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Swift Conservation

The aim of this section of the site is to focus attention on the need to protect the nesting sites, wherever possible, of Swifts in Sussex. These birds are declining for several reasons, one being due to their nesting areas being destroyed. In conjunction with Edward Mayer and it is hoped that we can continue to highlight the help that can be given to these wonderful birds.


RSPB Summer Issue of Magazine
Thursday, 27 April 2017

A wonderful close up photograph of a Swift is on the front cover of the RSPB Summer issue of Nature’s Home. Swift supporters all over the country are coming together to redress the loss of these birds often described as the "sound of summer" as Swifts scream around streets during June and July.

Here in Sussex a group of Swift enthusiasts are working in Lewes to highlight the need for more nest boxes to be put up which these birds can use if they cannot get into their old nesting places. All over the County these birds need your help, so please read this magazine and see if anything more can be done in Sussex. Our sightings page shows these birds are coming in now. Let’s hope many will stay and breed in Sussex. Your thoughts on this article would be most welcome.

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Edward Mayer coming to Lewes - Wednesday 10th May
Thursday, 27 April 2017

Edward Mayer, the Swift Expert, is coming to Lewes to enthuse residents to put up Swift boxes to encourage more Swifts to take up residence in future years.

His talk will take place in the Lecture Room of the Town Hall in Fisher Street. Doors open at 7pm, talk will start at 7.30pm. Admission: A donation to Swift conservation in Lewes. A donation of £5 or more gets a Lewes Swift Supporters enamel badge. Tea and coffees available.

This meeting is being organized by the Lewes Swift Supporters Group @lewesswifts


Swifts Have Arrived
Thursday, 27 April 2017

On 28th April – 5th May the Lewes Swift Supporters group will be having an interesting display of leaflets, Swift Bricks and Swift Boxes in the window of the Lewes Tourist Office on the High Street (by the traffic lights). This is to encourage the good people of Lewes to think about Swifts needing more homes in Lewes this year and to help put up more Swift Bricks or boxes.

Lewes, Swifts and Michael Blencowe on BBC Countryfile
Tuesday, 07 March 2017

Congratulations to SOS member Michael Blencowe from Sussex Wildlife Trust for being featured on Countryfile on BBC1 on Sunday 5th March 2017, highlighting the Lewes Swift Supporters group. This group have come together to improve the nesting areas for Swifts in Lewes.

Lewes has had a good 10% of the County’s nesting colonies in past years, but numbers have dropped considerably due to roof alterations and fitting of plastic soffits. The fantastic sound of Swifts screaming in groups during their breeding cycle, which echoes through the streets in Lewes during June and July is the real sound of summer.

Through 2016 members of this group recorded existing nesting places so that this year Swift Boxes will be put up as near to the existing colonies as possible. A calling system can also be fitted alongside the box which attracts the attention of these birds when they arrive back at the end of May.

The Tourist Information window beside the Town Hall will be used as an advertisement for all things Swift-related during the last week in April, to inform members of the public about the life of Swifts and to encourage them to put up more boxes.

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Message from Edward Mayer at
Saturday, 16 April 2016

 Dear Swift Friends and Colleagues,
The best time of the year approaches! Swifts are on their way back and, if the weather is kind, will be here in just a couple of weeks. It's time to check your Swift calls equipment and ensure it is working well, and then to get it set up again to play the calls that will hopefully attract the birds to check out your nests.
Here attached is some information that should be useful. Don't forget, we supply both CD and MP3 recordings of the calls, available though our web site's Shopping Page, should you need them.
Best wishes, and Good Luck with your Swifts in 2016!
Yours, Edward

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