Tuesday, May 22, 2018

RSPB Swift Survey 2018: Lewisham Swifts looking for volunteers

Each year the RSPB invites the public to participate in an annual Swift Survey to record sightings of low-level roof-height screaming parties of swifts and their nest sites.

This year Lewisham Swifts is promoting the survey across the London Borough of Lewisham and inviting residents to volunteer. The survey results will be collated and reported to the RSPB and will help us to:
  • Establish where swifts are still breeding in Lewisham.
  • Identify areas that need our attention in either preserving or providing swift nest sites.
  • Raise awareness and enthuse the Lewisham community about their local swifts!

What does the survey involve?

Survey volunteers are allocated a 500m x 500m area of Lewisham which they survey for swift activity on (ideally) at least three occasions: one survey in each of May, June and July. If you wish you can survey your square more often as this will increase your chances of finding swifts. If you’ve volunteered late or are unable to complete all three surveys, don’t be put off - it is still valuable to conduct as many surveys as you can.

It’s best to do the survey in the evening between 7.30pm and 9.30pm because that’s when low flying swift activity near nest sites is at its peak. Alternatively you could carry out the survey in the two hours after dawn if you’re an early riser! Surveys should be done in dry, still conditions as swifts aren’t so active when it’s raining.

Only swifts seen flying at or just above roof height in close proximity to buildings, need be recorded. These swifts are likely to be nesting in the vicinity.

There are two survey forms to complete and return to us:

  1. Survey Visit Recording Form: for each survey visit per square.
  2. Nest Location Recording Form: for recording where swifts are seen entering or leaving a possible nest site.
If you are interested in volunteering please contact Emma at LewishamSwifts (at) gmail.com
or via Lewisham Swifts Facebook Group page: 


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