Yesterday evening was cool with a few heavy showers. Our breeding pair of swifts were out feeding alone, often very low over the garden. As the light faded they mingled with pipistrelle bats before finally retiring to the nest box. The wind was so strong and gusty at times yesterday that they sometimes took several attempts to approach and enter the nest box; even at the last second they will change course if they are unsure that the landing will be successful.
I stopped at Newburgh Priory Lake this morning. A single swift went round and round, eventually dropping down to drink. If you look closely at my watercolour you can see the swift taking a sip of water from the lake with wings held in a V shape. The accuracy of the swift’s flight was wonderful to watch as it flew low enough to scoop water into its gape using its lower mandible.
Below. Swift feeding late on a gusty, cool evening.
Below. Swift drinking at Newburgh Priory Lake.