Friday, 31 July 2015

July 31st 2015 Swift Notes

Swift Observations 30th July 2015 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal (Click over sketch to enlarge)

Thursday 6th August 2015 - Above Main Street, Burton In Kendal

2000hrs to 2100hrs 6 birds seen above Neddy Hill area.
1700hrs No birds seen

Wednesday 5th August 2015 - Above Main Street, Burton In Kendal

2030hrs  At least 15 plus between Neddy Hill and over Royal, some chasing one another in follow my leader fashion. Could have been more birds - seemed local - light drizzly rain - ideal feeding conditions.
1215hrs  One Swift seen Neddy Hill then making its way down over Manor Hse and out of sight.

Tuesday 4th August 2015 - Above Main Street, Burton In Kendal

1230hrs at least 8 birds hawking over the River Kent at Kendal.
1800hrs One Swift seen hawking above Neddy Hill and area towards Kings

Monday 3rd August 2015 - Above Main Street, Burton in Kendal

2100hrs - 15 Swifts above Memorial Hall, Royal areas, looked local with behaviour, though difficult to tell whether some of these are movers joining in. Will be interesting to see if there are more showing tomorrow.
1400hrs - One Swift to South over Burton Square (local bird)

Sunday 2nd August 2015 - Above Main Street, Burton in Kendal

2100hrs - Four Swifts high above Neddy Hill
1600hrs - One Swift hawking above Royal Hotel
1000hrs - Three Swifts (could well have been more) hawking the skies at intermediate height between Royal and Manor.

Saturday 1st August 2015 - Above Main Street, Burton in Kendal

1715hrs - Two Swifts seen high over back of Royal area
1200hrs - Two Swifts seen high over Post Office area

Also recorded from Painswick Beacon in Gloucester 1478 Swifts heading South over 6 1/2 hours AM.

Friday 31st July 2015 - Above Main Street, Burton in Kendal

1715hrs - Two Swifts seen between Royal and Manor.  Also one seen to leave nest at Gable Cottage on same row as Post Office.

1400hrs - Three Swifts seen hawking the skies

Also 1345hrs Could not see any Swifts over Carnforth

Thursday 30th July 2015 - Swift Observations down Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs to 2045hrs.

Right from the start very little was seen in the skies with just a pair flying above the Memorial Hall but as we checked out further sites the Swift numbers gradually built to a maximum of seven birds.

Tonight I was joined by David Craig, and we checked out most of the regular nest sites, but there did not seem to be any low down activity noticed, all the birds we saw where catching insects well up in the sky.

Just to save the day on our way back home, noticed a single bird leaving its nest on the Gable cottage on the Post Office row.  Ironically this site was also one of the last sites occupied last year as well.

There seemed a sort of "quiet" as though it was saying that most of the birds may have already departed back to Africa.  After all it usually is between now and anytime up to the 10th August that they will depart. Just checking our notes and the majority left last year on or about the same time the 30th and 31st July.

I think next week may well be our last "observation" night, we'll see what this week brings. I am hoping to do a brief daily check and will report any findings above.

Friday, 24 July 2015

July 23rd 2015 - Swift Notes

Swift sketch and Notes from yesterday evening (23rd July 2015) (Click over sketch to enlarge)

Saturday 25th July 2015 - Swift Observation - Main Street, Burton In Kendal. 1000hrs

A minimum of 20 Swifts in the sky from points West of Burton Memorial Hall.

Thursday 23rd July 2015 - Swift observations - Off Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs to 2100hrs.

It was clear and reasonably warm, the birds of which 8 was the maximum count and would be at a average altitude between 75 and 150ft. We just caught them twice doing the follow my leader screaming flight.  As usual we took it that the birds flew bias to their breeding areas and could be seen high in the sky.

Tonight there were two observers David Craig and Bryan Yorke.

We started at the Cottage near the Post Office and were lucky to actually see one fly into the nest, we did hang fire for a few minutes but never saw it leave.  Then on to Cocking Yard with no activity witnessed.  We moved further on to the Royal, observing all elevations.  But tonight the only activity here was on the Cottage front low elevation where we were fortunate to witness two birds coming back into their nest site.  One bird left again within minutes of landing.

