Friday, 24 August 2018

2018 BURTON SWIFTS SUMMARY


Nest site activity recorded at:  

1.   On the front elevation of small cottages adjoining the post office - 1 pair recorded
2.   Cocking Yard - Riggs House and Hangings Farm - 2 pairs confirmed with others suspected
3.   Royal Hotel - Cottage - Front Elevation - 7 pairs confirmed
4.   Royal Hotel - Rear Cottage Annexe - 3 pairs confirmed
5.   Royal Hotel - Rear Cottage Annexe return - 1 pair confirmed
6.   The Coaching House - Gable End (North facing) 3 pairs confirmed
7.   The Coaching House - Rear of building 1 pair confirmed
8.   The Manor House - Front of House- 3 pairs confirmed
9.   The Manor House - Front attached low elevation - 1 pair confirmed
10. The Manor House - Gable End (North facing) 2 pair confirmed 
11. Clawthorpe Hall - Rear of Building 1 pair confirmed plus 2 more pairs highly suspected

Total nest sites recorded

25 nest sites in total confirmed (which is a increase of 3 compared to 2017) as a result of additional nest sites being found in both Cocking Yard (Riggs) and also new sites on The Coaching House.
Approx young raised this year would have been 25 x 2 making it 50 birds and allowing for a 20% loss would comfortably achieve 40 new birds this year. Also allowing for the parent birds at 50 birds (25 pairs approx) would bring a overhall total of adults and young to around the 90 birds.

Arrival and departure

First four Swifts arrived and were recorded at 1930 hrs on May 3rd. Increased to 8 birds by May 10th and a further 7 birds arrived on May 11th bringing the total so far to 15 birds (counted). More birds joined them over the coming days.

The bulk of our birds (at least 30/40) left in the early daylight hours of Sat 28th July 2018, then we were down to 20 by the 31st, then down to 14 on the 1st August, 11 by the 4th, and 5 birds by the 5th and down to our last pair on 6th August. The last pair and their family left us on Mon 20th August 2018 or thereabouts.

Highest number of birds counted in the skies at any one time

As usual the better counts came more to the end of the Swift season of which the highest numbers recorded were:  32 on the 12th July, 40 on the 27th July (preparing for lift off), and 30 on the 30th July.

Observers over the 12 weeks included: 

Bert, Mary Bullimore, Judith and Edward Ellis, May and Reg Hesketh, Kathryn, Branwen Kilburn, Maggie, Sue and Hugh Miles, Angela Sumner,  Bryan Yorke,  and also by close association David Craig and Jane Phillips.

Below are photos showing the various nest sites with their histories marked in red (definite) and some with yellow (unsure)

Cottage on the same row as the Post Office building (Click over to enlarge)

Riggs and Hangings Farm within Cocking Yard (Click over to enlarge)

Front elevation of the Royal Hotel - Cottage (Click over to enlarge)

Shows both rear cottage annexe and also the nest on the return of same
Click over to enlarge

The sites recorded on the "Coaching House"

The sites recorded on the Manor House (Click over to enlarge)


Clawthorpe Hall nest sites (Click over to enlarge)



Thanks to everyone who came along this year and enjoyed the Swifts and I look forward to next year when we hope the birds will be back flying above our village from the 4th May 2019


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Friday, 3 August 2018

Burton Swifts - Thursday 2nd August 2018 week


Monday 20th August 2018 - (Although final observations made at 0715hrs on 23rd August 2018)

I think I can now safely say that our last pair of Swifts and their family will have departed today (Monday 20th August) or thereabouts on their long journey back to Africa, may they have a safe journey and we eagerly await their return on the 4th May 2019. A summary of this years report to follow shortly.

Sunday 19th August 2018 - Main Street

1645hrs  One flying above Morewood and Burton Memorial Hall

Saturday 18th August 2018 - Main Street

1800hrs
A pair seen above the village today (via Jane)

Thursday 16th August 2018 - Main Street

2000hrs One flying high above Memorial Hall

Monday 13th August 2018 - Main Street

2010hrs A single swift above Kings, Manor and Coaching House

Sunday 12th August 2018 - Main Street

2010hrs A single swift above Memorial Hall thought to have come from Royal

Thursday 9th August 2018 - Main Street

2030hrs a single bird above the Kings

Wednesday 8th August 2018 - Main Street

2015hrs  2 birds seen flying above Neddy Hill (Reg and Bryan)

Tuesday 7th August 2018 - Main Street

2030hrs  2 birds seen flying above Kings

Monday 6th August 2018 - Checking out Main Street

Ed Duckett has kindly sent in this photo which shows a "superlarge" collection of Swallows on the telegraph wires near to Clawthorpe Hall, there is well over one hundred and this has been going on now for a day or two. It's usually a sign of group collecting before their long journey, but its rare I have ever seen them collect so early, its usually more to the end of the month and early September.

Photo: Kindly shared by Ed Duckett (Click over to enlarge)

2120hrs - Two birds seen on the Royal. One came out from the front LH corner of the Royal Cottage and another was seen to enter the large slit on the rear annexe of the cottage. (both records were seen by Reg and May Hesketh.

2030hrs - Just a single bird above Memorial Hall.

