One little straggler: the swallow that didn’t fly south for the winter

As our climate changes, unseasonal sightings of migrant birds are on the rise, including one spotted this month

At first, I assumed it was a starling. But as the bird rose into the cloudy November sky, I realised it was actually a juvenile swallow, fully two months after I would expect to see one here in Somerset.

Swallows are the classic spring and summer visitor to our shores; the proverbial sign that winter is over and spring has finally arrived. Having returned here from their homes in Africa in late March or early April, they settle down to raise two or sometimes three broods of young before heading back south in early October.

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