Saturday, 19 August 2017

2017 BURTON SWIFT RECORDS (Summary)


Presumed nest site activity recorded at: 

1.  Clawthorpe Hall Offices (Messurs Ducketts) 3 pairs presumed (not confirmed) (3 pairs)
2.  Front elevation of the small cottages attached to the Post Office - 2 pairs recorded (2 pairs)
3.  Three pairs suspected within Cocking Yard.  (3 pairs)
4.  Royal Hotel rear annexe and return 4 pairs nested (4 pairs)
5.  Royal Hotel cottage front elevation 5 pairs recorded (5 pairs)
6.  The Coaching House - all elevations - no birds recorded this year.
7.  Manor House - 5 sites on Gable, and Main front and Cottage - 5 sites this year (5 pairs)

Please check out photos below which relate to the above sites.

Total nest sites which we suspect nesting 

22 nest sites in total.  Showing a decrease of nest sites this year by one site.
Young raised this year purely estimated on the low side of 2 per nest less 20% approx = 35 birds.
Breeding adults estimate at 2 per nest site - 44 birds - Chicks raised estimate 35 birds - estimated immature birds 20.  Making a estimated total birds involved with Burton Village eg: Parents, Chicks and Immatures on Recci could have been as many as 90 birds (estimated)

Arrivals and Departure dates

The first 6 birds arrived back on Friday 5th May at 1700hrs, this increased to 10 birds by 1900 on the following evening, and increased by a further 15 by 1200hrs the following day the 7th May.

The first large departure was on Sunday 6th August 2017 when the majority of birds left, this was followed by a second large departure of at least 20 birds on Friday 11th August, followed by a further 8 birds on Sunday 13th August.  The last bird seen was a single bird on territory and flying high over the Kings on the evening of 17th August 2017.

Highest number of birds counted at any one time was:

46 recorded on the Swift night on Thursday 3rd August 2017.

Observers over the 12 weeks included: 

Mary Bullimore, David Craig, Judith and Edward Ellis, Reg Hesketh, Branwen Kilburn, Hugh and Sue Miles, Jane Phillips, Angela Sumner, Bryan Yorke,

Below are photos showing the various nest sites with their histories marked in red

CLAWTHORPE HALL (Messrs Ducketts) NEST SITES MARKED IN RED

Please click over photos to enlarge


COTTAGE ON POST OFFICE ROW (below)


Cottages on the Post Office Row (Click over to enlarge)


"COCKING YARD" (below)

This is "Hangings Farm" in Cocking Yard a really good site used in all years since 2013.
We also suspect two further nest sites have been used in Cocking Yard during 2017
(Click over the photo to enlarge)

ROYAL HOTEL and REAR ANNEXE and COTTAGE (below)


Royal Hotel - Rear Annexe and showing the return (Click over to enlarge)

This is the Royal Hotel "Cottage" a low elevation showing all the nest sites.
(Click over photo to enlarge)

THE COACHING HOUSE (Below)


" The Coaching House" (Click over to enlarge)
Sadly although we cannot be sure, we never saw any sites being used on this building during 2017



"The Manor House" and the Cottage (Click over to enlarge)

Although two of the regular sites were not used this year (as far as we know) you may notice two new sites
 - one on the front by the drainpipe and also one new one on the small cottage.


Thanks to everyone who came along this year and enjoyed the Swifts and I look forward to next year when we hope the birds will be back flying above our village from the 4th May 2018

*********
Also please make a note for February 2018 when we shall be having a "Swift presentation" kindly given by our own "Swift experts" Tanya and Edmund Hoare from Sedbergh, and this will be held at the Burton Memorial Hall. In charge of the arrangements are Anne Nichols and as soon as I get more detailed arrangements I will publish on here.....

Friday, 11 August 2017

Burton Swift Group - Thursday 10th August 2017 week


Friday 18th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs

0 Swifts

Thursday 17th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs

1 Swift - a single bird hawking the skies to the W side of the Kings.

Wednesday 16th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs

0 Swifts

Tuesday 15th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 1930hrs

0 Swifts

Monday 14th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2020hrs

0 Swifts - overcast with prolonged rain

Sunday 13th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2040hrs

3 Swifts hawking the skies over Manor House, Kings areas - very high - dry and still evening.

Saturday 12th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2030hrs

8 Swifts
in the skies above Neddy Hill and the Royal very high - fine evening.

Saturday 12th August - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 0800hrs

2 Swifts
over the Manor House areas also a group of 5 Martins behind the School. Again Overcast with the lightest of drizzle.

Friday 11th August 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs

One Swift
hunting high above the Memorial Hall. Very overcast threatening rain.

Thursday 10th August 2017  - Main Street, Burton In Kendal - 2000hrs to 2100hrs

We noticed Swifts straightaway really high over the Memorial Hall and that is were they remained for most of the time of our observations.  The count started with about 10 birds but quickly accelerated to teens, latter teens and a maximum of 27 birds in the sky at the same time.  Almost on the hour the birds did move slightly towards the Neddy Hill and Royal areas and by the close of our counting time it was getting pretty dark.  Though we were treated to a special treat when we were priviliged to see a bird return to its nesting site at the eaves above the right hand window jamb stone of the Royal Hotel cottage.

It was great to hear from Angela of her records over the past couple of days, and the day before she had quite a good number of birds (late teens) at 2100hrs although much earlier in the hour I had only had the single bird on my quick stroll up Main Street.  So it just goes to show that you can be there one minute and see very little, but be there half a hour later and you can get birds in double figures having come into view or returned from outward foraging.

It is quite remarkable we are getting so many birds at such a late date and selfishly superb for the observers.  We have decided to call tonight's watch the last of the year although I will try and take a "rough" count over the coming days to monitor the outgoing birds best we can.

Also we all agreed that Reg would kindly ask Tanya and Edmund Hoare of Sedbergh if they will kindly come and put on their Swift presentation at the Memorial Hall (a date to be arranged for over the Winter months. Anne Nicholls and Barry Morgan of the Burton News will be in charge of the arrangements for the Memorial Hall and details will be given in the Burton News in due course.

Observers tonight included: David Craig, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles, Angela Sumner and Bryan Yorke.

A Summary and final report will be issued in a couple of weeks time when all the birds have gone.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Burton Swift Group - Thursday 3rd August 2017 and week


Checking out the Swifts Wed 9th August 2017 - Main Street at 2015hrs

Just a single Swift tonight flying West over Neddy Hill. Weather Dry, blue skies etc.

A very interesting link you may wish to check out Re: Migrating Birds not being able to take into consideration the change in earlier Spring dates which we seem to be getting on account of global warming, the link is here:

To check the Migrating Birds link   PLEASE CLICK HERE 

Checking out the Swifts Tues 8th August 2017 - Main Street at 2030hrs

A lovely surprise to see 26 Swifts flying above the Memorial Hall, Neddy Hill Areas.  I still think the bulk of the Swifts may well have left us on Sunday last, but time will tell.

