Wednesday, June 21, 2017

All of a sudden, things are getting pretty hectic now, up here on the hill.

I was able to spend about an hour watching Swifts in my garden this evening. 
It's been a long time coming but well worth the wait.
When I went out this evening I saw that I had two Swifts flying over my garden. 
During the next hour they never flew further away from my house than the far side of one field - in any direction & I was delighted to see that they kept coming back to the space above my house & garden & spent more time over it than outside this area. This surely indicates that they do actually like this spot.
After 10 minutes a third Swift joined them & stuck with them for about 10 mins.
Before today I'd never ever seen more than one Swift around here, but this morning I had my first Two & this evening my first Three!
As if that wasn't exciting enough, as I lay back on top of the remnants of a dry stane dyke watching their acrobatics ... SIX other Swifts suddenly joined them!
This was indeed a day to remember, because I thought it would take years to see so many Swifts here at one time. 
However, as quickly as these six new Swifts had arrived, they just as swiftly dashed off, heading north towards Ballycastle, leaving the original three!
I couldn't have been more excited if the Red Arrows had suddenly performed above my house.

Anyway, after about 25 mins of hunting & feeding they turned their attention to the nest boxes.
One flew back to the 2nd top box they'd been in this morning, while the other flew into the one above. The top one was inside for about 10 mins. and actually threw out a few bits of nesting material that may have been taken in by some of my resident Sparrows.
That one came out while the other remained inside for a further 10 mins.
After about 5 mins. the one that was outside decided to visit the lowest box, much to the disgust of a pair of Sparrows. It looks like their days are numbered in these boxes.
Female House Sparrow which landed here immediately after the Swift flew in.
Male Sparrow shouting his annoyance while the Swift was inside.
They had a good innings but it looks like their days are numbered.
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