Common Swift (Apus apus)
Swift, Angus, Scotland, July 2002 - click for larger image

Swifts are found during summer throughout Europe and much of Asia. They arrive in Europe mainly during April and May and start their journey south around August. European birds tend to overwinter in Africa south of Zaire and Tanzania.

Swift, Angus, Scotland, July 2002 - click for larger image They have sickle shaped wings and dark underparts apart from a pale throat. Almost invariably seen only in flight, they beat their wings rapidly one minute and then glide the next.

They frequently associate with Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica as they both hunt incessantly for insects.

Swift, Angus, Scotland, July 2002 - click for larger image Nest sites were traditionally cliffs, caves and crags but these have been largely replaced by buildings. An intensely aerial bird, almost all activity other than nesting, including nocturnal roosting, is carried out on the wing.
Swift, Hadleigh, Suffolk, England, May 2005 - click for larger image
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