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Swifts - locally extinct?
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152047


Posts: 128
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #1
20-05-2015 08:21 AM

I haven't seen any swifts locally this summer. In previous years you could always spot a fair sized group near HOP station albeit with numbers noticeably down last year.

If numbers are down it is difficult to know the cause. I suppose the fad for loft conversions can't have helped but migrating birds have also been under pressure in their wintering grounds for years.

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Bonnie Blue


Posts: 131
Joined: Jan 2009
Post: #2
20-05-2015 09:31 AM

I don't know about the Swifts but loft conversions are noisy to construct and ugly to look at. So many houses ruined by them Glare

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #3
20-05-2015 11:25 AM

Most likely pushed out by the rather large parakeet population.

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hoona


Posts: 201
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #4
20-05-2015 11:51 AM

Though I've also spotted fewer parakeets recently! Saw a few swifts at the weekend however...

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #5
20-05-2015 12:27 PM

Glad you have spotted some hoona. I haven't seen any swifts yet but it seems they may be late this year:
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150423-...s-are-back

It seems there is a general downward trend in numbers and loft conversions may well be partly to blame.

Londondrz, very amusing. Parakeets do not eat flying insects :-).

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Thorners


Posts: 50
Joined: Oct 2013
Post: #6
20-05-2015 01:34 PM

Apparently there are a few reasons for their decline, pesticides reducing insect numbers, building methods reducing nesting spots. You can put nest boxes up under your eaves if you've got the right conditions.

Did anyone else see the delightful Great British Garden Watch recently? A guy played a CD of swift calls very loudly out of his bedroom window to attract them, apparently it really works. Not sure how my neighbours would feel!

I haven't seen any in this area, just out at the wetland centre in Barnes.

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china girl


Posts: 35
Joined: May 2008
Post: #7
20-05-2015 02:47 PM

I'm pleased to report that I saw the first two swifts of the summer flying between the houses at sunrise on the 8th and many since! We live in Forest Hill so I don't know why sightings seem so scarce in our leafy neck of the woods or if they're incredibly localised? Incidentally, three days later I observed a flock of swifts plus a mini murmuration of starlings & a kestrel flying in the direction of the fire station.

On another nature related note, on Sunday there was a bat flying right past the window at dusk. Fabulous!

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dacreswood


Posts: 55
Joined: May 2014
Post: #8
20-05-2015 05:32 PM

I saw some screaming around over Dacres Road last week.

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152047


Posts: 128
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #9
21-05-2015 09:53 PM

It is good to hear that they are around. It must just be the group that we used to have in our street is absent which is a shame as I prefer that sound of summer to the chimes of the 99.

On the plus side I have seen more house sparrows this year and heard the Green Woodpecker almost every day until recently.

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John Daker


Posts: 47
Joined: Apr 2015
Post: #10
22-05-2015 01:57 PM

Presumably having summoned the rain the yaffle felt able to stop calling?

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Poppet2


Posts: 59
Joined: Oct 2013
Post: #11
22-05-2015 04:20 PM

We had Swifts for about 40 years, until 3 years ago when we had a plague of Starlings that got to their old nesting place a few weeks before them. We haven't seen them since.Sad

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OakR


Posts: 213
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #12
22-05-2015 08:41 PM

I will admit I don't know if they are swifts or swallows etc, but saw quite a few (20+) flying around last night near Blythe Hill

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Poppet2


Posts: 59
Joined: Oct 2013
Post: #13
23-05-2015 10:50 AM

Swifts usually make a shrieking noise as they fly.

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OakR


Posts: 213
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #14
23-05-2015 01:14 PM

In that case they were swifts Smile

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Erekose


Posts: 537
Joined: May 2010
Post: #15
24-05-2015 09:57 AM

There were half a dozen flying around the Cranston road area last night.

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Mani77


Posts: 1
Joined: May 2014
Post: #16
16-07-2015 09:00 PM

Have seen loads on Lowther Hill in Honor Oak, first ones spotted about three weeks ago. There was a cloud of them on Duncombe Hill as I was walking home this evening.

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