Contributed by Rodney Monteith
Just outside the town of Antrim in County Antrim lies Greenmount Campus, part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE). Within its grounds is a historic farm courtyard dating back to the mid 1800’s that has served both as a working farm building and a training area for the hundreds of agriculture students that have passed through during the past 100 years. Recently some renovation work was carried out to the building and I had the opportunity to examine some Swift nest sites under the slate roof that had been used for many years.
|Square nest site, 200mm x 200m|
Nesting under a slate roof the birds had used an area with a maximum head room of approximately 90mm and this tapered to zero at the front of the chamber due to the slope of the roof. The floor of one square chamber was 200mm x 200mm while the other was a triangle similarly 200mm x 200mm- so half the floor area.
|Triangular nest site, 200mm x 200mm|
In February 2012 the old roof slates were removed and repairs were made before re-covering.
|New nest sites|
This problem was overcome by partially removing some of the overhanging bricks to provide a series of 30mm x100mm gaps for access to a total of 18 nest areas.
|View from the ground showing entrances|