Swifts – The Sound of Summer

Many people across Sussex are enjoying the brilliant “sound of summer” with the screaming parties of Swifts flying around villages and towns. After a very difficult migration in May it looks as if breeding has been good for many birds in Sussex. Now is the time to count how many Swifts can be seen flying low around the buildings they have been using to breed. The juveniles are now on the wing learning where they live and improving their muscles for their long journey back to Africa. This is also a time when the juveniles look around for nesting places for when they return in 3/4/5 years’ time when they are old enough to breed. The lovely hot weather of late June early July has enabled the parents to feed a plentiful supply of insects and flies. Please make a note of the addresses where you are seeing these birds. This information will be useful if later in the year you see scaffolding going up to “improve and renovate” these places. When houses/flats/buildings change hands after September not many people will ever know how valuable a nesting site it was for Swifts.

Please put your sightings in Birdtrack, giving place, date and grid reference.

Audrey Wende and Ray Jones – Swift Champions swifts@sos.org.uk