A quite magical moment. Every year we have swallows nest above our front door, our visitors from North Africa. It is always a sign that summer is on the way when they arrive.
They typically they have two separate clutches each year. The noise from the nest as the parents swoop in with beaks full of insects to feed their brood gets louder and louder as the chicks grow.
The other evening the noise was unreal. I opened the door to see four chicks out of the nest and before I could take this photo two of them flew the nest, moments after this photo these two did the same never to return as chicks. From dependent to independent in the blink of an eye.
In a few weeks they will be making the long flight to North Africa and in less than 9 months time the cycle will repeat.