I'm going to try and keep this brief, because if I start spewing up my excitement too much right now on this blog post, it'll quickly become a never-ending sickly mess.
My wife and I bought and moved to this particular house from our old, rented house in Reading, in the summer (late summer) of 2011.
I left behind a pre-war house in which I'd been filming swifts breed for a couple of years. I named that house "Swift Half".
If I'd have had the money and the opportunity, I'd have bought "Swift Half", (that old tumbledown house in Reading), if only because I'd completely fallen in love with "my" swifts by the time we left Reading.
I KNEW I'd be moving to a post war (just) town, with no real prospects of swifts nesting in our house - or even entertaining the potential to nest in our house.
I also knew what I had to do to get the BEST birds of all back with us again.
Over the last six and three quarter years, I've been spending a lot of time and money and energy trying to get swifts back with us.
I've given them a variety of spaces to land and nest - in the attic, in the eaves and with external swift boxes of various designs - and I've played them a whole variety of "Mating calls" via a variety of media (tape, CD, SD card, hard drive) to tempt them down from the skies.
And in that time, fo-sho, we've had plenty of interested swifts spend a lot of time near our house, screaming at it and occasionally landing on the walls - but nothing else really - nothing concrete to show for all my "swift attracting efforts".
UNTIL YESTERDAY that is.
Yesterday brought a real breakthrough I think - and it's continued today.
For yesterday - we had real parties of "screamers" and "bangers" (google "screaming" and/or "banging swifts" if you don't know what I mean) LANDING in the entrance to my main internal swift nesting space (which I've created in the attic and drilled through the attic wall to give the birds an entrance/exit).
Today - and THEY'RE ONLY GOING IN TO THE ATTIC ENTRANCE!!!!
Look... these will be young swifts (perhaps yearlings) not ready to breed this year - (they're too late anyway to breed this year) - but they're CERTAINLY prospecting HARD here now - for the first time here EVER.
I REALLY think we've turned the corner here now. "Experts" (there's no such thing as a "swift expert" as so little is known about these magnificent birds, still) suggested I might have to put 5 years of "work" in before I got swifts nesting in a town they never had nested in before.
Well... we're almost seven years in now - and we still haven't got nesters.
But after the activity of the last 6 years - and in particular... the last two days.... I really think we're nearly there now. Maybe next year will be the year.
And if I'm right - well... you won't be able to wipe the smile off me gob for about a decade.
Wonderful stuff here today.
And I hope it's the same (for whatever reason!) with you.