Swift Sightings

Subject: Swift Sightings
From: David Hair <>
Date: Fri, 04 May 2001 08:57:40 +1000
Hi Everyone,
Since 1981 I've lived at Heathcote in the southern suburbs of Sydney. Each
year since then I've kept a record of first and last sightings for the
season from my back yard of White-throated Needletails. I haven't kept a
special lookout for these birds. It's just a record of casual observations
but it does show a pattern of decline in my area.

Through the 1980's and early 1990's they were a reasonably common bird. I
used to see them from November (a few times December) until March. Then in
1992/1993 I only saw them in the first two weeks of January. The next two
years followed the previous pattern. Then there were no sightings at all in
1995/1996 or 1996/1997. In 1997/1998 there were sightings from November
until the end of January but the next season only two sightings, in early
January 1999. There were no sightings in 1999/2000 and only one bird this
last summer, on December 23rd.

Like many others on this list I wonder why these birds seem to have become
quite rare around where I live. I used to think that summer was just around
the corner when the swifts arrived at Heathcote but I can't rely on them any

David Hair.

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