Long-gone, summer visitors

Some of our summer visitors, the common swifts (Apus apus) have already headed south to their winter homes in southern Africa (in fact I think they departed before we migrated (temporarily) to Malta. The common house martins (Delichon urbicum) and (barn) swallows (Hirundo rustica) seem to be readying themselves, circling close to the ground in groups in the countryside and on the village green.

bird-swift-sky
 
swift-migrationThe BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) based in Thetford, Norfolk, has a nice map showing the tracked routes taken by swifts as they migrate to and from southern Africa they seem to skirt around the coast rather than crossing due North across The Sahara Desert, which makes sense. Click on the thumbnail to see the BTO map full size.
BTO is currently seeking funding for a tracking study of house martins. You can donate here or if you’re a corporate of other big funder, I’m sure they would love to hear from you: British Trust for Ornithology, BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 2PU, Tel: +44 (0)1842 750050 Fax: +44 (0)1842 750030 Email: info@bto.org