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Not so Swift

Swift on House Martin nest box-24th May. Copyright Jonathan Pomroy 2013.
Swift on House Martin nest box-24th May. Copyright Jonathan Pomroy 2013.
Swift on House Martin nest box in very cold May weather. Copyright Jonathan Pomroy 2013
Swift on House Martin nest box in very cold May weather. Copyright Jonathan Pomroy 2013

I found this Swift huddled up and clinging to an artificial House Martin nest this morning. Clearly a victim of the very cold, windy and wet weather I decided to bring the bird inside to warm it up. It is resting in the dark and I will watch the birds in the camera box to see when they leave to feed. So far the weather has been so bad that haven’t left their nest box today, now 1.15pm. It could be that it would be sensible to release the bird tomorrow in fine weather.

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Swifts so far, nest box camera images

Our partial albino swift, a male, arrived back on 16th May, five days later than last year and 2011. He arrived with a feather and began nest building immediately. His mate also arrived on this day and they roosted together overnight. Today, 23rd May they have spent alot of time in the nest box feathers puffed up to keep warm. Last night we had sleet and at by dawn there was a frost. Today heavy showers with hail, a tough time for swifts.

Partial albino swift arrives with a feather- 16th May.Copyright Jonathan Pomroy 2013
Partial albino swift arrives with a feather- 16th May.Copyright Jonathan Pomroy 2013
Swift resting,22nd May. Copyright Jonathan Pomroy 2013
Swift resting,22nd May. Copyright Jonathan Pomroy 2013
Swift pair during nest building. Copyright Jonathan Pomroy 2013
Swift pair during nest building. Copyright Jonathan Pomroy 2013
Swifts with feathers puffed up in cold, 23rd May. Copyright Jonathan Pomroy 2013
Swifts with feathers puffed up in cold, 23rd May. Copyright Jonathan Pomroy 2013
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Swallows at Castle Howard Lake

IMG_4066 (500x331)

P1050968 (500x303)

IMG_4077 (500x298)Spent an afternoon in very cool blustery weather at Castle Howard Lake. I have never seen so many Hirundines(swallows and martins). I estimate 2000 darkening the skies and feeding literally from the surface of the lake, flying into wind and dipping their heads to touch the surface of the water to take hatching insects. The spectacle was quite remarkable, but alarming at the same time, for many birds seemed to be really struggling. To the the north of the lake swallows were exhausted, resting on caravan rooves and even on molehills. The swifts were flying exceptionally low taking insects inches above the water and at times missing me by a few millimetres. In all, and it was impossible to count them accurately, I would make a wild guess at 1000 swallows, 500 sand martins, 500 house martins and at least 500 swifts.

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Arrival- exhibition at Over Gallery, Cambridgeshire

An exhibition to celebrate the return of the over Gallery Swifts with Greg Poole, Carry Akroyd and Dafila Scott. The exhibition opens on Thursday 16th May(5- 8pm) and continues until 29th June, for more details including gallery opening hours click here.

Three Swifts at dusk, May.  Watercolour
Three Swifts at dusk, May. Watercolour
Swifts over Cley Marsh, May- watercolour
Swifts over Cley Marsh, May- watercolour
Eight Swifts at dusk, July- watercolour
Eight Swifts at dusk, July- watercolour
Young Swift peeping out of nest hole- watercolour
Young Swift peeping out of nest hole- watercolour