We gave equal amounts of time to checking the large building behind the old bakery (from the back of the King's yard) and we then went on to observe the Coach House and the Manor House, with no further sightings of birds whilst observing.

Just to add I had a party of 8 birds on Monday last the 20th flying low in "follow my leader fashion" going at low levels in and out between the buildings at Clawthorpe Hall.

Friday, 17 July 2015

July 16th 2015 - Swift Notes

This is a sketch showing the Swift activity on Thursday 16th July 2015 during observations made by the group.
Click over sketch to enlarge

Tuesday 21st July 2015 - Swifts leaving the UK and heading South

150 South over Bury Area (Manchester) (2hrs pm)
220 South West over Painswick Beacon, Gloucester (4hrs am and pm)

Monday 20th July 2015 - Swifts sightings in and around this area

0745hrs A party of 13 moving East over Sandylands School, Heysham.
0815hrs and teatime saw over one dozen over near Morecambe Golf Club (could be locals)
0945hrs 3 Swifts low over Clawthorpe Hall.

1115hrs 8 Swifts screaming in follow my leader fashion, flying low and over and in and out of the buildings at Clawthorpe Hall.
1500hrs One Swift seen to into nest on cottages near to Post Office. It is a already recorded nest site.

Sunday 19th July 2015 - Just small amounts of Swifts leaving today

401 South over Barmston/Fraithsthorpe, East Yorks (Over 4hrs am)

Saturday 18th July 2015 - Swifts moving South especially in Yorkshire (Vismig watches)

2872 Moving South at Long Nab, Burniston, North Yorks (over 7hrs mainly am)
2298 Moving South over Barmston/Fraisthorpe, East Yorks (over 5hrs am)
874 Moving South over Hunmanby Gap, North Yorks (over 4hrs am)

Thursday 16th July 2015 - Off Main Street, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.  2000hrs to 2115hrs

We met as usual at the Memorial Hall.  In attendance was Reg, David, Mary and Paul, and myself. We checked out the regular sites.  We started by counting the birds in the sky which at that time was just nine, but later in the watch we counted a total of 28 birds.  Most birds tonight were flying low. It was very windy.

The first nesting activity was on the front low elevation of the Royal and we witnessed two separate birds going into two sites. No sooner had they passed food then off again, probably the changeover of food was only two seconds.

We moved further down to the Coach House and the Manor House, we saw one bird leaving the front elevation site on the Coach House, also we were lucky enough to see a bird using one of the sites on the gable end of the Manor House.

Without doubt we saw the most activity in the skies since the beginning of the weekly watches.

David mentioned that he had again been witnessing birds coming into his yard, which seemed as though they were prospecting sites for next year on the rear of Reeder House.

Friday, 10 July 2015

July 9th 2015 - Swift Notes

This sketch is from yesterday evenings Swift activity with the red spots indicating observations of birds entering or leaving the nest sites. Please click over to enlarge

Thursday 16th July 2015 - 0845hrs

A single Swift hawking low just above Clawthorpe Hall.

Monday 13th July 2015 0845hrs

(Local) 6 Swifts hawking the skies 75ft above Clawthorpe Hall, this morning

 also vismig = 514 South over Long Nab, Burniston, North Yorks (7-12am)

More Swifts on the go South on Sunday (12th)

91 South West over Berry Hill, Stoke On Trent in 1 hour 20mins
31 South over Bury, Lancashire in 1 hour (pm)
56 South over Whitburn Co. Durham in 5 hours
1779 South over Barmston/Fraisthorpe, East Yorks in 5 hours (am)
217 South over Long Nab, Burniston, East Yorks in 4 hours (am)
753 South over Spurn, East Yorks. (12hrs 5am to 5pm)

Vismig report from Saturday last (11th July 2015)

"Swifts moving west all day yesterday over my area of West Yorkshire with some noted Friday evening as well but was working during the day. Thursday high over the lakeland fell tops,  Swifts into the wind all afternoon. Didn't notice them lower down in the morning. No doubt a combination of a weather move and perhaps younger birds using it to clear out".Dave Barker Oxenhope and whilst walking in the Lakes

Last couple of days: More Swifts heading South

On Saturday 11th: 267 South 0630-1015hrs Long Nab, Burneston, North Yorks.
On Friday 10th:  465 SW 1730-1930hrs Painswick Beacon, Glos
108 SW 1715-1815hrs Whit Hill, Tadcaster North Yorks.

