Friday, 2 August 2019

Burton Swifts - Thursday 1st August 2019 week.....



Wednesday 14th August 2019

(2015hrs)  3 Swifts over Memorial Hall

Tuesday 13th August 2019

(2030hrs) 2 Swifts over Memorial Hall

Monday 12th August 2019

(1630hrs) 2 Swifts over Neddy Hill and Cocking Yard

Sunday 11th August 2019

(2015hrs) 2 Swifts over the South of the Village (Reg)

Thursday 8th August 2019

(0945hrs)  2 Swifts over Neddy Hill/Cocking Yard (Reg)

Wednesday 7th August 2019

(2100hrs) 2 Swifts over Memorial Hall and Neddy Hill (Reg)

Tuesday 6th August 2019

(2015hrs) 3 Swifts seen with 2 over the Kings/Coach House/Manor House areas and just a solitary bird over the Memorial Hall.

Monday 5th August 2019

(2100hrs)  at least 10 Swifts again with Martins closeby down Neddy Hill
(0900hrs) 2 Swifts seen above the Royal area

Sunday 4th August 2019

(2030hrs) At least 10 Swifts in with 15 House Martins above Memorial Hall
(0800hrs) At least 20 Swifts still with us at all low points between Kings and Memorial Hall

Saturday 3rd August 2019

(2100hrs) At least 20 Swifts flying above Memorial Hall and Neddy Hill
(0900hrs) 17 minimum Swifts flying in the skies above the Royal to the Kings with occasional Memorial Hall/Neddy Hill

Friday 2nd August 2019

(2100hrs) Still 30 Swifts over Memorial Hall and down towards Neddy Hill. 
(0900hrs) I had 30 Swifts over Memorial Hall.
also Jane reported 20-30 in screaming party between Cocking Yard and Memorial Hall.

Thursday 1st August 2019

We met up at 2000hrs at the Memorial Hall to observe the Swifts as a group for the last time this year.
It seemed pretty clear that quite a lot of birds had departed earlier in the day and we only managed to count the largest number in the skies at one time as 15 birds with the best screaming party of 7 birds. Most of the birds were being seen between the Memorial Hall and towards the bottom of Neddy Hill, although you could also see birds above Main Street towards the Kings area. 

We also managed to see on two separate occasions the birds nesting on the cottages on the Post Office block enter its nest site by the eaves.

Notes are still being gathered on a daily basis for the next 10-14 days just to try and ascertain on what date the last birds leave us, so please keep checking the site for up to date information over the coming fortnight.  Also I will send one further email with a summary, in about two weeks time which hopefully will show how the Swifts have faired this year.

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

Here below are notes from the past week showing the numbers of Swifts we have had:

Thursday 1st August 2019

(2000hrs) 15 Swifts above Memorial Hall/Neddy Hill areas

(0930hrs)  14 Swifts above Memorial Hall/Neddy Hill areas

Wednesday 31st July 2019

(2030hrs) 35 Swifts above Memorial Hall/Neddy Hill areas
(0800hrs) 18 Swifts above Memorial Hall/Neddy Hill areas

Tuesday 30th July 2019

(2100hrs) Only 6 Swifts seen over Memorial Hall and Neddy Hill areas, none seen down near Coach House/Manor House. Also small screaming party heard whilst walking down by Neddy Hill.  Looks possible that lots of Swifts departed earlier today....

Monday 29th July 2019

(2100hrs) Still 40 Swifts around the village, with approx 30 over the Royal/Memorial Hall whilst approx 10 down near the Manor/Coach House.