0900hrs - Just a single bird seen flying above Kings

Sunday 5th August 2018 - Checking out Main Street

2100 to 2130hrs 5 birds flying high between Memorial Hall and Coaching House (Reg and May Hesketh)

2030hrs  4 Swifts seen between Neddy Hill and the Kings

0630hrs  Just a single bird seen flying above Kings

Saturday 4th August 2018 - Checking out Main Street

2030hrs  11 birds present in the skies between Memorial Hall and Royal Hotel.

0930hrs  8 birds in the skies, 6 between Memorial Hall and the Royal with another two between the Kings and the Manor House.

Friday 3rd August 2018 week - Checking Main St

2015hrs  4 birds with two above the area Neddy Hill to the Square, and the other two were between the Kings and the Manor House.

Burton Swifts - Thursday 2nd August 2018 week - Memorial Hall to Royal Hotel

Our Swifts were much reduced to a maximum count of 14 birds which were very active with the best chasing/screaming party of six birds.  Most of the activity was from above the Memorial Hall up to the Royal Hotel areas.

Birds were witnessed going into nest sites in Cocking Yard (either Hangings Farm) or possibly the property further along which has all the ivy covering. Also lots of activity on the rear of the Royal in all the regular sites eg: the return, the large slit hole, the small hole above it, and the very large hole above that.  Also activity was witnessed on the front of the Royal Cottage with a bird entering the nest site to the far left hand side.  Also chicks could be heard from one of the nest sites to the right hand elevations.

Tonight's observers included: Reg and May Hesketh, Sue Miles, Angela Sumner, Bryan Yorke

There is NO meeting this Thursday (9th August 2018)

Thanks to everyone who attended our weekly watches during 2018. A final summary of the "outcome" will be published on this site over the coming days

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Burton Swifts - Friday 28th July 2018 and week



Wednesday 1st August 2018 - Checking out Main Street

2000hrs  14 birds seen in the skies between Memorial Hall and the Royal Hotel

Tuesday 31st July 2018 - Walk along Main Street to Manor House and back

2015hrs (to 2115hrs) 20 birds seen in the skies, also 3 seen entering nest sites to the rear of the Royal Cottage Annexe. A screaming party of 5 birds (watched by Reg and May Hesketh and Angela Sumner)

1915hrs  No birds showing over a 20 minute period.

1000hrs  A solitary bird was seen flying around the Kings/Manor house areas.

Monday 30th July 2018 - Walk along Main Street to Kings and back

30 Swifts flying high over Cocking Yard this evening (watched by Jane Phillips)

2015hrs  12 Swifts in the skies.  At least 10 over the Memorial Hall area and a further two between the Royal and Kings areas.

0910hrs 10 Swifts in the skies between Memorial Hall and Kings.  A party of 6 birds chasing and screaming around the Royal area.

Sunday 29th July 2018 - Walk along Main Street and back

1945hrs
7 Swifts in the skies between Neddy Hill and the Kings area.  Also one came out of nest site at the front of the Royal.  It looks very much like the majority of the birds (probably up to 30 or more) could well have left us yesterday (Saturday 28th July 2018). We did get the impression on Fridays watch that the birds were getting fidgety with lots of irregular aerial swirling movements and perhaps this was signs of collective preparation in readiness for a long haul exit.

LARGE MOVEMENTS SOUTH STARTED AT THE WEEKEND:

On Saturday 28th July 2018 the following records: 4841 Swift went through Spurn (Yorks), 860 Swifts went over Bury (Lancs).
On Sunday 29th July 2018 the following records: 4264 Swift went through Long Nab, Burmiston, North Yorks, 3471 Swift went through Spurn (Yorks), 8542 Swifts flew south past Hemsby (Norfolk) between 5.50am to 7.20am - (Information taken from random sites throughout the Country)

Far reduced sightings were given for the proceeding Friday 27th and following on Monday 30th so it looks like the first big leave happened on Saturday 28th with a lesser move on the Sunday 29th which ties in exactly with our Burton Birds exit.

********************************

Received from Tim and Carolyn Knowlman in Amboise, France (31st July 2018)



Dear Bryan, Many thanks for your message. Yes we have been receiving and enjoying your messages. It is fantastic all the detailed observations you have been making of nest sites.I like your system of adding the dates on in red. We have been busy here contacting château de Chambord ( an incredible place built by François 1 in the 16 th century as a hunting lodge and set in a huge walled park that covers the same area as the city of Paris !). We had discovered that through total ignorance of the existence of swifts nesting there they had been filling in their nest holes when doing renovation work. So 4 of us spent half a day there doing a detailed survey of the site. It was quite a business to get permission & clear security etc.but we had perfect weather conditions & the swifts were there !  Anyway, I attach the photos.These have gone by registered post to a whole long list of people including the builders who are working on the place.
Meanwhile virtually all the swifts left here last week with the main bunch on the 24 th July.This is about a week sooner than last year. It now feels very quiet !

