Home Forums Bird & Insect Sightings Freehold swifts

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  • eddybayton
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    Numbers of non-breeding birds appear to be dropping now with just 17 birds recorded last night between 8.30pm and 9.15pm. nests still being visited so I’d guess we are mid fledging. All aerial activity seemed to have ceased at 9.30pm as the local bats emerged. A clear sunset and cool temperature made it feel quite Autumnal. Prior to last Thurs and Fri rain, displays early morning and at sunset peaked around 40-45 birds. Worth a countup on a clear evening about 8.45pm, earlier if overcast.

    eddybayton
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    Post count: 51

    Again, 17 birds, 9 to roof height and 8 not descending below about 500 feet then screaming in a trail to disappear upwards. Perfect weather for observation. Some stil active at 9.20pm as I type….

    eddybayton
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    Post count: 51

    …and tonight a maximum of 29 birds at 8.45pm. Are the additions fledged birds or returning to natal site non-breeders? No idea but numbers up again. I favour the idea that fledged youngsters hang around for a few days if the weather is comfortable…..

    eddybayton
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    Post count: 51

    Maximum of 15 birds tonight around E Freehold, activity dying at 21.20pm. Two other observations of note. House martins investigating nest sites under the eaves next door, not unusual at any time during their stay but always driven off by swifts if they attempt to settle. Also two large buzzards over central Lancaster at 5pm associated with a ‘tiny’ male sparrowhawk that gave all the gulls on the river and an early gathering of ‘balling’ starling something to make a fuss about.

    eddybayton
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    Post count: 51

    12 birds last night around 8pm under blustery overcast skies…

    eddybayton
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    Post count: 51

    Mon 9th August. Overcast, high cloud. Dry. Still. 27 swifts screaming around at 8.10pm. Appearing to be two groups/colonies separating then rejoining.

    Steve Graham
    Participant
    Post count: 77

    Interesting behaviour this morning between 08:30-08:50 at Meadow View, Brookhouse SD541 642.

    Had 50 Swifts, 20+10+20 screaming and feeding all heading N.

    Regards
    Steve

    eddybayton
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    Post count: 51

    I’ve not seen any swifts around the houses from dawn until late evening. Last night a bunch of 13 dropped out of the sky to scream about from 8.20pm onwards but maintaining a height of about 150 feet or more. Only 4 dropped down to eaves height around 9.05pm. The rest had disappeared. not seen a single one today but some will appear before sunset.

    eddybayton
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    Post count: 51

    No birds all day until 8.15pm when the rain band passed over. Clear blue sky after sunset and up to 9 birds screaming together at 21.05pm

    Steve Graham
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    Post count: 77

    Had around 10 birds screaming over Halton on the evening of 10/8.

    Unusual for me as I see very few birds,particularly inland, after 1 Aug normally. Then again what is normal anymore!

    Regards
    Steve

    eddybayton
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    Post count: 51

    If they are local to you, you will encounter them in the hour around sunset now unless there is a late nest.

    eddybayton
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    Post count: 51

    18 swifts over freehold on Saturday night around 7.30 in very overcast conditions. Just 6 on Sunday 15th August as late as 8.40pm in partial cloud and a visible sunset.

    johnbromley
    Participant
    Post count: 54

    At least 16 Swifts feeding over far foreshore opposite Arnside yesterday

    eddybayton
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    Post count: 51

    Up to 12 swifts over Freehold from 7pm to as late as 8.50pm … overcast. They remained high most of the time with only 4 descending to about 100 ft

    Knottender
    Participant
    Post count: 47

    37 Swifts, in 4 separate flocks, all South, over Bank End this morning.

    Andrew

    eddybayton
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    Post count: 51

    13 swifts over Freehold circling between 7pm and 8pm, 4 lower but none anywhere near rooftop level. Mostly on the edge of visibility and just audible to locate. Sky overcast but dry.

    eddybayton
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    Post count: 51

    A continuing and rather baffling saga. 6 birds in drizzle last night then unusually 9 birds between 6am and 8am this morning in overcast skies definitely not on a migratory journey but just blogging/feeding with perhaps 1 or 2 nest visiting though this is tricky to confirm. This evening 5 birds to rooftop level and 6 more not descending from height.

    andrewmccafferty
    Participant
    Post count: 21

    Eddy, I thought they’d completely gone until I just saw 5 this morning over Borrowdale Road (hadn’t been keeping up with your posts here!).

    It’s been a while since I’ve been around here in the summer: is this a normal date for them still to be around?

    eddybayton
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    Post count: 51

    It is on the late side by about a week so far. I assume this is because we had a very cold April and a very wet May. I’ve seen 6 or 7 birds this morning, Friday over Windermere/Derwent. They are the same as the ones you’ve recorded over Borrowdale. I have recorded nests attended in September but not for many years.

    • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by eddybayton.
    eddybayton
    Participant
    Post count: 51

    And still 3 swifts low at rooftop level as late as 8.20pm in Freehold. These must be nest attenders as the overcast drizzly conditions don’t encourage the migrating bird. They pass through on on a committed Southerly direction at speed.

    eddybayton
    Participant
    Post count: 51

    No swifts Sat morning when I looked between 7am and 9am. Finished work after dark Saturday so no record. No swifts this morning, Sunday. Just one so far this evening favouring what looks to be an area over Borrowdale/Grasmere Road so there may be a nest in that area. Over the last hour it has descended to rooftop height then reappeared 200 or more feet up several times.

    eddybayton
    Participant
    Post count: 51

    No sightings Mon am or pm in perfect viewing conditions. None this morning Tuesday either. I would guess that’s about it for Freehold swifts this year but well worth looking out for migrants through.

    Quite a few swallows heading due south, a little egret for the shore, a buzzard over the city and a tit party through the gardens this morning.

    Steve Bullen
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    Post count: 14

    Single bird over Bowerham last night.
    Steve

    gwenda meredith
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    Post count: 1

    As a long time former resident of Freehold, I am now in Burton in Losndale and have been keeping notes on the swifts in my eaves.I was keen to put up two swift boxes as well to offer summer homes when I moved here a few years ago. This year, 2021 .a family in the eaves have bred and departed much earlier but one pair in the swiftbox, sited under the eaves leave neat droppings on my doorstep so I have a clear record of their presence! Late nesters, the two adults have still been flying in ,getting gradually earlier each evening.Saturday 28 August it was 8.25 pm for the one adult and 8.30 for the other. The droppings incidentally under an eye glass revealed tiny 2mm long iridescent greenyblue insect cases.Beautiful.
    I did not see them last evening and although I am going out with my scope to watch, think the family have left now. I was anxious as it was so late in the season so hope they make it all the way back to their sub Saharan winter area .
    Gwenda Meredith

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