Bristol Swift Project & 2017 House Martin Survey

Bristol Swift Project.

The Project was launched by a seminar in November 2015 and is funded by a grant from the Green Capital Year.

Its aim is to monitor the city Swift population and increase nest site availability by installing Swift bricks in new build housing and providing Swift boxes in areas already used by Swifts. It is backed by the Avon Wildlife Trust My Wild City project.

For more information go to the Bristol Swift website,



Survey work was carried out in 2015-2016 which covered 23 sites in Avon with 111 nests and had 52 nests with young but we are looking for more nests in 2017. If you have nests near your home or work place anywhere in Avon please read this and register if you can help.


The aim of the nest study is to monitor what activity takes place over the course of the breeding season at individual nests. We are particularly interested in the timing of nesting activity, the number of broods and the outcome of nesting attempts. By regularly recording activity at a large number of sites, we will be able to see if egg laying dates, the length of the fledging period and the likelihood of a successful outcome vary across the UK. By recording additional information about nest sites and locations, we also hope to investigate what other factors might affect nesting performance.


As was the case with the 2016 survey, anybody can take part provided they have a site with at least one nest that they can view for approximately 15 minutes regularly throughout the breeding season (i.e. approximately once a week, although missing the occasional week due to a holiday is fine). The nests need to somewhere you can view safely and without causing disturbance to the birds. You may also need to obtain permission from the owner of the site.

Though we would particularly welcome repeat surveys from sites and nests which were surveyed in 2016, data from nests which were not surveyed in 2016 would also be valuable.


If you took part in the 2016 House Martin survey, you will be able to log-in using your BTO user name and password. If you did not take part in 2016, you will need to complete a few simple steps to register for the 2017 survey. Go to This contains the survey instructions, survey forms, and a link to a video tutorial which provides guidance about using the online Data Entry System.

Local contact: Gordon Youdale (BTO Regional Representative – Avon)