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Burton Swifts Watch - Friday 27th July 2018 - Burton Memorial Hall, Cocking Yard and rear of the Royal Cottage 2000hrs to 2100hrs

Again it was a lovely warm evening throughout the watch although it had become quite cloudy. We had at least 40 Swifts flying high and there could well have been more, it proved so difficult to count.  We had lots of low screaming parties, the largest party we counted was 8. We witnessed one bird leave the Post Office cottages and we also saw another one going into its nest site on Hangings Farm in Cocking Yard. We spent a little while at Cocking Yard and then moved over to the rear of the Royal and stayed there for quite sometime, but never saw any Swifts entering or leaving their nest sites which we thought unusual for the length of time we had spent there, and this had us wondering whether or not the birds had actually already left their nest site.  We did see two birds at the entrance to one of the nest sites last week as though they perhaps could have been preparing to leave.

Tonights observers were: Reg Hesketh, Branwen Kilburn, Maggie, Angela Sumner, Bryan Yorke.


The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 2nd August 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2030hrs - Everyone Welcome  


Friday, 20 July 2018

Burton Swifts - Thursday 19th July 2018 and week


Thursday 19th July 2018 - Swift Watch - Burton Memorial Hall, Cocking Yard and Neddy Hill and the Royal rear annexe buildings 2030hrs to 2200hrs



Shows the two new sites on the front of the Royal Cottage (Click over to enlarge)

Shows the site at Clawthorpe Hall were the Swift was seen leaving the nest earlier today

It was another pleasant night, warm with little cloud and there were Swifts everywhere.  We did manage to count at least 32, a similar count to last week and lots of small screaming parties the largest being around the 7 mark. We first watched the skies over the Memorial Hall before moving on and checking down Neddy Hill and checked out the buildings on the West side called Croftlands because we had been tipped off by David Craig that there has been lots of activity over the past week or two around these buildings.  We did see plenty of Swifts in the sky but none entered the property whilst we were there. Then we moved on to Cocking Yard and later on to the rear of the Royal annexe buildings were we witnessed birds going into 3 separate established sites.  The largest hole on the rear annexe did appear at one time to show two birds looking out and we were unable to establish whether these were adults or juveniles. We did notice things started to go quiet and few birds in the sky from 2200hrs.

Tonights observers included: Reg Hesketh, Sue Miles, Angela Sumner, Bryan Yorke

It was also reported:

Earlier in the day (0900hrs to 0945hrs) that Bryan Yorke had been to check out the Ducketts site at Clawthorpe Hall and he had 11 birds at times flying around screaming above their nest sites.  A single bird was seen to leave the established nest site on the residential building about mid-way across. We do have 3 sites already recorded over past years and can only presume that there will be at least 3 breeding pairs here if not more!

Sue Miles was checking out the front of the Royal Cottage last week (Thursday last up until 2210hrs) and was able to establish a further two nest sites which we had not previously recorded and so we have now also been able to update this area with a further two sites (it's all good news!). She noticed activity seemed to finish around the 2210hrs.

Reg attended yesterdays meeting in regards to the proposed building of new properties which will back up on land near to the recreational areas.  He was able to attend the meeting representing our group and made introductions with the architect.

The group have been contacted by Carolyn Knowlman from Amboise in France and she runs a similar Swift group to us over there. She was writing to invite us to correspond with their group. We all agreed it would be a great idea.  She also has a Swift site is fabulous and is called "Association for the safeguarding of Black Marinets" her site address is: https://sosmartinets.com  Its a fabulous site and safe to use although it may be flagged up by Norton or McAfee, just ignore the flag and enter the site all is safe.


The next Swift watch will be next Friday 27th July 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2030hrs (Please note change of night from Thursday to Friday) - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 13 July 2018

Burton Swifts - Thursday 12th July 2018 and week



Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 12th July 2018 - Burton Memorial Hall 2030hrs to 2130hrs



Tonights new nest site shown in orange to LH side of Riggs House in Cocking Yard

Tonight the skies were filled with Swifts almost wherever you looked there seemed to be activity. We counted approx 32 Swifts in the air at one time although to be honest I am sure this was a under count and there would have been more. We also had plenty of chasing, screaming parties with one in particular containing at least 12 birds. For most of the time the birds seemed to be at low or mid altitude and gave the observer a fabulous show!

We observed the regular Post Office Buildings birds enter and leave its site. Also a bird was seen to enter the LH front of Riggs House in Cocking Yard.  The bird entered the already established nest site at the LH corner, yet moments later a bird was seen to leave the property and coming out on the point of a couple of raised slates which is about 2ft further along from the corner, so whether this was the same bird that entered the site from the LH corner or was it another site altogether.  We will make a note of this and try and check over the coming couple of weeks. Also activity was thought to be going on at the rear of the Royal.

We only checked out the Post Office and Cocking Yard sites this evening.

It was also reported that earlier in the week Bryan Yorke had seen a pair of Swifts using the Ducketts site at Clawthorpe Old Hall and further investigations will be carried out.

Observers included: Reg and May Hesketh, Branwyn Kilburn, Hugh and Sue Miles, Bryan Yorke. It was a very enjoyable and productive watch. 

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 19th July 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at new time of 2030hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 6 July 2018

Burton Swifts - Thursday 5th July 2018 and week



Thursday 5th July 2018 - Burton Swift Watch on Main Street - Burton In Kendal 2030hrs to 2145hrs

Again the skies seem to be busy with Swifts and we had managed to count the largest party of the watch to 22 birds, we also had a party of 8 screaming and chasing birds which could well have been immature birds.  We witnessed a bird entering the regular site on the cottages on the Post Office Row.  Also we had another view of a Swift entering the small hole midway down the building on the front of the Royal Cottage. One was seen entering the nest sites on the rear annexe building of the Royal Cottage. Also a further two sightings of birds entering or leaving nest sites from the gable end area of the Coaching House.

