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Swifts fly over rooftops in Hawes before dusk.

Records needed of swifts in National Park

Friday 26 June, 2020, by News Release

A second appeal has been made for records of swift nest sites or ‘screaming parties’ in the Yorkshire Dales National Park – now that the peak time for this ‘thrilling bird’ has arrived.

On the eve of UK Swift Awareness Week (starting tomorrow 27 June), the National Park Authority said the response to an invitation made last month for swift sightings had been good – but that more records would be very welcome. 

Since May, records have made in places such as Castle Bolton, Kilnsey, Orton, and Grassington and submitted to either the National Park Authority or its project partner, the Sedbergh Swift Community Group. 

A video of swifts has been captured in the town of Hawes, as well as an audio recording of their distinctive ‘screaming’ calls. Both have been published today on the Swift Conservation Project webpage.  This page is where the recording forms can be found.

Wildlife Conservation Officer at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Ian Court, said:  “We are really pleased with the response so far to our appeal for records on swifts; it is great that people are looking out for these fantastic birds. 

“The records of ‘screaming parties’ have been really useful.  We hope that these can be followed up by a growing number of local swift enthusiasts who might go that step further and submit records of nesting sites.  This sort of information would help us and partner organisations conserve swifts. 

“Swift Awareness Week is the ideal time to take part in the survey and help us find out about the nesting locations in the National Park.”

Tanya Hoare, a member of the Sedbergh Swift Community Group, said: “Now is the peak time for watching out for swifts, as the adults are feeding chicks and darting more frequently into their nests. If you’ve seen screaming parties, spend some time in that area to see if you can locate the nest sites. 

“It is so heartening to hear from the many people who have looked up and noticed swifts, so please make the most of the next few weeks to report your sightings. If we are to give these thrilling birds a future, this is the very best way to help us look after them.”

Picture of News Release

News Release

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority


8 Replies to “Records needed of swifts in National Park”

  1. M.E.J. Curzon says:

    Two swifts nests in the eves of our house. Not quite in the Dales but near: Thornton-Le-Moor. About a dozen swifts flying around the house.

    M.E. Curzon

  2. MRS J ELLIS says:

    Again not quite the Dale’s but we have Swifts nesting in our eaves and around 20 – 30 flying around above the house.Location Kirklington,Nr Bedale.

  3. A taylor says:

    We have a swift nest in our has done so for at least the last three years. I have also seen groups of at least ten screaming between the house. This is Stainforth near settle

  4. Jane Reynolds says:

    We have seen swifts in Feizor and Austwick. I’d say at least 8/10 plus in each village. Flying around during the day and evening. Love them. Love the chatter they make. Really happy to help more if needed.
    They used to nest with us but think they’ve set up shop in farm buildings, in Feizor. Certainly not with us any more.

  5. Tracy Butterfield says:

    Screaming parties aplenty at Kirkby Stephen (Westmorland Dales area)
    I take great pleasure in watching them dart over my house every Summer)
    Not sure where they nest though but must be quite near.
    Also fortunate to have swallows and house martins

  6. Arthur rayner says:

    about 20 in a screaming gang at north stainley on 26 june, most i’ve seen in 8 years of being here. lots flying around on warmer nights. location of nest’s not known.

  7. Graham Robinson says:

    We have two swifts nests under the eaves of two semis next door but one to each other on Sherborne Drive in Keighley. Both have chicks in them after having turfed out sparrows. It’s amazing to watch

  8. Paul Vann says:

    Swifts can be seen flying regularly up and down the River Wharf in Langstrothdale (10th/11th July 2020) along with Swallows, House and Sand Martins. The Swifts are the fastest by far and I hadn’t realised how relatively large they are till seeing these four birds flying together.
    (We are staying at Nethergill Farm).

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