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!

Sunday 7 June 2020

More eggs

Box 1 have laid a second egg, but as you can see from the photo below they are totally disinterested in both of them (in the bottom left hand corner of this picture) and most of the time they go out during the day and roost in the back corner with the eggs left uncovered.

So, as I thought, nothing’s going to happen with them this year. Hopefully they’ll be serious next year. On the other hand Box 3 have laid a third egg and are incubating normally except for this brief outing when I was able to get the photo. We look forward to seeing the chicks in due course.

Wednesday 3 June 2020

An egg in Box 1

Box 1 pair are still roosting every night, but are showing no signs of building a nest. They actually removed the nest that was in there from the previous year and were just roosting on bare wood. So yesterday Steve collected some feathers and put them in the box whilst they were out during the day, just to give them a hint. This morning there is an egg in the box.

No proper nest though and I don’t think they intend to breed this year so the egg will probably just roll around for a few days or get ejected. Hopefully they’ll return next year and do it properly!  Box 3 are both still incubating.