Kirrie swift survey needs your help

Swift in flight
Swift in flight

Do you live in Kirriemuir and have swifts nesting on your property, or do you know of somewhere nearby where they have nested?

Or have you seen swifts flying above the town in the evening? If so then you will be able to help out with the Kirriemuir Swift Survey which is taking place over the next few weeks.

Swifts are sooty-brown in colour and have distinctive sickle-shaped wings that make them look a bit like a boomerang.

The birds visit during the summer after flying from Central and Southern Africa staying for about three months after arriving in early May before returning south in August.

On summer evenings if the weather is fair, swifts gather in ‘screaming’ parties, chasing each other around the buildings in which they nest.

However, figures from the British Trust for Ornithology show that between 1994 and 2003 there has been a 62 per cent decline in the population of Scottish swifts. It is thought that a major contribution to this decline is the loss of nesting and feeding sites.

In order to gain a better understanding of where swifts have been nesting, the group would like information about where swifts gather.

The Tayside Biodiversity Partnership will be running a ‘swift’ guided walk in Kirriemuir on Saturday, July 27 looking at the history and folklore of swifts and what you can do to help. There is no need to book and the walk is free. Meet at 8.30 p.m. outside the Gateway to the Glens Museum.

The Partnership is also running a text survey – if you see swifts, text SWIFT, the number of birds you see and the address of the buildings to 78866.

Visit www.taysidebiodiversity.co.uk for more information.