Welcome Swallows

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Welcome Swallows
From: John Gamblin <>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 16:06:05 -0800 (PST)
G'day John and Tony,

Well I read this email from Tony Russell and yourself
and instantly picked up on your mirth, must be the
climate over there in Adelaide that makes peoples so
dry eh :^D ....

But believe it or not here's what I have got from some
very well aged ex-UK naval diaries. The words you
wrote about early settlers is near correct, except
they not only used "the welcome swallows" to locate
which area's to avoid, mosquito's etc etc but they
also noted they would be at rest near a fresh clean
drinkable water supply. Coupled with this was the use
of the ships crew to monitor what other birds were
eating in the way of fruit, etc., etc.,? much of the
fruit here in Australia was in fact very new to the
ships crew. Just goes to show you how reliant on birds
we were and are eh?

Potters off to make up some more "Birds Custard"

Have a good day,
John A. Gamblin
Tony Russell <> wrote:
Not a bad try John.

I've heard it was more to do with finally getting
ashore and being able to make some grog which then led
to some welcome swallows. Don't know how the birds
came into it though. They probably saw Tree Martins


Original Message -----
From: John Leonard <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2001 09:34
Subject: Welcome Swallows

I too have wondered how Welcome Swallows got their
name, and have searched high and low to find a
reference. Having failed my only explanation is that
early arrivals in Australia wrote in letters and
journals sentences like "After four months at sea it
was a relief to near the shores of Australia and see
the welcome swallows flying over the waves." After a
while "the welcome swallows" turned into Welcome

John Leonard (Dr)
PO Box 243, Woden, ACT 2606, Australia

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