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