Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Where are all the Swifts?

Where are the swifts? Earlier this summer we had the normal (up to 15) flying around here regularly. Now though there are none. I've seen only one fly past here in the past couple of weeks and only one small group flying anywhere in Edinburgh. Normally at this time of year we can see up to 30 and every day we see at least some. Are they hiding silently in the clouds? Have they been washed out of the sky?

If you're reading this in the UK (especially if you're in Edinburgh!) how have your swifts done this year?

5 comments:

Art and Poetry said...

I am in Dorset and we have a lots of Swifts. Maybe we have some of yours!

Dale said...

I haven't seen any swifts in my part of Wales for almost 2 weeks.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Here in North Yorkshire our swifts went about two weeks ago. They usually go quite early. They nest under our eaves and I think they reared a brood as there were suddenly more of them about.

Crafty Green Poet said...

hmm, interesting mix of answers... I know swifts do leave early, but for the past two or three years, just now has been the time when they're at their greatest numbers, then they'll mostly go with just a couple hanging round into the beginning of September....

Lucy said...

I've never seen swifts after mid-August, that I remember. They're really fascinating birds, perhaps there are local variations in their habits, or perhaps they have insights into weather and food which make a difference. They pair very faithfully for life, often in their first year or two, though they don't get to breed until at least 4, and the oldest lived to 21! But I expect you knew all that, since I think I got it from a link you gave!

Swallows on the other hand are adulterous little buggers who form permanent pairs but are forever playing away outside of them. Often when they set up those hysterical alarm calls when there are no predators in sight it's to create a diversion because they think another swallow's getting frisky with their mate! S'true.