Apus apus (Common swift) - Diary 2017

My notes on the activity of swifts at my house in 2017...


See the main page for notes, photos, and diaries for other years.

You can view live video here from two of the nestboxes (not guaranteed always online, but I try to keep it running).

2017 Swift diary...

The numbered nestboxes can be seen on this photo, and the entrances to the internal boxes on the gable end in this photo.

Activity in inspected boxes 2017 (prediction in red italic). See all years here
YearNestAdult1Adult2Egg1Egg2Egg3HatchFledge1Fledge2Fledge3Comments
2017#1May-6May-15May-22May-24-Jun-12Jul-24
2017#4May-5May-9May-18May-20May-22Jun-10Jul-22

2017-May-22 First egg laid in box #1 today, sometime this morning.

For box #4, today was the day for "will there be a third egg, or will they stick with two?". And the answer is: "It's 3 eggs", with the 3rd laid sometime this morning.

2017-May-20 Second egg laid in box #4 today. I first saw it on captured video at 09:25.

2017-May-18 First egg laid in box #4 today. I haven't the interest I once had in looking through endless video to determine exactly when the egg was laid, but both birds appeared to stay at the nest this morning, and I think the egg was laid at 12:33, after which both birds left.

Last night, after dark, I checked the 6 gable-end boxes (inside the loft). There were pairs of swifts in #g3 and #g6 (the two which were used last year), and a single bird in #g4.

2017-May-15 At 16:13, a swift entered camera box #1 carrying feathers - I assume the bird which has been here for 9 days. A few seconds later, it was joined by a second one, and both stayed in for the rest of the day and the night. Is this relatively late arrival of the second bird a member of the pair from last year, or a new bird? I have no way to know. The arrival of first and second birds in box #1 on May-6 and May-15 repeats the dates from 2013, the first year I had a camera in the box.

Apart from the two cameras boxes, I have regularly seen swifts entering 4 other nest spaces at the back of the house, and I haven't tried to observe the 6 entrances in the gable.

2017-May-9 At 08:39 this morning, two swifts entered box #4 one after the other. There had only been one there overnight, so this is the first definite pair of the year.

There is still just a single bird spending the night in box #1. As for non-camera places: On 2017-May-6 I saw a swift enter box #2, and guessed from observed behaviour and 'duetting' calls that there was probably one in there already. And on 2017-May-7 a swift entered box #5.

2017-May-6 At 12:47, a swift entered box #1 for the first time this year. Yesterday's swift stayed in box #4 overnight and left in the morning.

2017-May-5 I saw my first swifts for 2017 over the village this morning, and at 19:08 in the evening, a swift entered box #4 for the first time this year.

2017-April-14 I have just been getting the video cameras ready in the usual two nestboxes. I'm going to try a more 'zoomed-in' view this year: the cameras are in the same position, but with 6mm and 8mm lenses, compared to the 3.6mm lenses used previously

Again this year, in addition to the usual 5 nestboxes plus various holes in the soffit which they use, I have 6 boxes installed in the loft, with access through the brickwork in the gable end (photos here).

The two video cameras are now ready for the 2017 season (link to live video above).

This is nestbox #1 in which swifts raised young for the first time in 2012.

In 2013 (with a camera in the box for the first time) they raised 3 chicks; 2 in 2014; 3 in 2015; and 2 in 2016.

The dates of arrival of the first swift in this box were: 2013 May 6th evening; 2014 May 5th evening; 2015 May 6th evening; 2016 May 4th afternoon; 2017 May 6th midday.

This is nestbox #4 in which swifts raised young for the first time in 2014 (with a camera in the box).

2 chicks were raised in 2014; 3 in 2015; and 2 in 2016.

The dates of arrival of the first swift in this box were: 2014 May 7th evening; 2015 May 4th evening; 2016 May 5th evening; 2017 May 5th evening.


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Author: Clarke Brunt (clarke.brunt@viridis.net)
Last modified: 22nd May 2017