Its May at last, the month that sees our Swifts return after a 6000-mile flight from southern Africa. Keep an eye out for their high-speed aerobatics where insects are plentiful, such as along the river. We’ll soon also see them flying low around buildings, staking their claims for nest sites once again.
As many of their nest sites have been lost, installing nest boxes is one of the best ways you can help our Swifts, and there are a few golden rules for doing so: boxes should be on east or north facing walls (or elsewhere if in shade all day) to avoid chicks dying from overheating; and they need to be a minimum of 4-metres above the ground with a clear flyway in front -no obstacles such trees or buildings close by.
We meet at 19.30 every second Weds of the month in the Station pub, and over the summer we will continue to survey breeding Swifts and provide advice to home-owners on how to protect existing nest sites or install boxes. Please get in touch if you would like to join our friendly group of volunteers. firstname.lastname@example.org