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A Southsea Colony

Back in 2004 just one pair of Swifts nested about 200 yards down the road from Dave Warner’s house (below) in Southsea, Portsmouth. That nest then disappeared when their nest was blocked off by the dreaded plastic fascias and soffits. So then there were no Swifts at all left in the immediate area. Dave then set to work making boxes and playing the calls using a call player.

Eight boxes on the front of Dave Warner’s house (holes blocked up till the Swifts return)
Eight boxes on the front of Dave Warner’s house (holes blocked up till the Swifts return)

And the number of boxes (and Swifts) has increased year on year since. He now has 12 boxes in all, ten of which had nesting Swifts in 2022 including seven of the eight boxes on the front of the house – the other had a young pair visiting it. The three boxes on the rear all had nests with young and Dave added a fourth box there in June which had visiting Swifts throughout July. A total of 22 young successfully fledged which is four more than in 2021. Three pairs had three young each (a record here). The last chick fledged on the late date of 1st September. Six other boxes in the surrounding roads also had breeding Swifts.

Rear of the house
Rear of the house

So it just goes to show that with perseverance and patience a colony will grow from nothing.

Well done Dave, I see you still have a bit more space on the rear though!

There is just one other house in Hampshire that we know about that has more Swifts – 17 pairs, all in boxes – just saying Dave!


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