Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sleeping on the wing

It seems that we are dealing here with a "wingsleeper". As you might know, the non- breeders of a swift colony sleep at a hight of about 1,5 km up in the sky. Yesterday evening the bird returned after a night outside, this night around 22:00, the bird was still not in.
Today it was the first time that a "crowd" of three swifts flew very noisy around the block. They seem to have a lot of fun chasing eachother, although they still are the only three of the colony that returned. If the rest of the group keep the same travel scedual as last year, there will be around 20 birds here in about a week. There has to be some company Between them for our little friend, don'nt you think so?
While waiting for him te reapear you can watch the video's on the site.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

He is back!

Fortunately the bird is back. Spotted at 21:26 this evening by Birdnut. Thanks for "calling".

Friday, April 27, 2007


It's 22:41 long after sunset and I'm looking at an empty birdsnest.
I'm surprised. Has any of the visitors seen the bird this evening on cam?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

lonely, yet not alone

New common swifts are seen all over the country. They are registered by birdwatchers on a website called The birds arrive in small groups and the "big return of the swift 2007" hasn't started yet. The weather is not to blame: it's to hot for the time of year and there are lots of insects available. So the sky is a rich dish for them. These evening there where three swifts flying above my neighbourhood. This webcam-guy (or girl) did not "pick up " one of them so he stays alone in his comfortable nest. space enough. Looked at by about 130 visitors a day. Luckily he don't know that. Would you sleep for a minute if you did?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Man at work?

As my colleague Hans said this afternoon:"it was a restless bird I saw during midday". And that's the way I like it. Since I cannot always be watching the cam, I like it when visitors tell me if something happens. A close look showed me there was a lot more nestmaterial present then there was yesterday. So I guess he is restoring its nest to make it cosy for the partner to arrive?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I look up and... the sky abouve my house I see two swift circling around each orther. If this is a rendezvous there will be two birds in the nest this evening.

Update at 22:55 pm: Well it was not. It's still alone on the nest.

From dusk till dawn

Like a real swift should, he stays only the nights at the nest to get up early in the morning and not to return till just before sunset. Yesterday evening at 21:00 he returns. He is still alone. I wasn't able to spot any other swift in the skies above my town.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A long sleep

The bird took a long rest after his long journey. Just before 9:00am he/she left the nest to go outside. The first weeks (untill all the eggs are there) you will find a swift on its nest mostly during the evening and nighttime. My timezone here is GMT +1:00

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Here we go!

Thursday April 19, 21:45 hour. "Peter, there is a swift in the nest, at least I think a see some tailfeathers". I run upstairs and yes! Ellis is right. 5 days earlier then the last two years the first bird has arrived. July 23 2006 it left, heading for the south of Africa. And now back for about three months. When will the second bird arrive? At 21:49 hours the camera is online. I'll send some messages to the dutch and English mailgroup. See for yourself! Click on "click here to see the webcam".

Sunday, April 15, 2007

While we wait...

While we wait for the arrival of the swiftpair, here's a video I made in 2005.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

First 2007 swift appearance

It is here, the first dutch common swift appearance for 2007. This time at Deventer by Arno ten Hoeve. When the Aalsmeer webcam swiftpair arrive on time, they'll be here around the 23th of april . At least they where in 2005 and 2006. At the time I write this we have 11 days to go. More dutch common swift appearances at:

What are you looking at?

The swift nest is located under the fifth roof tile from the left. Just above the rain gutter. The infrared camera is mounted one tile to the left and a little higher. You look down in a diagonal line.

The roof has a slope of about 40 degrees so, to imagine the real position turn the picture counter clockwise 40 degrees as seen on the black and white picture on this page. The ceiling is a roof tile. The floor is a wooden beam at where the rain gutter is mounted at. The red bowl, drawn on the b/w picture indicates the actual nest, made of material that swifts collect in the air. Behind the nest the entrance is located. The red arrow at the first picture indicates the flying-route to and from the entrance.

The third picture is a close-up of where the birds fly into the hole. From that entrance they have to crawl about 3 feet under the roof tiles to arrive at the nest. I found out that they do not crawl in a straight line but walk up one roof tile, go to the right and walk down again.