Friday, 24 August 2018


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


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