Tuesday 29 August 2017

Last one fledged

Finally the last of our swiftlets in box 3 fledged yesterday afternoon, after having spent two days in the box all alone without any visits from the parent bird who had apparently left already. We were expecting it to leave yesterday morning (it must have been very hungry and thirsty by this time!) and we were hoping for some leaving shots, spending some time ready with the camera, but after peering out of the entrance hole for almost half the day it returned to the nest for the afternoon. However, some time during late afternoon, probably some time after 4.30 pm whilst we were out, it finally took the plunge and on checking again in the evening (just to make sure it wasn't lurking under the camera as it sometimes did!) we saw that the box was empty. So sadly it's the end of the season for Cley Swifts. Although only four of our six boxes were occupied at any one time, (one of them with Starlings) we did manage to count a total of 11 of our very own resident swifts altogether, that is the three adult pairs plus the two broods of two and three swiftlets. Here's hoping for a better year next year, but we can't complain really as we have managed to raise 5 new swifts this year. Here are some final images of our last swiftlet:

alone on the nest

Yesterday morning

Cley Swifts will not be updated from now until next Spring, so it's goodbye from me - and goodbye from them! Thank you for visiting and keeping up with our swifts and look out for us again towards the end of April next year.

Saturday 26 August 2017

Just two left now

Last night we had only three roosting, the two swiftlets and one parent bird, the other having left some time during the day. And then this morning, at 8.30am one of the youngsters left leaving only the remaining one in the box today. It has been doing it's wing excercises and peering out of the entrance and the remaining parent is still bringing in food, but we suspect that both will be away in the morning. Happy and sad at the same time! Here's the last of the swiftlets doing some wing excercies this morning:

It looks like it's trying to climb the box walls, and just look at that lovely fanned out tail towards the end of the video! Not long now....

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Not left yet

Our swift family in box 3 are still with us, the youngsters are looking very grown up now. Here's last nights' roost with all four of them trying to fit in the nest together. There seems to be a lot of shuffling going on virtually all night long, sometimes they even walk around the box, amazing considering they are in total darkness!

 Here are this morning's wing excercises:

And two more images, the swiftlets looking out at the world through their entrance:

A face at the door!

Thursday 17 August 2017

More wing exercises

Our two young swifts in box 3 are busy exercising their wings, or at least one of them is, while the other is looking out of the entrance hole. Notice how the rear swiftlet raises and fans it's tail out as well. This is the box with the entrance on the underside so the view is probably more difficult to see from their angle.

They are lucky, there is plenty of room in their nestbox (all our boxes are roughly the size of a shoebox with at least a 7-8" width to give plenty of wing space) but how do other swifts that are nesting in very small spaces or under roof tiles manage to excercise themselves like this?

According to the date they hatched they are due to fledge on around the 27th August...but they look nearly ready to me!

Sunday 13 August 2017

Just four left now

Yesterday the lone adult in box 1 finally left, so now we just have the two adults and their young in box 3. Not long now till they're all away. Oh dear....

Wednesday 9 August 2017

Three have gone

On the 7th August one of the pair in box 1 left, leaving it's partner to roost alone and yesterday the two adult swifts from box 2 finally left, happily before the bad weather set in today. Last night, the remaining swift in box 1 was still roosting alone but it may have left today, we shan't know until we check the cameras this evening - if it leaves today then we shall just have the pair and their young in box 3 still with us.

Monday 7 August 2017

And they're still here....

Yes, all six adult birds roosted last night yet again, that is the non-breeding pair in box 1, the parents of the already fledged swiftlets in box 2 (the last of the three left on the 1st August) and box 3 pair with their two young. Last year the non-breeders had left by the 3rd August. It seems that none of them are keen to leave yet this year! Here are the youngsters in box 3 this morning, I was lucky enough to catch the adult come in and feed one of them.

Will they still all be here tonight?

Thursday 3 August 2017

They're still here!

There was a large flock of about 250 swifts feeding around the north scrape at Cley last night (and still some this morning), one of which was taken by a Hobby. Here's a video of them feeding yesterday evening on the reserve:

Happily it wasn't one of ours that was taken because last night all six adults roosted yet again. Box 2 were there for a second night on their own despite the last of their young having fledged two days ago, and also the non-breeding pair in box 1 who amazingly are still sticking down feathers in their nest - we have high hopes for their return next year as they're obviously quite serious! Here's a video showing all the swifts last night at bed-time:

There are two in box 1, two in box 2 and two adults and two young in box 3. Will they all be back tonight?

Tuesday 1 August 2017

last of the three gone

Here was the situation this morning:

Yes, the last of the three swiftlets in box 2 fledged. As you can see, box 1 non-breeding adults are still in residence as of first thing this morning and the two swiftlets in box 3 continue to thrive. In fact they're doing so well that one of them was actually doing wing excercises and flapping even though they barely have their eyes open. It looks like they're in a hurry to get up and away but that won't be for a while yet.

So will the adults from box 2 return to roost tonight or will they be away today as well? We shall see this evening!