Saturday, 28 July 2018

Burton Swifts - Friday 28th July 2018 and week

Wednesday 1st August 2018 - Checking out Main Street

2000hrs  14 birds seen in the skies between Memorial Hall and the Royal Hotel

Tuesday 31st July 2018 - Walk along Main Street to Manor House and back

2015hrs (to 2115hrs) 20 birds seen in the skies, also 3 seen entering nest sites to the rear of the Royal Cottage Annexe. A screaming party of 5 birds (watched by Reg and May Hesketh and Angela Sumner)

1915hrs  No birds showing over a 20 minute period.

1000hrs  A solitary bird was seen flying around the Kings/Manor house areas.

Monday 30th July 2018 - Walk along Main Street to Kings and back

30 Swifts flying high over Cocking Yard this evening (watched by Jane Phillips)

2015hrs  12 Swifts in the skies.  At least 10 over the Memorial Hall area and a further two between the Royal and Kings areas.

0910hrs 10 Swifts in the skies between Memorial Hall and Kings.  A party of 6 birds chasing and screaming around the Royal area.

Sunday 29th July 2018 - Walk along Main Street and back

7 Swifts in the skies between Neddy Hill and the Kings area.  Also one came out of nest site at the front of the Royal.  It looks very much like the majority of the birds (probably up to 30 or more) could well have left us yesterday (Saturday 28th July 2018). We did get the impression on Fridays watch that the birds were getting fidgety with lots of irregular aerial swirling movements and perhaps this was signs of collective preparation in readiness for a long haul exit.


On Saturday 28th July 2018 the following records: 4841 Swift went through Spurn (Yorks), 860 Swifts went over Bury (Lancs).
On Sunday 29th July 2018 the following records: 4264 Swift went through Long Nab, Burmiston, North Yorks, 3471 Swift went through Spurn (Yorks), 8542 Swifts flew south past Hemsby (Norfolk) between 5.50am to 7.20am - (Information taken from random sites throughout the Country)

Far reduced sightings were given for the proceeding Friday 27th and following on Monday 30th so it looks like the first big leave happened on Saturday 28th with a lesser move on the Sunday 29th which ties in exactly with our Burton Birds exit.


Received from Tim and Carolyn Knowlman in Amboise, France (31st July 2018)

Dear Bryan, Many thanks for your message. Yes we have been receiving and enjoying your messages. It is fantastic all the detailed observations you have been making of nest sites.I like your system of adding the dates on in red. We have been busy here contacting château de Chambord ( an incredible place built by François 1 in the 16 th century as a hunting lodge and set in a huge walled park that covers the same area as the city of Paris !). We had discovered that through total ignorance of the existence of swifts nesting there they had been filling in their nest holes when doing renovation work. So 4 of us spent half a day there doing a detailed survey of the site. It was quite a business to get permission & clear security etc.but we had perfect weather conditions & the swifts were there !  Anyway, I attach the photos.These have gone by registered post to a whole long list of people including the builders who are working on the place.
Meanwhile virtually all the swifts left here last week with the main bunch on the 24 th July.This is about a week sooner than last year. It now feels very quiet !


Burton Swifts Watch - Friday 27th July 2018 - Burton Memorial Hall, Cocking Yard and rear of the Royal Cottage 2000hrs to 2100hrs

Again it was a lovely warm evening throughout the watch although it had become quite cloudy. We had at least 40 Swifts flying high and there could well have been more, it proved so difficult to count.  We had lots of low screaming parties, the largest party we counted was 8. We witnessed one bird leave the Post Office cottages and we also saw another one going into its nest site on Hangings Farm in Cocking Yard. We spent a little while at Cocking Yard and then moved over to the rear of the Royal and stayed there for quite sometime, but never saw any Swifts entering or leaving their nest sites which we thought unusual for the length of time we had spent there, and this had us wondering whether or not the birds had actually already left their nest site.  We did see two birds at the entrance to one of the nest sites last week as though they perhaps could have been preparing to leave.

Tonights observers were: Reg Hesketh, Branwen Kilburn, Maggie, Angela Sumner, Bryan Yorke.

