July 16

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Bye bye birdie


For the past few weeks, the open stairwell outside my apartment door has been a nursery for a pair of swallows raising a family of four voracious chicks.  Given that there aren’t any suitable trees about for birds to nest in near my apartment block, this has been a lucky chance to peek into the lives of the local feathered critters beyond seeing them flit past.

The parents perched their nest on a conveniently placed electrical box that juts out from the wall high up under the eaves, nice and protected from even the worst weather.  Alas, said cozy corner was also dark enough to make photographing them a hit and miss affair.  They might as well have been VIPs crammed into a swanky car with blacked out windows.

The little superstars have grown unbelievably fast.  Then again, there was no clue as to exactly when they hatched for the nest was too high up to see in and they were the quietest little chicks I have ever come across.  Totally unlike the chicks of birds back home in Australia.  Jeepers, some of them can make a racket.  These barely made a peep even when the parents came back to feed them and it was probably some time before their featherless bobble heads were visible above the edge of the nest.

Just as startling as their growth was their departure.  They were there one day, having flying lessons for the next few and then just two days past taking these photos they were gone.  Right into the first typhoon to hit Mie this season.  Fear not, all four chicks were out and about flying outside my apartment building the next day.  Lucky little blighters.

Little mama keeping an eye on me making sure that I didn’t get too close to her little ones.

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