The 2013 Nestbox Diary
June - part 3
27 June - On a day that started quite summery and ended disappointingly damp my fears for the eggs in SW(ri) were confirmed.
To be more accurate, the fate of the first egg was sealed last night at just before 10pm, just after I stopped watching.
As I said in the previous entry, the pair seemed to be settling down. However, all of a sudden the right-hand Swift pushed the egg to one side.
A few moments later the same bird pulled it back with its beak before picking it up and heading for the exit.
Once there, it didn't actually put its head out but suddenly the egg disappeared.
Immediately, it turned and rejoined its partner, the pair then settling down for the night.
This morning, as soon as I saw the recording I went out into the drive but found no sign of the egg having fallen.
Tonight there was a near repeat of the process with the second egg.
The pair were in the box much earlier tonight, probably because of the damp conditions, and looked quite settled by around 8.40pm. However, one of the pair did go to the remaining egg and push it a couple of times before returning to the side of its partner.
Then at 8.45pm it went to the egg once more.
This time it picked up the egg with its beak and headed straight to the exit. This time its head poked out briefly before it reversed rapidly away from the opening, the egg having gone.
Tonight, like the other two pairs the Swifts in SW(ri) are close together with mutual preening going on from time to time as though nothing had happened, despite having lost their only chance to breed in 2013.
It seems a terrible waste of effort to have travelled as far as they have only to fail. in this way. Hopefully they will return and have more success in 2014.
Once I knew that the second egg had been ejected I headed out into the drive once more, and this time I spotted it straight away, almost intact and obviously infertile.
I'll add the large images tomorrow.
Click on images to see larger versions