Swift (Apus apus)

Swift (Apus apus)

The Swift is one of our latest arrivals in Argyll and the first was recorded on 27th April at Innellan, Cowal just south of Dunoon by Greg Bashford. Further sightings arrived in early May at Bridgend on Islay, Kilmichael, Oban and Lochgilphead.

A common and widespread summer visitor from Africa, Swifts spend almost all of their lives on the wing, even sleeping, drinking and mating while flying; they only land to nest. The Swift is black all over, with a small, pale patch on its throat. Looking a bit like a boomerang when in the air, it is very sociable and can often be spotted in groups wheeling over roofs and calling with high-pitched screams. It is larger than the Swallow or Martins and, unlike them, does not perch on wires, buildings or trees.

The arrow-like Swift is a familiar sight on a summer’s evening, wheeling around the sky in groups. Originally nesting on cliffs and in holes in trees, it now mainly nests in older parts of towns and cities, where it can gain access to nest sites in old buildings, via small holes below the eaves or under tiles. Specially designed nestboxes help this species to survive where renovation work often blocks the small holes they use to access their nest sites.

The Swift is a fast-flying and distinctive bird with long, curved wings., They feast on small flying insects, usually catching them high up in the sky and collecting them in a special pouch at the back of the throat. These insects are bound together by saliva until they form a kind of pellet known as a bolus, which can be regurgitated and fed to chicks. A single bolus can contain over 300 insects, with some holding over 1,000.

Please click on the link below to learn more about the Swift :-

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b01s8mng