Wednesday, 27 April 2016

We're in the press

The following article appeared in the Glamorgan Gem on 21st April. Mike Pointon and I are also being interviewed for Radio Wales's "Country Focus" programme in May. I'll let you know when it is going out.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Friday, 15 April 2016

Swift tower for Merthyr

Brilliant news. Gerald Lewis, the parks manager for Merthyr has arranged for a Swift tower (with call system) to be erected in Parc Taf Bargoed. It has 8 chambers and was constructed by the local RNIB.


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Pencoed College Swift Boxes

Lyn Evans from Pencoed College has been busy making boxes with his volunteer students. They've made 8 so far. Brilliant job.

Friday, 8 April 2016

More Swift News

Julia and I had a meeting this afternoon. The discussion was wide ranging but we concentrated on achieving the goals set out in our bid to WOS.
1. Awareness Raising:
We discussed a press release, that will go out in the next couple of weeks, to coincide with the Swift's arrival. We have already had contact with Radio Wales with a view to advertise the project. Swansea Council, are also keen to expand the project in to the city. We decided to ask Mark Hipkin's advice here. We hope to get NRW and WTSWW involved in some way. The possibility of a talk from Swift Conservation was broached.
2. The monitoring of Swift nest sites:
Finding out exactly where our Swifts nest, via our Swift Champions was next. Julia suggested a training event in late May/early June, probably in Llantwit Major. The weather will be a crucial factor.
3. Erection of boxes:
Boxes have already gone up in Bedwas. It was decided to delay putting more up until we have firm data. Different sites need different box designs (eg. if under eaves or not) Similarly we are holding back any decision on purchasing a call system.
4. Review of progress:
This will not be undertaken until next year.

It was decided to set up an e-mail group of our Swift Champions (we may ask for mobile numbers later) to advise of training events etc. Invites to become authors on this blog were to be sent out.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Grant from the Welsh Ornithological Society

Great news. We submitted a bid to WOS in February and have been awarded £400 towards our project. (plus a £200 grant from the Glamorgan Bird Club). The bid was spread over two years with the first year (this summer) being mainly exploratory i.e. finding out the exact locations where Swifts are nesting. The plan is to then target three or four areas (or more if we can do it) for a bird box scheme. The bulk of the money will go towards the purchase of boxes, wood etc., plus we plan to purchase a "call system" which will advertise the location of the boxes to passing Swifts. The main problem we are likely to have is erecting the boxes. As Swifts nest fairly high up it is often necessary to use scaffolding or cherry pickers to fix them in place and this can be very expensive. Luckily the boxes put up in Bedwas Junior School were erected by Caerphilly Council employees, with guidance from Mike Pointon. If you are planning to put up boxes please consult before doing so as there is a list of dos and donts when placing boxes.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Welcome to the Glamorgan Swift Project

This blog has been created so that our Swift Champions can keep in touch and report on progress.