Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Swift return

I'm guessing that by the time I get home tonight, the Swifts that nest on the houses further along my terrace will be back. There was no sign this morning, but I did see Swifts locally last night, so they can't be far behind.

It's earlier than the last couple of years, when they've arrived on May 10th and 11th, but still considerably later than what used to be their regular arrival dates, April 27th and 28th. Of course, there's probably not too much significance in that - these are probably different Swifts (albeit perhaps descendants of the originals), who spend their winters in a different location.

Most of my birding time over the weekend was spent watching a couple of locally rare breeding birds, of which I can't say more, but down at Kelham Bridge, I did see the resident Buzzards hunting by hovering in the stiff breeze. Now there's nothing especially unusual in that - Buzzards often do it - but they do usually look rather clumsy, giving the impression of someone treading water, rather than the perfectly-still mid-air poise of the Kestrel.

This pair, though, have it down to a fine art, and I've never seen Buzzards hover so well or so repeatedly. They were successful, too, coming up with prey (voles, from what I could see), on several occasions in the space of half an hour. In the end, the resident male Kestrel came and joined them, and was similarly effective. Probably not a good time to be a rodent at Kelham Bridge.

No comments: