Wednesday 23 May 2012

Fulbourn update

Written by Dick Newell, photographs by Rob Mungovan

Rob Mungovan, centre in yellow, with the volunteer team
Fulbourn is a great example of a district council, working together with local people to mitigate the consequences of the destruction of a large colony of ~70 pairs of Swifts in prefabricated buildings from that rich architectural period of the 1960's (see buildings in background in first picture).

John Willis, centre in blue, organises the team
This has been a well planned project to make sure that new nesting sites are available in the new housing estate nearby (called "The Swifts") before the old buildings were pulled down. A number of styles of nest-boxes have been installed in the new housing estate, including built in boxes, as well as Schwegler 1MF swift boxes.

The Swifts are steadily occupying the new boxes, but so are the Starlings, especially in the Schwegler boxes, as their entrances are larger than is necessary for Swifts.

Front louvres with and without Polyfilla
We earlier reported on ideas to restrict the entrance size to exclude Starlings, here we can report on the implementation of that plan with local enthusiasts organised by John Willis, overseen by the South Cambs District Council Ecology Officer, Rob Mungovan.

The idea is a simple one, reduce the entrance size by using Polyfilla.
Unmodified entrance

Entrance reduced to 30mm


  1. brilliant idea

    N Ireland

  2. Dick, do you perhaps also have a picture of the inside of one of these Schwegler boxes?
    Jochem Kuhnen, Beek Ubbergen, the Netherlands.