Our swift family in box 3 are still with us, the youngsters are looking very grown up now. Here's last nights roost with all four of them trying to fit in the nest together. There seems to be a lot of shuffling going on virtually all night long, sometimes they even walk around the box, amazing considering they are in total darkness!
Here are this morning's wing excercises:
And two more images, the swiftlets looking out at the world through their entrance:
Our two young swifts in box 3 are busy exercising their wings, or at least one of them is, while the other is looking out of the entrance hole. Notice how the rear swiftlet raises and fans it's tail out as well. This is the box with the entrance on the underside so the view is probably more difficult to see from their angle.
They are lucky, there is plenty of room in their nestbox (all our boxes are roughly the size of a shoebox with at least a 7-8" width to give plenty of wing space) but how do other swifts that are nesting in very small spaces or under roof tiles manage to excercise themselves like this?
According to the date they hatched they are due to fledge on around the 27th August...but they look nearly ready to me!
On the 7th August one of the pair in box 1 left, leaving it's partner to roost alone and yesterday the two adult swifts from box 2 finally left, happily before the bad weather set in today. Last night, the remaining swift in box 1 was still roosting alone but it may have left today, we shan't know until we check the cameras this evening - if it leaves today then we shall just have the pair and their young in box 3 still with us.
Yes, all six adult birds roosted last night yet again, that is the non-breeding pair in box 1, the parents of the already fledged swiftlets in box 2 (the last of the three left on the 1st August) and box 3 pair with their two young. Last year the non-breeders had left by the 3rd August. It seems that none of them are keen to leave yet this year! Here are the youngsters in box 3 this morning, I was lucky enough to catch the adult come in and feed one of them.
There was a large flock of about 250 swifts feeding around the north scrape at Cley last night (and still some this morning), one of which was taken by a Hobby. Here's a video of them feeding yesterday evening on the reserve:
Happily it wasn't one of ours that was taken because last night all six adults roosted yet again. Box 2 were there for a second night on their own despite the last of their young having fledged two days ago, and also the non-breeding pair in box 1 who amazingly are still sticking down feathers in their nest - we have high hopes for their return next year as they're obviously quite serious! Here's a video showing all the swifts last night at bed-time:
There are two in box 1, two in box 2 and two adults and two young in box 3. Will they all be back tonight?
Yes, the last of the three swiftlets in box 2 fledged. As you can see, box 1 non-breeding adults are still in residence as of first thing this morning and the two swiftlets in box 3 continue to thrive. In fact they're doing so well that one of them was actually doing wing excercises and flapping even though they barely have their eyes open. It looks like they're in a hurry to get up and away but that won't be for a while yet.
So will the adults from box 2 return to roost tonight or will they be away today as well? We shall see this evening!