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Swift Survey

3 April 2017

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Swifts in Woodbridge

Swifts in Woodbridge – please contribute to our 2017 survey

Join the RSPB Woodbridge Local Group for the third year of our campaign to Save Our Swifts. In 2017 we are looking for swift nest sites either in roofs or nest boxes.  From our surveys in 2015 and 2016 we have gathered information from Woodbridge and 10 of the surrounding villages. We have recorded 25 houses with nesting swifts totalling 55 nests.

We are sure that there are many more nest sites in roofs waiting to be recorded.  We would like to hear from observers in Woodbridge and any of the nearby villages but, we would particularly like more information from Woodbridge, Wickham Market, Saxmundham, Bawdsey, Bredfield, Shottisham, Orford, Hasketon, Snape, Benhall, Sternfield, Great Glemham and Waldringfield.

Between early May and early August if you see swifts flying at roof level, particularly around the eaves, this could be a nest site. You may see them flying directly into a hole or through a loose tile into the nest. If it is your house you may hear them from the upstairs rooms.

Another sign of breeding swifts is ‘screaming parties’. These are the groups of birds which fly around in a tight group, at or just above roof-top height. We would like to hear about nest sites and screaming parties. So send us your observations.

Please send the information to this email address:


For more information about swifts, swift websites, leaflets to download and our meetings, visit our website:


This year we are working with Save Our Swifts, the Suffolk based group which is aiming to record all swift nest sites in Suffolk by 2020, on the Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service website. All the data

which we receive will be entered onto the SBIS and also RSPB websites. In this way we will be making a major contribution to the national picture of swift numbers and distribution. It is thought that one reason for swift decline is the loss of nest sites on buildings, through modernisation. Many roofs are now deliberately designed to exclude swifts by blocking up entry points.

So we are doing all we can to raise awareness among builders, developers and home-owners about the need to allow swifts to have entry points into our roofs. They are charming visitors; those who have them feel privileged to share their roof spaces with them for the summer months. So we want to encourage as many people as possible to install swift nest boxes on their houses to compensate for this loss. We are selling nest boxes for £20.00 at our RSPB meetings.

We have several leaflets available

 • Swift call instructions how to use the CD & MP3 recordings

• Swift nest boxes at your home 

• Roof & gable repairs and re-roofing with swifts
• Swift nest places in soffits & eaves, walls and gables
• Swift nest bricks installation & suppliers.

You can obtain nest boxes and these leaflets from the RSPB Woodbridge Group’s monthly meetings on the first Thursday in the month from October to May at Woodbridge Community Hall.

Please go to the Links section of the Group website to access these leaflets on line through the Swift Conservation and Suffolk Wildlife Trust websites.