Saturday 8 October 2011

Swifts in Fulbourn, Cambridgeshire

Contributed by John Willis

Our project began in January 2011 when Rob Mungovan, the South Cambridgeshire District Council Ecology Officer, gave a very interesting talk to Fulbourn Forum on the work that was being undertaken to maintain a swift colony during the redevelopment of the Windmill Estate in Fulbourn. 

St Vigor’s Church: swifts nested above the clerestory windows
This colony is being monitored by professional ecologists during the redevelopment but there was little information available on numbers of swifts elsewhere in the village, so we were inspired to set up a small survey group for the 2011 season.

There was good general awareness about swifts in the village because of the size of the above colony (72 active nests in 2009) and the publicity generated by a feature in the BBC programme Inside Out East, broadcast in October 2009. The new housing development is called The Swifts and the name is also used for the new Parish rooms where the Community Library is based.

Many people were aware that in previous years swifts had frequented the area around St Vigor’s Church and the Old Manor House, which is a few hundred yards away to the east.