Swift Diary 2012
                  gable nest boxes                                    under eaves at the front                                   under eaves at the back

 

       gable nest boxes    
  bird 1 bird 2 egg 1 egg 2 egg 3 1st out 2nd out 3rd out 1 fledged 2 fledged 3 fledged
box 1 10/5 sadly gone due to cold temps in May    
box 2                      
box 3                      
box 4                      
box 5 10/5 15/5 24/5 26/5 28/5 w/c 11/6     23/7 25/7 30/7
box 6                      
box 7 12/5 12/5 22/5 24/5   w/c 11/6     19/7 20/7  
box 8 10/5 11/8 21/5 23/5 25/5 w/c 11/6     18/7 19/7 22/4
box 9                      
box 10                      
box 11                      
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
box1 25/6                    
box2 23/6                    
box3 18/5 due to cold temps in May        
box4 13/5 due to cold temps in May but see June 23 below  
box5 15/5 due to cold temps in May        
box6                      
box7 29/6                    
box8 28/6 28/6                  
box9 29/6 29/6                  
back of the house
  bird 1 bird 2 egg 1 egg 2 egg 3 1st out 2nd out 3rd out 1 fledged 2 fledged 3 fledged
box1                      
box2                      
box3                      
 
2012 Observations
(bracketed dates are from previous seasons)
 
April 22nd 
first report of swifts in N. Ireland at RSPB Portmore Lough Reserve
Week starting April 30th
reports of swifts across N. Ireland (25/4/11)
May 2nd 
c.1000 swifts at Portmore Lough (Derek Charles)
May 3rd - first swifts, 3, close to the house (1/5/11) (23/4/10)
May 6th
8 swifts above the house escorting a sparrow hawk.
9.39pm a lone swift makes multiple passes along the gable nest boxes               
May 10th
first fly by of 2012. Only two swifts involved.
Box 8 - first swift arrived at 1800 (5/5/11), (16/5/10), (8/6/09)
Box 5 - first swift arrived at 21.11 (5/5/11), (16/5/10)
Box 1 - first swift arrived at 21.26 (6/5/11), (3/5/10)
May 11th - second bird in box 8 (10/5/11), (16/5/10), (8/6/09)
 
May 12th
first swift in box 7 (3/5/11), (3/5/10), (6/5/09)
second swift in box 7 (13/5/12), (6/5/10), (9/5/09)
                 
May 13th
first swift in under eave box 4 (28/6/11)
 
May 15th
second bird arrives in box 5 (7/5/11), (21/5/10), (unknown '09)
first bird in eave box 5 (2/7/11)
                  
May 18th - first bird in eave box 3 (1/7/11)
 
May 21st - first egg in box 8 (28/5/10) (c.19/06/09) 10 days together
May 22nd - first egg in box 7 (19/5/11)(15/5/10) (18/05/09) 10 days together
May 23rd - second egg in box 8
May 24th - first egg in box 5 (17/5/11) (28/5/10) (19/05/09) 9 days together
May 24th - second egg in box 7
May 25th - third egg in box 8
May 26th - second egg in box 5
 
a swift repeatedly trying to enter a nest box with a starling baffle on the floor of the box
 
Early May has been very cold yet again for the third year with night temperatures between 1c and 8c. Then there was the rain that hardly stopped falling. There has been very little activity around the house.
 
June 11th - the first chicks have hatched. The birds have been sitting very tight since the eggs were laid giving just the briefest glimpses of eggs and chicks.
 
June 18th - huge thunder and lightning storm. Large number of swifts passing by heading south away from the storm
 
June 19th - box 8 adults no longer brooding the chicks during the day
 
Boxes 7 and 8 have 3 chicks
 
June 22nd - Very heavy rain, wind and only 12c. The adults have hardly left their boxes all day
 
A very wet swift is in under eave box 4. After several hours it left at 9.15pm and returned at 9.45pm
 
June 23rd
much activity at the gable this afternoon.
A swift was in under eave box 2 (27/6/11)
A swift was in under eave box 4 (28/6/11)
10.15pm
a swift spends a few minutes in under eave box 4 screaming at screaming parties
A swift repeatedly tries to enter under eave box 1. This could be a new bird
Good screaming sessions this evening
 
June 24th - a swift is back in under eave box 2 for over an hour.
 