We have so far recorded 21 Swift nesting sites from within Burton.

We were also privileged to see and hear a high flying Oystercatcher when it flew over the village from the E to W direction.

By putting the starting time back a little it does seem to be more productive and so the group decided we would keep to the same starting time next week.  Also it was suggested we send out a email to all within the group confirming our meet up times on a weekly basis.

Observers tonight included:  Reg and May Hesketh, Branwen Kilburn, Hugh and Sue Miles, Bryan Yorke.

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 12th July 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at new time of 2030hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Burton Swifts - Friday 29th June 2018 and week


Swift Watch - Friday 29th June 2018 - Burton Main Street checking usual sites


Lots of great activity on the Coaching House this week with 4 sites recording for 2018 so far
Click over photo to enlarge

We started off from the Memorial Hall, and then moved on to Cocking Yard which turned out to be a very pleasant surprise.  Whilst observing we actually witnessed a Swift going into the left hand corner high elevation behind the barge board of Riggs House and the house owner came out and told us of another Swift nest site he had on the rear of his property and we were then kindly invited to go to the back of the house to check it out. The owner had seen a Swift entering his property on a regular bases and it was somewhere about the middle of the property on the high elevation. Not only that we were also assured by other house owners who approached us whilst in Cocking Yard that there were even more nesting pairs on another house on the right hand side and also on Hangings Farm and its adjoining property, again we were unaware of these sites so do intend to try and get some observations here over the coming couple of weeks.

We then moved on to the Royal in particular checking out the rear annexe of which we were still a bird short to fill the very large nest hole at the very top.  Sure enough tonight was one of those nights when everything was happening and before long we witnessed a bird using this site, which completes all the established nest sites that we are aware of on the rear of the Royal. Besides this one we also saw two birds enter the larger horizontal slit hole and also birds entering and leaving the small hole just above and left of the large slit hole.

Moving on to the front of the Royal and things got even better with a bird seen to enter a nest site to the LH side of the third window along on the high elevation (right hand side of building).  This again was the first time we have witnessed this site being used this year, bring the total nest sites being used on the "Royal Cottage and rear Annexed building" to a total of 9 sites which is fantastic!!

In the skies above Main Street and counted from around the Royal Areas we had a total of at least 15 birds in the skies, with plenty of small parties (up to seven in a party), screaming and chasing one another throughout the watch.

We then briefly checked out the Manor House, before going up to the rear and gable areas of The Coaching House.  We were inspired to check this area in particular because Sue had noticed a Swift leaving a new site on the rear upper elevation during the week, and sure enough we were not to be disappointed.  Although we did not see the one Sue had seen we were treated to a "grand performance" from other Swifts which had obviously occupied up to three separate sites on the gable high elevation.  We think that two of these sites are previously recorded.  So from Sues record and ours tonight we can confirm breeding in at least 4 new sites on the Coaching House which again is just fantastic!!

Tonights observers were:  Bert (welcome Bert), Mary Bullimore, Reg Hesketh, Kathryn, Bryan Yorke

Swifts of Cocking Yard as of 29th June 2018 (Click over photo to enlarge)
Swifts now confirmed on the front of the Royal Cottage (Click over photo to enlarge)

All regular sites now confirmed for 2018 (Click over photo to enlarge)
The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 5th July 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at new time of 2030hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 22 June 2018

Burton Swifts - Thursday 21st June 2018 and week.


Friday 22nd June 2018 "Glebe Close" Burton In Kendal 1300hrs to 1400hrs


Properties in question - Glebe Close cul-de-sac
(Click over photo to enlarge)

At least six Swifts constantly flying low within the square dimensional open cul-de-sac area of Glebe Close and every few minutes would be seen flying up to the eaves of the different properties as though trying to find nest sites or canvassing the area for a site or maybe for some other reason and without landing would immediately fly away and come back and repeat this behaviour on that or other nearby properties.  This is the very first time I have seen them doing this here and carrying out this strange behaviour for such a prolonged period (approx one hour). I wonder what could have triggered this strange behaviour and especially why here on the modern build properties (1980s) which are all tightly rendered up to and between the rafter ends and have no open access for bird nest sites. I can only think perhaps that these are immature birds from maybe last year or the year before. I cannot understand why breeding birds would have the time and energy to want to participate in this. I have also seen a similar behaviour to this here before performed by House Martins, but this only ever lasted for ten minutes or so.

Thursday 21st June 2018 and week - Burton In Kendal - Main Street

Very little activity was seen tonight, we checked out the Post Office Cottages, Cocking Yard, the rear of the Royal and the Manor House.  We had a total of ten birds seen in the skies along the full stretch of Main Street.  We also watched one bird has it left the regular nest site at the Post Office cottages, and we also witnessed a bird enterting and leaving the nest site at the gable corner of the Manor House (ex Starling Hole!) It was clear skies and the opinion of the group were that most of the Swifts were feeding up at high altitude and escaping view.

Tonights observers were: Reg Hesketh, Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke.

