Over the next few weeks, the swallows, swifts and house martins that left us for southern Africa last September will be packing their bags to come north again.
It’s an incredible journey for tiny birds - and on the trip south the youngest are only a few weeks old.
We have had house martins for the past several years, and their wheeling and diving makes for an exciting late summer. Last summer they also nested on a neighbours house. I have just installed a swift box in the end of our house, and am hopeful that swifts will add to the aerial dance.
Swifts fly up to four million miles in their lifetime, and spend almost their entire lives in flight - even sleeping on the wing. They only ever land to breed. But modern houses don’t have the nooks and crannies of traditional houses, and renovations of older buildings are removing ever more of their nesting sites. Climate change has also been hitting their chances of achieving two monumental migrations a year and then breeding.
If you have the space, and you can, please fit a swift box on your house too.