Wednesday 29 May 2013

Hourly pattern of Swift activity

Contributed by Dick

Here in Landbeach, I have CCTV cameras watching the outside of all 19 of my Swift boxes, so that I can monitor every entry and exit in every box. I also have 2 cameras in boxes.

It is not without its problems, the motion detection sometimes misses events, spiders spinning their webs across the lenses cause much redundant footage, as do shadows dancing around on the boxes from the nearby trees. I have not time to trawl through hours of dancing shadows to see arriving or departing Swifts.

This is not to mention some mysterious creature that occasionally yanks one of the cameras so that it is pointing completely in the wrong direction.

However, I think the data I have gathered is good enough to give a reasonable idea of the pattern of activity throughout the day.

The purpose of this post is to give people monitoring colonies some idea of the best times to stand watching nest sites to see if they are occupied.

Of course on any particular day, the pattern will be affected by local weather conditions. On cold wet days, the birds will venture out later and will arrive back earlier

I will try to keep this chart up to date so that folk can check it out before venturing out to monitor breeding Swifts.

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