I'd never have thought I would ever actually hold a swift but in the last five years I've held these two, which I took to the Wildlife Hospital.
So here's what to do if you find one - either young with a white face like these, even younger as in the photo below, or an adult.
The basic is:
Swifts can't take off from the ground because their wings are too long and their legs too short to give them the necessary thrust. So if you find one that looks as if it's strong enough to fly, hold it out at head height on open palms, give it time to think and if it can, it will. DO NOT throw it into the air.
If it can't or is too small, follow the advice in this leaflet (it's written for vets but works for us) and take it to our local Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital at Newton Tony - SP4 0HW. They take in anything up to 20 swifts a year, some as tiny as this one, and nurture them till they're big and strong enough to join the migration back to Africa.
Call 07850 778752 first for advice, but they're open 24 hours for patients. If you can't take it yourself or find a friend who can, don't hesitate to call me, Elizabeth, on 07831 253616 - I know the way!
In April, come he will.
In May, he sings all day.
In June, he changes his tune.
In July, he prepares to fly.
In August, go he must.
That's the cuckoo, of course.
Abby Eaton took this stunning photo of one at Langford Lakes Nature Reserve in May, but one is still singing his original tune on Martin Down.
So it's still not too late to get your cuckoo fix.
At the talk about wildlife crime in February, one listener asked if anything was being done about dog thefts. At that stage, PC Richard Salter could only say that there had been few if any reports of actual thefts. But the Rural Crime team have now responded to widespread concern by setting up a DogWatch scheme, described here. You can join this by first signing up to the Police Community Messaging Service here.
You'll then hear about other developments in the fight against rural crime in general and wildlife crime in particular - there's a useful-sounding development also in efforts to stop fish poaching, which should please anglers.
Community Support Officers in Wiltshire, such as Neil Tunbull who was the other speaker at the February meeting, are the first in the country to be given the same power as Police Officers to request a rod licence from people who are fishing.
Chief Constable Kier Pritchard says, 'Rather than just accompanying the water bailiffs on their patrols, this change in power will now allow our PCSOs to actively work alongside them to tackle illegal fishing activity.'
Again, the full story is here.
Watching birds on our bird feeders - like these pretty siskin on Andrew and Debbie Carter's - is one of the little delights that distract us from other less delightful goings on in the world
Young birds are at their sweetest when fully fledged, as in Abby's lovely photos - though feeding them at any age is a problem for parents or foster-parents, as in the case of the swift chick at the Wiltshire Wildlife Centre - Marilyn calls them 'little dinosaurs'!
Birds' nests are often nothing short of miracles of complexity combining aesthetics with practicalities such as insulation and water-proofing - Dick Budden's blackbirds, however, sadly ignored the mantra, 'location, location, location' when building in a woodstore during a freeze.
Izzy Fry's blog has photos of some exquisite nests.
Young birds can indeed be really sweet - but alas, because they're turfed out of the nest before they can fly, they're horribly vulnerable to predators. Sometimes these are larger birds such as magpies but too often they're victims of our furry feline friends. Cats.
But at last, research has been published which has identified things owners of predatory cats (not all are) can do to minimise this distressing habit. Full details on MoreNews.
PS There is of course the Green Woodpecker, too. Round here it mostly seems to be the Pied/Greater spotted that people see, but there's a recording from near Bath so you might be lucky.
Lepidopterists can be found in the most unlikely places ... Dick Budden's feed from the FT included a lovely piece by Jonathan Guthrie, who edits the Lex column which reports on stockmarkets.
His father took to butterflies as a distraction from family troubles and to me most sadly, he was written off by his school as 'not university material'. But his enthusiasm got him there under his own steam and he became a Professor of Zoology. So it ended happily.
You may be able to access the piece here, but otherwise Jonathan suggests eg growing nettles in a container and snipping the flowers off before they can seed, to attract peacocks, small tortoiseshells, painted ladies and red admirals to lay their eggs. But also borage, lavender, verbena and buddleia are of course butterfly favourites.
And, talking of painted ladies, on Sunday 23 May BBC Channel 4 had a lovely item on their migration, which you can get on iPlayer The Great Butterfly Adventure: Africa to Britain with the Painted Lady.
I'm off now to find some nettle seedlings, bound to be some out there ...
Jays and magpies I know, treepies and nutcrackers are new to me but crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws and choughs are all black. How to tell them apart? Andrew Graham tells us there's one of them we can't mistake and why there are so many around in Tisbury at the moment.. Go to MoreNews for the full story.
The pages now display photos of moths taken by Andrew Graham. This one's the Puss Moth, looks very soft and cuddly.
This blog is updated usually every 2-4 days, depending of course on what's happening, as also other pages independently or linked from blogposts.
If it's not me, Elizabeth Forbes, website editor (keen but ignorant), I'll say so.