Where have all the swifts gone?

dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 518
Last year, by the end of May, there were loads circling high up above Tufnell Park and Muswell Hill.
They regularly settled onto the radio antenna of a tall school building,  at the back of our back gardens, and it was lovely hearing them screeching through the sky.
So far this year, we've heard them a tiny bit, but very sporadically and not at all in the past 3 weeks. They're also not on the antenna.
Has all the June rain and low temperatures sent them away? 
🎼"I've been driving in my car, it don't look much but I've been far, I drive up to Muswell Hill, I've even been to Selsey Bill..."🎹
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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,218
    Rubbish weather here, cold and wet, means fewer flying insects for food.

    Extremely hot weather over Africa and the Mediterranean.

    Loss of habitat here - barn conversions plugging up holes that would have been nest sites.

    The spread of modern housing on green field sites - nowhere to swoop for flies and other arable land insects.

    Loss of old manure heaps by farms means fewer flying insects.

    Development of land in Africa. Changes in farming practices. Drought.

    Predation in the form of hunters across the Mediterranean region.



    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
    Too cold and wet 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,888
    There are a lot over Crouch End but I haven't seen many over by me. Lots on the Heath too. Wet weather isn't going to help them. They were also late coming over from the continent. Wind direction and speed makes a big impact on them. I put up a load of swift boxes last year and have been scanning the skies every day.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 4,390
    We counted seven over our house one evening last week. Not sure where they are nesting though. Fortunately there is an organic dairy farm nearby with an open barn and lots of hills/woodland around so we presume enough insects. 
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 518
    @pansyface & @BirminghamMarc1972 I understand and agree, but they come every year normally...plus they wouldn't know before actually pitching up in drizzly, cool London, how miserable and wet June is, this year...that's what is puzzling me!
    @Fire that's great you've seen some up in crouch end! I heard them back at the end of May overhead, but they must have given somewhere else to feed...
    Miss them!
    🎼"I've been driving in my car, it don't look much but I've been far, I drive up to Muswell Hill, I've even been to Selsey Bill..."🎹
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 518
    Lizzie27 said:
    We counted seven over our house one evening last week. Not sure where they are nesting though. Fortunately there is an organic dairy farm nearby with an open barn and lots of hills/woodland around so we presume enough insects. 
    I have swift envy!
    🎼"I've been driving in my car, it don't look much but I've been far, I drive up to Muswell Hill, I've even been to Selsey Bill..."🎹
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 518
    Fire said:
    There are a lot over Crouch End but I haven't seen many over by me. Lots on the Heath too. Wet weather isn't going to help them. They were also late coming over from the continent. Wind direction and speed makes a big impact on them. I put up a load of swift boxes last year and have been scanning the skies every day.
    How come they were late coming over? Was that adverse weather conditions too?
    🎼"I've been driving in my car, it don't look much but I've been far, I drive up to Muswell Hill, I've even been to Selsey Bill..."🎹
  • NanabooNanaboo Posts: 1,057
    Not sure if they are swifts or swallows but be have a few flying around.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 518
    I just miss their lovely screaming sounds! Always makes me happy to hear them. Hopefully they'll return soon...
    🎼"I've been driving in my car, it don't look much but I've been far, I drive up to Muswell Hill, I've even been to Selsey Bill..."🎹
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,888
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