Day 18 – and a little miracle!


Newly hatched swallow

Each day has been ticked off – I counted ahead so I knew when days 14-18 were.   Day 18 is today.

On the 6th June my swallows started to sit on their eggs – 9th June was disaster day (I found a dead swallow on the nest).  Immediately another bird came and sat.  I worried that the eggs had perhaps gone cold and that nothing would come of them – so that is why I’ve been counting.

Swallow eggs take anything from 10-21 days (typically 14-18 days), to hatch.  So, they left it until the last minute – but new life comes!  Today I noticed that the swallow was off the nest, not sitting as usual, but I did see one standing close to the nest.  I knew that this must mean either hatchlings, or that they had abandoned the nest without result.  I couldn’t resist climbing up to have a look – and there in the feathers, barely visible, but wobbling its little head, was a tiny, tiny swallow hatchling.  I quickly came away from the nest and left them to it.

It has made me so happy today, I can’t stop smiling.  I definitely saw one – but originally there were four eggs, so I’m hoping it will have brothers and sisters.

I didn’t have my camera with me, and didn’t want to be poking the lens in the nest – so hope you don’t mind the little sketch, which is my memory of what it looked like.  I was just aware of wrinkled pink transparent skin,  dark bulges for eyes and a huge white rimmed beak.  I sat in the grass this evening and watched the parents fly in and out with food – so it will be growing as we speak!

Happy, thrilling day.




  1. Comment by Miriam Darlington:

    The sketch of the swallow hatchling is so touching it brought tears to my eyes – just thinking of the frail tininess of it, and the journey ahead for this little one! The fragility comes through very tenderly in the drawing.

  2. Comment by Jennifer Tetlow:

    Thankyou Miriam, I’ve marked ten days now, when its eyes will open, and three weeks, when the parents will begin to encourage it away from the nest – but I’m watching it every day!

  3. Comment by Ellen Abbott:

    oh yay. I was cleaning out the garage yesterday and went to put away some safety goggles in the plastic shoe box where I keep them. the lid was ajar and there was a bird nest in it. not used. I’m pretty sure it is a wren nest as they really like my garage and build nests in it every year, some they use, some not.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      I think they have a number of wives too, to fill those nests Ellen!

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