Monday, 15 May 2017

Returning swifts

For me, summer begins when the swifts return to nest under the eaves of our neighbours house. Unfortunately we live in a bungalow and it too low to attract swifts.

The swifts spend the winter south of the Savannah in Africa. The return to the UK last week in April or early May. In previous years I have usually seen the first arrivals by 4th May but this year they were a little late.

Swifts traditionally nested in rocky crags, sea-cliffs, caves, hollow trees and even nest holes made by other birds. Now most swifts nest in buildings, which has allowed them to colonise many new areas.

We usually have three pair nest in our neighbours property. Once the chicks have hatched the adults collect large amounts of insect food in the air, preferably at heights over 50 m, collected in a special food pouch.

Their ariel acrobatics area joy to watch and they often sweep low over our garden - low enough to touch (but of course I don't) 

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