June 25th 
A swift arrives in under eave box 2 at 9.58 and stays inside until 10.50am
A swift arrives in under eave box 3 at 11.30am and leaves at 12.47pm
A swift enters under eave box 1 at 11.32am and leaves at 12.47pm. A new bird!
A swift enters under eave box 3 at 14.05
A swift was in either box 6/7/8 or 9. I saw it leave.
 
The birds in under eaves boxes 1 and 2 fly fly like a pair and bang the gable boxes together. At 16.52 they enter their own boxes and peep at each other. Box 2 had a mate in 2011.
The swift in box 2 left at 17.24 - 1.5 hours
The swift in box 1 left at 18.02 - 2 hours 10 minutes
 
At 22.10 two swifts arrive at the under eave boxes. One bird enters box 3 but the bird following clings to the entrance. It leaves and after several approaches in enters box 4. Both birds start screaming head to head but divided by the nest box wall. They are a male and female. At 22.28 the swift in box four leaves. At 22.50 swift in box three leaves.
 
At 22.40 a swift arrives in box 1. It's nervous and sits under the camera. It leaves the box 22.50.
 
None of the under eave swifts stay in their boxes for the night.
 
June 26th
06.00 there are swifts in under eave boxes 2 and 3.
06.12 a second swift enters u. e. box 2. Both swifts sit very still. At 06.18 the second swift approached the other and they fight and at 06.19 one leaves the nest box. The swifts in boxes 2 and 3 call to each other with the one in 3 climbing the nest box walls. Both leave at 07.06.  u. e. box 2 bird returns at 07.38 and leaves at 08.19
12.43 two swifts arrive in u. e. box 3. The second to arrive left at 12.45 and came back again at 12.47. After a quick fight it leaves again. At 12.57 the first bird to enter leaves also
16.00 swifts return to u. e. box 2 and 4. At 16.21 the swift in u. e. box 4 leaves. At 16.33 the swift in u. e. box 2 leaves. 16.37 a swift arrives in u. e. box 3 and leaves at 16.44
16.50 a swift is back in u. e. box 3 and leaves at 17.20
 
cameras off between 10pm and 1pm on the 27th - you just can't rely on people!
 
June 27th
at 13.15 two birds arrive together, one second apart, in under eave box 2 and there is an immediate short fight. At 13.18 one is trying to preen the other which causing short fights. 13.30 both are vigorously preen each others white chins. At 14.30 both are sitting side by side on the nest concave and scream at screamers and bangers. At 1550 they leave the nest together.
17.00 Lots of banging and screamers. A swift enters under eave box 5 and explores. A swift tries to enter under eave box 6.
18.00 a swift arrives in and explores under eave box 4.
 
June 28th
Not much activity today until after 2pm
13.50 a swift arrives in under eave box 4 and leaves at 14.06
14.20 a swift arrives in under eave box 3. It left at 15.14
14.23 a swift arrived in under eave box 5. It left at 15.07
17.10 a new pair are in under eave box 8. This box has never had swifts
 
June 29th
0600 single swifts are in under eave boxes 7 and 8. Box 7 hasn't been used before now.
The bird in box 8 is still in at 08.45.
08.37 a swift arrives in under eave box 5 and stays until 09.57
15.30 two swifts arrive in under eave box 9. They stayed until 17.10 leaving one minute apart
 
 
19.07 one of the swifts from under eave box 9 arrives back with feathers and leaves at 19.14. At 19.17 the mate arrives with nest material and is followed one second later by the first bird. There is a short fight and after sitting apart for 30 seconds they both sit on the nest hollow.
 
June 30th
not much activity today
at 05.30 two swifts arrive in under eave boxes 7 and 8. At 06.24 the bird in box 8 leaves and box 7 bird leaves at 06.38
07.27 a swift arrives back in under eave box 8 and leaves at 07.31
07.39 a swift enters under eave box 4 and leaves after one minute
07.40 a swift bangs at under eave box 2 and within seconds a swift enters under eave box 9 and stays until 07.56
08.50 two swifts arrive in under eave box9 and stay until 12.00
22.09 a swift arrives in under eave box 9. It stays over night and is the first under eave swift to do so.
22.12 a swift arrives in under eave box 4 and stays until after dark and leaves
 
July 1st
a very quiet day except for two very brief visits to under eave boxes 4 and 9 and this
...
 
