These young swallows are nearly ready for departure. My friends Denise & Phil have been watching the birds which built a nest in their back porch, the first time they have had a swallow nest. The four eggs hatched on 23rd June and these photos were taken on 13th July, when the chicks were 20 days old. Fledging occurs at 20-22 days so I was just in time.
Photographing them was an interesting experience, using flash, manual focus and trying to get the timing right. The parents were arriving every couple of minutes with food and seemed to put up with me without complaint. Looking through the photos I noticed that sometimes the parent is side on (as above) and sometimes it has its back towards the camera (as below). I wonder if one parent habitually lands at the same place on the nest and the other in a slightly different place. I have noticed in the blue tit camera box in previous years that one parent goes to one side and the other the other. With swallows I can't tell the parents apart.
It was a great pleasure to watch and to photograph the birds. Many thanks to Denise & Phil for the opportunity.