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Increasing Swifts at Fulflood, Winchester

Further monitoring of the Swift boxes installed at Fulflood, Winchester by volunteer Fiona Hartley has shown how the colony continues to grow - from 14 pairs in 2021 to 18 pairs in 2022 (58% occupation rate). And due to more targeted surveying of the natural nesting sites in the area it’s been discovered that the number of birds nesting in natural sites is also 18 pairs. So that’s now 36 pairs of Swifts found in just this one small area of Winchester.

Elm Road showing original timber fascias and soffits on left, and replaced by upvc on right
Elm Road showing original timber fascias and soffits on left, and replaced by uPVC on right

Total no. of boxes 2022

Occupied boxes 2020

Occupied boxes 2021

Occupied boxes 2022

Natural sites 2022

Elm Road

13

2

2

5

16

North View

18

9

12

13

2

31

11

14

18

18

Having this number of pairs nesting in natural sites is also unusual so its worth looking at why this is. Most of the three-storey houses in this terrace of eight properties (above) have not had their timber fascias and soffits replaced with uPVC (six have not whilst two have). Of course, where they have been replaced then no birds will nest ever again, but five pairs do nest on the ones that haven’t by utilising the gap between the brickwork and the timber soffit. And four pairs nest behind the timber bargeboard on this gable below.

And at least six pairs nest naturally in gaps on these two properties below.

Many thanks to Fiona Hartley for spending time doing the monitoring.

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