Checking out the Swifts Mon 7th August 2017 - Main Street at 2030hrs

Just 2 Swifts tonight, and although far too early to confirm it does look like the bulk of the Swifts may well have set off sometime during Sunday (6th August) on their long journey back to Africa. They probably went off in advance of the wet weather front we had during that day. 20 Martins observed over the Tanpits- Morewood Drive areas

Checking out the Swifts Mon 7th August 2017 - Main Street at 0900hrs

No Swifts seen over a 20 minute check up throughout Main Street, just the odd Swallow and Martin. Weather dry with blue sky (at the present)

Checking out the Swifts Sun 6th August 2017 - Main Street at 2045hrs

Not one single bird! but the weather was bad with heavy rain showers.

Checking out the Swifts Sat 5th August 2017 - Main Street at 2030hrs

Best count was 35 birds very high above Memorial Hall to Manor House with 26 at the Memorial Hall end and a further 9 over the Manor House Area

Checking out the Swifts Fri 4th August 2017 - Main Street at 2030hrs

Best count was at 26 birds with a screaming party of 8 birds.

Burton Swift Group - Thr 3rd August 2017 week - Main Street 2000hrs to 2100hrs

We met at the Memorial Hall were we witnessed lots of birds right from go with large parties screaming in the skies.  It was one of those nights were they seemed to be everywhere.

The best count tonight was 46 in the sky all at once but there could well have been more, because as we walked along Main Street towards the Manor House we saw even more parties of birds.

I don't know whether this will be the maximum count this year, but I would not be surprised if that was the case, however we will try to monitor them as the days pass and hopefully we can meet up again next week.

Tonight's observers included: Mary Bullimore, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke.

The next (and probably the final of the year) Swift watch will be next Thursday 10th August 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 28 July 2017

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 27th July 2017 and week

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Wed 2nd August 2017 - 2030hrs

11 birds in total recorded. One entry into front of Royal Cottage when going past on return one leaving Royal Cottage and quickly followed by another entering. A established site already recorded. (B.Yorke)

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Tues 1st August 2017 2030hrs

28 birds (minimum) hawking the skies between Memorial Hall and Manor House (B.Yorke)

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Mon 31st July 2017 2015hrs

24 birds hawking the skies mainly over Neddy Hill, Royal and Manor areas (B.Yorke)

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Sun 30th July 2017 2040hrs

34 birds mainly over Memorial Hall, Neddy Hill, Cocking Yard and Royal.  Also even more birds down above the Manor House (B.Yorke)

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Sat 29th July 2017 2000hrs 

7 birds to count (B.Yorke)

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 27th July 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs to 2045hrs

Well tonight was just amazing and we counted no less than 36 birds in one counting high above the Memorial Hall and Neddy Hill areas but there could well have been more in other parts of Burton, the skies were alive with Swifts everywhere! We all felt that perhaps many young birds must have joined the party or the large "ball" of Swifts which we were witnessing. At one stage we actually saw a group of no less than 18 birds in chasing procession and screaming as they went past us - high, some very high.  Unfortunately the weather was not good and rain came in from 2030hrs so we actually curtailed our watch early, but what a fabulous spectacle.

It's obviously getting very close to the leaving dates and I do intend to try and get out daily to do a rough count and hopefully try and assess just how many are still with us in the skies.  Its the only way to find out the actual depart days and then it is only a "indication".

We are still having a meet up next week because usually its during the first week in August that most of the birds will depart but like only two years ago the bulk of the birds decided to leave us on 28th July 2015.

Tonight's observers included: David Craig, Reg Hesketh and Bryan Yorke.

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 3rd August 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 21 July 2017

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 20th July 2017 week


Burton Swift Watch - Thr 20th July 2017 - 2000hrs "Burton Memorial Hall"

We were invited to attend the monthly meeting of the Parish Council held at the Burton Memorial Hall to address the Council (prior to their meeting) on the status of Swifts in our village. We were well supported.  I did manage to outline a brief description of the Swift and a summary of the migration routes and details. I also then gave a summary of the birds we have in Burton, the numbers and the nest sites and current activity of the birds, and also explained briefly our purpose of counting and observing, also mentioned about our affiliation to the "Swifts In The Community" and the bigger picture of our findings which are also being used by the BTO (birdtrack) for surveys together with the information being of interest for considerations in respect to future building and planning applications etc.

It also gave us the opportunity to mention that we would love it if the Swift conservation side could be considered on future building activity within the Village. I did also show them a sample of a Swift brick and other ideas which could be incorporated within buildings of old or new builds.  We all got the impression that we were well received, and without doubt the meeting seemed quite successful.

So moving on we met outside of the Memorial Hall from 2000hrs to observe the Swifts, but it was going to be one of those nights with very little seen. It was a little cooler this evening with a build in the wind and most of the birds we did see seemed quite high.   We did see up to five birds from there so we shortly moved on a little and did short observations from both opposite the Royal Cottage and then further along Main Street to opposite the Coaching House and the Manor. We did see a bird entering and shortly after leaving one of the already established nest sites on the Royal Cottage.  Also we did have a Swift enter one of the established nest sites on the front of the Manor House.  Whilst stood across from the Manor we did manage to get our aerial swift numbers up to seven so we presumed more birds had come back in from their outbound foraging!  On leaving and heading back some of us noticed that even more birds had arrived back and we did manage to count up to eleven birds high above Neddy Hill.

Tonight's observers included:  Mary Bullimore, David Craig, Kathryn, Hugh and Sue Miles, Angela Sumner and Bryan Yorke.

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 27th July 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 14 July 2017

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 13th July 2017 and week


Tuesday 18th July 2017 - Main Street - 0800hrs

Whilst passing through the village I noticed quite a lot of birds in fact I would say there must have been no less than 40 but could well have been more.  They were very active and feeding up at low levels. Plenty of chasing going on. Probably the best quantitive I have seen in the village now for some time.

Mon 17th July 2017 - Ducketts - Builders Office, Clawthorpe Hall, Burton In Kendal 1200hrs to 1220hrs

Just did a short watch over about 20 minutes today and counted four aerial birds, so with sitters I would imagine we must have at least three nest sites yet again at Clawthorpe Hall.  It can be a tricky place to count because also there are plenty of House Martins and Swallows nesting there. At one stage there were literally scores of mixed hirundines and Swifts together and why do you think this was? I could hear a Peregrine and when I looked up you could see a adult with a young bird calling almost continually to the adult bird. So you can guess the commotion we had.  But it was strange because the skies were almost empty and yet within seconds there seemed to be birds everywhere!!


Burton Swift Watch -Thr 13th July 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs to 2115hrs

We met at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs, it was cooler with more wind about and yet the birds still managed to be at high altitudes, yet we still had good numbers of Swifts in the skies and did manage to count no less than 22 aerial birds at one point, but there could well have been more.  Whilst stood at various watching points (Memorial Hall, Opposite the Royal Cottage and opposite the Manor House) we had small parties of birds low and screaming.  We did have one party with nine birds chasing one another, it was a pleasure to see them.
We did see activity on the front of the Royal Cottage (low elevation) and also on the Manor House with birds entering or leaving their nest sites. One of the remaining two sites we were still missing birds on the Royal has now been confirmed, so all in all now we have just the one site on the Royal that has still to be confirmed. We do seem to have caught up nicely with occupation numbers although after saying that we are still down at the three sites on the Coaching House (one at the front and/or the two 2016 sites on the gable side.  We have as yet not been able to confirm occupation at any of these sites.

