The Swifts are Back

The major event of Spring has finally arrived for me as yesterday the Swifts have returned here to Paris.

The exact date of my first sighting this year of a group above the house was the 7th May, at least a couple of weeks later than last year. I was beginning to get a bit twitching, for some reason I always have a doubt that they will actually come back and I’m always relieved when they do. For me it is a bit of a confirmation that all is right with the world, which sometimes can be difficult to imagine.

As ever my huge hope is that they’ll use the nest box, which has been up now for a couple of years without any interest so far.

To try and attract them towards the nest I have a recording of swift calls which I play on a small speaker out of the window next to the box. I think it’s best to play it every morning and evening, although I don’t usually manage to be so regular. I also always feel slightly guilty for my neighbours although they have never, yet, complained.

I will also say it has also never, yet, actually worked. So perhaps it is rather academic as an exercise.

I have had a Great Tit sleeping in the box every night, starting some time during the Winter. I was thinking that if a Swift did arrive to use the box it might provoke a little tussle between the two.

But I won’t get to see this as last night, for the first time in months, the Great Tit didn’t come back. It is just surely too much of a coincidence that the first night after the swifts arrive back in the area the Great Tit abandons the nest box. It must be linked.

The Great Tit must in some way know that it’s in a site ideal for another bird, in this case a Swift, who has that day arrived back in the neighbourhood, so it decides to avoid any possible confrontation by finding somewhere else to sleep. Certainly the Great Tit thinks that a swift might use the box, which is encouraging for me.

As a farewell to my now departed Great Tit Friend here he is again from earlier in the year arriving into the box for a nights sleep.

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