Caistor Area Swift Group
An Introduction by
This group was formed this year (2018) after the inspirational talk on swifts by Tanya and Edmund Hoare at the Market Rasen Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust Group. They highlighted the dramatic decline in swift numbers as a result of people renovating buildings and sealing up original nest entrances.
We plan to survey the local swift populations, raise awareness of the decline in swifts and what we can do to help them. We have representatives from Caistor, Nettleton, Grasby, Osgodby and North Kelsey. We have joined the Swifts Local Network and the Swift Conservation Group. These websites provide lots of information about life cycles, migration, surveying populations and nesting sites, nest boxes and attraction calls.
We have information stands at various events so call and see us. Mayor's Fair in Caistor, Open Farm Sunday at Sutton Estates, Pub that's not a Pub in Osgodby And Claxby Open Gardens.
Swift Awareness Week
In 2018 the first national Swift Awareness Week took place to inform people about swifts and the decline in their numbers. From 16th-23rd June 2018 we had display boards at the Heritage Centre and the Dunn Deal, where you could also buy swift shaped biscuits. At the Heritage Centre there was also a craft morning for children on the 16th June 2018 to make a swift mobile. Information leaflets, a nest box and an attraction call box were on display. There was also a video about swifts in Sedburgh, Tanya and Edward Hoare’s home town. People on an evening ‘Swift Walk’ around Caistor on Thursday saw swifts entering their nest sites and heard screaming groups of swifts around the Market Place and South Street.
As part of the roof repairs at Caistor Church a multiple nest box was installed in the Tower, taking opportunity of the internal scaffolding to place and secure it.
The second National Swift Awareness Week is from Sat 22nd to Sun 30th June 2019, in fact not a week at all now.
A Walk around Caistor to view swifts on Thursday 27th June. Meet at the Lion in the Market Place at 8pm.
Crafts for children 9-11am on Saturday mornings of the 22nd and 29th. June
Information stand at Caistor Open Gardens 29th and 30th June.
Swift biscuits and a swift icon on your cappuccino from the cafe at Caistor Heritage Centre, where you can sit on the terrace and look out for swifts flying over.
The first swift of 2019 was seen feeding over the valley on the evening of May 3rd but none have been seen going into known nest sites as yet. Look around the church tower in Caistor and the Town Hall swift bricks to see if the swifts are using them. Remember to make a note and keep us posted with any sightings or entering nest sites that you observe.
So What Next?
The nest box has been installed in the tower at St Peter’s Church in Caistor with an attraction call playing. Hopefully when the swifts return next year they will nest there. We contacted Caistor Town Council requesting that swift boxes be installed in the Town Hall while the scaffolding was in place for the roof works. A week later four swift bricks had been installed in the wall facing the Co-op. Many thanks to the Council for their help and we hope the swifts appreciate them when they return next May.
Swifts are social birds and prefer to nest together in the same areas. When roofing work is taking place we can request that nest sites are protected, swift boxes put under the eaves or ‘swift bricks’ (nest sites) put into walls. We can also look at planning applications and request the inclusion of swift bricks. We will try to find people in other villages to identify nest sites. A meeting will be arranged in the autumn to review the year and plot our way forward. The date will be put on this website. If you have any information or would like to be involved you can contact us by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Swift Conservation web site has an abundance of further information.
A range of useful leaflets are available from Swift Conservation. You can find them here.