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Our BlogNature connection activities – one week to say goodbye to the swifts!

Nature connection activities – one week to say goodbye to the swifts!

30 Jul 20

Swift bird (Apus apus) Credit: RSPB

By Katie O’Neill

I wanted to share this with the Salisbury community as hopefully these swift themed nature connection activities might be of interest to some of you 😊

I would like to start with this poem I wrote inspired by the swifts 🙂


The swifts begin

Their journey soon

To warmer skies

Where insects bloom

As Lammas begins

The summers end

Babies born

Left to fend

One week to go

To catch a glimpse

Of this stunning bird

Amongst the bricks

Search under eves

Look up high

We need your eye

To the sky

(By Katie O’Neill)


The wonderful little swift has caught the eye of many nature lovers over the past few months. They came to Edinburgh to nest for the summer, but with Lammas beginning, the swift’s time here comes to an end. Once they take flight from their nest, they will fly non-stop for the next ten months, up to 14,000 miles as far as Malawi and back again.

As you might imagine the swift gets its name by being a very quick flier! They can reach up to 70 miles per hour and are the fastest bird at level height. The numbers of these unique and impressive birds have been rapidly decreasing over the last 30 years and are now of Amber conservation status.


Numbers have been decreasing since records began (Massimino et al., 2019)

We are asking you, in this final week, to help us record as many sightings of swifts as possible on Swift Mapper1. Nest sightings will inform conservation in Edinburgh, as we continue to develop the city into a swift sanctuary over the coming Winter.


Swift Mapper is free and easy to use, online or in an app!

To help further enjoy the survey experience, here are a variety of nature connection activities for you to do 😊. They fit into a lunch break or evening, as a solo activity or with your household, all themed around these beautiful little creatures. Click here to download.

With their association to summer, the swift has been regarded as a symbol of hope in local folklore, which is an uplifting thing to search for in the sky! Hope you enjoy 😊

  1. https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/conservation/conservation-and-sustainability/safeguarding-species/swiftmapper/


And here is an awesome resource to use throughout the week!

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