Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
9:56 AM 26th June 2020

Records Needed Of Swifts In National Park

A second appeal has been made for records of swift nest sites or screaming parties in the Yorkshire Dales National Park – now that the peak time for this ‘thrilling bird’ has arrived.

Swifts fly over rooftops in Hawes before dusk
Swifts fly over rooftops in Hawes before dusk
On the eve of UK Swift Awareness Week (starting tomorrow 27 June), the National Park Authority said the response to an invitation made last month for swift sightings had been good – but that more records would be very welcome.

Since May, records have made in places such as Castle Bolton, Grassington, Kilnsey, Orton, and Sedbergh and submitted to either the National Park Authority or its project partner, the Sedbergh Swift Community Group.

A video of swifts has been captured in the town of Hawes, as well as an audio recording of their distinctive ‘screaming’ calls. Both have been published today on the Swift Conservation Project webpage. This page is where the recording forms can be found.

Wildlife Conservation Officer at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Ian Court, said: “We are really pleased with the response so far to our appeal for records on swifts; it is great that people are looking out for these fantastic birds.

“The records of screaming parties have been really useful. We hope that these can be followed up by a growing number of local swift enthusiasts who might go that step further and submit records of nesting sites. This sort of information would help us and partner organisations conserve swifts.

“Swift Awareness Week is the ideal time to take part in the survey and help us find out about the nesting locations in the National Park.”

Common swift (Apus apus) flying overhead - photo Nick Upton
Common swift (Apus apus) flying overhead - photo Nick Upton
Tanya Hoare, a member of the Sedbergh Swift Community Group, said: “Now is the peak time for watching out for swifts, as the adults are feeding chicks and darting more frequently into their nests. If you've seen screaming parties, spend some time in that area to see if you can locate the nest sites.

“It is so heartening to hear from the many people who have looked up and noticed swifts, so please make the most of the next few weeks to report your sightings. If we are to give these thrilling birds a future, this is the very best way to help us look after them.”

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