Sunday, 15 May 2022

Friday 13th Swifts!

I had started to feel a bit anxious. Swifts had been back in the village for a while but there was no sign of any near the house. Had 'our' pair survived their mammoth winter journey? It has been a long nine months waiting to see if they come back. The nestbox camera is ready.

And then from nowhere, just before dusk on Friday 13th, a pair appeared over the rooftops near home. This must be them! Sure enough they started a game of tag round the rooftops. I shared their elation at being back and to my delight, they made several attempts to get into the box, but without success - a bit out of practise I suppose. I was a little disappointed as they gained height into the darkening sky, but elated that they were back.


Up early the next day to turn the moth trap off, I flicked on the camera and Boom! A Swift in the nestbox!!! In my excitement the tangle of wings and tail feathers fooled my sleepy eyes into thinking both birds were present, but after I'd woke the house to come and share this moment, I realised there was only one. But that was still fantastic. He (?) was sitting at the far end, preening and occasionally dozing. I could not believe what a fantastic creature he was! After a while, I decided I should head out birding and left the family to watch the box. He departed at about 9am, presumably to feed. Had he come into roost after all, or had he arrived early morning? I will never know, but it didn't matter, they were back!


Burlands Flash still held three Ringed Plovers along with the usual pairs of Little Rings and a couple of Oystercatchers. I moved on to Wheldrake Ings, where the two Glossy Ibis were feeding in the long grass on the refuge and proving to be very difficult to see. I managed a couple of brief heads and shoulders! 

Hobbies and Cuckoos showed better as did a drake Garganey flying about plus stacks of warblers along the path.



The day was hot and a BBQ was in order. The Swift pair were flying about sometimes low overhead and I popped the camera on. At about 7.30pm, one bird came into the box and was quite active scuttling back and forth and looking out of the hole, presumably trying to spot its mate. After a trip outdoors, it came back again and roosted. Bliss!


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