The next Swift watch will be next Friday 29th June 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 15 June 2018

Burton Swifts - Thursday 14th June 2018 and week



Thursday 14th June 2018 and week - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

The weather has changed considerably in the last 12 hours having just gone through severe strong winds, although the situation was beginning to settle down again.

It was a hit and miss to see the Swifts because at times the skies seemed almost absent and then you would see a small flurry with anything between 5 and 8 birds and just a couple of occasions did we have a party of three which were screaming.  The best count of birds in the sky tonight was 11 birds.

Whilst observing from the Memorial Hall, we were lucky to see one bird leave its nest site to the left hand side of the right window of the cottage next but one to the Post Office.  Also we then checked out Cocking Yard and was able to confirm the bird using its long established site at Hangings Farm and we were told also that it is possible they are using the site on the right hand site at the drop level with the black drainpipe (this needs to be confirmed).

We then went observing at the Royal Cottage and rear annexe but had nothing to report and then continued on to the Manor House.  At the Manor House I had one bird enter the lower gable site which the starlings occupied last year.

Tonight's observers were: Reg and May Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke.

Here are photos showing the progress to date:

Shows nest site recorded tonight on the cottages on the Post Office Buildings block (Click over to enlarge)

Shows nest site recorded tonight on the "Hangings Farm" in Cocking Yard (Click over to enlarge)

Shows Records so far this year on the Manor House (Click over to enlarge)

Shows records so far this year on the Royal Hotel Cottage (front elevation) (Click over to enlarge)


Shows records so far this year on rear annexe of the Royal Cottage building (Click over to enlarge)

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 21st June 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome   

Friday, 8 June 2018

Burton Swifts - Thursday 7th June 2018 and week


We checked out a total of nine birds in the skies between the Memorial Hall and over the Royal Hotel areas.  This week we concentrated our efforts on both the front and back of the Royal and it paid off with us being able to establish that a further five of the established nest sites were being used yet again this year and also a further additional site was also confirmed by Hugh who had earlier seen birds using one of the old established sites on the front of the Royal Cottage. This bringing the Royal total count now up to 7 nest sites being used as we know of.

We are also aware from past recent counts that a further 6 nest sites are being used on the Manor House, which brings the total nest sites so far being used up to 13 sites in residence.

Tonights observers included: Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles, Bryan Yorke. We agreed to meet up again next Thursday at 2000hrs at the Burton Memorial Hall - Everyone is welcome



All 2018 nest sites recorded so far on the Royal Cottage (click over to enlarge)
Still one or two of the established sites to be occupied above the window to the Right Hand



All 2018 nest sites currently being used (Click over to enlarge)
Just one of the regular sites to our knowledge unnocupied - the top large hole


Manor House nest sites for 2018 (Click over to enlarge)

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 14th June 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome   

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Burton Swifts - Friday 1st June and week


The Royal "Cottage" 2018 site confirmed to far right side

We changed our Swift night to the Friday evening because of the Bat Night being presented at the Memorial Hall on the Thursday evening.

We started off from Memorial Hall at 2000hrs and had counted approximately ten birds flying about this area but there could have been more.  We checked out Cocking Yard, The Royal and finished off at the Manor.  We noticed at least a further four birds over the Manor House area.  On our way back we managed to confirm a bird going into the front of the cottage to a established site on the right side of the building (see photo for details)

We estimate we have somewhere around the 15-20 birds back with us, which is somewhere about the average for us.

Tonights observers were Reg Hesketh and Bryan Yorke.

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 7th June 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 25 May 2018

Burton Swifts - Thursday 24th May 2018 and week


Thursday 31st May 2018 - Over Burton Memorial Hall 2100hrs

After coming out of the Hall after watching a fabulous presentation on Bats given by Gail Armstrong, I then counted 15 Swifts in close proximity high over the Hall, Post Office building, so I guess we may have quite a lot back now!  hopefully tomorrows Swift night will give us a better indication.

Burton Swift watch on Thursday 24th May 2018 - from Burton Memorial Hall at 2000hrs to 2145hrs

We did count a approximate total of 15 birds in the sky but could well have been more, there were lots of excited chasing parties seen tonight at both ends of the Swift corridor, constantly going past whilst screaming away obviously enjoying the abundance of low insects. It was a fabulous watch and we were able to establish that all but one of the Manor House sites are currently being used (six sites in all)

Sticking with the Manor House we were very concerned at one point when we had already seen a Swift enter one of the regular gable end sites (the same site confirmed only last week), and this was quickly followed by yet another Swift into the same nest hole, but the 2nd Swift gave the appearance that it was stuck at the entrance and seemed to be doing contortions with a single wing which could be clearly seen sticking out and sort of twisting around as though it was struggling for movability.  What made it even worse was we then saw yet another Swift trying to get in the same entrance, but this was seen to abort on several occasions simply because the hole was blocked off by the earlier bird. After observing for almost one hour at this site we thankfully did see the bird eventually come out followed by the other one, so all was well after the event! Through all this commotion it did give us all chance to do a more complete study on the situation at the Manor House and we found that we witnessed that six sites on the property were being used.  We only have seven booked off so we are doing really well on the Manor, almost to capacity.

Tonights observers included: Mary Bullimore, Mrs. Judith Ellis, Mr. Edward Ellis, Hugh and Sue Miles, Bryan Yorke.

