Survey to help declining swifts

TORRIDGE District Council s lead member for the biosphere, Councillor Miranda Cox, is teaming up with the North Devon Coast and Countryside Service in supporting a project to help swifts. Numbers of these birds have declined considerably in the past 10 y

TORRIDGE District Council's lead member for the biosphere, Councillor Miranda Cox, is teaming up with the North Devon Coast and Countryside Service in supporting a project to help swifts.

Numbers of these birds have declined considerably in the past 10 years and they are now on the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds 'amber' list denoting birds of conservation concern.

Councillor Cox said: "We hope to help the RSPB, who are conducting a survey asking people in North Devon to report the presence of swifts. It is such a quintessentially English sight to see them swoop and streak through the sky and hear their distinctive chattering song. It would be a sad day to miss them from our skies.

"I would urge everyone to help the RSPB keep a record of where swifts have been seen nesting, perhaps in a roof or in a hole in a building, and to leave places for them to build their nests. If you see low level groups of swifts swooping around it means they are probably breeding nearby. The best time to see them is around dusk on warm still evenings."


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It is thought that swifts are losing nesting sites because new houses using plastic fascia boards don't have cosy gaps for them to enter and the repair of old houses means any gaps are being plugged up.

For more information on swifts and to report sightings go to the website www.rspb.org.uk/thingstodo/surveys.

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