – spider webs, over exposure and all.