Swift Diary 2013
     
                 left - gable boxes, middle - under eave boxes, right - under eave 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 7/5 12/5 8/6 10/6 12/6            
box 2                      
box 3  17/5                    
box 4                      
box 5 7/5 ? 22/5 24/5 26/5 13/6 hatched        
box 6 17/5                    
box 7 7/5 10/5 25/5 27/5              
box 8 12/5 12/5 25/5 27/5 29/5 hatched hatched hatched      
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                      
box2 16/6                    
box3                      
box4                      
box5                      
box6                      
box7                      
box8                      
box9 31/5 31/5 8/6 10/6   28/6          
under eave nest boxes - back
  bird 1 bird 2 egg 1 egg 2 egg 3 1st out 2nd out 3rd out 1 fledged 2 fledged 3 fledged
box1 05/6 11/6                  
box2 05/6                    
box3                      
 
2013 Observations
(bracketed dates are from previous seasons)
April 14th
first report of a swift in N Ireland at Richill, Co. Armagh
April 16th
two swifts reported at Oxford Island nature reserve
April 17th
swift reported at the RSPB harbour reserve
April 25th
50+ swifts seen at Oxford Island nature reserve
April 26th
15 swifts seen over Lough Erne County Fermanagh
April 27th
three swifts fly by the gable. First swifts seen around the house in previous years (3/5/12), (1/5/11), (23/4/10)
April 28th
25 swifts seen at Antrim Marina
April 29th
15 swifts reported at Portmore Lough
April 30th
07.45 2 swifts screamed by the gable boxes
14.15 4 swifts screaming above the house

 

away for 4 days

 

May 6th
5 swifts present for 6 hours with many screaming fly bys of the gable colony
15 swifts seen over Cookstown
 
May 7th
Box 7
first swift home (12/5/12), (3/5/11), (3/5/10), (6/5/09)
Box 1
first swift home at 21.15 (10/5/12), (6/5/11), (3/5/10)
Box 5
first swift home between 20.30 and 21.15 (10/5/12), (5/5/11), (16/5/10)
 
May 10th
Box 7
woken by screaming swifts which is always great at this time of year
second bird home between 12.30 and 13.00 (12/5/12), (13/5/12), (6/5/10), (9/5/09)
second bird didn't come home tonight
 
May11th
woken by screaming swifts which is always great at this time of year
Box 7
there is only one bird in the box
 
May 12th
Box 1
second swift has arrived
Box 8
the first swift is back (10/5/12), (5/5/11), (16/5/10), (8/6/09)
the second swift arrived at 16.38 (11/5/12), (10/5/11), (16/5/10), (8/6/09)
 
just like the last 3 Mays the weather has deteriorated. Cold windy days and almost freezing nights. The 7 swifts sleeping over night in nest boxes dropped to only 2 on 13th, 3 on the 14th and 4 on the 15th.
 
May 17th
Box 6
a new swift for the colony? Box last used by single birds in 2009 and 2010
Box 3
a new swift for the colony. Last used 2009, successful, and 2010, abandoned breeding
 
May 18th
Box 7
17.18  three very wet swifts have arrived in a nest box on my gable. I was watching because I could her screaming, flying, swifts outside. Two are on the nest and one is clinging to the edge of the raised nest area.

1738 two are now fighting. It lasted for one hour

After 5 days away a swift is back in Box 1

May 21st
not much is happening
box1 - down to a single bird
box3 - hasn't been used for 4 days
box6 - hasn't been used for 4 days
 
May 22nd
box 5 - first egg
 
May 25th
box 1 - the lone bird has finally got its mate back or possible gone and got a new one
 
May26th
box 7 - first egg laid
box 5 - three eggs
 
May 29th
a lot of activity today bringing in feathers
box 6 - at 17.45 a swift arrived with nest material. It may have meant to enter box 5 or 7. This happens three times
 
May30th
best activity around the house this year
box 6 - 2045 a single bird arrives without nest material. It is possibly a new bird for the colony. No doubt now its a new bird as they wings are very neat and tidy
box 1 - the pair stay in the nest together over night for the first time
 
May 31st
under eave box 9 - the pair have returned
under eave box 5 - at 21.50 a single swift arrives and spends the night
under eave box 4 - at 22.15 a single swift arrives and spends the night. The swift in box 5 screams
under eave box 9 - one of the new bird is alone after dark
 
