Wednesday, 7 May 2014


Do you see the swifts are here again?
They swoop so low and soar so high
I think there may be more than ten -
do you see the swifts are here again?
We know it's summer round here when
our favourite bird comes gliding by
You see the swifts are here! Again
they sweep so low and soar so high!


The swifts returned to Edinburgh yesterday! 

As many readers of this blog know, the swift is my favourite bird. It arrives in the UK in May 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 most years (I've only seen three so far this year, but it is early days yet). 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 incorporated into building specifications and to support the inclusion of the swift in Local Biodiversity Action Plans. 
Yesterday, to co-incide with the swifts return, I posted the last poem on Bolts of Silk, the poetry journal which I've edited for the past eight years - Swifts by Andy Barritt. I've enjoyed editing Bolts of Silk, but it just felt like time to let it go.


The Weaver of Grass said...

We very rarely see swifts here - do wish we could see some.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I really love the poem! I love swifts and swallows. Do you have chimney swifts there? I used to see them all the time when I lived at my grandparent's house. Always amazed me that you would never see them perch!

Bill said...

That's a very nice poem.

I'd not been aware of Bolts of Silk. I look forward to getting to know it.

eileeninmd said...

Cute poem! I love the swifts too. I have seen the Chimney Swifts here, pretty cool to watch them drop down into the chimneys..

dosankodebbie said...

What a great day! It's only 8 in the morning and I've learned something new! More than one something, actually. But of course, what else would I expect from your blog?

RG said...

I think the swifts have passed through here .. it is more exciting to see them in the fall on their way back south!

Anonymous said...

Two lovely swift poems :D Congrats on Bolts of Silk - you did a terrific job.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

.the university of Oregon has Vauxhall swifts that nest on the old buildings ... Their return each year is always celebrated by birders. Lovely post and nice memories. t

Dartford Warbler said...

Wonderful news! We rarely see them here.

Little Miss Titch said...

Love the poem,xx Rachel

Naquillity said...

what a great poem you've dedicated to your favorite bird... hope everyone can put out a nesting box so as to help these birds. hope your next journey is as good to you as Bolts of Silk was.