The Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family.
It is a species native to Australia and nearby islands, but not until recently to New Zealand, which has been colonised in the last half century. It is very similar to the Pacific Swallow with which it is often considered conspecific. This species breeds in southern and eastern Australia in a variety of habitats, mostly in open areas, man made clearings or urban environments, but not desert or dense forest.
One of my favorite books as a child was called Pookie & the Swallows. I remember being in another world with these delightful little books and I am so sorry that my mum did not keep them, they were such amazing little stories very different to the new story books today. I love watching the swallows too, and was delighted to spot a few on the power lines, they always take me back to my childhood and the Pookie series of books.
Ivy Lilian Wallace (October 7, 1915 – March 13, 2006) was a British artist, actress and authoress, best known for writing the Pookie series of illustrated children’s stories. While working in a police station during the war, manning a police switchboard, she doodled a picture of a fairy sitting on a toadstool with a little rabbit in front. She then decided that fairies were “two a penny” and so rubbed out the fairy and gave the rabbit wings. After naming the rabbit Pookie she wrote a story about him: “This is the story of Pookie, a little white furry rabbit, with soft, floppity ears, big blue eyes and the most lovable rabbit smile in the world,” were the opening lines. Altogether Ivy Wallace wrote nine Pookie books and seven Animal Shelf books but after her husband’s death in 1967 she lost interest in writing and her books went out of print.
Info from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Wallace
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 March 2011 Southland New Zealand
Pookie & The Swallows – Welcome Swallow