Friday 26th July 2019

Friday morning still lots of Swifts about with 40 at the North End of Main Street and 10 at the South End of Main Street 


***Of note (and revised): It was reported on 31st July 2019 that 10,000 Swifts past south through Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire***

Friday, 26 July 2019

Burton Swifts - Thursday 25th July 2019 week



Thursday 1st August 2019

(0930hrs)  14 Swifts above Memorial Hall/Neddy Hill areas

Wednesday 31st July 2019

(2030hrs) 35 Swifts above Memorial Hall/Neddy Hill areas
(0800hrs) 18 Swifts above Memorial Hall/Neddy Hill areas

Tuesday 30th July 2019

(2100hrs) Only 6 Swifts seen over Memorial Hall and Neddy Hill areas, none seen down near Coach House/Manor House. Also small screaming party heard whilst walking down by Neddy Hill.  Looks possible that lots of Swifts departed earlier today....

Monday 29th July 2019

(2100hrs) Still 40 Swifts around the village, with approx 30 over the Royal/Memorial Hall whilst approx 10 down near the Manor/Coach House.

Friday 26th July 2019

Friday morning still lots of Swifts about with 40 at the North End of Main Street and 10 at the South End of Main Street 

Thursday 25th July 2019

It has been a Swift week without doubt! but is this gathering all a advance warning to say our little friends are about to leave us! I am sure it is.  They usually start to depart somewhere around the 28th July and over the next week or so.

The story begins the day before which was Wednesday, when Sandra on her way back from her walk phoned me to say that there were large numbers of Swifts all along Main Street and lots of chasing parties. This was about 2100hrs.  So off I went to meet her and we watched numerous Swifts at every point along the Main Street from the Memorial Hall as far as the Manor House. To be honest I have never seen so many Swifts at one time and they were too numerous to count properly although I did manage to confirm at least 40 but this was without doubt a very low estimate to what there must have been and I would have guessed somewhere between 50 to 60 birds were making the most of it. I even recorded one screaming party of at least 20 trailing birds, what a brilliant watch.


So back to last night, we met up as usual at the Memorial Hall and did our full watch from there. We seemed to count a maximum of 10 birds for the first half hour, and then it all changed! when more and more birds started coming into the group and before long we were counting up to 40 birds with at one time a screaming party of 32 birds.  Also whilst watching from the Memorial Hall we did see on two separate occasions birds entering their nest site on the Cottage across the road attached to the Post Office, also we saw low flyers diving sharply as though perhaps they were going into nest sites within Cocking Yard. Again another magical Swift evening. 

During the week I received a lovely email from SOS Martinets (France) showing a small film they have made which will be going on at their local cinemas before the main film to bring awareness of the plight of our Swifts - please click over the following links (use translator usually shown in top corner): 






Tonight's observers included: Mary Bullimore, Reg Hesketh, Angela Sumner and Bryan Yorke.

Nest sites occupied so far this year = (25) 

Post Office Buildings (1)
Cocking Yard (5) maxed
Royal Cottage rear (4) maxed
Royal Cottage front (5) out of 7
Coach House gable and rear (3) 
Manor House gable, front and annexe (4) out of 6
Clawthorpe Hall Offices and Lowther House (3) 

Historic final end of season counts were as follows:
2018 = 25 sites
2017 = 22 sites
2016 = 23 sites
2015 = 20 sites


The next Swift watch will be probably be the very last watch of the year next Thursday 1st August 2019  - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  


Friday, 19 July 2019

Burton Swifts - Thursday 18th July 2019 week





As usual we met up at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs, we counted a maximum of 11 birds in the skies overhead, and much later we counted 10 birds over the Manor House/Coach House areas, we are not sure whether these were the same birds or not. 

Sadly we found a dead Swift in the road which was probably a casualty from passing traffic.  It was found almost opposite the Royal "Cottage" front left hand side elevation. 

We spent most of the time watching the Coach House whilst trying to combine the watch across to the Manor House. We did notice a couple of birds leaving the Manor House gable corner nestsite which is used annually.  

Another bird was seen to leave the gable area of the Coach House although we could not establish from just were it had came from.  But a little later we were to experience a great sighting with two separate birds coming in (almost at the same time) to two NEW sites along the gable eave areas which we had not so far recorded this year.

