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Swifts!

The swifts are back! Has anyone got their boxes up ready? I've been playing swift calls the past couple days with lots of birds around my house. My boxes have been up for over 3 years hopefully some success this year! Also share when your first birds arrived back to your town. I saw my first last Tuesday.
Happy Gardening
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  • TheGreenManTheGreenMan Posts: 1,848
    Last week. I’d been waiting for them. So lovely having them back. 

    Not put a box up but will next year. 
  • edited May 2022
    Last week. I’d been waiting for them. So lovely having them back. 

    Not put a box up but will next year. 

    You still have time to put them up if you want this year. Swifts returning in May are only full adult breeding birds. They'll take to boxes if their nest site has been destroyed. The birds that follow in June and July who are non breeders look for potential new colonies nest sites.
    Happy Gardening
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    I’ve had boxes up for about five years and no joy yet, but I haven’t played calls as they have to be loud and long. I might give it a more concerted go this June. I would love to get residents. I’m up in the Highlands and swifts have just arrived this week. The sound of summer! 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,262
    We don't get them round here @alexryzawlskiqBU-X4OF .
    The swallows are back though - a bit earlier than usual. Around the beginning of the month. They nest at the farm along the road, so we often see them nearby gathering mud for their nests.
    My sister gets house martins though [further east]. They returned a year or two ago, having been absent for a long time. 
    All lovely birds though  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • @Fire, I just hope the neighbours don't hear them. 😅 They are so loud and monotonous.
    Happy Gardening
  • TheGreenManTheGreenMan Posts: 1,848
    @Fire, I just hope the neighbours don't hear them. 😅 They are so loud and monotonous.

    I think it's a beautiful sound.  The sound of lighter nights and blossoming gardens.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    I think Alex meant the sound of the swift CD is monotonous. I haven't found a good audio file that I could play for more than a few mins before driving me and the neighbourhood nuts. The sound does seem to be crucial in enticing the swifts down to investigate the boxes.

    This is year we have sparrows in one of the swift nest boxes. I guess it's better that they are used by someone than stay empty...  but they sparrows already have two pied-à-terre going under the eaves. :/

  • coccinellacoccinella Posts: 792
    So far I can only count 5 swifts in an evening. Only 10 years ago there were many more.  Same for swallows.  :(

    Luxembourg

  • So far I can only count 5 swifts in an evening. Only 10 years ago there were many more.  Same for swallows.  :(
    IIs so sad... Swifts are red listed and declining every year. Strangely though swallows are doing well acoording to the rspb. They're still green listed.
    Happy Gardening
  • LunarSeaLunarSea Posts: 1,442

    So far I can only count 5 swifts in an evening. Only 10 years ago there were many more.  Same for swallows.  :(
    IIs so sad... Swifts are red listed and declining every year. Strangely though swallows are doing well acoording to the rspb. They're still green listed.

    The problem is they never show you both ends of the curve. Swifts, Martins, Sparrows etc. all increased massively when humans first built towns and cities. Now their populations are just settling back down to normal. Where conditions are more favourable - mainland Europe for example - they're fine. So they're not globally threatened.
    Clay soil - Cheshire/Derbyshire border - where old gardeners wet their plants.
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