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July 23rd- swifts moving south west

Early this morning I noticed a substantial movement of swifts. They were flying high, slowly and in complete silence and were well spaced out across the sky. Such a far cry from the impossibly tight, fast and noisy formations we associate with swifts. All were heading south west. I saw several hundred but there must have been many more. I would guess this was a weather movement, probably mainly non breeding birds undertaking a detour to avoid the rain or perhaps these were birds actually beginning their journey to Africa? There was something quite moving about this sighting, it filled me with wonder about where they were going and why they were going there. Where had they come from? But always in my mind the thought that they will be gone soon. 

It rained for much of the day, but in drier periods this morning it felt warm and the non breeding swifts responded quickly. There were several short but intense periods of prospecting including some landings on nest boxes.

Below- swifts moving slowly and silently south west.

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