Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Presumed nest site activity recorded at:

1.  Clawthorpe Hall Offices (Messrs. Ducketts) 3 pairs recorded on 3 separate elevations.
2.  The front elevation of the small cottages attached to the Post Office - 2 pairs recorded
3.  At least one pair recorded in Cocking Yard.
4.  Royal Hotel rear annexe and return 4 pairs recorded
5.  Royal Hotel cottage front elevation 6 pairs recorded
6.  The Coaching House - 2 pairs recorded on the side elevation.
7.  Manor House - 3 pairs on side elevation and 2 pairs on front elevation.
Please check the above sites on photographs printed below.

Total nest sites which we recorded

23 nest sites in total. Showing a increase of nest sites this year by at least 3 sites.
Young raised this year purely estimated on the low side at 2 per nest less 20% approx = 37 birds.
Breeding adults estimate at 2 per nest site =  46 birds - Chicks raised estimate 37 birds - estimated immature birds for part of the breeding season - a wild guess estimate at 10-20 birds. Making a estimated total birds involved with Burton eg: Parents, Chicks and immatures on Recci to around the 93 bird mark!

Fatalities recorded this year:

One recorded picked up off the floor to rear of Royal Annexe, very wet and unable to fly and showing blood to its wing underparts.  David Craig kindly took it in and it did initially show signs of improvement. The next day it was transferred to the vetinery section of the Kendal College where it was cared for with food and daily examinations by Vet. Unfortunately after four days the bird died.

Arrivals and Departure dates

Date on which earliest birds arrived was a single bird witnessed at 1645hrs on 3rd May, then numbers swelled to 9 by the following day 4th May, increased to 14 by 5th May. Then there seemed to be a delay of further arrivals until 22nd May when at least 20 birds (total) were seen in the skies.

20 Swifts left us on 5th August, then another large departure on 15th August and the final sighting was on the 18th of a parent bird seen at 1900hrs going into a nest site on the front of the Royal Cottage. No birds have been recorded since that date.

Highest number of birds counted at any one time was

36 recorded on 1st of August, but we did have several watches which included birds of 30 on both 28th July and 4th August.

Observers over the 12 weeks included:

Paul and Mary Bullimore, David Craig, Derek from Kendal, Reg Hesketh, Ella and Ben, Branwen Kilburn, Hugh and Sue Miles, Jane Phillips, Angela Sumner, Mr and Mrs. Vickory, Bryan Yorke.

Below are photos showing the various nest sites (Please click over photo to enlarge)


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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 2017

Friday, 5 August 2016

Burton Swift Watch 4th August 2016 and week

Friday 19th August 2016 - Main Street 2000hrs

No Swifts observed this evening

Thursday 18th August 2016 - Main Street - Royal Hotel - 1900hrs

One seen coming down Main Street and entering the middle nest site of the Royal Cottage front low elevation.

Wednesday 17th August 2016 - Main Street Area 2000hrs

A single local Swift hunting above Neddy Hill and the Royal Hotel at approx 2000hrs

Tuesday 16th August 2016 - Main Street from Burton Memorial Hall 0730hrs & 2030hrs

0730hrs No Swifts observed this morning
2030hrs No Swifts observed this evening

Monday 15th August 2016- Main Street above Kings and Manor 2015hrs

3 Swifts seen above Main Street above Manor House approx

Sunday 14th August 2016 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2030hrs approx

A later report from Angela Sumner confirms she saw ten Swifts in the skies around the 2030hrs.

Sunday 14th August 2016 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 1945hrs

I only had one single swift seen tonight high in the skies above Neddy Hill and Main St.

Sunday 14th August 2016 - Above Main Street, Burton In Kendal 0730hrs

Angela Sumner had nineteen birds over Burton this morning at 0730hrs

Saturday 13th August 2016 - Over Royal Hotel 1945hrs

Had 11 Swifts this evening flying overhead of the Royal areas.

Friday 12th August 2016 - Over Burton Memorial Hall  1930hrs

Had 13 Swifts this evening flying overhead of the Memorial Hall.

Thursday 11th August 2016 - Main Street Burton In Kendal.
Angela Sumner recorded 9 Swifts this evening overhead by the Royal Hotel.

Tuesday 9th August 2016 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2045hrs
8 Swifts overhead from Burton Memorial Hall down to Kings.

