My less than swift, swift set up...

April 21, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Just a very quick post today grapple fans - a few words on my swift spaces set up with a couple of days left before I tend to see my first swifts...

 

This year I have provided SEVEN spots for swifts to nest in - should they deem "chez nous" suitable...

The photo below shows the gable end side of our house (a semi detached ex council house with a huge garden).

Before I go through all seven spaces with you.... see if you can spot seven spaces for swifts...

Can you see all seven swift spaces?

 

 

 

Scroll down to see them all numbered (and explained briefly).

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Ok.

In order...

 

#1 - When we had our soffits and fascias replaced, I immediately cut an entrance hole at the bottom of one. Swifts checked this spot out last year but starlings are currently residing there - with the fledglings due to set sail in 6 days or so...

 

#2 - A handykam cedar swift box. Gawd knows why Mike doesn't advertise these on the Handykam site - they're very good. Note the vertical entrance hole on the wall of the box.

 

#3 and #4  - A double berth habi-sabi swift box, customised by yours truly, to look like brickwork with a white fascia below. Horizontal entrance holes adjacent to wall at base of box.

 

#5 - As soon as we moved in to this house (almost 3 years ago now), I immediately diamond cut a large entrance hole through the exterior wall into the attic space. I got inside the attic and built a shelf and constructed a swift box (made from clear acrylic) on the shelf. I lined the foot-long entrance with plumbers plastic piping and carpeted it for swifts' claws to get purchase. I then screwed a flue plate onto the entrance hole (onto the wall) and bolted a small piece of birch onto the bottom half of the plate - again for swifts to get their claws into and cling onto. This entrance hole therefore is set into a vertical wall and leads into an internal, self-constructed, large space for swifts inside the attic, with easy access for photos/ringing etc should any birds choose this spot.

 

#6 and #7 - See #3 and #4 .... this again is a customised habi-sabi swift box.... but this time the entrance holes are once again in the white base of the box, but set away from the wall - in the air so to speak.

 

 

Right.

That's all I can do now in terms of providing swifts spaces to nest.

The whole set up has taken me months of work and I'd estimate about £1000 of moolah (every space has a handykam HD camera inside and each of those cameras costs about £70 each for starters!)

 

I know a handful of swifts have been seen locally... but I wouldn't expect to see any until midweek at the earliest here.

As SOON as I do... I'll set the swift call CD playing on external speakers and then cross all my fingers and toes.

 

I said in August 2011 it would be five years before I got my favourite birds back nesting with us... and this summer will be year three (or to be accurate, just the third summer I've attempted to get swifts to choose our house to nest in/on. 

Unlike our old house in old Reading, swifts have NEVER nested in this part of the world (the buildings here, built in 1953 are too young... just) but we have had had swifts prospecting around our house now for the last two summers (thanks to my swift CDs) so even though I said 5 years.... maybe this year is the year I get "my" swifts back.

Maybe.....

 

Fingers crossed and look to the skies....!


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