If you read my last post, you will know how delighted I am every May when a flock of swifts return to my neighbourhood.
For three short months, these high-speed experts bomb up and down my street screeching at the top of their voices and providing everyone with an incredible aeronautical display.
This year, after discovering more about one of my favourite seasonal visitors, I decided that I needed to do my bit and help support them whilst they were here and so I decided to buy a house for them.
The twin-bed home cost £40 complete with fitting
I quickly discovered that others in my local area are equally enamoured with these fantastic birds but that their natural habitat in the UK is under serious threat as more and more old homes get renovated.
After contacting the Maidenhead, Marlow and Cookham swift group, I got an email from a really nice chap called Bob, who said he would be happy to see if my house was suitable for a swift box.
A few emails later and Bob turned up one Saturday morning with everything he needed including ladder, drill, bolts, ratchets and, of course, the new, two-room swift box.
Within about 20 minutes the work was complete and now I simply need to broadcast swift noises out of my bedroom window to make sure the birds know that there is a new hotel in town.
A close up of the swift box
The two-room box has rough landing pads to help first-time arrivals
Bob gets ready to go up
I stayed firmly on the ground but did hold the ladder safe
He's done this before
With no head for heights anymore, I'm glad Bob knew what he was doing
My new swift hotel is painted white as it's on the sunny side of the house but there it is now, ready for next year's occupants. I just need to make sure I keep broadcasting it's availability to this year's flock.
The potential added bonus is that the back of the box has a gap which could act as a home for bats - Although I haven't quite mentioned that to my daughter yet!
So, whether I do manage to attract a couple of swift families to roost with me or not, I may also be able to offer a home to some small furry, flying mammals instead / as well!
I'll keep you posted on my progress.
Russell Jones is PR & Communications Manager for Mitsubishi Electric Living Environment Systems in the UK.
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