Monday 8th August 2016 - Burton Memorial Hall - Swift Observations 2015hrs

Just five Swifts counted over BMH and Main Street areas

Saturday 6th August 2016 - Burton Fell - Hutton Roof Crags 1000hrs to 1200hrs

Several Swifts hawking the skies on Burton Fell (presumed our local Swifts) along with at least one hundred mixed hirundines (Swallows and House Martins) It was fantastic with them coming low and almost dive bombing you as you stood there watching in amazement.  I don't think I have ever seen such a spectacle just like this before with such a large quantity of birds all around you.

Friday 5th August 2016 - Burton Memorial Hall - Swift Observations 1945hrs

Just five Swifts counted towards back of Post Office and coming forward over Memorial Hall.

Thursday 4th August 2016 - Burton Memorial Hall - Swift Observations

We met at Burton Memorial Hall at 2000hrs and it turned out to be a fantastic night with lots of Swifts flying. We just stayed on the Car Park from where we got the best overhall observations.

We thought at first it was going to be a very quiet night and it took a while to build the numbers to around the 8 mark, then within a further twenty minutes or so the numbers had swelled up to a minimum of 30 birds which to us all seemed happy chasing one another whilst feeding on the wing and screaming in unison.

We all had that feeling it could well be their big finale night and what a superb performance.

Tonights observers included: David Craig, Bryan Yorke, Hugh and Sue and Pete Miles together with our special visitors young naturalist Ella and Ben who really enjoyed watching the Burton Swifts and it made a nice change for them having been used to seeing Swifts down in Bath were they live.

We have not yet called a meeting for next week and decided we will monitor the situation on a day by day basis, so please keep coming back to check out the daily reports.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Burton Swift Watch for 28th July 2016 week

Wednesday 3rd August 2016 - 2000hrs - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

I counted 24 Swifts high and screaming in the sky above the BMH to Kings areas

Monday 1st August 2016 2045hrs - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

I counted 36 Swifts high in the sky above the Kings area.

Sunday 31st July 2016 1000hrs  - Swift Reports

Yesterday (Saturday) David Craig reported seeing a good number of Swifts going along Main Street at 0900hrs.
Yesterday (Saturday) Bryan Yorke reports seeing one Swift entering the nest site on the Cottage on the Post Office Row.
Yesterday (Saturday) Anne Nicholls reports seeing 7 Swifts high above Tanpits Lane during the evening.

Friday 29th July 2016 - 1900hrs - Walk through Main St, Burton In Kendal and back.

Only saw two Swifts hawking the skies

Thursday 28th July 2016 - 2000hrs to approx 2100hrs

We are closing in on the time for our Swift departures which I would expect to be starting any day now.  Although yesterday evening we were treated to a fabulous spectacle of aerial performance by at least a minimum of 30 Swifts (probably could have been nearer 40!) in the air at times in congregation and at other times swirling around and chasing and screaming in smaller parties.  We really did see them at their best.  Impossible to tell if there were young among the numbers, although we thought so and that the screaming parties especially could well have been young birds.  It was wet and miserable weather during the watch but reports are coming through that in the next 24 hours the weather will change back to dry high pressure with the wind coming from the North West.  That will probably be music to the ears for the Swifts and give them that strong urge to start their journey all the way back to Africa.

We did manage to see birds see going into their nest sites both at the front and the rear of the Royal, so obviously there are still birds with young about.

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

Hope you manage to reap the pleasures of their last few days with us. PLEASE KEEP CHECKING OUT OUR BLOG....


Friday, 22 July 2016

Burton Swift Watch for 21st July 2016 week

Tonight was probably the busiest night so far, with Swifts hawking the skies throughout the areas above Main Street.  We did manage to count 27 although we were of the opinion there could well have been far more.  They seemed happy chappies! with small parties of anything up to eight birds chasing one another in formations whilst screaming at one another. 

For most of the time during our hours observations some of the birds were very high, whilst others were low and just skimming the rooftops.

We did notice birds going in and out of their nest sites at the following areas: Cocking Yard, The Royal both front and back, and also at two nest sites on The Manor. 

Tonights observers included: David Craig, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles, Bryan Yorke and it was very nice to welcome Angela to her first Burton Swift Watch and also nice to have a brief visit from Mr. and Mrs.Vickery. 


