A good year for the Swallows
The swallows in Barga are an annual feast visually and aurally with their coming heralding the arrival of spring and their leaving for the warmer climes of far away Africa, the rather dismal foretelling of the approaching winter. There has been a particular group of swallows who nest each year under the Volta del Menchi below Palazzo Pancrazi in Barga Vecchia. Their acrobatic flying through the open arches and walkways in the Volta has been one of the glorious sights of Barga in the summer.
Later on in the summer we get to see their young swooping noisily around the Volta del Menchi and then soon after, the bitter sweet melancholy bit where they will sit in line on some of the wires strung through Barga Vecchia and then one morning they will all just disappear again.
The cycle repeats itself each year and never fails to amaze.
Last year there was something not quite right with the conditions and so some birds pushed their eggs out of the nest. Did they know something that we didn’t? Could it be that the signs were already there for them to read and they knew that there would not be enough food to raise their young that year and so drastic conditions mean drastic measures ?
For the human population, 2009 has been a difficult year as far as insects go – for the first time there are now tiger mosquitoes buzzing around in Barga causing discomfort to the residents even during daylight hours – something unheard of in this area but more insects means more food for the swallows.
It was a series of human factors which caused them problems but happily, they rebuilt their nests in double quick time and of an evening there are now many swallows sitting on telephone and electricity wires waiting for the season to change once more.
Click on the link below to hear the swallows singing in the Volta del Menchi