Everyone enjoyed the watch which was observed tonight by: David Craig, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles, Angela Sumner and Bryan Yorke.

We have been invited by the Parish Council to give a short talk about the Swifts and other birds in Burton prior to the Parish Council Meeting next Thursday evening (20th) and should anyone be interested they are most welcome to attend and this will take place at 1900hrs at the Memorial Hall.

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 20th July 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 7 July 2017

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 6th July 2017 week


Burton Swift Watch - Thr 6th July 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs to 2130hrs

We met at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs and already Swifts were flying in the skies above us, we counted a maximum of at least 13 birds and then later we had a further 10 or so over the Coaching House/Manor House areas.  Then on our way back through we counted at least 20 birds over Neddy Hill area.  So we estimate somewhere between 20 and 25 birds in total.  In fact it was lovely to see the birds back just like they used to be after their recent low numbers on our counts, we do think that for some reason they have been travelling outside of the village to get insects and reports have come in of lots of Swifts being seen over at Leighton Moss and on a regular daily basis over Dockacres fishing pools.

We have been reliably informed by Jane that a new site has been noted from within Cocking Yard which brings the number of sites up to three there. Tonight we saw Swifts entering sites at the low elevation cottage on the front of the Royal from two separate sites.  Also tonight we did record birds on the Manor House at least four separate sites of which one site is a new site on the front low elevation, although we did suspect birds here a few weeks ago.  It was also pleasing to see that Swifts did eventually take back there original site on the gable end corner, which had for a few weeks presented a problem for the birds having been occupied by some Starling families.  So perhaps these birds will be very late raising their chicks and may well go into the middle of August before dispersal.

It was great seeing the birds in numbers again, and several parties of fours, sixes etc seemed to be enjoying themselves chasing one another and screaming like Swifts do.

Tonight's observers included: David Craig, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke. 

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 13th July 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 30 June 2017

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 29th June 2017 week


Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 29th June 2017 week 2000hrs to 2130 hrs

We met at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs and watched the skies but throughout the evening the best count was only 3 birds in total which is without doubt the worst count we have ever had during all our watches over the past five years.  We were all of the opinion that the majority of the birds had travelled away for feeding because we had seen Swifts in recent days feeding up over at Dockacres and Leighton Moss and it looks like the water areas are the hotspots for insects.  But we do hope things improve soon.
Also we did manage to see two birds either leaving or arriving at their nest sites.  On both occasions they were new sites for the year although we did have the sites on record and were long established regular sites. We had one on the LH side of the Royal Hotel Cottage and the other nestsite was on the Gable end of the Manor House close to the high wood purlin which you can see close to the top. Also a bird was recording leaving its nest site to the rear of the Royal.  So a quiet night but still birds about and could easily be missed going in and out of the sites.
Tonight's observers included: Mary Bullimore, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke.

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 6th July 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 23 June 2017

Burton Swift Watch - 22nd June 2017 week


Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 22nd June 2017 - Main Street - Burton In Kendal 2000hrs to 2130hrs

We commenced our weekly Swift watch from the Memorial Hall were we did manage to witness the odd singular birds in the sky.  It paid off watching from the Memorial Hall as we saw a definite sighting of a bird entering one of the original established nest sites on the Post Office row cottages, and although we cannot confirm for sure we do also think that we had yet another bird entering one of the other old nest sites on this same row. We had almost given up on birds nesting here this year, so it just shows you patience and persistence with our watches does pay off!

We also did a watch from across the road opposite the Royal "Cottage" building low elevation and whilst on our approach we did see three birds leaving the front of the Cottage building, but other than one of the birds we were not sure with pinpoint accuracy just were the birds had come out from. The one we did clearly see came out from a old established site to the front right hand corner of the building. 

Our best full count of the night was made from around here and the highest count of birds in the sky at the same time was ten birds.  At one time three birds were seen chasing together.

We spent some time at the Manor House and again we were fortunate to witness two birds almost at the same time enter two separate nest sites to the front of the building.  One of the sites was a old established site which we have recorded birds since 2013, but the other site was a completely new site never before recorded on the Manor House at eaves level and just left of the central drainpipe. 

By far a more productive night than the past couple of weeks.

Tonight's observers included: David Craig, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke. 

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 29th June 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome  

Friday, 16 June 2017

Burton Swift Watch 15th June 2017


Burton Swift Watch 15th June 2017

It was decided we meet at the Memorial Hall and that we try our watches starting from 2000hrs.  In hope that starting one hour later (which was the regular time we used to start in past years) we thought we might just get better results and see more nest activity.

However tonight was a on/off light shower situation and it seemed to have sent the birds very high, in fact at times they were so high you could just see the faintest of black specks in the sky.

We did check out the regular sites down Main Street but never saw any nest activity at all.

The best count we had was from the Memorial Hall when 12 birds were counted.

Tonights observers were:  David Craig, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles, Bryan Yorke.

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 22nd June 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs - Everyone Welcome

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Burton Swift Watch 8th June 2017 week


Thursday 8th June 2017 - Main Street - Burton In Kendal 1900hrs to 1945hrs

Weather fine although very windy. We only saw a maximum of four birds seen in the sky at one time. We were very lucky to see two separate nesting birds go into two established sites on the front of the lower Royal Cottage.  Also it was great to hear from Sue that she had seen a Swift using one of the rear annexe sites at the Royal which we did not have booked in so far this year, and additionally Reg had seen a Swift using the side return to the Annexe again another established site which we had not recorded so far this year. We also spent time checking out the Manor House, but we had nothing at all tonight from the Manor.  So to sum things up so far this year.

The Post Office Row block - not being used as yet to our knowledge
Cocking Yard - both established nest sites being used
Royal - Front Cottage - two sites being used.
Royal - Annexe Return - the established site being used
Royal - Rear annexe - all three established sites being used.
Coaching House - not being used as yet to our knowledge
Manor House - possibly one site being used on the front but still needs confirmation.
Clawthorpe Hall - Sites being used but status not recorded yet for this year.

Tonight's observers were: Reg Hesketh, Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke.

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 15th June 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 2000hrs (Please note we have changed the meeting time to one hour later than usual) - Everyone Welcome

Friday, 2 June 2017

Burton Swift Watch 1st June 2017 week

Exceptionally quiet yet again with only 11 birds counted in the skies at one time.

It does not look like the Post Office Buildings are being used this year (as yet!), although we do think both original sites in Cocking Yard are being used.  Last night we saw two birds going into nest holes on the rear annexe of the Royal at the same time so we are taking it that both these sites are being used.  Although we wondered if perhaps both nest site holes actually lead into one site because of their close proximity. We never saw any birds entering the front of the Royal although we do suspect at least one pair if not two to be using it. Again watching the Coaching House and The Manor there did not seem to be any definite nesting activity although there was plenty of aerial activity with chasing one another and screaming in small parties up to six birds.  Also on the gable of the Manor House the Starling was again playing Sentinel post and making sure the Swifts did not try and take over his/her nest.  Young Starlings could be heard in the nest as soon as food was being brought in.

