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Return of Swifts

May 1, 2012

As May day draws to a close, a familiar sight returns to the skies over the village. The bow shape and screaming call signals the return of Swifts. Their visit is all too short, but this year they appear to have beaten the cuckoos to their summer grounds. At least I think these are Brampton Swifts – they are also possibly in passage to more northerly climes. But for the time being at least, they are signs of the imminence of summer and Brampton Swifts they must be.

Swift departure

August 10, 2011

Departure of Swifts is a signing of summer slipping away.

Since our return from the Lakeland Fells, there is a noticeable absence of Swifts in the village. At the end of July the enlarged family groups were racing around the roof tops. But at or around the 10th August they had gone. If this followed the usual pattern the screaming parties would have followed the insect clouds higher into the sky before making the judgement to head south. Presumably this would happen by chance as the followed the southward drift of their food species or, perhaps, they made some instinctive judgement that the weather was set in an advantageous pattern for southerly migration. Now if we see Swifts I assume that they are late brood migrants or perhaps travellers from further north.

Swifts return

May 14, 2011

Yesterday’s (6th May) return of Swifts to the parish was a welcome sight. No sooner had they returned than they had started to re-colonise their traditional nest sites. These sites tend to be the cottages and houses in the village which have not had their roofing “improved”. The improvement tends to remove access points and the nesting site is lost to the birds.

I counted the newly arrived Lower Brampton flock as being made up of six birds – they scream around the houses in the early evening their own form of joy-riding.