Friday, 15 July 2016

Burton Swift Watch 14th July 2016 week

We did a rough count of Swifts in the air whilst we all met up at the Burton Memorial Hall and we did manage to get to around the 30 mark which is quite a high count.  It was clear that the feeding over Burton was very popular.

We then proceeded to Clawthorpe Hall to try and ascertain just how many birds were nesting there.
In addition to the nest already recorded three weeks ago, we were fortunate to also record two additional sites, one on the old Clawthorpe Hall property (now residence) and also one on the side elevation to the Duckett's Building Services Offices.  We now think that we have at least three pairs nesting at Clawthorpe Hall, although without doubt there is plenty of potential for more sites should the birds require it.

Not only are the Swifts doing well there, but there is also two or more pairs of Swallows nesting under the canopies of the converted properties, could well be more.

Another interesting spectacle was to see large numbers of House Martins above the site.  Maybe up to around the thirty mark.  We never witnessed any of them coming down to the viewing side of the property, so we are not sure whether or not they are actually nesting there or that they are visiting on account of a good feeding area.

It was a pleasure for all of us to meet Mr. Ed Duckett the owner of the property who is very positive to encourage the Swifts and hirundines around his buildings and we are so thankful for his kind efforts.  He has been able to make provision for the nesting sites within the converted buildings which was great to see and thus provides a safe home for the birds when they return each year from Africa.

We also had the privilege to meet Alice one of the nearby residents who told us how much pleasure she gets from seeing the Swifts, Swallows and Martins and also remarked "Where have all my Goldfinches gone"

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

(Photos to follow soon)


Friday, 8 July 2016

Burton Swift Watch for 7th July 2016 week

Thursday 7th July 2016  - Burton In Kendal - Swift Watch 2030hrs to 2130hrs

Tonight stayed dry and we managed to observe a approximate 20 Swifts in the air with almost 15 over the areas of the Memorial Hall to the Royal and another 5 or so over the Coaching House/Manor areas.  At times the Swifts would form small parties of six which would follow one another tight whilst screeching.

I have this morning been reading articles that state these are more than likely young birds taking on these actions.

Tonights observers were Reg, David and myself.  We have arranged to meet next Thursday on the Memorial Hall at the earlier time of 2000hrs and then we intend to go up to Ducketts and observe the Swifts on Clawthorpe Hall offices.


Friday, 1 July 2016

Burton Swift Watch for 30th June 2016 week

Thursday 30th June 2016 - Swift Watch - Burton In Kendal 2030hrs

It was dreadful weather with heavy rain and only Reg and myself turned up to meet at the Memorial Hall.  We stood talking for perhaps ten minutes and only saw one actual Swift in the air over Main Street.  We decided to call the watch off until next Thursday. 


Friday, 24 June 2016

Burton Swift Watch for Thursday 23rd June and week

Thursday 23rd June 2016 2030hrs to 2115hrs  Swift Watch on Main Street, Burton In Kendal

We counted in total around 13 birds hawking the skies at points along Main Street.  We did record Swifts entering two nest sites on the rear of the Royal Hotel Cottage.  Also we confirmed a bird entering the North Gable on the Coaching House, near to the corner drainpipe.

We thought perhaps there may have been fewer birds showing tonight and now wondering if some of the immature birds will have already set off back to Africa.

Tonights Observers were: David Craig, Branwen Kilburn and Bryan Yorke

Why not check out this Polish "Swift" webcam by clicking here


Friday, 17 June 2016

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 16th June and week

Please check out this Polish "Swift" webcam by clicking here

Report from Thursday 16th June 2016  - Swift nest sites - Burton In Kendal (2030hrs to 2145hrs)

To be honest at 2010hrs you would have thought it would have been a no goer! with heavy rain showers, but by 2015hrs it cleared up and we managed to have some great Swift Watching.

It started whilst observing the Cottage on the Post Office row, and we witnessed a bird enter the eaves at a totally different point to the first site, so it does look very much like we do have another nest site bringing it to two sites here, which is the norm on this building.

Moving on to the rear of the Royal Cottage annexe and we finally observed the larger hole at the top being used this year, although it was our first sighting, Hugh had actually seen birds entering this site earlier in the week.  Also tonight we saw birds entering all the other holes on this area as well as the site on the return wall.

Total birds seen at once in the sky totalled 18 birds with lots of small screeching parties.

