Welcome to Heathfield Swifts

Welcome to Heathfield Swifts. We are a group of students and teachers dedicated to providing a home for this remarkable bird.  In May 2016 we constructed and installed 12 custom-made swift nest boxes.  The aim of the project is to create a home for these threatened birds.  The swifts that you see and hear screaming […]


Already swifts are being sited in our skies.  Many other bird species have been flooding into Britain from southern climes and the swift is one of the last birds to make the incredible journey from Africa.  The map below illustrates how far English swifts fly between August and May. We await the main influx of […]


Why swifts?  Why any bird?  Why any species?  Why do so many possess so much passion for the natural world ? Connecting with nature is one way in which we can relax and make contact with who we really are.  After all, it’s where we all came from and it’s where we’re all going. This link http://bbc.in/29F3XW6 is […]


One of the chief reasons why swift numbers have declined is the renovation and demolition of older buildings.  Swifts like to nest in the nooks and crannies of older buildings but, as we renovate and remove these buildings, nesting places are lost.  Swifts are unique: they return to the same nest site every year so […]

Sparkle out into blue…

There are many natural mysteries still to be discovered on our shrinking planet. One mystery – the movement of the swift – is fast becoming unravelled thanks to GPS technology.  Swifts were once thought to hibernate here in Britain; naturalists in centuries gone by could not have imagined that these birds could travel to Africa and […]


At the moment, the number of birds displaying an interest in our boxes is minimal.  In truth, it’s not been a great summer for swifts.  May was warm and muggy, perfect for swift activity.  However June has been a washout; cool, blustery conditions have deterred many swifts from prospecting for new sites. Certainly in Taunton […]

Not all those who wander are lost…

  HOW SWIFTS SURVIVE A WET BRITISH JUNE   Not all those who wander are lost… As the images above and the attached Guardian article (How Swifts Survive a Wet British June) show us , Swifts are master travellers; like many other of our summer migrants, their migration is epic, especially for the young birds who can remain […]