• Swifts return

    Yesterday’s (6th May) return of Swifts to the parish was a welcome sight. No sooner had hey returned than they had started to re-colonise their traditional nest sites. These sites end to be the cottages and houses in the village which have not had their roofing “improved”. The improvement tends to remove access points and the nesting site is lost to the birds.

    I counted the newly arrived Lower Brampton flock as being made up of six birds – they scream around the houses in the early evening their own form of joy-riding.

  • Swift envy

    Is there such a thing as “Swift envy”? Every year the groups of summer visiting Swifts descend to land, for the only time in the year, to raise their young in the eves my neighbour’s houses – but not in mine. They have their traditional sites and they stick to them. Even since I made sure that the builders left a gap under the new tiles they have not obliged.

    I think I am going to have to resort to extreme methods. Not just a purpose built Swift nest box, but perhaps the mad idea of the Swift CD. Apparently, if you play the siren-like calls of the Swift from the loft at certain times of the year then you can get the message across – a kind of Swift siren summoning the adults to a new home. But, I have my doubts.

    My track record of providing desirable homes for nesting birds is not good. The ”House Sparrow Terrace Nest box” has ignored for some years, apart from the occasional Blue Tit (and they nest in any old box). So, I don’t hold out much hope for the more specialist nest site.

    At this time of year during the long evenings, I have to put up with Fiona’s Swifts speeding around the Brampton skies and not my own. So, if you hear somebody trying to switch on a CD player under the tiles in May next year, you will know which crazy idea is being adopted.


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