BBC Springwatch PRO 9:56pm, 28 April 2011
The BTO is predicting the mass arrival of swifts in the next few days (more here:

It's a notoriously difficult bird to photograph, but if you do manage to get a shot of one we'd love to see it here.

forgetfulelephant PRO 5 years ago
Not this years but one to start off with.

Sunlit Swift
Paul Forsdick [deleted] 5 years ago
They really can be tricky, the fast movement and direction changes require a lot of concentration and quick reflexes. Heavier camera gear will add to the difficulty since you need to be able to make quick and agile movements, and slow focusing lenses will also be problematic. They're a bird you ideally need to work up to, starting with the slower and more predictable fliers and practising as much as possible so that you can very quickly aim the camera at a small target in the fairly blank expanse of sky and track its movements.

Really looking forward to seeing them again as the last two summers I got to watch them feeding in the sky over my back garden and that really was wonderful. The best photos I've got of them so far are really the ones I took at Titchwell back in 2009 if it's ok to add one of those here...

The sickle-winged Swifts
JPBWright PRO 5 years ago
Challenge? I like a challenge.
romidcats 5 years ago
We saw and took quite a few photo's of "quite a lot" flying around and going into the farm buildings at Knypersly Reservoir - Stoke-on-Trent yesterday.
forgetfulelephant PRO 5 years ago
I decided I couldn't really get away with just posting an old Swift image above so.....


At least two today at Upton Warren, Worcestershire.
Saw two or three today over some local fields here in Milton Keynes. All were flying northwards :-)
BBC Springwatch PRO 5 years ago
@forgetfulelephant - well done!

I spoke to Paul at the BTO and he thought the mass arrival might have been delayed a few days from when he first thought. So expect them any day now.

stjohn_elizabeth 5 years ago
I have swifts nesting in my roof and am determined this year to get some pictures as I have a new DSLR. That is of course if they choose my house for their home! I saw 2 flying overhead by my house yesterday - 3rd May. I'm in Rushden so, UKstormchaser, maybe they're the ones you saw???
Paul Forsdick [deleted] 5 years ago
Saw two over Colchester Castle yesterday and another nearby - hurrah!
phillipbonsai PRO 5 years ago
Just spent the last week in Arezzo, Tuscany and the place was full of Swifts, should be in the UK soon.
BBC Wild Week Live 5 years ago
The swifts above the Beersbridge Road in Belfast yesterday may have gone elsewhere as I did not see or hear them this morning. It could have something to do with the weather which has gone from blue skies to dreary grey, damp and cool. I hope the last 2 weeks was not 'our summer'.
phillipbonsai PRO 5 years ago
As predicted, Swifts over Little Berkhamstead, Herts
mikethereservewarden 5 years ago
We've had dozens at a time with a peak of at least 50 over the past few days at the London Wetland Centre.
Purple Centipede~Jack 5 years ago
Saw my first few yesterday in Weymouth, Dorset.
CorinneHB 5 years ago
Saw three or four over Clacton, Essex about 9.30 this morning.
nutmeg66 PRO 5 years ago
Heard them screaming and saw them overhead today (mid-Lincs),
Purple Centipede~Jack 5 years ago
Seen more today on a walk!
Derbyshire Harrier PRO 5 years ago
I saw a few yesterday at Bempton. East Yorkshire.
Vital Sparks 5 years ago
8 overhead in Glossop Derbyshire Saturday 7th May 18:00 but not sighted today PRO 5 years ago
5 swifts spotted in Heathrow, London at 5pm today
richard.heeks 5 years ago
Swift, near Exeter, Exe Estuary by richard.heeks

Lots near the Exe Estuary in Devon. I photographed this over the canal between Topsham and Exminster. Lots of swallows there too.
lovingallnature Sue 5 years ago
[] not a great shot ...ours appeared on sat 7th , North Bucks. Friend and close neighbour has 2 Swift boxes up with a 'swift call' set up , am hoping it will be used and maybe get some more shots!
forgetfulelephant PRO 5 years ago
Arriving in numbers at Upton Warren reserve in Worcestershire now.

Fenwalker1 PRO 5 years ago
Got them in Norfolk over the last few days.
WendyCoops224 PRO 5 years ago
Got them near Stansted, Essex
BBC Wild Week Live 5 years ago
Swift update from East Belfast.

They made a reappearance over the weekend and I turned on my swift CD to see if I could attract any to my brand new swift boxes. No luck on Saturday but it is early days yet.

Since then it has been blowing a gale continuously so no sign of the swifts for a couple of days. PRO 5 years ago
Swifts, swifts everywhere and not a swoop to shoot.
A few from earlier today.
stjohn_elizabeth 5 years ago
Brilliant pictures Majestiele. Were these taken by Heathrow? I used to live near there but can't recall ever seeing swifts - but maybe I wasn't looking hard enough. PRO 5 years ago
Thank you stjohn_elizabeth, they were taken in Hayes, which is about 15 or so minutes away from Heathrow, I've never spotted swifts in the area before but there also seems to be an increase in flying insects this year so maybe they have travelled for the increased food source.
© DerekB49 [deleted] 5 years ago
This shot was taken yesterday overhead from our garden here in Shropshire... its not perfect but we have swifts , swallows and House martins all here......

Gotta be swift
stjohn_elizabeth 5 years ago
Ah yes, I know Hayes Majestiele. Lets hope they can find places to nest then and settle in the area.
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