It was getting darker quickly and so me moved on to the Coaching House and Manor House.  We got some good results here with two more sites added on the North facing gable wall. We confirmed the old site to the corner where the drainpipe is was being used, also a new site about 8ft along the gutter eaves from the far corner (this is a new site in total), also the site above and to the left of the small porthole window was seen to be used.  We are still hoping that the front elevation site between the two windows on the left maybe being used but so far not accounted.

A new site was witnessed on the North facing gable at the Manor House with the birds using a small triangular hole just below the well established site which is close to the third purlin up the rake of the roofline.

Our party were suddenly alarmed to take a look to the skies were a very large party of mixed Swifts and House Martins were present and all screeching and clicking with alarm, we noticed a large bird of prey emerging out of the cloud of birds having just seized either a Swift or Martin (not sure which) and which it held firm within its talons and then made off to the South West following the line of Main Street. The large bird was not immediately identified and some were left wondering was it a Peregrine or was it a large female Sparrowhawk. The bird by far too large for a Hobby.  On exit the bird was seen to triple wing flap glide and triple wing flap again before the glide. Although at first it seemed appropriate for the Falcon, I did notice it seemed more rounded to the outer edge of the wing which made me then give thought to the female Sparrowhawk. I guess we will never know for sure.

So tonight having recorded five new for the year sites, this brings our total to 22 nest sites so far. This is the highest number of nest sites we have ever recorded in any previous years.

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

Cottage on Post Office Row (Click over to enlarge)
The red marker on the left above the door is the new site recorded this year, although the site does have history with it being used also in 2014.

Royal Cottage rear annexe  (Click over to enlarge)
The larger hole site to the top left was confirmed being used last night - plus the other three here were also witnessed being used as well.

The Coaching House - North facing gable elevation (Click over to enlarge)
Activity last night was confirmed from the old 2015 nest site near the drain pipe and also a new site (never before recorded) was midway along the eaves from the drainpipe to the small round window

Manor House - North facing gable elevation (Click over to enlarge)
Last night we recorded another new site being used (shown above with red arrow and marked 2016), a very tiny triangular slot and just below the already established nest which is located above it and next to the timber purlin close to the verge. Also birds were seen to use other sites on the Manor House. 

NEXT SWIFT MEETING: THURSDAY 23rd JUNE 2016 - 2030hrs (Please note new starting time!!) BURTON MEMORIAL HALL - EVERYBODY WELCOME

Friday, 10 June 2016

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 9th June 2016 and Week

Summary of our Swift sightings last night 9th June 2016 (Click over to enlarge)

Saturday 11th June 2016 - Informed of Swift Poster at Burton In Kendal Motorway Services

Our group would like to thank the students of Burton Morewood C of E School for creating this beautiful poster which adorns the walls to the entrance of Burton In Kendal Motorway Services. Well done for such a brilliant poster and also for getting it shown in a place where thousands will see it.

Swift Poster at Burton Motorway Services (Click over to enlarge)

During 2015 one of our group Danny went along to the school and gave a talk to the students on our local Swift populations and maybe this poster in part results from inspiration gained from that talk.


Thursday 9th June 2016 - Swift Observations - Main St, Burton In Kendal

Tonight was without doubt one of the busy nights we have ever witnessed with Swifts everywhere you looked.  We did manage to actually count at least 22 birds in the sky but I am sure this is on the low side there could well have been over 30. We do think a lot of these birds tonight would have probably been non breeders (eg first year birds doing their Reccy)  The largest screaming group had 8 birds and was seen over near Coaching House.

We checked out all the sites starting with the Post Office Block, then Cocking Yard, rear and front and SW wall of the Royal, also the rear of Neddy Hill Cottage (a new site), also from the back of the Kings we watched the large Old Mill for a while and then moved on to finish checking out The Coaching House and The Manor House.

In regards to nesting we were fortunate to see birds entering nest sites on the rear of the Royal, lots on the front of the Royal Cottage, and also birds entering nest sites at the Manor House.

A new nesting site was shown to us by David Craig, who had witnessed a bird going into the nest area on the rear eaves of the Neddy Hill Cottage within David's yard.  Of special interest is that we did map a bird prospecting this particular site last year.  With this new site it brings this years tally up to a minimum of 17 sites.

During the past week also observations have been carried out on the Office Block at Clawthorpe Hall and a further two nest sites have been confirmed on the rear annexe of the Royal Hotel.   To try and give a clearer picture to the ongoing progress I have included below photos of the current status for this year at all occupied sites.

