Bromley Swift Survey from RSPB Bromley

Bromley Swift Survey: Can you help save our swifts?
This summer you can help save one of our borough's best-loved, but most
threatened, birds.
We are running the first Bromley Swift Survey to find out where swifts are still nesting
so that more nest sites can be provided and protected. We are looking for volunteers
from across the London Borough of Bromley. You can take part by emailing
No experience of doing bird surveys is needed or knowledge of swifts. Help will be
available, for example on how to identify a swift.
Volunteers will be asked to go for a short walk along the streets near to where they
live or another location in the borough of their choice and let us know if they see any
swifts flying at rooftop level, which means they will be nesting nearby.
The couple of hours before dusk on a warm evening would be best, as the swifts will
be most active then. The walk should be done at least once in May, June and July -
so a total of three short walks.
This major citizen science survey is the first of its kind in London and is urgently
needed as swifts are fast disappearing from our skies. Between 1995 and 2015 the
UK lost half of its swifts. Their numbers appear to have fallen even more in Bromley.
It is thought that this has partly been caused by our tendency to seal up our roofs
when we are carrying out renovations. This prevents swifts getting access to nest -
they nest exclusively in our rooftops.
They are amazing birds, travelling at speeds of up to 70mph and undertaking an epic
7,000 mile journey from southern Africa to the UK every spring. Their acrobatic flight
and distinctive calls are just as much a part of the British summer as Wimbledon and
strawberries and cream. But unless action is urgently taken, this spectacle could
become a thing of the past.
This summer's survey is the first step to trying to save them as once their existing
colonies have been located, action to protect their nesting spaces and provide new
ones can be targeted to the right areas.
To take part in the survey please email

RSPB Bromley Local Group