I was very sad in May and June as the swifts did not arrive in my valley. I saw them around Stroud, but not in my garden where I love to see them swooping and screaming! To me the swifts signify the start of summer and it was a real relief when they arrived; this made me want to find out more about them.

Swift in nestSwifts are in trouble. It is estimated that the UK swift population has declined by around 50% in the last 20 years. There are several likely causes of their decline, but a major factor is the loss of nesting sites. Swifts depend almost entirely on our buildings, squeezing into small nooks and crannies under roof tiles or soffits. Unfortunately, when older buildings are refurbished these tiny openings are often unintentionally sealed up and the nest sites are lost forever. Very few new buildings are wildlife friendly, allowing no spaces for birds such as swifts to nest.

Our local swifts only spend three months of the year here. They arrive in early May to breed and leave for Africa in August.

We have decided to set up a Stroud Swift Group, initially to survey existing nesting sites, and then to put up more swift boxes for the breeding season next year. Locating swift nest sites isn’t always straightforward as their nests are not normally visible and the swifts fly in silently and at great speed. However, if you see or hear swifts flying in low level screaming parties, there are probably nests nearby. If swifts do nest under your eaves, you may not know they are there – and they keep their nests clean, leaving almost no mess behind! Swift flying

We would love to hear from you if you think you have a swift nest in your house, or if you’ve observed swifts entering any nearby buildings. Please email with sightings or if you would like more information about swifts: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

When talking about swifts other enthusiasts have said grassroots action is best – it’s down to people who are passionate about swifts – not large organisations. Nature reserves don’t save swifts; people do.

 

 

Stroud Valleys Project is a limited company,
registered in England and Wales.    

Registered number: 2224016    

Registered charity number: 900107

Stroud Valleys Project,
8 Threadneedle Street,
Stroud,
Gloucestershire,
GL5 1AF

Tel: 01453 753358

Fax: 01453 755641

Email: info@stroudvalleysproject.org

Find us on Facebook                                                             Twitter logo