Observers tonight were: David Craig, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke.

The Cottage on the Post Office Block  (Click over to enlarge)

To our knowledge this site has been used in both 2015 and 2016 and also of note is that last year this was the last site occupied within the village, with occupation up until the 16th August 2015

Hangings Farm, Cocking Yard  (Click over to enlarge)

This site is one of a possible two for this property. The site to our knowledge has been used in all years since 2013.  This year at first, we were worried about this site because of the new owners and the pointing renovations which have taken place.  We need not have worried because thanks to Jane and the brilliant co-operation of the new owners, who happened to be totally Swift friendly, they left holes at the eaves so as to allow the birds access to their original nest sites which we now know they have taken up at least one of the known sites.. 

Rear annexe for the  Royal Hotel Cottage Cottage  (Click over to enlarge)

Always been a very productive site for such a small area.  The sites already confirmed are marked in red.  We are still waiting for a confirmation either way on the large hole which you can see towards the top of the building to the left and above the two sites already confirmed.  We did witness birds banging at this entrance tonight so perhaps some activity me be taking place, time will tell.  Also the next photo is a close up of the site on the return wall.

A  close up of the nest site on the return wall of the Rear Royal Hotel Cottage Annexe  (Click over to enlarge)

The Royal Hotel Cottage (Click over to enlarge)
Another of the Swift stronghold sites with six nest within the front of this building, plus we are regularly seeing more "banging" going on at other sections of the eaves, but so far only the areas marked in red are the only definites.

Neddy Hill Cottage - Rear Elevation  (Click over to enlarge)
This is a new site for us tonight.  David Craig has seen a bird entering at the point marked with red.  Also of particular note is that we did record a bird last year actually "banging" and what we took to be prosecting the site.  Its now clear the bird did decide to take up this new residence.

The Coaching House  (Click over to enlarge)

So far we have been able to established a definite breeding site on the side North Elevation marked with a red arrow just to the left hand side of the small round window.  The Coaching House was only established as a breeding site last year in 2015 although we had seen birds prospecting back in 2014.  Last year we did have birds also nesting again on the gable end side elevation to the far left hand corner close to the drainpipe.  Also we did have a bird nesting to the front elevation between the two upper windows.
The Manor House (Click over to enlarge)
The Manor House is yet another of our stronghold sites with at least four sites occupied this year.  It is also suspected that there maybe more nest.

We are ever so grateful to Mrs. Ellis and her family who are very interested in their Swifts and their progress.

The Offices of Ducketts Building Services at Clawthorpe Hall  (Click over to enlarge)
It was a great pleasure to visit this site, because we had suspected birds coming from around the back of Clawthorpe Hall in previous years.  I was able to confirm at least one pair nesting which shows with the red arrow.  Also at the same time there were six birds in the sky directly above the property which makes me think there will be even more nest which hopefully we will be able to ascertain when we do a group visit.

It was nice to meet up with Edward Duckett (MD of Ducketts Building Services) who so kindly pointed out the areas of where the swifts are nesting.  He also loves to have the birds on his property and has purposely left the top guttering/eaves level open of pointing so that Swifts are able to return on a regular yearly basis.

NEXT SWIFT MEETING: THURSDAY 16th JUNE 2016 - 2030hrs (Please note new starting time!!) BURTON MEMORIAL HALL - EVERYBODY WELCOME

Friday, 3 June 2016

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 2nd June 2016 and Week

Swift Notes for Thursday 2nd June 2016 (Click over sketch to enlarge)

Wednesday 8th June 2016 - A quick visit to Clawthorpe Hall and to the Royal Hotel.

Just on the spare of the moment, with time on my hands I decided to go on behalf of the group and make myself known to the owners of Clawthorpe Hall, it was well overdue we have been talking about the site for such a long time but had no definite records until now.  I was fortunate to meet Mr. Edward Duckett the MD of Duckett Building Services who own the buildings and explained to him about our group and showed him photographs etc.  He was very interested and actually showed me the area where the Swifts nested.

He also showed me a staircase at the end of the building which every now and again he does have to rescue Swifts which have somehow managed to find there way from their nest site and somehow go through and into the building, in which case he catches them and releases them back outside.

Whilst there I actually saw six individual birds hawking the skies directly over the Offices and also I was extremely lucky to see a single bird go into the building which after ten minutes came out again, I have marked the nest site with a red arrow.

