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Image courtesy of Simon Booker

Have you seen swifts in South Stoke? 

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Swifts are African birds who visit us from May to August. They come here to breed. They have characteristic bow-shaped wings, appear to be all-black, and live in the air, feeding, sleeping and mating on the wing.

 

Like so many birds Swifts are in decline and need our help. South Stoke has a population of these amazing birds, and SSWCG wants to find out more about them and help them thrive. We think there are at least two colonies here. One around the Old Vicarage, and the other at the west end of South Bank. Swifts also used to be seen around Cross Keys Road, but alas, not last year.

We are putting up some new nesting boxes in suitable sites on buildings around the village, in the hope that we can attract more nesting pairs and increase the number of Swifts in South Stoke. It is likely to take a few years for this to make much difference, and we will monitor the Swift population to see what happens.

We have taken advice from local experts at Harwell Swifts. Initially, we plan to install 10 new Swift nesting boxes around the village. The best sites are near other Swift nests, on the north, west, or east side of a building, reasonably high, accessible by ladder, and ideally near a corner or a drainpipe.

If you know where a Swift nest is please get in touch, contact@southstokewildlfe.org

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