The swifts in boxes 4 and 5 did not settle until after 12.30am. Both are very agitated especially the swift in box 5. They scream throughout the night
 
June 1st
It reached a head at 4am when swifts in boxes4, 5 and 9 left their boxes. They arrived back at 6 and it hasn't stopped
 
under eave box 7 - a single swift arrived early this morning
under eave box 4 - 0950 a lone swift is back in stays for 30 minutes
under eave box 5 - at 1120 a lone swift arrives and stays to 11.50
under eave box 9 - swifts are fighting for 30 minutes. It lasts for 2.5 hours and I intervene and remove the swift that is hanging out of the nest entrance. It is marked with tipex
 
22.05 - single swifts have arrived under eave boxes 4 and 8. None are the intruder that I marked with white tip-ex. Box 4 bird stayed until 2215
 
June 3rd
box 9 - a lone swift arrived at 9.20 and stayed for 10 minutes
 
June 5th
box 9 - 2100 a lone swift visits box 9 and stayed for 5 minutes
a lone swift makes several attempts to enter one of the under eave nest boxes at the back of the house
 
June 6th
box 9 - a lone swift visits box 9 at 0855
best night for screaming parties
22.30 - a lone swift makes several attempts to enter one of the under eave nest boxes at the back of the house
 
June 7th
under eave box back 1 - 1030 a single swift is seen to enter the box. It is closely followed by another swift but it does not enter
 
June 8th
box 1 - first egg. 28 days back together
eave box 9 - first egg. 8 days back together
 
June 9th the non breeders/bangers have arrived
 
June 11th
brilliant activity at the gable nest boxes
confirmation of two swifts entering box 1 at the back of the house
 
June 13th
box 5 - first chicks have hatched
 
June 15th
boxes 1, 5 and 7 - feeding chicks
 
June 16th
bangers and screaming parties from 5am until 0930. One banger very aggressive and almost entering under under eave box 9
 
09.10 - a single swift arrives in under eave box 2 and left at 10.20
11.00 - a single swift arrived in under eave box 2 and left at 11.15
11.23 - a single swift arrived in under eave box 3 and left at 11.26
22.37 - a single swift arrived in under eave box 2 and left at 22.55
 
June 20th
chicks in box 5 and box 8 are no longer brooded during the day at c. 7 days old
 
as Bjork said - "it's. oh. so quiet. it's oh. so still"
where have the swifts gone? No day or evening displays. No bangers
 
June 23rd
bangers at the house late evening until 2235
 
June 26th
10am
 
 
June 28th
under eave box 9 - one chick hatched
 
So where has the web site been since June 28th? This web site was hosted by a company called Webfusion until June 1st. Unknown to me they gave or sold my websites and associated email addresses to a company called Heartinternet in June. For a week or more I tried to update the page and each time it failed. I phoned Webfusion to ask if they knew what was going on and that was the first I had known about the move. I contacted Heartinternet and was told they wanted an upfront payment of 256 to host my web sites for a year. This is about double what Webfusion was charging. I dont want to be with Heartinternet and after lengthy discussion via their web based email/ticketing they decided to block the web sites and associated email addresses. Only today, July 25th, have they unblocked the web sites giving me the chance to move elsewhere.
 
July 25th
gable box 5 - two chicks fledged
gable box 7 - one chick has fledged
gable box 8 - three chicks have fledged
 
Apologies again. Heartinternet decided to delete the web site from their system without telling me. Their actions have ruined what was the diary of a very exciting swift summer
 
July 26th
gable box 5 - the third chick fledged
gable box 7 - the second chick fledged
 
July 27th
adults from box 7 no longer roost in the box at night
 
July 30th
gable box 6 - a lone swift spends the night in the box
 
July 31st 2100
six soaked swifts have just arrived in their boxes to either feed chicks or I assume get shelter from the driving rain
 
August 7th
only single swifts in gable boxes 7 and 8
 
August 8th
10am I see the chick from under eave box 9 fledge. One day from being 6 weeks old. None of the adults return to the nest to stay over night
gable box 1 - first chick fledged
single swifts in gable boxes 7 and 8
 
August 9th
single swifts in gable boxes 7 and 8
 
August 10th
gable box 1 - second chick fledged today
 
August 11th
single swifts in gable boxes 1 and 5
 
August 12th
single swifts in gable boxes 1 and 5
 
August 13th
no swifts