Having spotted my first swift on 28th April, I saw no more until 9th May when four flew screaming over the garden, although sadly, none nest locally any more.

Then, on 13th May I visited my local lake on a cloudy afternoon and was amazed to see about a hundred skimming the water scooping up emerging flies.

They were completely silent and flying at incredible speed.

On dull days airborne insects fly low so the birds were replenishing energy levels following their long flight here.

While watching, I'm thinking how very appropriate is the name of the bird, having amazing vision enabling it to snatch insects above the surface while flying at such high speed.

However, as speedy and aerobatic as they are, swifts can be caught in mid-air by a small falcon, namely the hobby. which spends the summer here and is expanding its range.

The hobby also catches dragonflies on the wing.

A few days later I returned to the lake on a sunny afternoon.

No swifts were flying over the lake but a flock of around thirty sped around the tree tops fringing the lake.

Gradually the sun disappeared behind looming black clouds and within minutes thunder, lightening torrential rain and hail replaced the sunshine.

The swifts spiralled upwards and I lost sight of them but it was fascinating to see how these iconic but rapidly declining birds react to different weather conditions.