Swallows 2022

None yet , but for whatever reason they tend to be later here than some other places . Snowdrops , daffodils , swallows seems to be the order of events here - and I look forward , eagerly to seeing all of them in turn . We have a full display of daffs - about 50 different varieties all naturalised - white , yellow , red trumpets , some single , some double -- love 'em all ! I give both the snowdrops and daffs a light sprinkling of low nitrogen fertiliser when they've finished flowering - seems to help them along nicely . The only "failure " I've had with daffs is a batch of bulbs that I bought in the Keukenhof gardens a year or two back . Genuine pink trumpets , they flowered nicely one year , and then reverted to common or garden yellow ones .


None here .Later than usual but had the hardest frosts of the winter we never had last few days .So probably best not about yet .


I saw my first one of the year today.

It got me thinking about their relationship with cattle. I don't know how it works but there very much seems to be one. My guess is cattle and dung make for more insects and as the cattle move around the swallows feed on the disturbed insects. So very often see them amongst cattle and seem to be more when there are cattle about/on livestock farms and fields.
It lead me on to wondering if their decline (as reported regularly on here) is related to the decline of dairy/livestock as there definitely is around here.
Cheshire was once renowned for dairy farms, it is why the Cheshire Cat is smiling so much but there is a big decline in dairy here. At a guess I would say 75% of farms I once knew as being dairy farms no longer milk.

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...