May 2024

27th May

With the second wave of Swifts arriving and the regular monitoring by our surveyors, we are continuing to find new active Swift nests. From last night we can confirm two more nests at the Flea Market and a fourth nest at 98 Western Road. In Western Road, after the entry of the first Swift to nest 4, a second Swift made seven failed attempts to enter the same nest space, and banged at or near the entrance 18 times! At one point it climbed half way in and hung on for a few seconds before flying off. After 30 minutes it flew away, hopefully to try again successfully later....

That makes 49 nests in Lewes now!

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                       Three nests at the Flea Market                                                              Four nests at 98 Western Road

26th May

It was wonderful to hear from two of the residents in De Montfort Road this morning that there are now two Swifts in their nest box!. It is one of the Peak nest boxes which we funded and installed in April 2021 because our surveys has shown that there were lots of Swifts flying around the area. Congratulations to the lucky residents - this gives hope to all of us with waiting nest boxes!

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25th May

A very active evening with groups of up to 15 Swifts screaming around the top of the town. We're up to 45 nests in Lewes now, with another one in Bridgewick Close, two more nests in Station Street and another one in St. Martin's Lane.

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24th May

Our total number of nests for 2024 is now 41. Last night we carried out our second transect surveys in The Avenue and the High Street and we saw screaming parties of up to ten Swifts over the junction of The Avenue with Bradford Road. We were very pleased to hear from one of our supporters, who lives there, that a Swift entered a nest space under the eaves of her house, especally since Swifts have not used this nest for the past few years.

Here is a photograph from a video shared with us by Lewes Swift Supporter, Michael, of a Swift going up to the box next to his house in De Montfort Road and appearing to pass food to another Swift in the box.

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23rd May

We're up to 39 nests in Lewes now! Last night two more were spotted above the Julie Kuyath shop in Station Street. Tonight, Sharon fixed the nest cam in the faithful nest in King Henry's Road. By 9.20 p.m it revealed that both Swifts were in the nest and there are also two eggs!

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22nd May

The number of confirmed Swift nests in Lewes is now 36! 

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We have just set out our May newsletter to all Supporters who have registered as "members" to receive emails from us. Get in touch with us if you would like to subscribe: lewesswifts@gmail.com  One of the benefits is that members are given the first option of joining our walks and talks!

20th May

All our surveyors have been out monitoring their area of Lewes now - and we now have recorded 30 nests altogether!

Around the UK, some Swift groups have been busy rescuing Swifts already. Remember, Swifts are aerial birds, feeding, drinking, mating and sleeping in the air and they only land to breed. If you ever find a Swift on the ground, it is in trouble. Never through it into the air, or from a height, as this may cause further injury to an exhausted bird. Put it in a box with air holes and contact your nearest Swift rescue service, for example, East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service. Their rescue line is 0300 10 26 999.

Rescued_Swift.jpgA rescued Swift from another Swift group

 

10th May

We recorded two more nests at St. Anne's Church, Western Road, Lewes, tonight, which makes six nests there altogether. 

              Church   Church nests

Our total number of confirmed nests has now reached 26 nests:

  • Western Road - 3
  • St. Anne's Church - 6
  • Valence Road - 1
  • St. Swithun's Lane - 5
  • The Maltings - 5
  • St. Martin's Lane - 2
  • Station Street - 1
  • De Montfort Road - 1
  • Bridgewick Close - 1
  • Flea Market - 1

9th May

Suddenly, we are up to 20 nests confirmed! These are the experienced breeding Swifts who are, thankfully, returning to the nest which they are frequented for several years now. Sounds of calls from some of the nests when the Swifts fly in at dusk suggest that they have met up with their mate successfully too.

The nests so far are: One at the Flea Market; one in Bridgewick Close, Malling; one in Station Street; one in St. Martin's Lane; four at The Maltings; four at the top of St. Swithun's Lane; one in Valence Road; four at St. Anne's Church; and three at 98 Western Road.

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       First nest in the Station Street colony and fourth nest at St. Anne's Church

 

8th May

We recorded a third nest at St. Anne's Church tonight - one Swift few quietly in to a nest space above the left-hand border of window 3. A perfect, calm evening but fewer Swifts flying around the town.

St_Annes_East_TWO_NESTS.jpgSt. Anne's Church

7th May

Three more nests were recorded last night in Lewes! One returned to on eof the nest spaces at the old shop in Valence Road and two returned to nest spaces at St. Anne's Church. That makes ten altogether so far!

28_VALENCE_ROAD_ONE_NEST.jpg  Valence Road

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St. Anne's Church

 

6th May - Tonight we saw parties of up to ten Swifts flying around and feeding between bouts of rain. We have now recorded seven nests in Lewes! 

80b_High_St_Three_nests.jpg    98_WR_ONE_NEST.jpg   Maltings_three_nests.jpg

                           Top of St. Swithun's Lane, Western Road and The Maltings 

 

3rd May - The first nest entries in Lewes were recorded tonight! One Swift entered a nest space at The Maltings and one Swift entered and exited the colony at the top of St. Swithun's Lane. 

In Western Road a Swift was heard calling from one of the nest spaces last night and tonight but there were none flying around.

They are being very quiet, as they usually are when they first return from their long journey from Africa. We hope to see them screaming through our skies soon, like this:

IMG-20210718-WA0008.jpgPhotograph by Barry Griffin of the Swifts above St. Anne's Church

 

April 2024


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As part of our "Celebrating Swifts" season at Lewes Climate Hub, 32 High Street, Lewes, we had a  wonderful day on 27th April. Edward Mayer, of Swift Conservation, gave a brilliant talk to share ways of improving our natural environment for wildlife and for us. He drew attention to the correspondence between a decrease in Swift numbers and a decrease in biodiversity - and vice versa.

Visitors to the Hub took the opportunity of having a go at our Swift Quiz, making a flying Swift, and  adding their footprint to our "Taking Steps for Wildlife" collage. We are open for more visitors from Wednesday 1st May to Saturday 4th May, 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.

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                      A flying Swift, Looking at Swift information, and making steps for wildlife   

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                                              Quizzing, making flying Swifts and more quizzing!

 

On 10th April we were busy around Lewes, installing more Swift nest boxes and House Martin cups. 

 

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                             Abinger Place, North Way, Talbot Terrace and St. John's Terrace

March 2024

There are only a few weeks to go until the Swifts start returning to Lewes!

To celebrate their return, we are hosting a fortnight of activities at Lewes Climate Hub, 32 High Street, Lewes, from 24th April to 4th May. We hope that you can join us!

 

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