Friday, 24 August 2018


2018 summary (below)

Nest site activity recorded at:  

1.   On the front elevation of small cottages adjoining the post office - 1 pair recorded
2.   Cocking Yard - Riggs House and Hangings Farm - 2 pairs confirmed with others suspected
3.   Royal Hotel - Cottage - Front Elevation - 7 pairs confirmed
4.   Royal Hotel - Rear Cottage Annexe - 3 pairs confirmed
5.   Royal Hotel - Rear Cottage Annexe return - 1 pair confirmed
6.   The Coaching House - Gable End (North facing) 3 pairs confirmed
7.   The Coaching House - Rear of building 1 pair confirmed
8.   The Manor House - Front of House- 3 pairs confirmed
9.   The Manor House - Front attached low elevation - 1 pair confirmed
10. The Manor House - Gable End (North facing) 2 pair confirmed 
11. Clawthorpe Hall - Rear of Building 1 pair confirmed plus 2 more pairs highly suspected

Total nest sites recorded

25 nest sites in total confirmed (which is a increase of 3 compared to 2017) as a result of additional nest sites being found in both Cocking Yard (Riggs) and also new sites on The Coaching House.
Approx young raised this year would have been 25 x 2 making it 50 birds and allowing for a 20% loss would comfortably achieve 40 new birds this year. Also allowing for the parent birds at 50 birds (25 pairs approx) would bring a overhall total of adults and young to around the 90 birds.

Arrival and departure

First four Swifts arrived and were recorded at 1930 hrs on May 3rd. Increased to 8 birds by May 10th and a further 7 birds arrived on May 11th bringing the total so far to 15 birds (counted). More birds joined them over the coming days.

The bulk of our birds (at least 30/40) left in the early daylight hours of Sat 28th July 2018, then we were down to 20 by the 31st, then down to 14 on the 1st August, 11 by the 4th, and 5 birds by the 5th and down to our last pair on 6th August. The last pair and their family left us on Mon 20th August 2018 or thereabouts.

Highest number of birds counted in the skies at any one time

As usual the better counts came more to the end of the Swift season of which the highest numbers recorded were:  32 on the 12th July, 40 on the 27th July (preparing for lift off), and 30 on the 30th July.

Observers over the 12 weeks included: 

Bert, Mary Bullimore, Judith and Edward Ellis, May and Reg Hesketh, Kathryn, Branwen Kilburn, Maggie, Sue and Hugh Miles, Angela Sumner,  Bryan Yorke,  and also by close association David Craig and Jane Phillips.

Below are photos showing the various nest sites with their histories marked in red (definite) and some with yellow (unsure)

Cottage on the same row as the Post Office building (Click over to enlarge)

Riggs and Hangings Farm within Cocking Yard (Click over to enlarge)

Front elevation of the Royal Hotel - Cottage (Click over to enlarge)

Shows both rear cottage annexe and also the nest on the return of same
Click over to enlarge

The sites recorded on the "Coaching House"

The sites recorded on the Manor House (Click over to enlarge)

Clawthorpe Hall nest sites (Click over to enlarge)

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 2019


Friday, 3 August 2018

Burton Swifts - Thursday 2nd August 2018 week

Monday 20th August 2018 - (Although final observations made at 0715hrs on 23rd August 2018)

I think I can now safely say that our last pair of Swifts and their family will have departed today (Monday 20th August) or thereabouts on their long journey back to Africa, may they have a safe journey and we eagerly await their return on the 4th May 2019. A summary of this years report to follow shortly.

Sunday 19th August 2018 - Main Street

1645hrs  One flying above Morewood and Burton Memorial Hall

Saturday 18th August 2018 - Main Street

A pair seen above the village today (via Jane)

Thursday 16th August 2018 - Main Street

2000hrs One flying high above Memorial Hall

Monday 13th August 2018 - Main Street

2010hrs A single swift above Kings, Manor and Coaching House

Sunday 12th August 2018 - Main Street

2010hrs A single swift above Memorial Hall thought to have come from Royal

Thursday 9th August 2018 - Main Street

2030hrs a single bird above the Kings

Wednesday 8th August 2018 - Main Street

2015hrs  2 birds seen flying above Neddy Hill (Reg and Bryan)

Tuesday 7th August 2018 - Main Street

2030hrs  2 birds seen flying above Kings

Monday 6th August 2018 - Checking out Main Street

Ed Duckett has kindly sent in this photo which shows a "superlarge" collection of Swallows on the telegraph wires near to Clawthorpe Hall, there is well over one hundred and this has been going on now for a day or two. It's usually a sign of group collecting before their long journey, but its rare I have ever seen them collect so early, its usually more to the end of the month and early September.

Photo: Kindly shared by Ed Duckett (Click over to enlarge)

2120hrs - Two birds seen on the Royal. One came out from the front LH corner of the Royal Cottage and another was seen to enter the large slit on the rear annexe of the cottage. (both records were seen by Reg and May Hesketh.

2030hrs - Just a single bird above Memorial Hall.

0900hrs - Just a single bird seen flying above Kings

Sunday 5th August 2018 - Checking out Main Street

2100 to 2130hrs 5 birds flying high between Memorial Hall and Coaching House (Reg and May Hesketh)

2030hrs  4 Swifts seen between Neddy Hill and the Kings

0630hrs  Just a single bird seen flying above Kings

Saturday 4th August 2018 - Checking out Main Street

2030hrs  11 birds present in the skies between Memorial Hall and Royal Hotel.

0930hrs  8 birds in the skies, 6 between Memorial Hall and the Royal with another two between the Kings and the Manor House.

Friday 3rd August 2018 week - Checking Main St

2015hrs  4 birds with two above the area Neddy Hill to the Square, and the other two were between the Kings and the Manor House.

Burton Swifts - Thursday 2nd August 2018 week - Memorial Hall to Royal Hotel

Our Swifts were much reduced to a maximum count of 14 birds which were very active with the best chasing/screaming party of six birds.  Most of the activity was from above the Memorial Hall up to the Royal Hotel areas.

Birds were witnessed going into nest sites in Cocking Yard (either Hangings Farm) or possibly the property further along which has all the ivy covering. Also lots of activity on the rear of the Royal in all the regular sites eg: the return, the large slit hole, the small hole above it, and the very large hole above that.  Also activity was witnessed on the front of the Royal Cottage with a bird entering the nest site to the far left hand side.  Also chicks could be heard from one of the nest sites to the right hand elevations.

Tonight's observers included: Reg and May Hesketh, Sue Miles, Angela Sumner, Bryan Yorke

There is NO meeting this Thursday (9th August 2018)

Thanks to everyone who attended our weekly watches during 2018. A final summary of the "outcome" will be published on this site over the coming days