The Offices at Clawthorpe Hall where the Swifts are nesting  (Click over to enlarge)
Note inset with a more close up view of nest site
On leaving Clawthorpe Hall, I then went over to the Royal Hotel on Main Street, here I did spend some time because it was superb with birds coming from all directions and low down chasing and screeching, absolutely enjoying themselves.  I was fortunate to be able to record two more nest sites for this year now being used.  Both sites are well known to us and have history.  I have now marked off this years breeding sites with red arrows.  This now brings the total tally of this years sites to 17

Todays nestsites included (8th June 2016) at the Rear of the Royal Cottage Annexe (Click over to enlarge)


Sunday 5th June 2016  "Photo showing Kestrel carrying Swift"

Photo: John Brierley and posted on the Swillington Ings Group website Sunday 5th June 2016

Nothing whatsoever to do with our Burton Swifts, but still very interesting and it occurred somewhere in the North of England in the last few days, when it was witnessed that a Kestrel actually took a Swift in flight. I could have believed it if it had been a Hobby but would never think of it with a Kestrel!  I am told by a friend that the photo is of a first year male Kestrel (immature from last years chicks).

Friday 3rd June 2016 "Cocking Yard"

Some great news as just arrived from Jane Phillips, which is confirmation that a pair are definitely nesting on Hangings Farm in Cocking Yard, this taking our total nest sites tally up to 14.  Worries are now set aside because the property has recently had pointing renovations to the front elevation.  We were so pleased to learn that the more recent occupiers of the property are Swift friendly people who were so pleased to instruct the builders to leave some holes to their previous nesting sites while this work was being carried out, which it is great to see they have now returned and are using at least one of their original sites.

Cocking Yard - Burton In Kendal (Click over to enlarge)

The site on Hangings Farm - The centre dark hole just under the slates
(photo: J. Phillips)

Swift Watch - Thursday June 2nd 2016 - Sites off Main Street, Burton In Kendal - 2000hrs to 2190hrs.

Last night we had more great Swift observations, and managed to add a further three nest sites to our records for this year bringing the total so far to 13 confirmed nest sites.

We confirmed a new site for this year on the small cottage on the Post Office Row.  The site was also used last year (2015). Also this was to be the last site vacated with the final birds leaving Burton on 16th August 2015 (exceptionally late).

Moving on whilst briefly checking Cocking Yard and the rear of the Royal, we did eventually record more action on the front elevation of the Royal Cottage Annexe with a site to the right hand corner being used (already established last week).  Also several birds were seen "banging" at various points along the guttering, so we could not make our minds up whether these birds were full mature adults or immatures of the first year.  We also made particular note to one bird which did seem to enter a completely new nest site but only for a second before it flew off again.  Because of this short encounter we decided to record it as a possible, but not to make any record at this stage.

Moving on past the Royal with nothing showing on the West side elevation, we moved further down Main Street to do our observations across from the Coaching House and the Manor House. Reg saw a Swift using a site on the Coaching House North side elevation quite close to the small circular window, a site which was suspect from 2015 when Tanya Hoare thought it was being used. Also the Manor House showed further activity with birds seen using both of our 2016 already recorded sites on the front elevation.  But we were in for a extra treat with a further bird witnessed using the long established nest site which is near the base of the rake on the North elevation gable end, this was a new record for 2016.

Tonight's observers were: Mary Bullimore, David Craig, Derek from Kendal, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles, Bryan Yorke.  We went on a little tonight from 2000hrs to 2130hrs and we all agreed to try and meet up again next Thursday at 2000hrs at the Burton Memorial Hall when all would be welcomed.

Here are up to date photos showing the nest sites activity tonight (the history of the nest site eg: previously used is also given)

Cottages adjoining the Post Office on Main Street (Click over to enlarge)

The Coaching House (Click over to enlarge)

Manor House, Main Street, (Click over to enlarge)


Thursday, 26 May 2016

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 26th May 2016 Week

This is a diary sketch relating to our Swift Watch on Thursday May 26th 2016 (Please click over to enlarge)

"POOR SWIFT UPDATE" Friday 27th May 2016 - 1000hrs - Care of Kendal College Wildlife Dept

I have just received word from David Craig who has just been in touch with the Kendal College and we are informed that the "poor swift" died during last night.

