Date: 2/10/19 4:28 am
From: Alfred Maley <alfredmaley...>
Subject: [NHBirds] Migrating Barn Swallows Arrive; Little Owls Start “Singing”
The last few days we’ve seen individual Barn Swallows migrating over the
farm, the first of hundreds of thousands of swallows and swifts that pass
through on their way from Africa to Europe. The Barn Swallows will soon be
joined by House Martins, Sand Martins (Bank Swallows) and the odd
Red-rumped Swallow. The locals barely notice, but the parade is incessant -
continual groups of a dozen of so passing by every few minutes, all day,
for most of the month of February and into March (the later-migrating
swifts include Pallid, Common and Alpine Swifts.) There are also some
African swifts (Little and White-rumped) that have made a beachhead in
southern Spain and nest nearby, but are so scarce that they don’t appear
here as migrants.

On Saturday we heard the first “song” of the Little Owls, in a nearby copse
that contains a nest box. Their “call” is a sharp, bark-like noise, heard
year round. The “song” is a single note repeated every few seconds that is
decidedly unlike most owls we are familiar with. A clear recording that
sounds quite like what we hear here in Spain during the breeding season is
on Xenon Canto at the URL below. Scroll down to the 10th entry (by Miklos
Heinz from Hungary) and click on the “play” triangle.

*https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Athene-noctua?pg=2
<https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Athene-noctua?pg=2>*

Note that there is some confusion as to what is a call and what is a song
in the description of these numerous recordings; what is listed as a song
is often really the call.

Al Maley
Hampstead, NH/Los Barrios CA, Spain

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