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Lee-on-Solent Swifts update

Back in August while we were in Lee-on-Solent I called in on Mark Wagstaff to say hello and to see the location of his Swift colony. You can read his blog about the colony here that he wrote last year.

Mark has cameras in all his boxes and so can monitor how they are doing before getting Trevor Codlin to come and ring the young birds. This year Mark has had seven pairs and his close neighbour Janet has three pairs. This year the numbers on the two houses have gone up once again and 21 chicks were fledged from 9 of the nests. Four pairs laid and hatched three eggs but a youngster in one nest did not make it to fledging.

The tenth pair hatched their chicks, but then stopped incubating them (Mark was watching on the camera). Bizarrely, they continued to return to the box, but did not feed or tend the chicks. They were a late pair (the latest across all the boxes) and the desertion coincided with the onset of bad weather, meaning it would have been harder to find enough food. My guess would be that this was a young pair nesting for the first time that didn’t have quite the knowledge and urge to rear the young that an older pair would have, but that is purely supposition. It will be interesting to see how this pair does next year.

These are the combined totals from the two houses.



Pairs

Young ringed

Adults ringed

2014

2

4

1

2015

1

2


2016

1

2

1

2017

1

2


2018

4

7

1

2019

4

8

1 retrap

2020

5

11

3 + 1 retrap

2021

6

10

7 + 1 retrap

2022

9

19

2

2023

10

21

1 + 1 retrap


Many thanks to Mark and to Trevor for providing the ringing data and the graphs.

And also to Mark’s wife for producing a fantastic wildlife-friendly garden on the estate!






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