The above photos represent the status of all the ten nest sites we have so far recorded being used during most recent observations (Other year dates represent the nest histories) - Click over photo to enlarge.

Thursday 26th May 2016 - Burton Swift Bird Study Group - Checking out Swift nesting sites along Main Street, Burton In Kendal  2000hrs to 2100hrs

From the word go, there were very few birds about and at first we could only log about 5 in the sky at any one time, however on our way back Reg and I did eventually manage to tally 7 which were over the Neddy Hill area. We think it was down to purely a lack of insects on the night, although obviously a few birds were still local.

Our first Swift experience of the evening was noted from the Royal Hotel Cottage front elevation where Reg noted 3 more sites which are all long established but new for this years records.  This now brings the number of sites so far recorded on this particular building to five nesting areas.

Our next positive came whilst observing the Manor House when we were fortunate to see birds entering two more sites, one on the gable end (near 2nd purling up from the front corner) and the other one was close to the front left hand corner. Again these two sites are long established but are new for this years records.

This concluded our observations and we agreed to meet up again next Thursday 2nd June at 2000hrs at the Burton Memorial Hall.

Thursday 26th May 2016 - High above Clawthorpe Hall, Burton 1300hrs approx

Two Swifts hawking the skies above Clawthorpe Hall today. 


Friday, 20 May 2016

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 19th May 2016 week

Royal Hotel Cottage Annexe - Front Elevation (Click over to enlarge)

"POOR SWIFT UPDATE" Wednesday 25th May 2016 - Care of Kendal College Wildlife Dept

1000hrs  David has just let me know that the College have decided they are keeping the bird to at least Friday am, because the birds current weight is showing at 36 grms and that it should be between 43-45 grms and they think it would be to the birds benefit to gain some extra weight before release, and they say a couple more days of feeding should help it. It is currently taking in "Waxworms" and water with no problem. (next update Friday)

Wednesday 25th May 2016 - Skies above A6070 (main road) at the bend near Clawthorpe Hall

0900hrs  At least one Swift hawking the skies directly above the Clawthorpe Hall area

"POOR SWIFT UPDATE" Tuesday 24th May 2016 - Care of Kendal College Wildlife Dept

1600hrs  David has received word from the College stating the bird is progressing well and is eating "waxworms" without problem, although its weight is on 36grms where it should be 44 grms, so they are keeping it there again for another night before hopefully handing over tomorrow morning. 

1200hrs  David rang the College this morning and they said the bird had eaten 4 mealworms and taking in water OK.  They said they had one further test to check in regard to a flight test and that the vet would be doing the rounds early afternoon.  Then all being well the bird should be released for us to hopefully set free close to the area of finding. Can't Wait!

Monday 23rd May 2016 - Area across from Manor House and just behind Kings

- Counted and confirmed a minimum of 20 Swifts in the air together and there could well have been many more.

"POOR SWIFT" Monday 23rd May 2016 - Care of David Craig and Kendal College Wildlife Dept.

Swift has been checked out thoroughly and thankfully showing no bone fractures or any other problems, so the College Wildlife Department are keeping it overnight before hopefully handing it back for us to release back in Burton.  More update tomorrow.

1200hrs Swift has been taken by David across to Kendal College (Wildlife Dept) where they are keeping it until a vet checks it over this afternoon and hopefully will give it a skeleton x-ray.  If all is OK it will be handed back later this afternoon for release back in Burton.  If there are more severe problems eg: with its skeleton of which there are fractures, they have already advised it will be better to put the bird to sleep.  So for now we are all sat with fingers crossed and praying that it will be OK. Will report back later.

1000hrs Swift still doing well and gladly taking in small amounts of water this morning.  Hopefully we intend to try and release back into the wild at sometime today. Will report back later

New nest sites "Sunday 22nd May 2016 - Royal Hotel Cottage - Front Elevation.

Well we do have some really good news to report and that is we think the rest of the missing Swifts have finally returned either yesterday or this morning, the sky was absolutely buzzing with Swifts probably in the late teens in numbers (but no proper count made).

After leaving David's I spent a little time across from the Royal Cottage and was able to confirm that the nest sites (marked in the above photo with red arrows) where active with birds seen entering and leaving the three marked sites.  Also at one time others were seen "bumping" and holding on just at other points along the guttering.