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 2nd August 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2030hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 20 July 2018

Burton Swifts - Thursday 19th July 2018 and week

Thursday 19th July 2018 - Swift Watch - Burton Memorial Hall, Cocking Yard and Neddy Hill and the Royal rear annexe buildings 2030hrs to 2200hrs

Shows the two new sites on the front of the Royal Cottage (Click over to enlarge)

Shows the site at Clawthorpe Hall were the Swift was seen leaving the nest earlier today

It was another pleasant night, warm with little cloud and there were Swifts everywhere.  We did manage to count at least 32, a similar count to last week and lots of small screaming parties the largest being around the 7 mark. We first watched the skies over the Memorial Hall before moving on and checking down Neddy Hill and checked out the buildings on the West side called Croftlands because we had been tipped off by David Craig that there has been lots of activity over the past week or two around these buildings.  We did see plenty of Swifts in the sky but none entered the property whilst we were there. Then we moved on to Cocking Yard and later on to the rear of the Royal annexe buildings were we witnessed birds going into 3 separate established sites.  The largest hole on the rear annexe did appear at one time to show two birds looking out and we were unable to establish whether these were adults or juveniles. We did notice things started to go quiet and few birds in the sky from 2200hrs.

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

It was also reported:

Earlier in the day (0900hrs to 0945hrs) that Bryan Yorke had been to check out the Ducketts site at Clawthorpe Hall and he had 11 birds at times flying around screaming above their nest sites.  A single bird was seen to leave the established nest site on the residential building about mid-way across. We do have 3 sites already recorded over past years and can only presume that there will be at least 3 breeding pairs here if not more!

Sue Miles was checking out the front of the Royal Cottage last week (Thursday last up until 2210hrs) and was able to establish a further two nest sites which we had not previously recorded and so we have now also been able to update this area with a further two sites (it's all good news!). She noticed activity seemed to finish around the 2210hrs.

Reg attended yesterdays meeting in regards to the proposed building of new properties which will back up on land near to the recreational areas.  He was able to attend the meeting representing our group and made introductions with the architect.

The group have been contacted by Carolyn Knowlman from Amboise in France and she runs a similar Swift group to us over there. She was writing to invite us to correspond with their group. We all agreed it would be a great idea.  She also has a Swift site is fabulous and is called "Association for the safeguarding of Black Marinets" her site address is:  Its a fabulous site and safe to use although it may be flagged up by Norton or McAfee, just ignore the flag and enter the site all is safe.

The next Swift watch will be next Friday 27th July 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2030hrs (Please note change of night from Thursday to Friday) - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 13 July 2018

Burton Swifts - Thursday 12th July 2018 and week

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 12th July 2018 - Burton Memorial Hall 2030hrs to 2130hrs

Tonights new nest site shown in orange to LH side of Riggs House in Cocking Yard

Tonight the skies were filled with Swifts almost wherever you looked there seemed to be activity. We counted approx 32 Swifts in the air at one time although to be honest I am sure this was a under count and there would have been more. We also had plenty of chasing, screaming parties with one in particular containing at least 12 birds. For most of the time the birds seemed to be at low or mid altitude and gave the observer a fabulous show!

We observed the regular Post Office Buildings birds enter and leave its site. Also a bird was seen to enter the LH front of Riggs House in Cocking Yard.  The bird entered the already established nest site at the LH corner, yet moments later a bird was seen to leave the property and coming out on the point of a couple of raised slates which is about 2ft further along from the corner, so whether this was the same bird that entered the site from the LH corner or was it another site altogether.  We will make a note of this and try and check over the coming couple of weeks. Also activity was thought to be going on at the rear of the Royal.

We only checked out the Post Office and Cocking Yard sites this evening.

It was also reported that earlier in the week Bryan Yorke had seen a pair of Swifts using the Ducketts site at Clawthorpe Old Hall and further investigations will be carried out.

Observers included: Reg and May Hesketh, Branwyn Kilburn, Hugh and Sue Miles, Bryan Yorke. It was a very enjoyable and productive watch. 

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 19th July 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at new time of 2030hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 6 July 2018

Burton Swifts - Thursday 5th July 2018 and week

Thursday 5th July 2018 - Burton Swift Watch on Main Street - Burton In Kendal 2030hrs to 2145hrs

Again the skies seem to be busy with Swifts and we had managed to count the largest party of the watch to 22 birds, we also had a party of 8 screaming and chasing birds which could well have been immature birds.  We witnessed a bird entering the regular site on the cottages on the Post Office Row.  Also we had another view of a Swift entering the small hole midway down the building on the front of the Royal Cottage. One was seen entering the nest sites on the rear annexe building of the Royal Cottage. Also a further two sightings of birds entering or leaving nest sites from the gable end area of the Coaching House.

We have so far recorded 21 Swift nesting sites from within Burton.

We were also privileged to see and hear a high flying Oystercatcher when it flew over the village from the E to W direction.

By putting the starting time back a little it does seem to be more productive and so the group decided we would keep to the same starting time next week.  Also it was suggested we send out a email to all within the group confirming our meet up times on a weekly basis.

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

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 12th July 2018 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at new time of 2030hrs - Everyone Welcome