Saturday 11th July 2015 - 1000hrs

3 Swifts flying low and hawking insects above Clawthorpe Hall Area.  Its looking more likely now that perhaps there will be a breeding pair or two somewhere around this area.

Last couple of days: Mass exodus!

Large numbers of Swifts being reported on Thursday going over Leith Hill Dorking, Surrey 5am to 1230hrs 800 birds going out West.  Same day at Painswith Beacon 1800hrs to 2100hrs 1530 birds going out SW. Also this week large amounts of Swifts going either South or South West through Bury, Greater Manchester, Chapel Hill, Yorkshire and Darwen East Lancashire.

Friday 10th July 2015 - 1600hrs

Swift activity again this afternoon over Clawthorpe Hall with screeching birds overhead

Thursday 9th July 2015 - 2000hrs to 2115hrs "Observing Swift Activity along all sites off Main Street, Burton In Kendal.

As usual we met up at the Burton Memorial Hall and tonight's observers were: Reg, Jane, David and myself.  We must have timed it lucky for once because at long last a bird was seen to enter the gable end Cottage site, which is on the same block as the Post Office. Although this site has been used since 2013, we have not seen any birds this year up until tonight.

Tonight the general picture was very quiet with just a maximum of six birds being seen overhead in the skies at various times. And just occasionally a odd bird seem to come from nowhere with no sound and enter one of the outlined nest sites.

Moving on we spent some time at the front of the Royal and we where fortunate to see two further birds at intervals enter into two of the eave level sites on the front low elevation roof.  Also of note was that Reg actually observed a bird entering a old established site (but for the first time this year) to the right hand corner of the front low elevation.

From the Kings rear yard area we made observations from a distance of The Old Bakery large building which looked a ideal candidate for the Swifts.  We did see plenty of activity earlier above the building in a general fashion, yet we never managed to confirm any nest sites although we all agreed it was definately worth ten minutes checking out on a regular basis just to see if they where using it.

Not the warmest of nights with little insect activity, no swift screaming observed tonight. Little seen on low levels unless the birds where approaching or leaving nest sites other than that most birds were at a 75 to 100ft altitude on average.

Here below is a update of the total Burton Sites as it stands to date (2013 to 2015)

Total Swift sites in Burton In Kendal (2013-2015) as of 10th July 2015
(Please click over to enlarge)

Friday, 3 July 2015

July 2nd 2015

Details of our observations Thursday 2nd July 2015, all activity was on Royal Hotel,
mainly on the Annexe return and also at the front of the Royal.
(Please click over to enlarge)

Thursday 2nd July 2015 - Swift Observations - Off Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs to 2130hrs.

We met up at the Memorial Hall (Reg, David and Myself), we looked up to the skies and counted a maximum of nine birds present.  We did later see a chasing screaming party of about 5 or 6 birds. From the Memorial Hall it did look like there could have been birds dropping into Cocking Yard but we could not confirm for sure.

We checked out all the regular sites.  We did see activity at the Royal at a couple of points on the front of the building.  But the jewel came when we actually saw a bird leave its nest on the return side of the annexe building.  This was a site used last year and to get confirmation that it is being used this year is really good news.

Although several birds did cross over the Manor and the Coach House we did not actually see any of them enter any of the known sites.

David showed us the rear of Reeder Cottage and Neddy Hill Cottage, and told us that during the past week he had observed Swifts going up to the under eaves of these properties and we were all left wondering whether or not these had been immature birds actually prospecting possible sites for breeding for next year.  This is a well known fact that they do this sort of thing.