Bristol Swifts 2021 Blog

Welcome back to another year at Swift House. We’re sure our upcoming swift season will be full of drama and intrigue once again and lets hope the weather will be a bit kinder this summer as well.

We have 25 swift nesting boxes under the eaves, many fitted with cameras – for their exact location see Swift nest box location on our house. In 2020 we had 15 breeding pairs of swifts making it the largest single colony in Bristol. Our swift blog will return on a daily basis just before the first swifts arrive back in April. However there may be the odd blog before then, so keep an eye on this page! In the meantime here are a few things that have happened since the 2020 Swift blog finished.

Despite all the restrictions in 2020 we were extremely busy on the swift front. After we appeared on BBC Breakfast last March we were amazed by the amount of interest it generated. We had people contacting us from all across the UK asking for advice about swifts. We even had emails from Finland, Italy, Spain & France! As a result hundreds of new swift boxes have been built and fitted. A big thank you to everyone with their efforts.

During the summer a film was made in our garden for Clifton Climate Action entitled ‘Bristol’s wild gardens: the swift conservationist’ as one of a series of films about wildlife and environmentally-friendly gardens. Here is a link the video that was finished in September.

Our garden was featured as Garden of the Week in Garden News magazine August 1st 2020 issue. Here is a link to the first two pages and another link to the subsequent two pages.

In December 2020 we managed to spend a very productive day surveying properties in a ‘socially distanced’ manner in the Chew Valley. Anne-Marie Morris from Chew Magna has done a fantastic job in starting up this new swift project and so far over 24 people have signed up to have swift boxes. Hopefully by the time the swifts arrive most will have been fitted, fingers crossed. The majority of the properties are in Chew Magna, a few in Chew Stoke and the odd one or two dotted around Chew Valley lake.

By sheer good fortune one of the people involved in this project was Richard Brock. He’s a retired BBC producer/cameraman who worked with David Attenborough on Life on Earth and The Living Planet series. He filmed us as we surveyed each house. He plans to film more as the project develops. We’re really hoping that one of the new boxes will be occupied this summer so he can round off this story. A few years ago he produced the Brock initiative which you can see via this link. It’s all about the plight of wildlife across the world and his series is called Winners & Losers. We’re hoping that in time Chew Valley swifts will become one of the Winners. Here are a few photos of the day including an amazing sunset over Chew Valley Lake on our way home.

And finally, we’re very pleased to announce that our garden will be open for a Swift/NGS charity event on Sunday 4th July 2021 1-4.30 pm – see this link.

Until our blog returns fully look after yourselves and stay safe.

Mark & Jane

Copyright © 2021 Mark Glanville. All Rights Reserved.