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June 27th- hobbies feeding and swift diary

Another day of breathtaking swift activity. Countless high speed passes and flying at the nest box entrance holes very fast before peeling off in a split second. We have had far more activity this year than last, possibly because our breeding pair is more experienced and their young are much older than on this date last year. I hope this means we may see another pair established this year or next. It is still possible for a pair to enter a nest box and build a nest ready for next year. Not all swifts do this. Others pair up and start to build a nest in May to breed in that year.

At dusk we had a pair of hobbies feeding over the field north of our house. They were finding insects, presumably moths or beatles and eating them held in their feet as they cruised around slowly. Hobbies have relatively large eyes which enables them to feed in low light. I watched them silhouetted against a twilight sky until 10.20pm. A really beautiful sight, though their presence certainly curtailed the final quarter of an hour of swift activity.

Today the air has turned much fresher. The non breeding swifts gathered in a high circling group this morning before vanishing, there have been big movements of swifts down the east coast today indicating a exodus of younger non breeders. However we have seen a few flypasts today, so I suspect that older non breeding birds are probably staying around for now.

Our house martin pair came in to roost at about 6pm yesterday and stayed in the box until 7.20am. A good sign that they may stay, I hope.

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