Activity does seem to be very slow this year compared to past years and we perhaps need to change our observation times like in past years to nearer the point of darkness (eg 2000hrs).  For now its probably best left to meet at 1900hrs though maybe we could discuss it when more watchers are present.

Tonights watchers included: David Craig, Angela Sumner and Bryan Yorke

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 8th June 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 1900hrs - Everyone Welcome

Friday, 26 May 2017

Burton Swift watch 25th May week


Thursday 25th May 2017 - Main Street, Burton in Kendal 1900hrs to 2030hrs

We counted at best 23 Swifts tonight and these were for the most of the time extremely high in the sky towards the back of the Coaching House. Although there were odd parties of birds actually chasing one another whilst screaming at low levels.  It was really difficult to count we started off with about 10 birds whilst we were at the Memorial Hall and then saw regular smaller parties all the way down Main Street.

At some of the nest sites we saw birds going up to the nest holes and clinging on to the sides for a few seconds before then flying off yet again.  This was happening at The Royal on both the front of the Cottage and again on the rear annexe building.

A bird was seen to leave the original nest site on the right hand side of Cocking Yard, a site which was established and used back in 2013 and 2014.  We also have received information from Jane that birds are also occupying the long established site on Hangings Farm. Also a bird was seen to leave a nest site from the front of the Manor House.

Also of interest was again to see the Starling sentinel bird covering up the nest site hole on the bottom of the gable end, whilst at times the Swifts in a pair would deliberately head towards the nest site and just veer off at the last minute whilst screaming.  You could actually see the Starling "duck" with his head has the birds approached.  It also looked like Swifts were canvassing the small annexe to the right hand side of the Manor House.

Tonights watchers included:  David Craig, Edward Ellis, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles, Bryan Yorke.


The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 1st June 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 1900hrs - Everyone Welcome

Friday, 19 May 2017

Burton Swift Watch 18th May 2017 Week


Saturday 20th May 2017 - Updates

Yesterday I went along to the Manor House to try and get a photo of the Sentinel Starling, but there was none of the adult birds present and now wondering if perhaps the young Starlings have left the nest.  I will try and check again soon.  Whilst there though I did have two separate Swifts leave the building from nest sites although I could not be exact as to which nest holes they were using.  I am sure time will tell, but its all good news!

Also more good news to report from Jane who noticed that two birds have been seen in Cockin Yard and that the nest site on "Hangings Farm" is again being used.

Thursday 18th May 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 1900hrs to 2030hrs

It proved again rather difficult to count the Swifts, but we did manage to get 15 at one time whilst we watched initially from the Memorial Hall, then we did have other small groups of birds seen over the Royal and Kings areas and again up to ten birds over the Manor House/Coaching House areas. Probably in total we may have had about 25 birds but for now we will settle for 15 for the records.

It was interesting to note that a couple of birds were constantly showing interest to the area close to the top of Neddy Hill close to the rear of David's house.  We will try and keep a eye on this because David informed the group that Swifts did in the not too distant past used to nest on the building behind him.

We moved on to the Royal and we did see two separate birds go into two nest sites on the front of the Royal Cottage so we now know that things have started moving there.

Edward who lives at the Manor House said he thought he saw Swifts entering the front of his house during the earlier part of the week although he was not absolutely sure at this stage. Of special interest tonight and something most of us had never seen before was to see a Starling standing guard over the entrance to it's nest site which also happened to be a long established nest site (each year since 2014) of the Swift.  The Starling would just stand there blocking off the hole and making sure the Swift could not get admittance!  It's one of the oldest established Swift sites on the Manor House and close to the bottom corner on the gable end. Tonight we watched has a pair of Swifts constantly flew in direction to the nest site whilst screaming at the same time and then would veer off just at the last second because the hole was blocked by the Starling. It was thought perhaps the young starlings in this nest would hopefully fledge in the next few days and hopefully vacate the nest site so the Swifts could then take over.

Tonights watchers included: David Craig, Judith and Edward Ellis, Reg Hesketh, Sue and Hugh Miles, Bryan Yorke


The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 25th May 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 1900hrs - Everyone Welcome

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Burton Swift Watch Thursday 11th May 2017 Week



Thursday 18th May 2017 - 1500hrs - Clawthorpe Hall

2 Swifts seen high above Clawthorpe Hall

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 11th May 2017 - 1900hrs to 2000hrs

We met at the Burton Memorial Hall and tried to count the Swifts.  We did manage to count at least 17 birds.  When we went further down Main Street we also managed to count up to 10 birds high around the Kings Arms and a further 7 birds above the Manor House.  Although it does suggest there could well have been more birds than 17 we counted,  we decided we will stick with what we know is a definite count rather than speculate! so for now its 17.

We checked out most of the usual nesting sites but no birds were seen to enter any of the sites, although at the commencement of our watch we did see a bird (bumping) or hitting the area (of a established nest site) on the end cottage on the same row as the post office but the bird decided not to actually enter the nest site and flew off. This attempt was seen on three separate occasions

The birds seemed high up tonight although odd screaming parties were witnessed.

Watchers tonight included: David Craig, Reg Hesketh, Branwen Kilburn, Hugh and Sue Miles, Jane Phillips, Bryan Yorke.

The next Swift watch will be next Thursday 18th May 2017 - Meeting at the Memorial Hall at 1900hrs - Everyone Welcome

Thursday, 27 April 2017

SWIFTS UPDATES 2017




Monday 8th May 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

1500hrs Far more Swifts in the sky.It looks like the builders have moved off for now and its only the surveyors who are on site and seem to be very busy measuring and surveying the old Royal buildings.

0930hrs  Only could see 3 birds today, and they were frightening to watch has they were almost touching the floor whilst following down the Main Street by only a couple of inches above the tarmac road and just has a car came in front of them they sort of went into a superquick vertical lift and over the car or wagon, but so dodgy to watch (shut eye and pray!) but they carried it out in a behaviour none other than a Swift could do!

The Royal builders had arrived on site this morning.  I did have a speak with the guys on site who were very helpful, although they said I would need to speak to the boss (when I can catch him).  They did think that the first phase would be the "New Builds" which should take preference over the old buildings (I hope so!).  I mentioned our concerns in regards to the Swifts on the old buildings.  I guess now that it makes this Thursday (SWIFT WATCH) evening more important to try and get the nest sites logged asap. In the meantime it would be great if we can try and monitor the situation.

Sunday 7th May 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

1200hrs  at least 15 Birds now flying high above the Main Street
2000hrs at least 10 Birds seen flying above Main Street.  One bird seen to enter nest site on the left hand side of the Royal Cottage

ARNSIDE SWIFTS:  approx 1400hrs I had 17 over the Cricket Pitch

Saturday 6th May 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

2000hrs  10 Birds minimum flying high above Kings
1715hrs  4 Birds flying high above both Royal and Kings areas.
0900hrs   6 Birds flying high above the Royal area.

Friday 5th May 2017 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

1530hrs  SIX SWIFTS ARRIVED AND CIRCLING OVER THE VILLAGE

0700hrs  A quick check out Main Street, but no signs of any Swifts as yet.

