Wednesday, 1 July 2015

July Departures

Sometime in the second half of the month the swifts will disappear overnight. One day they are there in dozens, whistling and screaming around the roof tops. The next, it is just swallows and martins remaining. The swifts will have zoomed off to Africa, and we will miss them until they return in the late spring.

 Swifts nested in the belltower of Saint Ours church in Loches. 
The little black dots in the sky are swifts.
Carolyn has had some successes with her campaign to safeguard their nesting places in the Touraine Loire Valley. The local council at Amboise, where she lives, has agreed to put up nest boxes, and she has recorded about 30 active nest sites in the historic town this year. She also had an article published in the paper telling people about the swifts and how to help them.

They also nested in the apse of Saint Ours. 
I counted about 5 swifts entering and or leaving nest holes.
The swifts were using holes between the carved modillions supporting the cornice.
And also slipping in under the zinc behind the downpipe.
Vineyard News: According to Alexandre Monmousseau, the vines have flowered very early this year. He calculates they will start the harvest on 20 September, which is about 2 weeks early. It is 8 weeks since they have had significant rain in Vouvray.

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