Swift Identification



Swifts are dark brown with distinctive crescent shape wings and are often seen screaming around the Town Steps at  dusk. Feeding, sleeping & mating ‘on the wing’, Swifts NEVER land except to nest and raise their young  

They arrive in the UK in May and stay for just three months, nesting OUT OF SIGHT in spaces under roof tiles, in church towers and nest boxes

Swifts have tiny feet and cannot perch, are insect eaters and, in level flight, are the fastest birds on the planet

Swift numbers are in serious decline as nest holes are lost due to roof repair work


Swallows can be identified by their deeply forked tails, dark blue backs, red chins and whitish underside

They perch on wires and are often seen flying at street level along the High Street or over the model yacht pond

They build mud nests INSIDE buildings as can be seen in the public shelter near the Moot Hall

House Martin

House Martins are smaller than Swifts & Swallows and can be identified by their white underside and stubby tail

Arriving in April with the Swallows, they often land on the ground to collect mud for their nests which they build under eaves on the OUTSIDE of buildings

Images reproduced with the kind permission of the RSPB © Mike Langman