Will the swifts return?

The swift boxes on the Village Hall have been opened up (we closed them to prevent sparrows taking them over) and are waiting for the first swifts to take up residence.  If you’ve passed the Village Hall you will have heard the calls of swifts and thought “They’re here!” Not yet. To encourage passing swifts to stay a while and view their possible new homes, we have rigged up a speaker that broadcasts swift calls throughout the day. So far not many swifts have passed by. This year swifts have trickled into the country from sub-Saharan Africa and so far not many reaching the north east. A couple were seen flying around the village recently but did not stay. So keep a watch on the boxes. We’ll be broadcasting the calls for a couple more weeks. Lets hope they find the new homes irresistible.

Did you know?….. a swift spends almost all its life in the air, only landing to breed. they sleep and even mate on the wing. A young swift, having left the nest, will stay in the air for up to three years before making a nest and breeding.

Swift nestboxes fitted to the Village Hall

As renovation works get under way at Clara Vale Village Hall, CVCG founding member Gordon Pollinger spotted men with a cherry picker machine used for accessing the roof and saw an opportunity to have some stock nestboxes for Swifts put up. The contractors were obliging and so we now have seven nextboxes fitted.

Sswift-silhouettewifts are fast, agile fliers with a similar silhouette to a Swallow or Housemartin, and although looking black against the sky, are actually dark brown in colour. They spent almost all of lives on the wing. Swifts generally visit the UK  from April to August.

The next boxes are specially designed with the entrance porthole at an underside angle, which will hopefully attract the Swifts to the sheltered position on the north side of the Hall under the eaves.  The narrow, angled nestbox entrance also has some deterrent effect on other small birds.

img_0002

You can find out more about Swifts by visiting the RSPB’s Swift information page.