We're all having a crap year.
So, this morning, a wee blog post to cheer you up.
Any regular visitor to this website will probably know by now that I am besotted with swifts - they are demonstrably (and by far), the best birds of all - and to that extent, I'll have no debate thankyou very much.
Now of course, it varies a little, up and down the country, as to when our breeding swifts arrive each year and indeed when they leave, but a handy average would be to think of them arriving on the first day of May each year, staying for three full months and leaving on the last day of July.
(No need to write a comment and say WELL MR RABBIT, MYYYY SWIFTS ARRIVE ON APRIL 23rd and DON'T LEAVE UNTIL AUGUST 7th! This 3 month average I've just described above is a good rule of thumb for swifts - that's all).
Swifts stay with us for 92 days each year (May 1st to July 31st inclusive).
Then they are gone for 273 days. (August 1st - April 30th inclusive).
273 days divided by two equals 136.5 days.
Let's say our swifts left us at 10pm on the last day (31st) of July. Plausible.
31st July 10pm add 136.5 days equals:15th December 10am.
Swifts are not with us for 273 days of each year.
Now that we've reached (or passed as it happens, today) December 15th, our swifts have broken the back of that 273 day period. We're closer in time to the date that they return to us, than the date they left.
And that, for me at least, in these miserable dark days of mid or late December, is at least a spot of light in the distance.
Keep on poddling, eh?
They'll be back soon.