SEO report today here on the annual gathering of thousands of swallows in the Bahía de Santander in Cantabria before setting off for Africa. Between 5,000 and 6,000 swallows have been gathering since the end of August in the Marisma de Alday (Camargo) before flying off en masse in mid September. They spend the night in the reedbeds of these marshes and feed during the day off the huge numbers of insects flourishing on the post harvest stubble. Most of these birds are from the British Isles and stop off on the Cantabrian Coast to “refuel” before continuing onto Africa. SEO stresses the importance of the conservation of this type of wetland for bird conservation at a European level and notes the role played by the councils of Camargo, Astillero and Santander in helping to protect them.