Manor House Swift Sites tonight 24th May 2018 (Click over photo to enlarge)
The next Swift watch will be next Friday 1st June 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  




Friday, 18 May 2018

Burton Swifts - Thursday 17th May 2018 week



Thursday 17th May 2018 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs to 2045hrs

We counted at least 7 Swifts which at times were flying together chasing and screaming between the area of the Memorial Hall and the Royal.  Then we had a further four Swifts flying between the Kings and the Manor House making a approx total of 11 birds.

We managed to witness a pair going into the gable end of the Manor House has marked off on the photo below. Also we did see a further pair of Swifts leaving a property just west of the Manor House, this would be a further new site to us.

Observers were: Reg Hesketh, Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke.

Manor House Swift sites (Click over to enlarge)

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 24th May 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Thursday, 3 May 2018

SWIFT UPDATES 2018 (Early Days)


Saturday 12th May 2018 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

(1945hrs) 16 Swifts flying above Main St with 12 flying between Memorial Hall and over the Royal with two of these seen to enter nest holes in the rear annexe to the Royal.  Also a further 4 at least flying over the area between the Manor House and the Kings Arms. 

Friday 11th May 2018 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

(2015hrs)  GOOD NEWS! At long last we now have 15 birds in the skies over Main Street between the Memorial Hall to the Manor House.  

(0945hrs) Just had two birds which came from out of the front elevation eaves at the Royal Cottage. One single seen earlier high above Neddy Hill could well have been one of these birds - not sure, but the skies were rather birdless this morning.

Thursday 10th May 2018 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

(2000hrs)  A definite 8 Swifts (possibly 10) flying between Memorial Hall and Boon Town

Tuesday 8th May 2018 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

(2000hrs)  Just two Swifts seen high above Memorial Hall.

(0700hrs) At least 6 Swifts high above Royal to Memorial Hall areas

Monday 7th May 2018 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

(1530hrs) 6 Swifts over back of Royal/Cocking Yard area as seen from Bowling Club (via Hugh and Sue)

(1300hrs) 3 Swifts chasing one another and screaming at the back of the Royal Area.

(0600hrs)  Just one swift seen around the Royal area

Sunday 6th May 2018 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

(1930hrs)  Two birds flying around the Royal rear elevations. Then watch has both birds went into a old nesting site we have down from a few years ago on the rear of the side elevation of the main building which goes up Boon Town Lane (witnessed from up near the Bowling Green facility) the birds both left the area after about 20 seconds or so. No more birds reported.

Saturday 5th May 2018 - Main St, Burton In Kendal

(2100hrs)  One noticed flying low to the back of the Royal Annexe.

(1800hrs)  Checked Main Street and no Swifts seen anywhere

(1045hrs)  Still just two Swifts seen high over Burton Memorial Hall.

Friday 4th May 2018 - Main St, Burton In Kendal

(2000hrs)  Just two Swifts seen high over Burton Memorial Hall.

(0910hrs)
Two of our Swifts were seen to leave the upper eaves on the front LH to middle of the Royal Hotel. Both birds left simultaneously and were about two metres apart.

Thursday 3rd May 2018 - 1930hrs

First four Swifts are back in the village and witnessed at around 1930hrs.  They were seen high to medium above the Manor House and the Royal Hotel Cottage.  One appeared to enter the eaves to the LH front of the eaves on the Cottage but this was not confirmed.

The first Swift watch for 2018 will be next Thursday 17th May 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  


Saturday, 19 August 2017

2017 BURTON SWIFT RECORDS (Summary)





2017

Presumed nest site activity recorded at: 

1.  Clawthorpe Hall Offices (Messrs Ducketts) 3 pairs presumed (not confirmed) (3 pairs)
2.  Front elevation of the small cottages attached to the Post Office - 2 pairs recorded (2 pairs)
3.  Three pairs suspected within Cocking Yard.  (3 pairs)
4.  Royal Hotel rear annexe and return 4 pairs nested (4 pairs)
5.  Royal Hotel cottage front elevation 5 pairs recorded (5 pairs)
6.  The Coaching House - all elevations - no birds recorded this year.
7.  Manor House - 5 sites on Gable, and Main front and Cottage - 5 sites this year (5 pairs)

Please check out photos below which relate to the above sites.

Total nest sites which we suspect nesting 

22 nest sites in total.  Showing a decrease of nest sites this year by one site.
Young raised this year purely estimated on the low side of 2 per nest less 20% approx = 35 birds.
Breeding adults estimate at 2 per nest site - 44 birds - Chicks raised estimate 35 birds - estimated immature birds 20.  Making a estimated total birds involved with Burton Village eg: Parents, Chicks and Immatures on Recci could have been as many as 90 birds (estimated)

Arrivals and Departure dates

The first 6 birds arrived back on Friday 5th May at 1700hrs, this increased to 10 birds by 1900 on the following evening, and increased by a further 15 by 1200hrs the following day the 7th May.

The first large departure was on Sunday 6th August 2017 when the majority of birds left, this was followed by a second large departure of at least 20 birds on Friday 11th August, followed by a further 8 birds on Sunday 13th August.  The last bird seen was a single bird on territory and flying high over the Kings on the evening of 17th August 2017.

