Saturday, 1 August 2020

All gone now?

The single bird in Box 1 that we thought had left did in fact return to roost on a couple of odd nights but not on a regular basis. Now it’s the 1st August and last night there were no roosting swifts in Box 3, so we think that they have finally left. We’ll keep the cameras going for another couple of weeks or so yet though just in case we get some last minute prospectors!

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Just Box 3 remaining

The single bird in Box 1 now seems to have left as it’s no longer roosting at night but we still have our pair in Box 3. Yesterday we saw another pair of swifts doing flypasts, obviously having a look at all the boxes and one landed on the entrance to Box 4 but neither entered and they went away again shortly afterwards. Our pair in Box 3 are still flying about with a third bird so whether or not this is the one from Box 1 still hanging about we don’t know. Here are the pair in Box 3, still looking happy enough!


Wednesday, 15 July 2020

New partner for Box 3

Our swifts are still with us at the time of writing. One of the pair in Box 1 has now left, leaving the remaining one to roost alone each night as usual. But there has been a development in Box 3. After many screaming flypasts over several days, (on one particular day involving up to 12 swifts), our single swift in Box 3 now has a partner - hooray! They seem to have settled down together very well for the last week or so and whilst nothing’s going to happen this year we have hopes that they might both return and get down to breeding next year. Here’s a video of the pair in Box 3.


Thursday, 2 July 2020

Still roosting in Box 3

Well, after replacing the dead camera with a working one we were surprised to find, that evening, that there is still a roosting bird in Box 3. It’s presumably the partner of the dead one and we think it must have been roosting on top of the dead bird. Very sad. It has been there for the last two nights, but I suspect that without a partner and any young to look after it will be away very shortly.
Here's a picture from last night



















The pair in Box 1 continue to mess about, playing with the nest and sticking down feathers but as usual the eggs are rolling around elsewhere and it seems to be sheer luck if either of the birds happen to actually sit on them at all. Oh well, better luck next year!

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

A sad day.

The pair are still in Box 1 and incubating…on and off…. We managed to get both eggs back into the nest whilst the pair were out:












 





...but unfortunately the eggs rolled out again and have been in and out of the nest since then. They are still bringing in feathers and playing at nest building, but at present only one egg is visible in the nest so we suspect the other has gone to the corner of the box again and I really don’t think it’s going to be a success this year.

We had a very brief period during the hot weather last week where up to a dozen swifts were seen to be doing flypasts but none entered the boxes and all seem to have gone away now.

Box 3 has been a total disaster. After not having seen the adults coming and going for a week or so we finally cracked and opened up the box  this morning to see what was going on. You’ll remember that they were incubating 3 eggs and everything looked good until the camera packed up so we thought we’d put a working one back in there. What we found was one dead adult on the nest and nothing else. We don’t know what has happened. Maybe the other parent was taken by a predator, or maybe it simply left leaving the remaining one unable to get sufficient food, we shall never know -maybe there’s a swift version of coronavirus, who knows? So it looks like our swifts will not be rearing any young at all this year, which is a dreadful disappointment. We’ll keep the cameras up and running till the end of the season just in case.


Friday, 26 June 2020

More eggs in Box 1

The two eggs in Box 1 disappeared from view shortly after my last post, if you remember they showed no interest in them at all and bits of shell were picked up from the ground outside so we suspect they got rid of them. However, the pair are still using the box and two more eggs have appeared in the last few days.




















Again, they are rolling around the box and sometimes one of the birds sits on them for a while and was actually seen successfully retrieving both eggs and starting to incubate.  See video below which shows part of the process - it did manage to get both eggs under itself eventually but unfortunately not in the nest!

 

We are waiting for an opportunity to get both eggs back into the nest cup while both birds are out feeding. Box 3 camera is still out of action and we haven’t yet had an opportunity to get another one into the box but we estimate that the young will be around 11 days old by now. It’s just a case of getting in there when both parents are out feeding and replacing the camera. The design of the boxes, with a door at the end of each one which faces the opening upstairs window next to it,  means that we can do it quickly from the window without the need to be scrambling up a ladder.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Camera has stopped working

Oh dear, in the last couple of days, the camera in Box 3 has packed up. Fiddle about with the junction box and the wiring as Steve did, he couldn’t get it to work. So for now I cannot update anything on the incubating pair as we can’t see what’s going on. We had a think and our only hope is that when the eggs hatch we might be able to get a replacement camera from one of the empty boxes into Box 3 while the parents are out getting food for the youngsters - but we’re going to have to be quick when we do. So for now I can only update you with what the pair in Box 1 are doing. Which is precisely nothing…they are not at all bothered about the two eggs which are still rolling around at the side of the box. Better luck next year hopefully!