Swift Survey 2018
Swifts in Leicestershire & Rutland
Swifts are a familiar sight in our summers, but they are in trouble and need your help! The Swift Project Partnership* would be very grateful for any breeding records from Leicestershire & Rutland this summer.
Swifts are of particular interest because their numbers have fallen by about half in only 20 years and they are Amber listed as of conservation concern as a consequence. It has been estimated that we need to create 20,000 new Swift nest sites every year just to stabilise the population. Swifts are a quintessential part of our summers with their 'screaming' calls and dashing flight. They are with us for just 12 weeks of the year and then migrating to spend our winters south of the equator. Swifts took to nesting in our houses in Roman times and are now dependent on our buildings, but these are increasingly becoming difficult for them as buildings are becoming better insulated with less gaps and crannies suitable for nesting.
Breeding records will be used in the preparation of an alert map which will be used by Planning Authorities to seek the inclusion of Swift Bricks in new developments within 250 metres of known breeding sites.
Breeding site evidence is usually established by seeing Swifts flying into cavities in buildings. Typically these will be birds seen going under the eaves or gaps in soffits of buildings but may also include going into Swift bricks, Swift nest boxes or other cavities. The Partnership is also interested in screaming parties as this indicates breeding sites nearby. A partnership member will visit sites of screaming parties to try to establish the actual breeding site.
Please submit any Swift records to NatureSpot and these will be shared with the Swift Partnership. Information about the site should include numbers. Use the comment box to indicate if you witnessed a screaming party and if a fledging is seen that would also be of interest.
More information about Swifts can be obtained from www.swift-conservation.org
If you'd like to e-mail questions about the Swift Project Partnership, please email these to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Swift Awareness Week is being held nationally from 16th to 23rd June. Information regarding events will be placed on http://actionforswifts.blogspot.co.uk/p/swift-events-diary.html
*The Swift Project Partnership is composed of:
- Leicester City Council
- Leicestershire County Council
- Charnwood Borough Council
- Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust
- Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society
- The National Forest Company