"POOR SWIFT" Sunday 22nd May 2016 - Care of David Craig

1000hrs - To everyone's surprise the poorly Swift had shown improvement overnight, for one it did not look wet and bedraggled, but beautiful dry feathered and gripping and moving about better with ever blinking eye which is far better than it was yesterday.  David has constantly been in attention at regular intervals.  This morning he decided to take it to the vet in Kendal who checked it over and could not find any problems of injury but gave David some paste which he said would help it and would have far more protein than insects if it could be administered.  David has managed to feed it a little which it has accepted and is hoping to give it little water by shringe later.  Hopefully if it progresses over the next 24 hours we do intend to try and release it back to the area where it was found. 

"POOR SWIFT" Saturday 21st May 2016 - Just behind the Royal Annexe and Close to the nesting site.

1200hrs - Whilst showing my wife the nesting sites on the rear of the Royal, with much sadness I found a Swift on the floor with spread out wings.  At first it looked as though it was already very wet and dead but I soon realised it was not dead but injured. I did try to release from a higher elevation but without success the bird sort of glided back to the ground.  Remembering last year and David's fine dedication! I took the bird across the road to David Craigs where now the bird will be regular checked and left with peace and quiet and away from prowling cats etc within the safe confines of his garden summer house.  The bird was identified that in all probability to be a adult and perhaps one of the birds nesting in the rear of the Royal Hotel.

A Sketch giving a summary of the 19th May Observations (Please click over the sketch to enlarge)

Thursday 19th May 2016 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal  2000hrs to 2100hrs

It was a great pleasure to be having our very first Swift watch of the year and so pleasing to see how well it was attended.

We are this year covering new ground in so much that we are starting the observations a couple of weeks earlier than in past years.  So we are not sure just what to expect.

We checked out all the regular sites calling off briefly at each.  We struggled counting the very fragmented Swifts giving off their usual aerial displays and although some screaming was heard, there was very little of it. However we did manage to tally up seven birds in total.

Our first true confirmed nesting came from the rear annexe on the Royal Hotel Cottage where again they were using one of the long established sites.  We first witnessed a bird leaving the hole and then shortly after we saw a bird return to the site and about five minutes later was fortunate to see a second bird attend the same nest site.

Moving on our next confirmed encounter was on the front of the Manor House where we where lucky enough to see a bird entering again a long established nest site.

This concluded our observations for the evening and we have planned to meet up again next Thursday at 2000hrs when all persons interested in watching the Swifts will be very welcome.


Sunday, 15 May 2016

Our first Swift watch of the year this coming Thursday.

We are meeting up this coming Thursday May 19th 2016 at 2000hrs at the Burton Memorial Hall and proceeding down Main Street to check out the Swifts.

All would be most welcome.

If you want further information please email: or if you prefer you can telephone at: 01524 782792

Tuesday, 12 April 2016



2000hrs - Thursday 5th May 2016 - Swift numbers now increased to Fourteen birds and probably more flying over Central Burton areas. 

2000hrs - Wednesday 4th May 2016 - Swift numbers now increased to nine birds and flying over Central Burton areas 

1500hrs - Wednesday 4th May 2016 - Swift numbers now increased to four birds and flying over village in large circles....

1845hrs - Tuesday 3rd May 2016 A single bird flying above Royal, Kings area.  Can probably expect more from tomorrow, will keep you posted.

Update: 12th April 2016

The Swifts are on their way! Not sure just where they will be now but suspect they are midway through their journey and feeding up in West Africa.  A Swift was actually recorded a couple of weeks ago entering the Country from somewhere down in the South, but this is exceptionally early.  We do expect our beautiful birds to arrive back in Burton sometime within the first two weeks of May (Usually they can be as early as the 4th to 6th of that Month).

More good news to report:  We are led to believe that the work on the Royal Hotel will not be carried out before October and at least for now the birds nesting areas are safe for this year.

And it gets better!  the building contractor has already agreed to try and work with us to hopefully accommodate the Swifts within the proposed building renovations.

We have been given permission to cut back the Ivy on the rear annexe which is starting to cover three of the original nest sites.  So we are planning to do this work on Thursday of this week (14th April 2016)

Also its great to learn that the owner of the house in Cocking Yard where the Swifts have nested in the past has managed to carry out his house pointing renewals, and left two holes for access to the areas of their established nesting sites.

This Blog will start reporting on a regular basis from early May please bookmark us....... thank you