I have just returned from Wetherby services by the A1M where I met Martin Calvert of Leeds Swifts to hand over a young swift found in Helmsley. It is about 32 days old and malnourished. Yet another reminder of what a poor summer this has been for swifts. As I have said before, those we find will be the tip of the iceberg as sadly many will have been predated or starved. This bird was simply forced to try and fledge through starvation. Its wings are not long enough, not to mention its lack of strength and so it was doomed the moment it left the nest hole- until it was found by Keith Pickering The Stick Man of Helmsley. Thanks to Keith it now stands a very good chance of fledging under the expert care of Linda Jenkinson. I will write more on this process and other swift rehabbers in a future blog. Their dedication is extraordinary.
Linda runs a business called Start Birding. It is a superb idea and her knowledge of birds and her people skills together are a brilliant recipe for learning to identify and enjoy wild birds: but as important perhaps is the chance to enjoy the companionship of others who feel the same. Do look at her website
The house martins hatched today. They took up residence on 26th June and must have really got a move on with egg laying. They have diligently incubated their eggs through some very tough weather conditions. It has been fascinating watching the village house martins. In recent cool and windy weather they have been feeding right up against the edge of Gilling Woods, often venturing in between the outer trees to find insect food from the canopy.
UPDATE- just received another call about a fallen young swift, this time from Masham. Care being arranged as I write.