Sunday, 12 July 2009

Swifts

We visited the Emplins colony that we have been monitoring for many, many years (as seen on 'Breakfast TV' recently).



The house is mid 15th century, so access and getting around in the roof is a bit on the "iffy" side. This year we managed to find 13 ringeable birds in 6 nests plus a 'naked & blind' brood of 2. Two nests were inaccessible and a further three broods had already fledged, making 12 breeding pairs in total.

There were over 40 birds in the air including quite a few "screamers".



Above: A party of 'Screamers' passing by.



Above: A juvenile in the nest



Above: This juvenile weighed 43.2 grams (and it is still growing).



Above: Feathers are just starting to poke through the pins on this juvenile.

Twenty years ago we were ringing over 40 young, reducing to 24 chicks just ten years ago. Now there are even less. One reason is that the House Sparrows have built nests in quite a few of the holes/ledges and these ought to be cleared out - as they tend not to reuse them, anyway.



Above: After straining to get his leg over the ladders, Errol is left panting!



Above: Feeling for birds!

3 comments:

Errol said...

I didn't take the photos ... or write the captions. (Errol)

Kane Brides said...

ha ha ha!! :)

Kane Brides said...

ha ha ha!! :)