It was great to hear from Ed Duckett who has kindly kept a eye on the Swifts down at Clawthorpe Hall and informs us that he has been fortunate to record a definite 3 nest to the rear of Lowther House with a possibility of another one over Campbell Cottage. He has noted at least 6 birds in the skies at any one time. 

Nest sites recorded on Lowther Hse, Clawthorpe Hall 

We finished the watch at 2100hrs approx. Tonight's observers included: Reg Hesketh, Branwen Kilburn, Angela Sumner and Bryan Yorke.

Nest sites occupied so far this year = (26) 

Post Office Buildings (1)
Cocking Yard (5) maxed
Royal Cottage rear (4) maxed
Royal Cottage front (5) out of 7
Coach House gable and rear (4) 
Manor House gable, front and annexe (4) out of 6

Clawthorpe Hall Offices and Lowther House (3) 

Historic final end of season counts were as follows:
2018 = 25 sites
2017 = 22 sites
2016 = 23 sites

2015 = 20 sites

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 25th July 2019 (this will probably be the next to the last watch) - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Burton Swifts - Thursday 11th July 2019 week



We met at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs and watched the Swifts circling and chasing. The highest count was 12 birds.  We started watching at Cocking Yard and told by the resident of Riggs House that he not only had the (already recorded) nest on the front, but that also the one on the rear of his house was being used again, it lies about 1/2 way along the eaves line, so this was such good news and confirmed yet another nest site was being used this year.

A bird was seen by Sue to enter the front of the Royal Cottage, in the small hole site to the LH side, part way down the wall.

We moved on to the Coaching House where we have been desperate to get some results, well perseverance did pay off! we did part see a bird leave a nest site but could not determine the actual spot.  But a little later we did see a bird leave a old established site to the left hand of the small port hole.  So this now has confirmed at least one site on the Coach House.   We also counted at least 7 birds in the skies above the Manor House, but we cannot tell whether there will be overlap with the birds above the Memorial Hall.

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

Nest sites occupied so far this year = (20) plus probable 2 at Clawthorpe. 

Post Office Buildings (1)
Cocking Yard (5) maxed
Royal Cottage rear (4) maxed
Royal Cottage front (5) out of 7
Coach House gable and rear (1) out of 4
Manor House gable, front and annexe (4) out of 6

Clawthorpe Hall Offices (?) seen 3 birds in skies overhead

Historic final end of season counts were as follows:
2018 = 25 sites
2017 = 22 sites
2016 = 23 sites
2015 = 20 sites

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 18th July 2019  - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 5 July 2019

Burton Swifts - Thursday 4th July 2019 week



We met as usual at the Memorial Hall were we witnessed up to 9 Swifts in the skies, yet throughout our watch there seemed to be little activity.  We did get the impression that perhaps most of the birds had gone further afield to gain necessary amounts of food, this absence of birds (local) seems to becoming more and more regular with each watch. Are there not enough insects around these days?

We checked out Cocking Yard, and the front of the Royal Cottage yet never witnessed any nesting activity, we then moved on towards the Manor House and the Coach House. Whilst there, we did witness up to six birds in the skies, yet we got the impression perhaps they could well have been the same birds we had noticed flying high above the Memorial Hall.  The only nesting activity we "almost" saw, was a bird coming out of the gable end area of the Coach House, although the actual site could not be recorded, the bird came out so fast we all missed the actual exit place. 

Tonights observers were: Reg Hesketh, Branwyn Kilburn, Angela Sumner and Bryan Yorke. 

Nest sites occupied so far this year = (19) plus probable 2 at Clawthorpe. 

Post Office Buildings (1)
Cocking Yard (4) maxed
Royal Cottage rear (4) maxed
Royal Cottage front (5) out of 7
Coach House gable and rear (1?) out of 4
Manor House gable, front and annexe (4) out of 6

Clawthorpe Hall Offices (?) seen 3 birds in skies overhead

Historic final end of season counts were as follows:
2018 = 25 sites
2017 = 22 sites
2016 = 23 sites
2015 = 20 sites

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 11th July 2019  - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Burton Swifts - Friday 28th June 2019 week



Front Royal Hotel Cottage elevation (Click over to enlarge)
Shows the nesting site histories including 2019 so far

It's good news!
We are now up to 19 confirmed nest sites already..... 

