Tuesday, 7 July 2015
Since I moved in to Little Chalfont some 28 years ago, COMMON SWIFTS have nested in some numbers in the village. This year has been an exception though, with just three pairs returning to breed at Chaffinch House, rather than the usual 8-10 pairs. As a result, just two young fledged and looking out on this blustery evening, it seems that they have departed south already, much earlier than usual. I shall miss their loud screams as they wheel about the house chasing insects (and each other). What worries me more though is that sooner rather than later, my Swifts won't be coming home at all, such is the serious decline in numbers. Depressing news and adding to the near extinction of House Sparrows in my garden (from an average of 78 birds 1987-2013 to just 2 now) and the loss of nearly 90% of Greenfinches through disease.