A very warm welcome to Spylaw Farm. at the beginning of a new Holiday season. Spring is definitely here. The sun is shining, birds singing and vegetables growing! Swallows returning to Spylaw in mid April are swooping, swirling and diving through the skies, looking for more nesting places. I thought this was an ideal opportunity to let you know some interesting facts about them;
British swallows spend their winter in South Africa: they travel through western France, across the Pyrenees, down eastern Spain into Morocco, and across the Sahara. Some birds follow the west coast of Africa avoiding the Sahara, and other European swallows travel further east and down the Nile Valley. Swallows put on little weight before migrating.
They migrate by day at low altitudes and find food on the way. Despite accumulating some fat reserves before crossing large areas such as the Sahara Desert, they are vulnerable to starvation during these crossings and many birds die from starvation, exhaustion or in storms. In their wintering areas swallows feed in small flocks, which join together to form roosting flocks of thousands of birds. Swallows arrive in the UK in April and May, returning to their wintering grounds in September and October.
Migrating swallows cover 200 miles a day, mainly during daylight, at speeds of 17-22 miles per hour. The maximum flight speed is 35 mph.
Our eight pairs are back, which is fantastic. They are obviously strong enough to endure the migration at the moment. Enjoy watching them at Spylaw, along with the other new arrivals of lapwings and fieldfares.
Produce is now coming through in the polytunnel and there are already a number of vegetables and salads available. We had the first Spylaw strawberries yesterday! The poultry are now laying well, with the turkeys and geese hatching their eggs. So fresh eggs are always available. Why not find Andy and collect your own if your staying and even if you are just passing through.
Our pigs are thriving and very pleased to see buckets of weeds/trimmings from the allotment and vegetable peelings each morning. If you would like to visit them at feed time during your stay, please let us know.
Spylaw Meals - Even if you are staying in the cottages you may like a day off and a Spylaw breakfast before exploring Northumberland, or supper when you get back is a great idea. If this sounds good, just ask and we’ll pass you a breakfast menu or discuss the evening meal with you.
Meals are served in Herd’s House Snug and you are welcome to bring your own wine etc. with you...or meals can be delivered to your cottage.
Full sample menus for all our meals are available in the cottages and are updated with the latest seasonal choices.
We hope you have a fantastic stay with us. Anything else we can do? Just ask.
Lorna & Andy @ Spylaw