Swift thanks to Simon Hawtin.
I've not seen Simon Hawtin for some time now but have recently been in touch and he assures me I'll be seeing him sometime somewhere 'on the road' like we used to mainly - but not exclusively - in the Forest of Bowland....I look forward to this Simon. Meanwhile, thanks for this excellent image of the amazing 'life on the wing' Swift.
I saw my first 2010 Swift this evening from our kitchen window and reckon if I'd have stayed around and looking out of the window I would have of perhaps seen more. Unfortunately there seems to be fewer of these amazing birds seen in our skies year after year to add to the ever increasing other migrants we see less of each year. A walk through the woodland this year will probably result in all of us experiencing it less likely to find the Wood Warbler or Spotted Flycatcher as something like two thirds of our migrants seem to be declining and joining the Red List.
Though it is hard to understand precisely whats happening here it looks likely that habitat change in Africa, land use and land degradation with overgrazing and intensive farming could be the culprits posing the question....is it the habitat change which affects how much food is available to these birds? Hardships on their migration routes to and from Africa as well as in the UK could also play the part.
In 15 years the number of Wood Warblers have fallen by 60% but if we end where I started with the Swift, you also have to wonder if too many traditional nesting sites are disappearing making it more and more difficult as the years progress for birds like these - and the Swallow and House Martin - to find suitable spots for making breeding attempts.
The Tower Lodge area in the Forest of Bowland has - for the past couple of years that know of - been reasonably good for the Spotted Flycatcher, and in 2008 a Wood Warbler was singing opposite the lodge so I've not yet completely lost hope that all this may well happen again this year.