July 2nd
Good activity outside between 6am and 8am
07.30 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and stays until 07.50
07.54 a swift arrives in under eave box 3 until 08.01
08.53 a swift arrives in under eave box 9
09.01 a second swift arrives in under eave box 9. They left at 11.00
11.48 a swift arrives in under eave box 2 and stays until 12.09
14.10 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and stays until 14.26
15.09 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 15.12
15.17 two swifts arrive in under eave box 8 and leave at 16.05
21.34 a swift arrives in under eave box 7 and leaves at 21.36
 
July 3rd
06.30 single swifts are in under eave boxes 7 and 8. Box 7 leaves at 06.57. Box 7 leaves at 07.14
07.12 a single swift arrives in under eave box 1 and leaves at 07.23
07.36 a single swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 08.20
07.38 a single swift arrives in under eave box 6 and leaves after 30 seconds
07.40 a single swift arrives in under eave box 4 and leaves at 07.50
08.37 two swifts arrive in under eave box 8 and leave at 10.39
12.12 a swift arrives in under eave box 8 with a feather and leaves at 12.24
 
July 4th
all quiet this morning. Swifts didn't wake me this morning until 0900
09.04 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with a feather. It stayed until 09.26
11.40 single swifts arrive in under eave boxes 8 and 9. box 9 left at 12.08. box 8 left at 12.23
11.45 silent bangers at the gable
12.22 a swift arrives in under eave box4 and stays until 12.27
13.52 two swifts arrive in under eave box9 and left together at 14.42
16.10 a swift arrives in under eave box9 with feathers and leaves at 16.13
 
July 5th
11.26 a swift arrives in under eave box 8. it leaves at 11.45
11.33 a swift arrives in under eave box 7 with a feather and leaves at 11.53
12.12 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 12.18
12.23 two swifts arrive in under eave box 9 and leave at 13.20
14.43 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers and leaves at 14.48
15.01 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 15.06
15.19 two swifts arrive in under eave box 9 with feathers and leave at 16.16
 
chicks ringed today aged 24 days old
 
Best evening activity this year
 
July 6th
0707 a swift arrives in under eave box 7 and leaves at 07.19
09.55 a swift arrives in under eave box 6 and leaves at 10.38
15.25 two swifts arrive in under eave box 7. One has a feather. One left at 16.30 and one left at 16.33
22.24 an adult arriving in gable box 7, for some reason, dropped the bolus of insects
 
July 7th
12.47 a swift arrives in under eave box 8 and leaves at 13.19
13.03 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers and leaves at 13.58
14.37 two swifts arrive in under eave box 9 and leave at 16.20
 
Should I stay or should I go?
 
July 8th
quiet all day
 
July 9th
08.00 a swift is in under eave box 9 and leaves at 08.21
08.24 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 08.33
09.55 a swift arrives in under eave box 1 and stays until 10.03
11.59 a swift arrives in under eave box 1 and leaves at 12.04
12.16 a swift arrives in under eave box 8 and leaves at 12.27
15.45 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 15.43
 
July 10th
08.45 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and left at 08.53
08.58 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers and left at 09.23
09.32 a swift arrives in under eave box 8 and leaves at 09.43
10.50 a swift arrives in under eave box 7 with feathers and leaves at 10.57
12.25 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 12.31
12.34 two swifts arrive in under eave box 9 and leave at 14.30
 
July 11th
09.28 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 09.38
13.13 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers
13.23 a second swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers
14.27 and 14.33 the swifts in under eave box 9 leave
 
July 12th
pre 06.00 single swifts arrive in under eave box 8 and 9
07.07 the bird in under eave box 8 leaves
07.11 the bird in under eave box 9 leaves
14.13 a swift is in under eave box 7 and leaves at 14.15
16.03 a swift arrived in under eave box 9 with feathers and leaves at 16.16
 
July 13th
screaming swifts woke me at 05.30
06.36 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 08.10
10.48 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 10.57
14.43 a swift arrives in under eave box 8 and leaves at 15.03
 
July 14th
pre 07.30 single swifts are in under eave boxes 7 and 8. Both leave at 08.00
10.35 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with a feather. It leaves at 10.45
11.05 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 it leaves at 11.40
11.07 a swift arrives in under eave box 8 with feathers and leaves at 11.40
 
July 15th
swifts didn't wake me this morning
07.40 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 07.50
13.35 two swifts arrive in under eave box 9. One has feathers. They leave at 14.48 and 14.49
 
The third perfect swift day in a row yet their absence was very obvious
 
July 16th
swifts didn't wake me this morning
all quiet until 08.30
09.20 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers and leaves at 09.35
13.35 a swift arrives in under eave box 9. it leaves at 14.05
13.35 a swift arrives in under eave box 8. it leaves at 14.05
 
