Swifts suffer 'disastrous' breeding season due to weather

The arrival of warm, sunny conditions has come too late to help one of the UK's most well-known summer birds, the swift, which has been hit by this year's miserable weather.

Flocks of swifts are already starting to head back to Africa, where they spend the winter, following a "disastrous" breeding season, conservationists said.

Wet weather has caused a 'disastrous' breeding season for the swift. Credit: Reuters

The wettest April to June on record have meant fewer flying insects for swifts and their chicks to eat, leaving the birds struggling to rear their young.

Adults have even been pushing eggs out of their nests because a lack of food has meant they have not been able to feed themselves, as well as incubate eggs and feed chicks.

The RSPB has said the poor weather in spring was "the last thing" the species needed.The birds have been struggling in recent years, with numbers falling by almost a third between 1995 and 2009, and conservationists say they expect to see falls in the breeding figures for this year.