|Ornithological Notes from Norfolk|
Swift.-Unusually numerous this summer in and around Norwich: I never remember to have seen so many in this neighbourhood as during the intensely hot weather that prevailed in the middle of this month, which these birds seemed to revel in, in the hottest hours of the day.
Swift and House Martin. -The large number of swifts seen for many weeks over my garden had nearly all disappeared prior to the 24th of this month, and on the 31st I observed only two pairs amongst many house martins. Of the latter a large number congregated on the slates of a house next to mine on the 31st, but these disappeared about mid-day, and I have seen only a few stragglers since near this part of the city. During the intensely hot weather the house martins, in the hottest glare of the sunshine, ascended into the deep blue vault of heaven, and there performed a many dance, accompanied by loud twittering notes, which alone directed the eye to their whereabouts when "scarce so gross as beetles." This I have observed on many occasions, but I think generally during a prevalence of great heat. If swallows and their kindred fly low, with impending showers, for their insect prey, do they ascend in pursuit of the same during scorching heat ?
see ApusList No 0308, Baumgart says that Swifts in Damascus seem to avoid great heat.
(Printed 1873 in The Zoologist.)
|© APUSLife 1997, No. 1644|