Swifts back over Barnehurst

There were thirteen or fourteen Swifts back at their usual haunt over Northall Road yesterday evening (May 4th), between Barnehurst railway station and the golf course. This is a known breeding area.

A hastily grabbed and digitally-zoomed mobile phone photograph of Swifts sreaming over Northall Road, Barnehurst, on May 4th 2016.  (Chris Rose)

A hastily grabbed and digitally-zoomed mobile phone photograph of Swifts screaming over Northall Road, Barnehurst, on the evening of May 4th 2016. (Chris Rose)

The ‘Bexley Wildlife’ team and Bexley Bird Report compiler Ralph Todd would welcome sightings and counts from around the Borough, and more definitive news of nesting sites, over the summer.

Swifts are seen at Crossness on Erith Marshes, and a nesting site on nearby houses has been reported to us. There is often a largish aggregation over Nuxley Road in upper Belvedere, but we don’t know where they nest. A small number of birds can sometimes be seen over Northumberland Heath where there is at least one, and possibly two nesting locations.

Swifts have used nest boxes in Bexleyheath on a private dwelling near the new Council offices, and in Sidcup. There have been a few nesting in Bexley village.

Groups of Swifts have also been seen in the past over  the top of Hall Place North, and feeding low over the Hall Place flood overspill meadow. There are often a few around the Perry Street Farm/Thames Road/lower Cray/Thames Road Wetland area. Swifts are generally ‘in residence’ over Danson Park lake, but in which buildings do these birds nest?

We wonder how many larger ‘groups’ there are in the Borough, how widely they roam and whether they exchange members …….

Chris Rose 

This entry was posted in Barnehurst, Bexley, Bexleyheath, Danson Park, Hall Place, Hall Place North, Recording, Sidcup, Swift and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Swifts back over Barnehurst

  1. ingrid says:

    Went to vote today at St. Michael’s church, Abbey Wood Rd., SE2, and with great delight John heard the swifts for the first time this year 🙂 they’ve been nesting there in the eaves every year for many years. Sorry not strictly Bexley but they and their annual broods do fly around over the border!

  2. Chris Rose says:

    It’s close enough – and useful to know! if you can get a rough count sometime that would be great. Perhaps it could be mentioned as a plus point on the church’s website?

  3. jonathanrooks@virginmedia.com says:

    Swifts back in Birkbeck Road, Sidcup, yesterday, 6th May.

  4. L Peploe says:

    Did Bexley council install swift boxes in Bexleyheath office as requested?

    • Chris Rose says:

      Yes, there are several boxes on the Council office building on Watling Street, but badly positioned over balconies and under a large roof overhang so that there is not the recommended 5m clear drop below. Plus they haven’t been playing Swift calls to attract them in. As far as i can see they’ve never been used., If we ever get any time off from fighting the Council over other wildlife issues I might hassle them about moving them.

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