Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Swift by name and nature.

Peregrines, as we know, are the fastest thing on two wings being able to reach speeds of 186mph when stooping after prey. However, they are not the fastest bird when flying level this, allegedly, is the spine-tailed swift, with an unconfirmed maximum speed of 105mph in level flight. Now, using verifiable techniques, the record for speed in level flight has passed to the common swift - with a maximum recorded speed of 69.3mph. According to research at Lund University workers have found that swifts do everything 'at the double' whether flying to roost, migrating or feeding, they do it at 22-26mph. But that's not the end of their work - they have found that when swifts come together in 'screaming parties' they will quite often reach speeds of 47mph.
Someone said to me that their year begins with returning Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, others wait for cuckoo, but this year I'll be waiting for the screaming demons - more particularly as they nest in my roof!

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