Historic final end of season counts were as follows:
2018 = 25 sites
2017 = 22 sites
2016 = 23 sites
2015 = 20 sites

We had up to 5 Swifts flying above the Royal, Neddy Hill and the Memorial Hall areas, but by the time we returned at the close of the watch the numbers had swelled to 11 birds in these same areas.

Generally throughout the watch from approx 2000hrs to 2130hrs we had few birds as though the majority had gone away somewhere to feed up or like we have mentioned before they could have been at a height beyond our sight!

The first watch was opposite the Royal Cottage front elevation, where we witnessed one bird on two separate occasions enter and leave the eaves site just over one metre in from the left hand side. This is a very old established site in our records which has been used now from back in 2013,2015,2016,2017,2018 and again this year 2019. Its immediately to the right hand side of a large triangular hole just under the plastic guttering.  Also on our return and passing the Royal we were fortunate to see a bird entering yet another old established site (but new for this year!) which is again in the eaves but this time to the right hand of the cottage and above the left hand side of the right hand window. This site has been recorded in each year since 2014 to the present.  We also had a small party of 3 screaming birds using Main Street at this point which we took to be immature birds which at times let you think they were about to descend into a nest site but at the last minute sort of swerved away and continued with their screaming chasing frolics!

Our last point of call tonight was at the Manor House although we never witnessed any nesting activity, but did see a regular 5 birds in the skies above the Manor House/Coaching House. 

Tonights observers were: Reg Hesketh and Bryan Yorke. 


Nest sites occupied so far this year = (19) plus probable 2 at Clawthorpe. 

Post Office Buildings (1)
Cocking Yard (4) maxed
Royal Cottage rear (4) maxed
Royal Cottage front (5) out of 7
Coach House gable and rear (1?) out of 4
Manor House gable, front and annexe (4) out of 6
Clawthorpe Hall Offices (?) seen 3 birds in skies overhead

Also it's interesting to report good news from Tanya and Edmund up at Sizergh who are also having a good year so far with their Swifts!  and such a interesting report especially in relation to the "banging" activity.......


plenty of swifts

Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:02 am (PDT) . Posted by:

"Tanya Hoare" tanyaedmund




We've had bangers since end of May but today its been Bangers Central here,
lots of them in wonderful sunshine.

All our pairs (18 + 5 in adjacent cottages) have returned this year which
seems to be bucking a trend? (Although in one eaves site, one swift didn't
come back til 23 May and it pulled in a new mate on 2 June. They laid eggs
on 20/22 June which means they'll be staying really late into August.)

Other good news is that we have at least 6 new pairs. Two of these have laid
eggs, again not til between 21 to 26 June so even more swifts will be
staying very late. We've never had this before. We wonder about the future
for these swifts, not just the chicks, but the adults remaining after most
swifts have departed.

But we've had more than the usual number of eggs being knocked out of nests.
This is not just in Stimpson boxes, but also in one of our eaves sites which
is very spacious, which has never happened before. Knocking the eggs out
looks entirely accidental, but who knows? And in one nest they were
deliberately ejected from the box even though we can see no evidence of
fighting. This means that our chick rate will be down this year, we only
have one nest with 3 chicks being reared.

Some other less good news is that a parent disappeared from one
long-standing nest the day the chicks hatched (more of this saga later).
Yes, the weather was bad, but the other swifts seemed to cope all right.

So because of the new pairs, overall this year has been good so far, albeit
with quite a few not-so-good happenings too.

Tanya & Edmund (Cumbria)

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 4th July 2019  - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 21 June 2019

Burton Swifts - Thursday 20th June 2019 week


Showing the "Cocking Yard" nest sites as of now


It's good news!
We are now up to 18 confirmed nest sites already..... 

