Friday, 26 July 2019

Burton Swifts - Thursday 25th July 2019 week

Thursday 1st August 2019

(0930hrs)  14 Swifts above Memorial Hall/Neddy Hill areas

Wednesday 31st July 2019

(2030hrs) 35 Swifts above Memorial Hall/Neddy Hill areas
(0800hrs) 18 Swifts above Memorial Hall/Neddy Hill areas

Tuesday 30th July 2019

(2100hrs) Only 6 Swifts seen over Memorial Hall and Neddy Hill areas, none seen down near Coach House/Manor House. Also small screaming party heard whilst walking down by Neddy Hill.  Looks possible that lots of Swifts departed earlier today....

Monday 29th July 2019

(2100hrs) Still 40 Swifts around the village, with approx 30 over the Royal/Memorial Hall whilst approx 10 down near the Manor/Coach House.

Friday 26th July 2019

Friday morning still lots of Swifts about with 40 at the North End of Main Street and 10 at the South End of Main Street 

Thursday 25th July 2019

It has been a Swift week without doubt! but is this gathering all a advance warning to say our little friends are about to leave us! I am sure it is.  They usually start to depart somewhere around the 28th July and over the next week or so.

The story begins the day before which was Wednesday, when Sandra on her way back from her walk phoned me to say that there were large numbers of Swifts all along Main Street and lots of chasing parties. This was about 2100hrs.  So off I went to meet her and we watched numerous Swifts at every point along the Main Street from the Memorial Hall as far as the Manor House. To be honest I have never seen so many Swifts at one time and they were too numerous to count properly although I did manage to confirm at least 40 but this was without doubt a very low estimate to what there must have been and I would have guessed somewhere between 50 to 60 birds were making the most of it. I even recorded one screaming party of at least 20 trailing birds, what a brilliant watch.

So back to last night, we met up as usual at the Memorial Hall and did our full watch from there. We seemed to count a maximum of 10 birds for the first half hour, and then it all changed! when more and more birds started coming into the group and before long we were counting up to 40 birds with at one time a screaming party of 32 birds.  Also whilst watching from the Memorial Hall we did see on two separate occasions birds entering their nest site on the Cottage across the road attached to the Post Office, also we saw low flyers diving sharply as though perhaps they were going into nest sites within Cocking Yard. Again another magical Swift evening. 

During the week I received a lovely email from SOS Martinets (France) showing a small film they have made which will be going on at their local cinemas before the main film to bring awareness of the plight of our Swifts - please click over the following links (use translator usually shown in top corner): 

Tonight's observers included: Mary Bullimore, Reg Hesketh, Angela Sumner and Bryan Yorke.

Nest sites occupied so far this year = (25) 

Post Office Buildings (1)
Cocking Yard (5) maxed
Royal Cottage rear (4) maxed
Royal Cottage front (5) out of 7
Coach House gable and rear (3) 
Manor House gable, front and annexe (4) out of 6
Clawthorpe Hall Offices and Lowther House (3) 

Historic final end of season counts were as follows:
2018 = 25 sites
2017 = 22 sites
2016 = 23 sites
2015 = 20 sites

The next Swift watch will be probably be the very last watch of the year next Thursday 1st August 2019  - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome