While they are not the classic harbingers of spring that they are in the Northern Hemisphere, the "welcome" in the name relates to their arrival in greater numbers at the end of winter. I am not surprised if one flashes past in winter, seeking out late flying insects, but they are more common in summer. Many of the birds from southern Australia, and especially Tasmania head north, in the winter and it is these that are the welcome returnees of spring.
At first glance they do look similar to the Swallow of much of Europe - technically The Barn Swallow - but they lack the dark band that splits the red neck from the pale chest.
I found this group of young birds waiting in anticipation for the return of there parents last weekend - and I thought it was another chance to use the "panorama" format of picture. The final image shows a nest that I found in the covered parking of our favourite pizza place! (And yes, I did pop back home for the camera!)
Over to you for the next part!
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