Thursday 4th May 2017 (Polling Day) Main Street, Burton In Kendal

0800hrs. Did a quick check of the village through Main Street, but never saw any Swifts back as yet
One back on territory yesterday evening on Silverdale Road, Arnside (Report per P. Moreton).

2000hrs. Did a quick check of the village through Main Street, but still no Swifts to report

Wednesday 26th April 2017

Over 300 Swifts were reported flying over the Chew Valley in Somerset today, so hopefully it should not be too long before they are back with us in Burton.

Odd reports in the last few days of birds flying over Arnside, Leighton Moss and a possible bird seen flying over our Village.

Once the birds are back with us we will be hoping to report on them on a regular basis.


Please come on our first Swift Watch night next Thursday evening May 11th 2017 at 1900hrs when we meet at the Memorial Hall  

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

2016 BURTON SWIFT RECORDS (Summary)




Presumed nest site activity recorded at:

1.  Clawthorpe Hall Offices (Messrs. Ducketts) 3 pairs recorded on 3 separate elevations.
2.  The front elevation of the small cottages attached to the Post Office - 2 pairs recorded
3.  At least one pair recorded in Cocking Yard.
4.  Royal Hotel rear annexe and return 4 pairs recorded
5.  Royal Hotel cottage front elevation 6 pairs recorded
6.  The Coaching House - 2 pairs recorded on the side elevation.
7.  Manor House - 3 pairs on side elevation and 2 pairs on front elevation.
Please check the above sites on photographs printed below.

Total nest sites which we recorded

23 nest sites in total. Showing a increase of nest sites this year by at least 3 sites.
Young raised this year purely estimated on the low side at 2 per nest less 20% approx = 37 birds.
Breeding adults estimate at 2 per nest site =  46 birds - Chicks raised estimate 37 birds - estimated immature birds for part of the breeding season - a wild guess estimate at 10-20 birds. Making a estimated total birds involved with Burton eg: Parents, Chicks and immatures on Recci to around the 93 bird mark!

Fatalities recorded this year:

One recorded picked up off the floor to rear of Royal Annexe, very wet and unable to fly and showing blood to its wing underparts.  David Craig kindly took it in and it did initially show signs of improvement. The next day it was transferred to the vetinery section of the Kendal College where it was cared for with food and daily examinations by Vet. Unfortunately after four days the bird died.

Arrivals and Departure dates

Date on which earliest birds arrived was a single bird witnessed at 1645hrs on 3rd May, then numbers swelled to 9 by the following day 4th May, increased to 14 by 5th May. Then there seemed to be a delay of further arrivals until 22nd May when at least 20 birds (total) were seen in the skies.

20 Swifts left us on 5th August, then another large departure on 15th August and the final sighting was on the 18th of a parent bird seen at 1900hrs going into a nest site on the front of the Royal Cottage. No birds have been recorded since that date.


Highest number of birds counted at any one time was

36 recorded on 1st of August, but we did have several watches which included birds of 30 on both 28th July and 4th August.

Observers over the 12 weeks included:

Paul and Mary Bullimore, David Craig, Derek from Kendal, Reg Hesketh, Ella and Ben, Branwen Kilburn, Hugh and Sue Miles, Jane Phillips, Angela Sumner, Mr and Mrs. Vickory, Bryan Yorke.

Below are photos showing the various nest sites (Please click over photo to enlarge)

CLAWTHORPE HALL (Messrs Ducketts) NEST SITES MARKED IN RED

Please click over photos to enlarge


COTTAGE ON POST OFFICE ROW AND ALSO COCKING YARD - MARKED RED

Please click over photos to enlarge

ROYAL HOTEL COTTAGE AND REAR ANNEXE - NEST SITES MARKED RED

Please click over photos to enlarge

THE COACHING HOUSE AND MANOR HOUSE - NEST SITES MARKED RED

Please click over photos to enlarge


Thanks to everyone who came along this year and enjoyed the Swifts and I look forward to next year when we hope the birds will be back flying above our village from the 4th May 2017

Friday, 5 August 2016

Burton Swift Watch 4th August 2016 and week


Friday 19th August 2016 - Main Street 2000hrs

No Swifts observed this evening

Thursday 18th August 2016 - Main Street - Royal Hotel - 1900hrs

One seen coming down Main Street and entering the middle nest site of the Royal Cottage front low elevation.

Wednesday 17th August 2016 - Main Street Area 2000hrs

A single local Swift hunting above Neddy Hill and the Royal Hotel at approx 2000hrs

Tuesday 16th August 2016 - Main Street from Burton Memorial Hall 0730hrs & 2030hrs

0730hrs No Swifts observed this morning
2030hrs No Swifts observed this evening

Monday 15th August 2016- Main Street above Kings and Manor 2015hrs

3 Swifts seen above Main Street above Manor House approx

Sunday 14th August 2016 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2030hrs approx

A later report from Angela Sumner confirms she saw ten Swifts in the skies around the 2030hrs.

Sunday 14th August 2016 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 1945hrs

I only had one single swift seen tonight high in the skies above Neddy Hill and Main St.

Sunday 14th August 2016 - Above Main Street, Burton In Kendal 0730hrs

Angela Sumner had nineteen birds over Burton this morning at 0730hrs

Saturday 13th August 2016 - Over Royal Hotel 1945hrs

Had 11 Swifts this evening flying overhead of the Royal areas.

Friday 12th August 2016 - Over Burton Memorial Hall  1930hrs

Had 13 Swifts this evening flying overhead of the Memorial Hall.

Thursday 11th August 2016 - Main Street Burton In Kendal.
Angela Sumner recorded 9 Swifts this evening overhead by the Royal Hotel.

Tuesday 9th August 2016 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2045hrs
8 Swifts overhead from Burton Memorial Hall down to Kings.

Monday 8th August 2016 - Burton Memorial Hall - Swift Observations 2015hrs

Just five Swifts counted over BMH and Main Street areas

Saturday 6th August 2016 - Burton Fell - Hutton Roof Crags 1000hrs to 1200hrs

Several Swifts hawking the skies on Burton Fell (presumed our local Swifts) along with at least one hundred mixed hirundines (Swallows and House Martins) It was fantastic with them coming low and almost dive bombing you as you stood there watching in amazement.  I don't think I have ever seen such a spectacle just like this before with such a large quantity of birds all around you.

Friday 5th August 2016 - Burton Memorial Hall - Swift Observations 1945hrs

Just five Swifts counted towards back of Post Office and coming forward over Memorial Hall.

Thursday 4th August 2016 - Burton Memorial Hall - Swift Observations

We met at Burton Memorial Hall at 2000hrs and it turned out to be a fantastic night with lots of Swifts flying. We just stayed on the Car Park from where we got the best overhall observations.

We thought at first it was going to be a very quiet night and it took a while to build the numbers to around the 8 mark, then within a further twenty minutes or so the numbers had swelled up to a minimum of 30 birds which to us all seemed happy chasing one another whilst feeding on the wing and screaming in unison.

We all had that feeling it could well be their big finale night and what a superb performance.