Highest number of birds counted at any one time was:

46 recorded on the Swift night on Thursday 3rd August 2017.

Observers over the 12 weeks included: 

Mary Bullimore, David Craig, Judith and Edward Ellis, Reg Hesketh, Branwen Kilburn, Hugh and Sue Miles, Jane Phillips, Angela Sumner, Bryan Yorke,

Below are photos showing the various nest sites with their histories marked in red

CLAWTHORPE HALL (Messrs Ducketts) NEST SITES MARKED IN RED

Please click over photos to enlarge


COTTAGE ON POST OFFICE ROW (below)


Cottages on the Post Office Row (Click over to enlarge)


"COCKING YARD" (below)

This is "Hangings Farm" in Cocking Yard a really good site used in all years since 2013.
We also suspect two further nest sites have been used in Cocking Yard during 2017
(Click over the photo to enlarge)

ROYAL HOTEL and REAR ANNEXE and COTTAGE (below)


Royal Hotel - Rear Annexe and showing the return (Click over to enlarge)

This is the Royal Hotel "Cottage" a low elevation showing all the nest sites.
(Click over photo to enlarge)

THE COACHING HOUSE (Below)


" The Coaching House" (Click over to enlarge)
Sadly although we cannot be sure, we never saw any sites being used on this building during 2017



"The Manor House" and the Cottage (Click over to enlarge)

Although two of the regular sites were not used this year (as far as we know) you may notice two new sites
 - one on the front by the drainpipe and also one new one on the small cottage.


Thanks to everyone who came along this year and enjoyed the Swifts and I look forward to next year when we hope the birds will be back flying above our village from the 4th May 2018

*********

Friday, 11 August 2017

Burton Swift Group - Thursday 10th August 2017 week


Friday 18th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs

0 Swifts

Thursday 17th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs

1 Swift - a single bird hawking the skies to the W side of the Kings.

Wednesday 16th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs

0 Swifts

Tuesday 15th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 1930hrs

0 Swifts

Monday 14th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2020hrs

0 Swifts - overcast with prolonged rain

Sunday 13th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2040hrs

3 Swifts hawking the skies over Manor House, Kings areas - very high - dry and still evening.

Saturday 12th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2030hrs

8 Swifts
in the skies above Neddy Hill and the Royal very high - fine evening.

Saturday 12th August - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 0800hrs

2 Swifts
over the Manor House areas also a group of 5 Martins behind the School. Again Overcast with the lightest of drizzle.

Friday 11th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs

One Swift
hunting high above the Memorial Hall. Very overcast threatening rain.

Thursday 10th August 2017  - Main Street, Burton In Kendal - 2000hrs to 2100hrs

We noticed Swifts straightaway really high over the Memorial Hall and that is were they remained for most of the time of our observations.  The count started with about 10 birds but quickly accelerated to teens, latter teens and a maximum of 27 birds in the sky at the same time.  Almost on the hour the birds did move slightly towards the Neddy Hill and Royal areas and by the close of our counting time it was getting pretty dark.  Though we were treated to a special treat when we were priviliged to see a bird return to its nesting site at the eaves above the right hand window jamb stone of the Royal Hotel cottage.

It was great to hear from Angela of her records over the past couple of days, and the day before she had quite a good number of birds (late teens) at 2100hrs although much earlier in the hour I had only had the single bird on my quick stroll up Main Street.  So it just goes to show that you can be there one minute and see very little, but be there half a hour later and you can get birds in double figures having come into view or returned from outward foraging.

It is quite remarkable we are getting so many birds at such a late date and selfishly superb for the observers.  We have decided to call tonight's watch the last of the year although I will try and take a "rough" count over the coming days to monitor the outgoing birds best we can.

Also we all agreed that Reg would kindly ask Tanya and Edmund Hoare of Sedbergh if they will kindly come and put on their Swift presentation at the Memorial Hall (a date to be arranged for over the Winter months. Anne Nicholls and Barry Morgan of the Burton News will be in charge of the arrangements for the Memorial Hall and details will be given in the Burton News in due course.

Observers tonight included: David Craig, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles, Angela Sumner and Bryan Yorke.

A Summary and final report will be issued in a couple of weeks time when all the birds have gone.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Burton Swift Group - Thursday 3rd August 2017 and week


Checking out the Swifts Wed 9th August 2017 - Main Street at 2015hrs

Just a single Swift tonight flying West over Neddy Hill. Weather Dry, blue skies etc.

A very interesting link you may wish to check out Re: Migrating Birds not being able to take into consideration the change in earlier Spring dates which we seem to be getting on account of global warming, the link is here:

To check the Migrating Birds link   PLEASE CLICK HERE 

Checking out the Swifts Tues 8th August 2017 - Main Street at 2030hrs

A lovely surprise to see 26 Swifts flying above the Memorial Hall, Neddy Hill Areas.  I still think the bulk of the Swifts may well have left us on Sunday last, but time will tell.