Historic final end of season counts as follows:
2018 = 25 sites
2017 = 22 sites
2016 = 23 sites
2015 = 20 sites

We met up at the Memorial Hall, and counted at least 9 birds in the skies. After ten minutes we moved on and observed from the end of Cocking Yard were we witnessed birds going into the first property on the left at the established left hand corner entering the roof area by going behind the soffitt board. We first established this site last year and nice to see the site being used yet again.  We also managed to witness a bird going in and out of the Hangings Farm site, and also we kept seeing a bird entering or leaving the site to the right hand side of Cocking Yard 3/4 way up the Yard.  Peter a local resident of Cocking Yard also helped us by keeping a close watch on the nesting Swifts and was also able to confirm a couple of sites which we had questioned last year. This was a fantastic help to find out about these two sites and this now brings the Cocking Yard nest sites up to at least 4 on the cottage frontages.  We have also had indications that a pair may well be nesting on the rear of the first property on the Left but this has yet to be confirmed. 

Even more good news follows when Sue told us that she had seen birds flying in and out of the rear of the Royal Cottage, using all the four sites eg: 3 regulars on the annexe and 1 on the return.  We were still short of confirmation in regards to the large hole at the top on the rear of the Cottage, so this is also now confirmed. 

We moved on after a short check out of the Royal Cottage front were we had no birds for the short period we watched.

So we moved on to watch at the Coach House and the Manor House and we were delighted to be able to confirm yet another site on the gable of the Manor House, its a site 3/4 way up on the gable front side, just another one of the small hole sites which again can be confirmed now being used. We do have this site recorded each year since 2016. 
We did also note activity on the Coach House with definite sightings of a bird leaving from the eave level on the gable, but things seem to happen so quick that we could not be sure at just which point the nest site was.  We also thought that maybe a bird also was using a site on the rear of the property, but again no official confirmation. 

We also had a regular 3 birds flying together at times in the vicinity over the Coach House and the Manor House, this bringing the total seen in the sky to at least 12 birds. Little in the way of screaming parties tonight.

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

Nest sites occupied so far = (18) plus probable 2 at Clawthorpe. 

Post Office Buildings (1)
Cocking Yard (4) maxed
Royal Cottage rear (4) maxed
Royal Cottage front (4) out of 7
Coach House gable and rear (1?) out of 4
Manor House gable, front and annexe (4) out of 6
Clawthorpe Hall Offices (?) seen 3 birds in skies overhead



The next Swift watch will be next Friday 28th June 2019 (PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF NIGHT FOR JUST THIS WEEK) - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  


Friday, 14 June 2019

Burton Swifts - Thursday 13th June 2019 week



We met as usual at the Burton Memorial Hall, it was dry and holding off but very damp all around. Obviously tonight was not the right conditions for the Swifts to be seen and we only had a single bird in the skies above the Memorial Hall and a pair in the skies above Coach House and Manor House. It is difficult to understand where the birds go when it's like this, do they go further afield to find food (which we think is the most likely) returning every now and again to their nest sites to pass food over, or is it that they are going high up to a point they cannot be seen!

We spent short periods on Caterpillar Walk trying to look over to the backs of Cocking Yard, because we had seen a bird which seemed to go down to its nest in that area (although we could not confirm), but did see the gentlemen who lives there and he told us that although he has not actually seen the bird go in to the eaves of his property, he thinks there is a pair present because he is hearing them scuffling about. 

We continued checking out at the rear of the Royal Cottage and pleasantly surprised to have two separate Swifts go into two of the sites on the rear annexe eg: the large slit on the corner, and the small hole just further up from the large slit. The skies had seemed empty but just now and again you get a treat! Nothing was showing on the front of the Royal Cottage elevation.

We quickly moved over to the Manor house where again we saw no activity although there were two birds in the skies which could have been from the Manor House or there again could have been from the Coach House.  We spent 15/20 minutes but never saw anything going into nest sites.

