Statistics for 2006
The swifts began to return from Africa during April and May.
- 6th May 2006
They have returned, 12 boxes are occupied.
- 13th May 2006
44 boxes are occupied and there are 19 eggs visible.
- 20th May 2006
With over 60 boxes in use the swifts seem to be having a good start to the breeding season. A count produced 82 eggs but there are probably another 20 or so that are not visible as the bird is sitting on the nest. It is not advisable to disturb the birds so early in the season as they are still very nervous of being on firm ground instead of in the air, so they may desert if they are disturbed.
- 27th May 2006
The cold wet weather during the past week has slowed down the breeding cycle. Some birds have ejected eggs, others are sitting tight and incubating so we cannot count how many eggs are currently in the colony but this will become clear in time.
- 3rd June 2006
The weather has started to improve, there are at least 33 eggs and 4 young in the colony now, although we cannot see what some of the birds are sitting on.
- 10th June 2006
Warm and sunny weather seems to have stimulated the swifts into breeding again. 78 young have hatched from the first eggs laid, but now we have 45 new eggs as well.
- 17th June 2006
Hot weather is a mixed blessing. There are now 94 young in the colony, and 34 eggs, but we have found 3 youngsters dead from the heat.
- 24th June 2006
Breeding is reaching a peak; there are 115 young and 11 eggs. But this is not the complete count as some birds are still sitting.
- 1st July 2006
A new record for breeding in the tower. We have 126 young and at least 7 eggs still to hatch. An unusual thing has happened, due to the cold week in June we now have two distinct generations of young. Some young that survived the cold wet spell look like the adults but others have only hatched since the weather improved again and are about 2 weeks younger than the first ones.
- 8th July 2006
We have now put rings on 93 young. There are 134 young and 5 eggs counted today and we are also starting to identify and ring the adults. SB80543, an adult from box N4B, was first ringed 10 years ago; it was an adult then, so must have been 3 to 4 years old or more. Swifts can live for over 20 years.
- 15th July 2006
91 young and 2 eggs counted today. Many young have fledged and left for Africa.
- 22nd July 2006
19 young ringed.
- 6th August 2006
14 nests still occupied. 21 young remaining.
- 12th August 2006
5 birds left, 3 to ring.
- 19th August 2006
Last 3 birds ringed.
- 26th August 2006
3 young remain.
- 2nd September 2006
1 young remaining - gone by 4th September.
The average numbers of young swifts ringed each year over the last 40 years are:
- 1963-1972 36.7
- 1973-1982 70.4
- 1983-1992 100.0
- 1993-2002 99.2