Gosh, it hardly seems like yesterday since they arrived and I don't know why but I always feel quite low when the leave, but that's what Swifts do. Standing on my back door porch on sunday evening, listening to the washing machine trundle away, I was distracted, if only for a moment, by a handful of screaming swifts as they swirled and tumbled above my head. Now, bar the one that flew over my head last night, they have all gone. Despite my solitude I wish them a safe journey home. So, I must ask, have your swifts gone or is it just me?
I'm out at the minute on a walk on there's not one to be seen, i saw two last night with a few Martins but the majority seem to have gone
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Thanks Alan. I think the majority must have gone whilst I was away. Its quite sad to have such quiet skies!
Most of ours have not been seen for a couple of days now - except for a couple who were seen going into the nest yesterday. Is this normal once the young have fledged? (sorry - don't know much about the habits of swifts).
Last year my hubby and I went to the mountains in Spain in September (alone, for our silver wedding) and when we returned we were surprised to see that there were still quite a few swifts flying overhead for several nights after our return on the 23rd Sept.
I've just been talking to the guy that has some stables where a load of Swallows nest he says they have had a good year here and not seen any dead young but as we got talking he's never had Swifts nest so where do they nest?
they nest in the eaves of old houses. ours are nesting in the 'old police station' so we've had great views. tried to catch them going in and out but blimey they are quick. these are not great pics Alan, but you get the idea..........
Well caught Debz, they don't hang around do they?
Thanks for that Debz this is what we can't work out we've had hundreds of Swifts in the area but both of us can't say we've ever seen them nesting..will have to try and find them next year, one good thing i've noticed on my way back, they have built new houses next to me and they all have large overhangs under the eaves so it will be interesting to see if anything makes use of them in the future.
When we were on holiday last year there was a village that absolutely teamed with swallows and swifts, must have been thousands - it was absolutely deafening. There the swifts were nesting in cracks in the walls of the houses, whilst the swallows had nests clinging to the bottom of the rooftops.
Alan - if they are in your area perhaps you could try putting out a swift box (after all you seem to be something of a magician in tempting a wide variety of birds into your garden). These are widely available, but also I just saw this website that has some amazing ideas
Mrs T - they are indeed 'swift' movers! I can't tell you how long I've spent trying to catch them as they fly right overhead - just getting silhouettes. The first time I tried I got some that showed their white throats - but after that...............nothing but silhouettes. Was gutted, but decided to just enjoy watching (and listening) as they screeched overhead.
I'll bang one up for next year and see what happens.
Nice one Alan, its got to be worth a punt.
The Swifts that breed around my place left over a week ago.
I have seen the occasional one since, and would expect to possibly continue to see them from time to time until mid-late September (rarely into October), but these are more likely to be passage birds from further north (which are sometimes seen in fairly large numbers).
DebzMost of ours have not been seen for a couple of days now - except for a couple who were seen going into the nest yesterday. Is this normal once the young have fledged?
Recently fledged juveniles will sometimes return to the nest to roost, and others may visit to check out potential nest sites for future years.
doggieI'll bang one up for next year and see what happens.
You may need to play a recording of calling Swifts during the autumn if you hope to attract Swifts to a nest box despite their being none already breeding in the area - Swifts prefer to use nest sites that they think have already been used.
Thanks for that Roy...talking with the guy that has Swallows in his stables he says those don't leave till end of sept/ early oct every year
doggietalking with the guy that has Swallows in his stables he says those don't leave till end of sept/ early oct every year
That's probably about right for some Swallows and House Martins, some of which may be trying to raise a late brood right up to the point when they leave.
Some of the Swallows and House Martins that breed here will be leaving during this month, with the majority of them leaving during late August and September. Passage migrants confuse the issue though, because unless they are actually feeding young in the nest, it is realistically impossible to know whether you are seeing local birds, or passage migrants from elsewhere (Swallows can be seen in the UK throughout October, and into November in the south, but that doesn't mean that the breeding birds have hung around).
My swifts still here(S.Leeds area) in large group.Was on a westerly 10 mile bus journey this am. Its a bit of a swift corridor and the numbers seem greatly reduced ,often in single pairs.I suspect many have gone leaving late breeders behind.Mine must be seriously retarded but I dont mind :-)
Alan. I`d be interested to find out if the swift attracting CD works.