Swifts have been trickling back over the past week or so since the first singles I saw in Cambs on 30th April, but then yesterday there was a big arrival, with birds turning up over most of the regular colonies in the York area. It really is fantastic to see these birds back after their nine month odyssey round the vast continent of Africa. It has been a long time since they graced the skies of Bishopthorpe and yesterday lunchtime, I was delighted to see at least four of these iconic travellers above the Acaster Lane-Myrtle Avenue colony. I hope they'd spied the two new nestboxes I'd installed on the house on the corner!
At lunchtime today about 20 Swifts were feeding over the allotments on Acaster Lane and they were still around late afternoon, with a few coming over Keble Park. I put the Swift calls on but they didn't pay any attention. I was hopeful that our two birds may return, but it was not to be. Later, Vicky and me walked Sol to scouts and we took a route round the village to check on all the existing colonies. Birds were present in all usual spots (7 in the Laing Road area, 2 over Main Street, 6 over Acaster Lane - Myrtle Avenue and then one over Keble Park Crescent!). I wonder if the 20 I had earlier were these birds aggregating to feed, or whether those birds had moved on elsewhere.
So, the Swifts are back! Happy days.