bird behaviour, Swift diary 2011

Mad Swifts!

On June 15th- 17th we were visited by many non breeding Swifts. These curious young birds queue up to look in the nest sites of the breeders. The breeders quickly return to their boxes and scream in duet at the visitors who hardly ever attempt to enter the nest site. They were also showing an interest in the vacant nest boxes though their early attempts at alighting on them are haphazard to say the least. There does seem to be another pair keen to find a site on our house and they seem particularly intersted in a hole under the pantiles. They may well build a nest this year and return to breed in 2012.
The flying displays have been spectacular with extreme high speed passes by the eaves, impossibly tight fast turns as if they are on a wire, then back past the eaves, screaming wildly especially when close to the potential nest site. This flying is so precise, millimetres at times from certain death, but they never miss and continue to thrill me, as they have every year since I first remember them flying round the eaves of my primary school.

Swift prospecting nest box- photograph by Jonathan Pomroy copyright 2011

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