Our Swift family

Home for our Swift family

Right in one corner, under the overall roof above the disused platform, is a small hole where the boarding has warped. Just visible inside is a nest and during the summer we often see a bird flying in or out. At first we wondered what type of bird it could be - either a Swallow, House Martin or a Swift as they are all pretty similar at first sight.

We have decided it is a Swift family who have chosen the Old Ticket Office as their summer home as they like to make their nest high up in holes in old buildings sheltered from the sun and rain. From there the birds are able to drop into the air from the nest entrance. This spot certainly fits the bill. Swallows and House Martins make their nests out of mud attached to the surface of a wall sheltered under the eaves.

Swifts migrate from southern and equatorial Africa and only spend a few months (April or May to August) with us in the UK. They are a true dweller of the air as they eat, preen, mate and can even sleep in the air, only nesting to raise their family. Pairing up for life, they would typically lay two or three eggs each season. As Swifts can live for up to 20 years and they return to the same nest each summer we hope to see our welcome lodgers for many years to come.