Friday, 12 June 2015

June 11th 2015 - Swift Report

Burton Swifts Recorded on 11th June 2015 (click over sketch to enlarge)

Tuesday June 16th 2015 - 1115hrs "Swifts over Clawthorpe"

I can now confirm that I had three swifts flying very low feeding up over Clawthorpe Hall.  This is the area where we have had reports of Swift activity in the past.

Friday and Saturday June 12th and 13th 2015 "Swifts" on Visible Migration

Interesting records have been coming through from my vismig group which have recorded a large movement of Swifts yesterday and today. Please note on each of the below records its obvious the birds are flying into the wind.  The Records shown are as follows:

Friday 12th June 2015 - Winter Hill, Bolton, Lancashire.  (over 400 Swifts heading to the SE - Monitoring done 4 hours pm with the Wind at ESE)

Saturday 13th June 2015 - Chapel Hill, Harewood, North Yorks (over 233 Swifts (one flock of 74) heading to the NE - Monitoring 5hrs half am and half pm with Wind at NNE force 1))

Saturday 13th June 2015 - Oxenhope Nr. Bradford, Yorks (63 swifts heading to the SWS following clearing rain- Monitoring 3 hours 1800-2100hrs. with Wind at WSW force 2

Thursday June 11th 2015 - Checking out the Swifts at the regular sites off Main Street, Burton In Kendal.
2100hrs to 2215hours.

Although it had been a superb day, it had certainly got much cooler during our survey with again that breezy chill factor, yet it was dry and there seemed to be plenty of Swifts showing up. On the first count whilst at the Memorial Hall we counted at least 12 birds but at the same time you could see more down in the distance above Manor House.

Tonight there were five of us checking the birds, myself and Reg along with David Craig and also it was a very warm welcome to two well known Swift lovers Tanya and Edmund Hoare, who had travelled from Sedbergh to be with us this evening.  It was lovely to be amongst such a "authoritive" party and we got chance to discuss many "Swift" topics, and it certainly enlightened me a lot especially in relation to the immature birds which we seemed to have a lot on show here this evening.

From the Memorial Hall, we gave a brief check to the cottages attached to the Post Office, but nothing whilst we where there, then moving on to the bottom of Cocking Yard, again no birds showing in the short time we allowed, progressing on to one of the main nesting sites "The Royal".  It was grand to show David, Tanya and Edmund the sites the Swifts had already established together with a brief history of what had been happening over the past couple of years.  We spent a few moments also on the front of the Royal and to everyone's amazement we watched a bird go into the left side of the front low level elevation. It was certainly a site we have never seen them use before and looked incredible just how small hole it went into which to us only looked about 2" diameter. A few moments more watching the front of the Royal, whilst I did a quick sketch for our records. Also whilst here we saw a further two or three birds approach the new site or close to it and for a brief second would appear to be heading directly to the site and at the last split second would veer off. We discussed that these could possible be immature birds.

Moving on we stood across the road from the Coach House, where we could observe both the Coach House and also the nearby Manor House. It was not long before we saw a bird enter the gable of the Manor House and using a new site for this year, although it was a site which was used in 2013, however it was not used in 2014 which we put this down to perhaps because of the erected scaffold on site last year.  So this was such a pleasing record for us.

Also whilst stood there a bird was also seen to use a new site on the gable side of the Coach House almost directly above the small round window (David mentioned the small window may be called a "Scaffit" and that they were used years ago to put the hay through into the barn).  We also got excited about the prospect of another possible nest site, but just for now we cannot confirm absolute because other birds species were present in the close vicinity also, so we have put this record on hold until we can survey and hopefully confirm at a later date

It was now getting much darker and so we headed back to the Memorial Hall. At just the point of the Post Office looking North West above the Memorial Hall we counted at least 16 Swifts flying and chasing one another.  It was interesting to discuss this with Tanya and Edmund who mentioned that they thought these birds would almost definately be immature birds gathering for the night and that probably most of the breeding birds would now have settled into their various nest sites.  This large number plus the probabilities of the nesting birds could well bring the total number of Swifts in Burton to over 30 birds (at least for now), lets hope we're right! having had a brilliant night!