Things are happening with our swallow neighbours. When I went into the garage to straighten out the dust sheets under the nest this morning I could see tail feathers sticking out of the nest up in the roof.
Getting the dust sheet in just the right place makes sense. There's hardly anything on it yet, but I know from previous years that the poo build-up will be huge later in the season.
Half an hour later I wondered back into the garage and noticed something new right in the middle of the sheet - a scrap of egg shell. Hatching has started.
The shell is so incredibly thin that it's a wonder that it can bear the weight of the incubating adult. As I studied it I could hear the small, tinny calls of that first nestling and wondered how many brothers and sister will join it up there in their mud nest as time goes on.
However many in the brood, it means that the swallow pair now have their work cut out. No more time for sitting around in that cherry tree.