Observers tonight included:  Reg Hesketh, Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 20th June 2019 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

********

Worrying news!
Below is a piece recently issued by the RSPB and put on the Rare Bird Alert web pages: 
Wildlife experts who work to save the UK’s dwindling Swift population are concerned at the late arrival of these birds, which nest here after spending the winter in Africa. Many Swifts have arrived up to two weeks late, and the RSPB has received numerous calls and emails from people concerned at their absence.
What might have caused this delay? Swifts would normally begin their journeys north from Africa in April. Their epic 6,000 mile journey is often fraught with hazards but weather conditions this year may have made migration especially difficult.
When the birds arrived in Europe, they were faced with serious climatic challenges. This year there have been distressing stories from Italy and Spain showing that Swifts, some of which may have been on their way to UK nest sites, have even been killed by storms and cold wet weather. Doomed to die of starvation and hypothermia, they have been trying to survive overnight by clinging to each other on walls to avoid the wind and rain.
Swift expert Edward Mayer, who runs the Swift Conservation website and free advice service, says “There has been some really appalling spring weather this year in Italy, France, Spain and the Balkans. Temperatures should have been in the 30s but were in the low teens, and much lower at night, with prolonged rain storms making things even worse. This suppresses the Swifts’ flying insect food, soaks and chills them - and can kill them”.
The unseasonably low temperatures in southern Europe will have made life even harder for these small birds desperately needing to refuel for the final leg of their journey. Then predominantly northerly winds have made flying north even harder.
Although these are extraordinarily resilient birds, Swifts that make it to the UK face further challenges. They typically nest under the eaves of houses but in recent years many of these spaces have been blocked up leaving the birds with the difficult task of finding somewhere new to raise their young during the limited time they spend here. The RSPB ran a campaign between February and April to encourage people to make new homes for them, by buying either a specially made nestbox or making one of their own.
“Swifts have huge public support in the UK” says Jamie Wyver, the RSPB’s Swift Lead. “Our supporters and social media followers are incredibly enthusiastic about them, and earlier this year we sold well over 1,000 new Swift nestboxes! As well as our own regional teams working hard to make sure these birds have plenty of places to nest, there are around 75 independent local Swift groups.”
The RSPB’s John Day and fellow Swift experts Dick Newell and Edward Mayer recently had published a co-authored article providing advice for ecologists in the membership journal of the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM). The article outlines ways in which new building developments can easily accommodate homes for Swifts, neatly built inside wall cavities. These “nest bricks” should be added typically in small clusters of two to four to gables of houses, as Swifts prefer to nest close to one another.
Everyone can help Swifts this summer by adding sightings of the birds nesting or flying around roofs to the RSPB’s Swift Survey: rspb.org.uk/Swiftsurvey. Data gathered in the survey are used to show which sites are most important for Swifts.
There’s also an opportunity to get out and enjoy the Swifts that have made it back this year and learn how to help boost their numbers during Swift Awareness Week, from Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 June. This will highlight the plight of this iconic bird and show how everyone can help by, for example putting up Swift nest boxes and gardening for wildlife. Over 70 local events have been organised during the week so far, from the south coast to the north of Scotland. Further details of each event can be found on the Action for Swifts website.

RSPB
11 June 2019

Friday, 7 June 2019

Burton Swifts - Thursday 6th June 2019 week


Burton Swifts - Thursday 6th June 2019 watch

Tonight I would say was perhaps the best night so far for both activity and recording nesting sites.  The weather was clear and warm and we can imagine it creating a large mass of insects at moderate altitudes.  We counted approx 15 birds in and around the Memorial Hall and a further 8 birds in and around the Manor House/Coaching House areas.  We did suspect that non-breeding birds could well have swelled the numbers.  There were plenty of screaming chasing parties with one party up to 8 birds. At times some of the birds flew low eg: below the Main Street telephone wires. We did notice on the Manor House that birds (up to 3 in the party) but one in particular was investigating a hole on the front of the House as though perhaps canvassing for a site for next year! it checked out this hole on two separate occasions and held itself at the hole entrance for several seconds before flying off again.

Also we did well this evening with 2019 nesting sites, we had a pair of birds seen to go into a new eaves sites on the post office block, just inches away from the two old established nest sites. Also we had a further two birds seen going into two (regular) sites on the front of the Royal Cottage, bring this front elevation up to 4 sites already this year and not forgetting the 3 sites on the rear already recorded. We were eager to start seeing some activity at the Manor House and Coaching House, well as far as the Manor House our watch paid off and before long we saw a single bird going into the gable end corner, also on the front elevation of the Manor House we saw another bird going into a eaves site one metre from the left hand corner (a established site) and we were lucky enough to see yet another bird again using the eaves at the left hand side of the lower annexed building to the right hand of the main building.

12 Nest sites already recorded being used (2019) are:
Post Office buildings - 1
Hangings Farm - 1
Royal Cottage rear and return - 3
Royal Cottage front - 4
Manor House Gable and front elevation - 3

Tonights observers included: Reg Hesketh, Branwen Kilburn and Bryan Yorke

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 13th June 2019 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 31 May 2019

Burton Swifts - Friday 31st May 2019



The weather was cool and breezy yet the birds still went high.  Initially we saw up to 8 birds over the Memorial Hall and later we saw up to 7 birds chasing and screaming over the Coaching House and Manor House areas.  Obviously we could not confirm whether these were separate groups or the same group.

We spent a small amount of time checking Cocking Yard, the front of the Royal, the new nest box site at Annabel's on The Square, and finishing off with more time spent watching both the Coaching House and the Manor house.

The only nest activity we recorded was a bird going into a established nest site at the eave level on one of last years sites at the front centre section of the Royal cottage front elevation (to the rh side of the middle upstairs window. 

Tonights observers included: Annabel Campbell, Branwen Kilburn, Angela Sumner and Bryan Yorke. 

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 6th June 2019 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 24 May 2019

Burton Swifts - Thursday 23rd May 2019


It's really good news!

Four of us met at the Memorial Hall and we counted at least 12 Swifts in the skies above the Memorial Hall and which later seemed to centre their activities over the Royal area.  Much chasing and screaming were taking place. Because of the recent demolition and construction work being carried out to the rear of the Royal Hotel we wanted to try and ascertain whether the birds were still using their established breeding nest sites, so we spent a good 90% of the watch at this one site.

It proved to be a good decision, though at first we had our doubts because it seemed so quiet, although plenty of overhead activity, yet after some 30 minutes watching we saw one bird enter the large slit opening, a little later this was followed by one going into the very small hole upper and to the left of the large slit.  Also we managed to confirm that one went into the regular site on the return elevation, although at first we had doubts whether this one would be used because it was obvious a Starling was nesting in the proximity.


So for now we can establish that at least 3 of the 4 established sites are occupied, and no reason to suggest why the 4th site is not being used as well, although obviously we do need to get a confirmation of this over the coming weeks.  Also earlier I was able to establish that the Hangings Farm site in Cocking Yard has been taken up again, and also on the front of the Royal Cottage, the small hole part way down the left hand side elevation is being used along with at least one of the high level eave sites again to the left hand side of the building.


Hopefully next week we maybe able to concentrate on both the Manor House and The Coach House.


Tonights observers included: Hugh and Sue Miles, Reg Hesketh and Bryan Yorke


The next Swift watch will be next Friday (please note change of night just for this week to FRIDAY 31st May 2019 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Thursday, 2 May 2019

SWIFT UPDATES 2019 - EARLY DAYS



Tues 14th May 2019:

Lyn Bond from Priest Hutton found a Swift on her drive this morning (14th May 2019) and after letting the bird rest up for a while she will attempt to hold it up in hopes it will fly off, in the meantime she has sent these photos of the bird.

Lyn has now been back in touch to state she has successfully got the bird away again and it was seen to fly with strength to a high position, were it teamed up with another bird (probably its mate maybe!!)