Checking out the Swifts Mon 7th August 2017 - Main Street at 2030hrs

Just 2 Swifts tonight, and although far too early to confirm it does look like the bulk of the Swifts may well have set off sometime during Sunday (6th August) on their long journey back to Africa. They probably went off in advance of the wet weather front we had during that day. 20 Martins observed over the Tanpits- Morewood Drive areas

Checking out the Swifts Mon 7th August 2017 - Main Street at 0900hrs

No Swifts seen over a 20 minute check up throughout Main Street, just the odd Swallow and Martin. Weather dry with blue sky (at the present)

Checking out the Swifts Sun 6th August 2017 - Main Street at 2045hrs

Not one single bird! but the weather was bad with heavy rain showers.

Checking out the Swifts Sat 5th August 2017 - Main Street at 2030hrs

Best count was 35 birds very high above Memorial Hall to Manor House with 26 at the Memorial Hall end and a further 9 over the Manor House Area

Checking out the Swifts Fri 4th August 2017 - Main Street at 2030hrs

Best count was at 26 birds with a screaming party of 8 birds.

Burton Swift Group - Thr 3rd August 2017 week - Main Street 2000hrs to 2100hrs

We met at the Memorial Hall were we witnessed lots of birds right from go with large parties screaming in the skies.  It was one of those nights were they seemed to be everywhere.

The best count tonight was 46 in the sky all at once but there could well have been more, because as we walked along Main Street towards the Manor House we saw even more parties of birds.

I don't know whether this will be the maximum count this year, but I would not be surprised if that was the case, however we will try to monitor them as the days pass and hopefully we can meet up again next week.

Tonight's observers included: Mary Bullimore, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke.

The next (and probably the final of the year) Swift watch will be next Thursday 10th August 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 28 July 2017

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 27th July 2017 and week

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Wed 2nd August 2017 - 2030hrs

11 birds in total recorded. One entry into front of Royal Cottage when going past on return one leaving Royal Cottage and quickly followed by another entering. A established site already recorded. (B.Yorke)

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Tues 1st August 2017 2030hrs

28 birds (minimum) hawking the skies between Memorial Hall and Manor House (B.Yorke)

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Mon 31st July 2017 2015hrs

24 birds hawking the skies mainly over Neddy Hill, Royal and Manor areas (B.Yorke)

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Sun 30th July 2017 2040hrs

34 birds mainly over Memorial Hall, Neddy Hill, Cocking Yard and Royal.  Also even more birds down above the Manor House (B.Yorke)

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Sat 29th July 2017 2000hrs 

7 birds to count (B.Yorke)

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 27th July 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs to 2045hrs

Well tonight was just amazing and we counted no less than 36 birds in one counting high above the Memorial Hall and Neddy Hill areas but there could well have been more in other parts of Burton, the skies were alive with Swifts everywhere! We all felt that perhaps many young birds must have joined the party or the large "ball" of Swifts which we were witnessing. At one stage we actually saw a group of no less than 18 birds in chasing procession and screaming as they went past us - high, some very high.  Unfortunately the weather was not good and rain came in from 2030hrs so we actually curtailed our watch early, but what a fabulous spectacle.

It's obviously getting very close to the leaving dates and I do intend to try and get out daily to do a rough count and hopefully try and assess just how many are still with us in the skies.  Its the only way to find out the actual depart days and then it is only a "indication".

We are still having a meet up next week because usually its during the first week in August that most of the birds will depart but like only two years ago the bulk of the birds decided to leave us on 28th July 2015.

Tonight's observers included: David Craig, Reg Hesketh and Bryan Yorke.

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 3rd August 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 21 July 2017

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 20th July 2017 week


Burton Swift Watch - Thr 20th July 2017 - 2000hrs "Burton Memorial Hall"

We were invited to attend the monthly meeting of the Parish Council held at the Burton Memorial Hall to address the Council (prior to their meeting) on the status of Swifts in our village. We were well supported.  I did manage to outline a brief description of the Swift and a summary of the migration routes and details. I also then gave a summary of the birds we have in Burton, the numbers and the nest sites and current activity of the birds, and also explained briefly our purpose of counting and observing, also mentioned about our affiliation to the "Swifts In The Community" and the bigger picture of our findings which are also being used by the BTO (birdtrack) for surveys together with the information being of interest for considerations in respect to future building and planning applications etc.

It also gave us the opportunity to mention that we would love it if the Swift conservation side could be considered on future building activity within the Village. I did also show them a sample of a Swift brick and other ideas which could be incorporated within buildings of old or new builds.  We all got the impression that we were well received, and without doubt the meeting seemed quite successful.

So moving on we met outside of the Memorial Hall from 2000hrs to observe the Swifts, but it was going to be one of those nights with very little seen. It was a little cooler this evening with a build in the wind and most of the birds we did see seemed quite high.   We did see up to five birds from there so we shortly moved on a little and did short observations from both opposite the Royal Cottage and then further along Main Street to opposite the Coaching House and the Manor. We did see a bird entering and shortly after leaving one of the already established nest sites on the Royal Cottage.  Also we did have a Swift enter one of the established nest sites on the front of the Manor House.  Whilst stood across from the Manor we did manage to get our aerial swift numbers up to seven so we presumed more birds had come back in from their outbound foraging!  On leaving and heading back some of us noticed that even more birds had arrived back and we did manage to count up to eleven birds high above Neddy Hill.

Tonight's observers included:  Mary Bullimore, David Craig, Kathryn, Hugh and Sue Miles, Angela Sumner and Bryan Yorke.

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 27th July 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome