Preparing for new guests


Well… as I write, Steve is up a scaffold knocking holes into the side of the barn.We had some repairs to do on one of the old buildings which form our ‘steading’ and decided that while we had the means to reach one particular wall we would install some more accommodation for swifts. Last year while I was mowing I saw a swift repeatedly flying in and clinging on to this wall to look at a crack at the base of an old chimney. It moved off eventually, having investigated thoroughly and decided it wasn’t a suitable nest site. Both of us felt duty-bound to see if we could improve the chances of it trying again this year – this time successfully perhaps.

So, after a little research, Steve constructed some small ‘nesting pods’ out of air brick liners, each one containing a shallow nest-cup suitably lined with a few feathers and a bit of straw. While the chimney was being repaired above, Steve got down to preparing sites to install the pods. Luckily he’d had some practice at knocking holes in buildings when we converted the cottages and he’s pretty good at it now!

Once the pods are all suitably installed and the wall is painted I shall put a series of pictures on the blog. One day we’re hoping to see a swift going to investigate them but, given how fast they move, I somehow doubt my photographic skills will be able to capture that.