Photo: Lyn Bond

Photo: Lyn Bond

Photo: Lyn Bond

The above 3 photos have been kindly sent in by Lyn Bond of Priest Hutton
who found the Swift in her drive this morning, maybe it has been stunned.  After
resting she is going to hold it up in hope it will fly off. Lyn has been back in touch
and confirmed it got away successfully


**

"Early Day Records"

It looks like we may have got our Swifts back with us, so I wont be doing anymore daily monitoring over the coming days, although we will commence our Swift evening watches soon and anyone interested is welcome to attend.

Tuesday 14th May 2019 - Main St, Burton In Kendal.

1600hrs 3 Swifts flying above Clawthorpe Hall

Monday 13th May 2019 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

2000hrs I think they may well all be back, at least 20 plus counted tonight with activity all the way from Manor House to the Tanpits, with high concentrations over the Royal. 

0800hrs Up to 8 birds flying this morning with 4 in the Manor House vicinity and 4 in the Royal/Cocking Yard vicinity.  Spent 10 minutes to rear of Royal. Workmen working further back in old pub garden area. No activity from Swifts to the rear nest sites whilst I was there.

Sunday 12th May 2019 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

2015hrs  At least 10 birds between Manor House and Memorial Hall. A trio chasing. Bird seen to go in small hole midway down wall on LH of front Royal cottage elevation. Also a bird seen on two occasions to enter nest site at LH side eaves (approx 1 mtre from LH) of Royal Cottage front elevation. 

0800hrs at least 12 Swifts flying between Tanpits and Manor House, with highest concentration seen around the Manor House side, with several birds chasing and screaming. It does look very much like there have been some increases in numbers.

Saturday 11th May 2019 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

1930hrs 5 Swifts flying high between Kings and Memorial Hall

0815hrs at least 10 Swifts about this morning could well be more, they were seen chasing one another and screaming with up to 8 birds in one party. 2 separate birds were seen to enter the front of the Royal Cottage.

Friday 10th May 2019 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

2030hrs 6 Swifts between Neddy Hill and Memorial Hall.  One Swift seen going into Hanging Farm nestsite in Cocking Yard.

0800hrs Only 1 Swift seen over Memorial Hall, again just odd Martins, weather damp cold, thick cloud not moving, still conditions. Expect birds are feeding up elsewhere this morning

Thursday 9th May 2019 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

1945hrs Just one Swift seen to leave the Royal building and went off in a Neddy Hill direction with no others seen, along with a nil on Martins as well.

1000hrs No Swifts or Martins on view - weather damp, cold and miserable obviously the birds have moved to better feeding quarters.

Wednesday 8th May 2019 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

0945hrs  6 Swifts flying together over Tanpits and Memorial Hall

Tuesday 7th May 2019 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

1930hrs Now 6 Swifts between Royal and Memorial Hall

1200hrs 4 Swifts over Memorial Hall

0700hrs No Swifts seen just a few Martins

Bank Holiday Monday 6th May 2019 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

2015hrs up to 4 Swifts, 10 House Martins and 1 Swallow. Swifts seen at varying points between Manor House and Memorial Hall. 

0800hrs 3 birds seen, 2 over Royal and 1 over Manor House

Sunday 5th May 2019 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

2000hrs 4 birds present flying high above Memorial Hall

0830hrs Just 2 birds on view between Royal and Memorial

Saturday 4th May 2019 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

1930hrs 4 birds giving the impression of two separate pairs high over between the Royal and the Kings.

0745hrs At least two birds (possibly 3) flying high above Glebe Close areas

Friday 3rd May 2019 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

2000hrs no sightings of Swift/s or Martins the skies looked void

1030hrs - Still flying high over Tanpits and Morewood School areas, he/she was screaming to say they are very lonely on there own......come on lets have more Swifts!!

Thursday 2nd May 2019 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

2030hrsour first Swift has arrived back in the village and can currently be seen gracing the skies above the Memorial Hall.

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The first Swift watch for 2019 will be next Thursday 23rd May 2019 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome