There is a gap between the rafters of the back verandah and the iron on the roof. A little gap of about two inches or so - just enough room for a swallow to roost during the night. And we have had a pair of these fearless birds doing just that for as long as we've lived here.
At about this time each year, up until now, they have proceeded to build themselves a mud nest under the verandah. Unfortunately, during the last year, some maintenance work under the verandah resulted in the little ledge that they built on being removed.
A week or so ago, I noticed that they had started building their nest up under the roof of the verandah in the aforementioned little gap where they normally sleep. No, no, I said, much too messy, thank you very much and proceeded to knock down the beginnings of that nest. I must mention here that some of my early memories of life on the farm at Mizpah are of the swallows trying to build their nests under the roof of the verandah there and of us kids pleading with Dad not to knock the nests down! Poor little birds, we thought, but of course we were only kids and not responsible for cleaning up the mess these little homemakers make.
My ingenuity kicked in and with great dexterity and a bit of help from the broom, I filled the gaps with pieces of rolled up bubble wrap that I had collected for some reason but probably not this one.
Then I retired to the house and congratulated myself on solving that pesky issue.
Within a day, they had started again a little further down the rafter timber. This time on the steel anchor hook where you hang a hammock. I've never been able to comfortably hang my hammock there, because swallows are flying above you all the time yelling at you to get lost. Once again, I said sorry chaps, go someplace else to make your mess. I thought a little extra disincentive was called for and once again my ingenuity came to the rescue in the shape of the window cleaner. It has an adjustable pole, I was able to extend the length to what I needed, and it was close at hand in the laundry. I should be using it for it's intended purpose - it's almost spring cleaning time.
I'll show you swallows who's boss around here! Very precariously the window cleaner was balanced between the closest outside light and the steel anchor hook thing.
Cop that, you feathered fiends!
So . . . . (wait for it!) . . . .
. . . . they've built their nest on it!
The Welcome Swallow, Hirundo neoxena, . . . . . I don't think so!