Tonights observers included: David Craig, Bryan Yorke, Hugh and Sue and Pete Miles together with our special visitors young naturalist Ella and Ben who really enjoyed watching the Burton Swifts and it made a nice change for them having been used to seeing Swifts down in Bath were they live.

We have not yet called a meeting for next week and decided we will monitor the situation on a day by day basis, so please keep coming back to check out the daily reports.


Friday, 29 July 2016

Burton Swift Watch for 28th July 2016 week

Wednesday 3rd August 2016 - 2000hrs - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

I counted 24 Swifts high and screaming in the sky above the BMH to Kings areas

Monday 1st August 2016 2045hrs - Main Street, Burton In Kendal

I counted 36 Swifts high in the sky above the Kings area.

Sunday 31st July 2016 1000hrs  - Swift Reports

Yesterday (Saturday) David Craig reported seeing a good number of Swifts going along Main Street at 0900hrs.
Yesterday (Saturday) Bryan Yorke reports seeing one Swift entering the nest site on the Cottage on the Post Office Row.
Yesterday (Saturday) Anne Nicholls reports seeing 7 Swifts high above Tanpits Lane during the evening.

Friday 29th July 2016 - 1900hrs - Walk through Main St, Burton In Kendal and back.

Only saw two Swifts hawking the skies

Thursday 28th July 2016 - 2000hrs to approx 2100hrs

We are closing in on the time for our Swift departures which I would expect to be starting any day now.  Although yesterday evening we were treated to a fabulous spectacle of aerial performance by at least a minimum of 30 Swifts (probably could have been nearer 40!) in the air at times in congregation and at other times swirling around and chasing and screaming in smaller parties.  We really did see them at their best.  Impossible to tell if there were young among the numbers, although we thought so and that the screaming parties especially could well have been young birds.  It was wet and miserable weather during the watch but reports are coming through that in the next 24 hours the weather will change back to dry high pressure with the wind coming from the North West.  That will probably be music to the ears for the Swifts and give them that strong urge to start their journey all the way back to Africa.

We did manage to see birds see going into their nest sites both at the front and the rear of the Royal, so obviously there are still birds with young about.

Tonights observers included: Angela, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke

Hope you manage to reap the pleasures of their last few days with us. PLEASE KEEP CHECKING OUT OUR BLOG....

NEXT SWIFT MEETING: THURSDAY 4th AUGUST 2016 - 2000hrs BURTON MEMORIAL HALL - EVERYBODY WELCOME

Friday, 22 July 2016

Burton Swift Watch for 21st July 2016 week

Tonight was probably the busiest night so far, with Swifts hawking the skies throughout the areas above Main Street.  We did manage to count 27 although we were of the opinion there could well have been far more.  They seemed happy chappies! with small parties of anything up to eight birds chasing one another in formations whilst screaming at one another. 

For most of the time during our hours observations some of the birds were very high, whilst others were low and just skimming the rooftops.

We did notice birds going in and out of their nest sites at the following areas: Cocking Yard, The Royal both front and back, and also at two nest sites on The Manor. 

Tonights observers included: David Craig, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles, Bryan Yorke and it was very nice to welcome Angela to her first Burton Swift Watch and also nice to have a brief visit from Mr. and Mrs.Vickery. 

NEXT SWIFT MEETING: THURSDAY 28th JULY 2016 - 2000hrs (Please note earlier time) BURTON MEMORIAL HALL - EVERYBODY WELCOME

Friday, 15 July 2016

Burton Swift Watch 14th July 2016 week

We did a rough count of Swifts in the air whilst we all met up at the Burton Memorial Hall and we did manage to get to around the 30 mark which is quite a high count.  It was clear that the feeding over Burton was very popular.

We then proceeded to Clawthorpe Hall to try and ascertain just how many birds were nesting there.
In addition to the nest already recorded three weeks ago, we were fortunate to also record two additional sites, one on the old Clawthorpe Hall property (now residence) and also one on the side elevation to the Duckett's Building Services Offices.  We now think that we have at least three pairs nesting at Clawthorpe Hall, although without doubt there is plenty of potential for more sites should the birds require it.

Not only are the Swifts doing well there, but there is also two or more pairs of Swallows nesting under the canopies of the converted properties, could well be more.

Another interesting spectacle was to see large numbers of House Martins above the site.  Maybe up to around the thirty mark.  We never witnessed any of them coming down to the viewing side of the property, so we are not sure whether or not they are actually nesting there or that they are visiting on account of a good feeding area.

It was a pleasure for all of us to meet Mr. Ed Duckett the owner of the property who is very positive to encourage the Swifts and hirundines around his buildings and we are so thankful for his kind efforts.  He has been able to make provision for the nesting sites within the converted buildings which was great to see and thus provides a safe home for the birds when they return each year from Africa.

We also had the privilege to meet Alice one of the nearby residents who told us how much pleasure she gets from seeing the Swifts, Swallows and Martins and also remarked "Where have all my Goldfinches gone"

Tonights observers were: Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke

(Photos to follow soon)

NEXT SWIFT MEETING: THURSDAY 21st JULY 2016 - 2000hrs (Please note earlier time) BURTON MEMORIAL HALL - EVERYBODY WELCOME


Friday, 8 July 2016

Burton Swift Watch for 7th July 2016 week


Thursday 7th July 2016  - Burton In Kendal - Swift Watch 2030hrs to 2130hrs

Tonight stayed dry and we managed to observe a approximate 20 Swifts in the air with almost 15 over the areas of the Memorial Hall to the Royal and another 5 or so over the Coaching House/Manor areas.  At times the Swifts would form small parties of six which would follow one another tight whilst screeching.

I have this morning been reading articles that state these are more than likely young birds taking on these actions.

Tonights observers were Reg, David and myself.  We have arranged to meet next Thursday on the Memorial Hall at the earlier time of 2000hrs and then we intend to go up to Ducketts and observe the Swifts on Clawthorpe Hall offices.

NEXT SWIFT MEETING: THURSDAY 14th JULY 2016 - 2000hrs (Please note earlier time) BURTON MEMORIAL HALL - EVERYBODY WELCOME

Friday, 1 July 2016

Burton Swift Watch for 30th June 2016 week

Thursday 30th June 2016 - Swift Watch - Burton In Kendal 2030hrs

It was dreadful weather with heavy rain and only Reg and myself turned up to meet at the Memorial Hall.  We stood talking for perhaps ten minutes and only saw one actual Swift in the air over Main Street.  We decided to call the watch off until next Thursday. 

NEXT SWIFT MEETING: THURSDAY 7th JULY 2016 - 2030hrs BURTON MEMORIAL HALL - EVERYBODY WELCOME

Friday, 24 June 2016

Burton Swift Watch for Thursday 23rd June and week





Thursday 23rd June 2016 2030hrs to 2115hrs  Swift Watch on Main Street, Burton In Kendal

We counted in total around 13 birds hawking the skies at points along Main Street.  We did record Swifts entering two nest sites on the rear of the Royal Hotel Cottage.  Also we confirmed a bird entering the North Gable on the Coaching House, near to the corner drainpipe.

We thought perhaps there may have been fewer birds showing tonight and now wondering if some of the immature birds will have already set off back to Africa.

Tonights Observers were: David Craig, Branwen Kilburn and Bryan Yorke

Why not check out this Polish "Swift" webcam by clicking here

NEXT SWIFT MEETING: THURSDAY 30th JUNE 2016 - 2030hrs BURTON MEMORIAL HALL - EVERYBODY WELCOME

Friday, 17 June 2016

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 16th June and week


Please check out this Polish "Swift" webcam by clicking here

Report from Thursday 16th June 2016  - Swift nest sites - Burton In Kendal (2030hrs to 2145hrs)

To be honest at 2010hrs you would have thought it would have been a no goer! with heavy rain showers, but by 2015hrs it cleared up and we managed to have some great Swift Watching.

It started whilst observing the Cottage on the Post Office row, and we witnessed a bird enter the eaves at a totally different point to the first site, so it does look very much like we do have another nest site bringing it to two sites here, which is the norm on this building.

Moving on to the rear of the Royal Cottage annexe and we finally observed the larger hole at the top being used this year, although it was our first sighting, Hugh had actually seen birds entering this site earlier in the week.  Also tonight we saw birds entering all the other holes on this area as well as the site on the return wall.

Total birds seen at once in the sky totalled 18 birds with lots of small screeching parties.

It was getting darker quickly and so me moved on to the Coaching House and Manor House.  We got some good results here with two more sites added on the North facing gable wall. We confirmed the old site to the corner where the drainpipe is was being used, also a new site about 8ft along the gutter eaves from the far corner (this is a new site in total), also the site above and to the left of the small porthole window was seen to be used.  We are still hoping that the front elevation site between the two windows on the left maybe being used but so far not accounted.

A new site was witnessed on the North facing gable at the Manor House with the birds using a small triangular hole just below the well established site which is close to the third purlin up the rake of the roofline.

Our party were suddenly alarmed to take a look to the skies were a very large party of mixed Swifts and House Martins were present and all screeching and clicking with alarm, we noticed a large bird of prey emerging out of the cloud of birds having just seized either a Swift or Martin (not sure which) and which it held firm within its talons and then made off to the South West following the line of Main Street. The large bird was not immediately identified and some were left wondering was it a Peregrine or was it a large female Sparrowhawk. The bird by far too large for a Hobby.  On exit the bird was seen to triple wing flap glide and triple wing flap again before the glide. Although at first it seemed appropriate for the Falcon, I did notice it seemed more rounded to the outer edge of the wing which made me then give thought to the female Sparrowhawk. I guess we will never know for sure.

So tonight having recorded five new for the year sites, this brings our total to 22 nest sites so far. This is the highest number of nest sites we have ever recorded in any previous years.

Observers tonight were:  Reg Hesketh, Branwen Kilburn, Hugh and Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke.


Cottage on Post Office Row (Click over to enlarge)
The red marker on the left above the door is the new site recorded this year, although the site does have history with it being used also in 2014.



Royal Cottage rear annexe  (Click over to enlarge)
The larger hole site to the top left was confirmed being used last night - plus the other three here were also witnessed being used as well.

The Coaching House - North facing gable elevation (Click over to enlarge)
Activity last night was confirmed from the old 2015 nest site near the drain pipe and also a new site (never before recorded) was midway along the eaves from the drainpipe to the small round window

Manor House - North facing gable elevation (Click over to enlarge)
Last night we recorded another new site being used (shown above with red arrow and marked 2016), a very tiny triangular slot and just below the already established nest which is located above it and next to the timber purlin close to the verge. Also birds were seen to use other sites on the Manor House. 


NEXT SWIFT MEETING: THURSDAY 23rd JUNE 2016 - 2030hrs (Please note new starting time!!) BURTON MEMORIAL HALL - EVERYBODY WELCOME

Friday, 10 June 2016

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 9th June 2016 and Week



Summary of our Swift sightings last night 9th June 2016 (Click over to enlarge)

Saturday 11th June 2016 - Informed of Swift Poster at Burton In Kendal Motorway Services

Our group would like to thank the students of Burton Morewood C of E School for creating this beautiful poster which adorns the walls to the entrance of Burton In Kendal Motorway Services. Well done for such a brilliant poster and also for getting it shown in a place where thousands will see it.


Swift Poster at Burton Motorway Services (Click over to enlarge)


During 2015 one of our group Danny went along to the school and gave a talk to the students on our local Swift populations and maybe this poster in part results from inspiration gained from that talk.


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Thursday 9th June 2016 - Swift Observations - Main St, Burton In Kendal

Tonight was without doubt one of the busy nights we have ever witnessed with Swifts everywhere you looked.  We did manage to actually count at least 22 birds in the sky but I am sure this is on the low side there could well have been over 30. We do think a lot of these birds tonight would have probably been non breeders (eg first year birds doing their Reccy)  The largest screaming group had 8 birds and was seen over near Coaching House.

We checked out all the sites starting with the Post Office Block, then Cocking Yard, rear and front and SW wall of the Royal, also the rear of Neddy Hill Cottage (a new site), also from the back of the Kings we watched the large Old Mill for a while and then moved on to finish checking out The Coaching House and The Manor House.

In regards to nesting we were fortunate to see birds entering nest sites on the rear of the Royal, lots on the front of the Royal Cottage, and also birds entering nest sites at the Manor House.

A new nesting site was shown to us by David Craig, who had witnessed a bird going into the nest area on the rear eaves of the Neddy Hill Cottage within David's yard.  Of special interest is that we did map a bird prospecting this particular site last year.  With this new site it brings this years tally up to a minimum of 17 sites.

During the past week also observations have been carried out on the Office Block at Clawthorpe Hall and a further two nest sites have been confirmed on the rear annexe of the Royal Hotel.   To try and give a clearer picture to the ongoing progress I have included below photos of the current status for this year at all occupied sites.

Observers tonight were: David Craig, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles and Bryan Yorke.


The Cottage on the Post Office Block  (Click over to enlarge)

To our knowledge this site has been used in both 2015 and 2016 and also of note is that last year this was the last site occupied within the village, with occupation up until the 16th August 2015


Hangings Farm, Cocking Yard  (Click over to enlarge)

This site is one of a possible two for this property. The site to our knowledge has been used in all years since 2013.  This year at first, we were worried about this site because of the new owners and the pointing renovations which have taken place.  We need not have worried because thanks to Jane and the brilliant co-operation of the new owners, who happened to be totally Swift friendly, they left holes at the eaves so as to allow the birds access to their original nest sites which we now know they have taken up at least one of the known sites.. 



Rear annexe for the  Royal Hotel Cottage Cottage  (Click over to enlarge)

Always been a very productive site for such a small area.  The sites already confirmed are marked in red.  We are still waiting for a confirmation either way on the large hole which you can see towards the top of the building to the left and above the two sites already confirmed.  We did witness birds banging at this entrance tonight so perhaps some activity me be taking place, time will tell.  Also the next photo is a close up of the site on the return wall.

