Wednesday 25 July 2012

The Swifts of Cherry Hinton, Cambridge

Contributed by Dick

Sometimes, you just don't know what is going on on your doorstep. I was recently tipped off by Justyn Thomas of a significant number of Swifts in the area surrounding Fisher's Lane, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge. So I went to have a look. As I arrived in Fisher's Lane, I got out of the car and the air was full of the screams of Swifts. High above me there was a large flock of Swifts. A potshot with my camera (I could not get them all in the field of view) included 29 Swifts.

Perfect eaves for Swifts. They are also ideal for fitting external
nest boxes if roof insulation interferes with nests inside
So I walked up Pen Close and Shepherd's Close, and it was clear that the whole of the estate had been built, unintentionally, with eaves designed for Swifts, complete with suitable entrances.

It was the same story in Keates Road and Leeting Road; rows of houses with eaves designed for Swifts.

Take a drive down Fisher's Lane on the Google Street View below and look at the houses on the left. Also look up Shepherd's Close and Pen Close as you pass them on the right.

Heaven knows how many Swifts are breeding in this neighbourhood, it will require a proper survey. The locals say there are fewer Swifts here than there used to be. So if any of them read this and would like to know how they could help to avoid further decline, then just get in touch.

View Larger Map

PS Also high above Keates Road were 4 Peregrine Falcons in the air together. That's the second time recently I have found multiple large falcons in association with swifts!

Postscript: Later the same day, I ran into Kirsty Morris, teacher at Shirley Primary School. She mentioned that she had a lot of Swifts in her road, Providence Way in Waterbeach, less than 2km as the Swift flies from my house. So I called in on my way home. She wasn't kidding, there must have been 100 Swifts flying around the houses, uncountable really, some entering nest-holes, others prospecting, others in screaming parties - quite a spectacle. Another one that needs surveying next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment