Swift Diary 2010

             Upper row 1-7, middle left & middle right, lower left & lower right        under eave nest boxes at the front
  bird 1 bird 2 egg 1 egg 2 egg 3 1st out 2nd out 3rd out 1 fledged 2 fledged 3 fledged
box1 3/5 15/5 24/5 26/5   due 14/6     22/7 24/7  
box2 4/5 6/5 birds gone due to cold wind      
box3 3/5 14/5 birds gone due to cold wind      
box5 16/5 21/05 28/5 30/05   due 18/6 19/6   30/7    
box6 9/6 2nd bird did not return this year      
box7 3/5 6/5 14/5 17/5 ? due 4/6 2 - 5/6 ? 14/7 14/7 19/7
middle L 16/5 16/5 28/05 30/5   due 18/6     27/8 28th  
middle R     birds did not return this year      
lower L 9/6 9/6                  
lower R                      

under eave nest boxes

  bird 1 bird 2 egg 1 egg 2 egg 3 1st out 2nd out 3rd out 1 fledged 2 fledged 3 fledged
R 1 30/5                    
R 2 26/5                    
R 3 30/5 30/5 all boxes no longer used 4 boxes   had practice nests
L 1                      
L 2 26/5                    
L 3 7/6                    

2010 Observations

(bracketed numbers are dates from the '09 season)

22nd April
The first swifts have arrived in Northern Ireland
All cameras set up


23rd April
First swift seen over the house
2nd May
Two swifts at box 7
3rd May
Box1 1st swift
Box3 1st swift (9/06/09)
Box7 1st swift (7/05/09)


4th May
Box2 - 1st swift (9/06/09)


6th May
box7 2nd bird home (9/05/09)
box6 1st bird back (9/06/09)
box2 2nd bird home (9/06/09) video
a lone bird checks the under eave nest boxes

cold northerly winds this month, so far, have disrupted normal behaviour. Since returning swifts have gone again or only come back infrequently. Box 2 and 3 abandoned
We need a west or south west wind to bring the birds back

14th May
swifts are back in good numbers
box3 was last used on the 3rd May. A bird is back in the box tonight. There might be an egg in box 7.
15th May
box1 2nd mate back in the nest
box7 first egg (18/05/09)
16th May
middle left box pair back today (8/06/09) video
box5 first bird back (?/09)
box1 mating swifts video
good screaming parties today
17th May
box7 second egg (20/05/09)
20th May
lower left bird seen entering this box. The seal was removed a couple of hours ago
22nd May
Mark is interviewed on Radio Ulster's Your Place and Mine here
23rd May
a brilliant day of swift activity with screaming parties all day.
24th May
box1 first egg (23/05/09)
middle left The birds have started making a nest using hornbeam seeds video
26th May
box1 second egg (25/05/09)
under eave left middle box one swift
May 28th
box middle left   first egg (c.19/06/09)
box5   first egg (19/05/09)
many bangers/non breeders about today.
May 29th
box5 egg out of the nest
May 30th
box middle left egg out of nest
under eave right right box one swift
under eave right right box two swift
lower left box one swift in today
June 6th
box7 two chicks seen video


June 7th bangers/non breeders have been about from 5.30 a.m. video
June 9th
lower left two birds enter the box at dusk
June 22nd
box 5 the second chick to hatch has disappeared. Looking in the box there is no sign of it
  • June 29th
    a fallen swift chick was brought to my house. I didn't have any nests suitable to add it to because they were all younger. The nest I chose, box 7, to add it to contained three chicks about a week younger. Could a pair of swifts cope with 4 chicks?
    Sorry for the lack of diary. Not much has been happening this year


    July 12th
    box7 the adopted swift chick has fledged after two weeks in the adopters nest. They did very well to rear 4 chicks
    July 14th
    box7 two chicks fledged 41 days old. These two fledged some time before dark
    July 16th
    Checked the under eave nest boxes. Although they haven't been in use for a long time the three on the right have nest material
    July 19th
    box 7 last chick fledged around 11am aged 44 days
    July 22nd
    box 1 first chick fledged aged 39 days
    July 24th
    box 1 last chick fledged a.m. aged 40 days
    July 27th
    box middle left first chick fledged p.m. aged 39 days
    July 28th
    box middle left second chick fledged a.m. aged 40 days
    July 30th
    box5 chick fledged today aged 42 days
    the average age of fledged chicks is 40.75 days (fledging ages 41, 41, 44, 39, 40, 39, 40, 42)
    In 2009 the average age was 42.28 = 1.53 earlier in 2010