July 14th   Leave a comment

Much can stay the same from day to day in July. Yesterday the two whinchats were still at Kilminning, and the two bar-tailed godwits still on Balcomie Beach. Today there was even little moving out to sea, with the puffins and terns much further out. Only the gannets were close in, passing rapidly in high flocks with the brisk south westerly behind them.

July, at least, is the peak time for swift activity. They are at their busiest every evening above Crail. The numbers of breeders are swelled by first or second year birds that are not breeding and may not have settled on a nest site yet. A lot of the screaming and chasing between pairs now is probably to do with young birds pairing up for next year. They puff out their white throats to each other, looking suddenly white headed from below as they fly in tandem, screaming at each other. You can sometimes see swifts at this time of year flying up repeatedly to holes under the eaves as if prospecting. Swifts are colonial and nesting sites can be in short supply. With this is mind I put up three swift nest boxes over the weekend. It’s a long shot, because swifts like to nest with other swifts, so getting a new colony going may take years. But it has always been an ambition of mine to have nesting swifts in my roof. I will have to use playback – recordings of swift nest noises played in the boxes – to shorten the odds. Swift nest sites are becoming in short supply as modern houses don’t have gaps under the eaves. I don’t think Crail has this problem with its stock of very old houses: my swift nest boxes are fairly deluxe though and would be a good choice for any young swift pair. I hope they are listening – at least to my playback that I will start up in a day or two. Even if they don’t look at my boxes, I can still enjoy them above my garden, and I can dream. The swifts are with us for just another month – summer is passing.

My three new swift boxes – fingers crossed. Let’s hope swifts don’t need them to be straight

Posted July 14, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s