A  close up of the nest site on the return wall of the Rear Royal Hotel Cottage Annexe  (Click over to enlarge)

The Royal Hotel Cottage (Click over to enlarge)
Another of the Swift stronghold sites with six nest within the front of this building, plus we are regularly seeing more "banging" going on at other sections of the eaves, but so far only the areas marked in red are the only definites.


Neddy Hill Cottage - Rear Elevation  (Click over to enlarge)
This is a new site for us tonight.  David Craig has seen a bird entering at the point marked with red.  Also of particular note is that we did record a bird last year actually "banging" and what we took to be prosecting the site.  Its now clear the bird did decide to take up this new residence.


The Coaching House  (Click over to enlarge)

So far we have been able to established a definite breeding site on the side North Elevation marked with a red arrow just to the left hand side of the small round window.  The Coaching House was only established as a breeding site last year in 2015 although we had seen birds prospecting back in 2014.  Last year we did have birds also nesting again on the gable end side elevation to the far left hand corner close to the drainpipe.  Also we did have a bird nesting to the front elevation between the two upper windows.
The Manor House (Click over to enlarge)
The Manor House is yet another of our stronghold sites with at least four sites occupied this year.  It is also suspected that there maybe more nest.

We are ever so grateful to Mrs. Ellis and her family who are very interested in their Swifts and their progress.

The Offices of Ducketts Building Services at Clawthorpe Hall  (Click over to enlarge)
It was a great pleasure to visit this site, because we had suspected birds coming from around the back of Clawthorpe Hall in previous years.  I was able to confirm at least one pair nesting which shows with the red arrow.  Also at the same time there were six birds in the sky directly above the property which makes me think there will be even more nest which hopefully we will be able to ascertain when we do a group visit.

It was nice to meet up with Edward Duckett (MD of Ducketts Building Services) who so kindly pointed out the areas of where the swifts are nesting.  He also loves to have the birds on his property and has purposely left the top guttering/eaves level open of pointing so that Swifts are able to return on a regular yearly basis.




NEXT SWIFT MEETING: THURSDAY 16th JUNE 2016 - 2030hrs (Please note new starting time!!) BURTON MEMORIAL HALL - EVERYBODY WELCOME

Friday, 3 June 2016

Burton Swift Watch - Thursday 2nd June 2016 and Week



Swift Notes for Thursday 2nd June 2016 (Click over sketch to enlarge)


Wednesday 8th June 2016 - A quick visit to Clawthorpe Hall and to the Royal Hotel.

Just on the spare of the moment, with time on my hands I decided to go on behalf of the group and make myself known to the owners of Clawthorpe Hall, it was well overdue we have been talking about the site for such a long time but had no definite records until now.  I was fortunate to meet Mr. Edward Duckett the MD of Duckett Building Services who own the buildings and explained to him about our group and showed him photographs etc.  He was very interested and actually showed me the area where the Swifts nested.

He also showed me a staircase at the end of the building which every now and again he does have to rescue Swifts which have somehow managed to find there way from their nest site and somehow go through and into the building, in which case he catches them and releases them back outside.

Whilst there I actually saw six individual birds hawking the skies directly over the Offices and also I was extremely lucky to see a single bird go into the building which after ten minutes came out again, I have marked the nest site with a red arrow.

The Offices at Clawthorpe Hall where the Swifts are nesting  (Click over to enlarge)
Note inset with a more close up view of nest site
On leaving Clawthorpe Hall, I then went over to the Royal Hotel on Main Street, here I did spend some time because it was superb with birds coming from all directions and low down chasing and screeching, absolutely enjoying themselves.  I was fortunate to be able to record two more nest sites for this year now being used.  Both sites are well known to us and have history.  I have now marked off this years breeding sites with red arrows.  This now brings the total tally of this years sites to 17

Todays nestsites included (8th June 2016) at the Rear of the Royal Cottage Annexe (Click over to enlarge)

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Sunday 5th June 2016  "Photo showing Kestrel carrying Swift"


Photo: John Brierley and posted on the Swillington Ings Group website Sunday 5th June 2016

Nothing whatsoever to do with our Burton Swifts, but still very interesting and it occurred somewhere in the North of England in the last few days, when it was witnessed that a Kestrel actually took a Swift in flight. I could have believed it if it had been a Hobby but would never think of it with a Kestrel!  I am told by a friend that the photo is of a first year male Kestrel (immature from last years chicks).

Friday 3rd June 2016 "Cocking Yard"

Some great news as just arrived from Jane Phillips, which is confirmation that a pair are definitely nesting on Hangings Farm in Cocking Yard, this taking our total nest sites tally up to 14.  Worries are now set aside because the property has recently had pointing renovations to the front elevation.  We were so pleased to learn that the more recent occupiers of the property are Swift friendly people who were so pleased to instruct the builders to leave some holes to their previous nesting sites while this work was being carried out, which it is great to see they have now returned and are using at least one of their original sites.

Cocking Yard - Burton In Kendal (Click over to enlarge)


The site on Hangings Farm - The centre dark hole just under the slates
(photo: J. Phillips)


Swift Watch - Thursday June 2nd 2016 - Sites off Main Street, Burton In Kendal - 2000hrs to 2190hrs.


Last night we had more great Swift observations, and managed to add a further three nest sites to our records for this year bringing the total so far to 13 confirmed nest sites.

We confirmed a new site for this year on the small cottage on the Post Office Row.  The site was also used last year (2015). Also this was to be the last site vacated with the final birds leaving Burton on 16th August 2015 (exceptionally late).

Moving on whilst briefly checking Cocking Yard and the rear of the Royal, we did eventually record more action on the front elevation of the Royal Cottage Annexe with a site to the right hand corner being used (already established last week).  Also several birds were seen "banging" at various points along the guttering, so we could not make our minds up whether these birds were full mature adults or immatures of the first year.  We also made particular note to one bird which did seem to enter a completely new nest site but only for a second before it flew off again.  Because of this short encounter we decided to record it as a possible, but not to make any record at this stage.

Moving on past the Royal with nothing showing on the West side elevation, we moved further down Main Street to do our observations across from the Coaching House and the Manor House. Reg saw a Swift using a site on the Coaching House North side elevation quite close to the small circular window, a site which was suspect from 2015 when Tanya Hoare thought it was being used. Also the Manor House showed further activity with birds seen using both of our 2016 already recorded sites on the front elevation.  But we were in for a extra treat with a further bird witnessed using the long established nest site which is near the base of the rake on the North elevation gable end, this was a new record for 2016.

Tonight's observers were: Mary Bullimore, David Craig, Derek from Kendal, Reg Hesketh, Hugh and Sue Miles, Bryan Yorke.  We went on a little tonight from 2000hrs to 2130hrs and we all agreed to try and meet up again next Thursday at 2000hrs at the Burton Memorial Hall when all would be welcomed.

Here are up to date photos showing the nest sites activity tonight (the history of the nest site eg: previously used is also given)

Cottages adjoining the Post Office on Main Street (Click over to enlarge)

The Coaching House (Click over to enlarge)

Manor House, Main Street, (Click over to enlarge)

NEXT SWIFT MEETING: THURSDAY 9th JUNE 2016 - 2000hrs  BURTON MEMORIAL HALL - EVERYBODY WELCOME