Tuesday, 13 July 2010


I've just made myself a special notebook to record all my swift sightings, along with haiku and other poems I write about them. Made from reclaimed waste office card and paper of course.
As many readers of this blog know, the swift is my favourite bird. It arrives in the UK in June and has left by the end of August. It spends almost all its life on the wing, only landing to build its nest and lay its eggs. The skies outside our flat are full of swifts at this time of the year, they are wonderfully acrobatic. There are at least ten of them, though there could be more of them altogether. But how long will this last? Swifts are in trouble in the UK.

You can help them by fitting a swift nest box. Swift Conservation can help you with fitting and maintaining a nestbox, you can find their local experts here.

The RSPB is looking for records of swifts, you can find out how you can help them here.

Concern for Swifts Scotland aims to have swift nest site conservation incorproated into building specifications and to support the inclusion of the swift in Local Biodiversity Action Plans. You can find out more about Concern for Swifts on their website.

You can also read my previous post on ths issue here.


EG CameraGirl said...

How sad that the swifts are in trouble in the UK. Chimney swifts have declined here in Ontario too.

Gillena Cox said...

really an excellent haiga

much love

Hannah Stephenson said...

Your swift book sounds lovely :).

abby - the geek girl said...

I think it's great that you made a notebook for your swifts. What a great idea.

Quick question, are there anymore poetry / haiku prompt sites. I remember one deep breath, does it exist anymore? Thanks love.

Dianne said...


great idea for a hard copy journal, i will try that.

here it is the snowy plover nesting ground we dessicate.

Caroline Gill said...

I love the book, Juliet. Wonderful idea. Our Swansea Swifts had an amazingly fruitful evening, after the thunderstorm. I imagine their activity was due to the insects in the damp air.

Thank you for your kind wishes - still typing with 'wrong' hand. Will know more after fracture clinic on Friday!

Having seen my first Ringed Plover on Skye 10 days ago, I was interested to read the previous comment.

Janice Thomson said...

Like the haiku for your book. Swifts seem to have a special place in the hearts of many...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Juliet -- those are beautiful birds. When we lived in Oregon, you could see them every spring on the campus of the University -- they always migrated there. I'm not sure that's still happening because we don't live there any more. I didn't know they were endangered.

Rambling Woods said...

I love to read that people are concerned and that we can do our own part for citizen science....Michelle

Kathie Brown said...

Oh, good for you to promote this worthy cause! We only have 3 or 4 species of swifts here in the USA and eBird is keeping track of them. I have seen white-throated, Vaux's and chimeny swifts. I think there may be another species also. They are such sleek and interesting birds!

Larry said...

Brava Juliet! Thank you for your conservation efforts to help the Swifts. I really like the swift nest boxes. What a great idea!

Kathie is correct, we have 4 species in the USA, the fourth being the Black Swift.

The Black Swift is a species of special concern in California due to their breeding behavior. They only lay one egg per year and it is nearly three months from egg laying until the nestling fledges.

Lucky for me, we have a Black Swift nesting site about thirty miles from my home at Burney Falls.

Of the four species in the USA, I have seen all but the Chimney Swift.

Swifts are amazing aerial acrobats and, along with swallows, are one of my favorite birds as well.

I wish you all the best in your conservation efforts in the UK.