A perfect day but no activity
 
July 17th
06.00 screaming parties outside.
06.12 FIGHT!!! two swifts arrive in under eave box 9 and immediately fight. After 15 minutes they are sitting side by side. After 4 hours, 10.10, they left the nest box together
 
July 18th
swifts didn't wake me this morning
12.30 first chick from gable box 8 fledges
12.30 a swift arrives in under eave box 8
12.32 a second swift arrives in under eave box 8
both leave at 14.45
 
July 19th
swifts didn't wake me this morning
sadly the first chick to fledge was found dead. It weighs 37g
13.45 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers and leaves at 14.00
14.10 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers and leaves at 14.20
14.40 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers and leaves at 14.50
14.55 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 14.56
22.15 the second chick from gable box 8 fledges but fails to fly
 
July 20th
swifts woke me this morning
06.24 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 06.34
06.49 two swifts arrive in under eave box 9 and left at 09.50 almost continual duetting at screamers prevented my lie in!
12.50 two swifts arrive in under eave box 9. One left at 13.35 and the other at 13.40
the chick that failed to fly yesterday evening was successfully released.
 
July 21st
swifts didn't wake me this morning
pre 06.34 a swift arrives in under eave box 9. It leaves at 06.40
13.15 two swifts arrive in under eave box 9. They left together at 14.10
two chicks fledge from gable boxes 7 and 8
 
July 22nd
swifts didn't wake me this morning
09.30 a fledged chick is found on the ground. It has very dirty primary tips
10.10 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers. It leaves at 10.40
10.50 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers and leaves at 11.30
large number of swifts about this evening. No screaming or banging just milling about
 
July 23rd
swifts didn't wake me this morning
the adults in gable boxes 7 and 8 take it easy with no chicks to feed and don't leave their boxes until 9am. They are home again at dark
 
July 24th
pre 08.00 a swift is in under eave box 9. It leaves at 08.25
a chick fledges from gable box 5
gable box 7 adults don't come home tonight
gable box 8 adults come home tonight
 
July 25th
pre 07.30 a swift arrives in under eave box 9.
08.45 a second swift arrives in under eave box 9 resulting in a short fight
both left at 10.45
14.50 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and leaves at 15.00
some time this afternoon the second chick fledged from gable box 5
gable box 7 adults didn't come home tonight
gable box 8 adults home tonight
 
July 26th
swifts didn't wake me this morning
06.40 two swifts arrive in under eave box 9. They leave together at 09.36
gable box 7 didnt come home
gable box 8 adults home tonight
 
July 27th
swifts didn't wake me this morning
09.30 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers and left at 0958
13.00 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers and leaves at 13.10
13.28 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers and leaves at 13.40
gable box 8 adults home tonight
 
July 28th
swifts didn't wake me this morning
13.15 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 with feathers and leaves at 13.30
gable box 8 adults home tonight
 
July 30th
swifts didn't wake me this morning
the 3rd chick from gable box 5 has fledged
bangers at 0950
many screamers this evening
gable box 8 adults home tonight
 
July 31st
screamers and bangers this morning
forgot to turn on the cameras today
before 12.00 swifts arrive in under eave box 9. They left at 14.00
gable boxes 5 and 8 have adults in them
 
August 1st
good screaming session this evening
gable box 8 has adults in for the night
 
August 2nd
screaming swifts at 07.30 woke me and a swift was in an under eave box.
No cameras on this morning
11.35 a swift arrives in under eave box 9 and left at 11.50
 
August 2nd pm, 3rd and 4th no cameras on due to me being away
 
August 4th
21.30 19 swifts screaming around the house and sometimes very high
gable boxes 5 and 8 have two birds in each home for the night
 
August 5th
very heavy rain falling until 11a.m
the swifts in gable boxes 5 and 8 are having a good lie in. They left at 11.45
they return to roosts in their boxes for another night
 
August 6th
another lie in for the swifts.
The swifts in gable box 8 left at 08.35
The swifts in gable box 5 left at 09.15
10.00 screamers over the house
swifts in gables boxes 5 and 8 back in for the night
 
August 7th
only one bird returned to the gable boxes this evening - box 8
 
August 8th
no screaming parties tonight
no swifts in boxes tonight
 
August 9th
no screaming parties tonight
no swifts in boxes tonight
 
The diary for 2013 will start in late April 2013