It’s been a largely grey and wet day here in Burley. Miserable some might say, and many would agree. Yet, among the gloominess, my cheeks have that painful glow you get when you blow up too many balloons. Pain not from blowing out too much hot air though, but from smiling. Smiling at my first sight of this year’s Swifts!

Once known as “Devil Birds”, most likely due to their ear-piercing shriek, Common Swifts migrate here from Africa. They are a fascinating bird shrouded in myth and mystery. The facts we do know however make for cracking pub quiz slash dinner table trivia. Masters of flight Swift eat, sleep and mate on the wing and those that live to twenty year (oldest recorded Common Swift is Twenty One) will have flown a distance to the moon and back! 😮

Having seen my first swallow back in February, the number of Swallows I’ve seen since has been abysmally disappointing and alarming. Unlikely as it may be, I really hope it’s not repeated with our returning Swifts.

Want to help conserve Swifts? You can! One big challenge facing Swifts are suitable nesting sites. You can help by buying Swift nesting bricks and boxes. Ideally you want several on a North facing wall (installation guides come with the boxes) here’s a link to the RSPB’s Swift Nest boxes… 


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