And it's been going on since we started the Concern for Swifts campaign in 1996. The reality is that Swifts have been losing their nesting sites at an increasing rate, but Swifts have continued to be green-listed, ie, not a species of conservation concern. To be amber or red listed, you have to demonstrate at least a 25% decline in BREEDING numbers. The problem with that is that it is extremely difficult to assess the number of BREEDING pairs in a colony. Our argument to the RSPB (and others) has been: accept the reality, and solve a problem before it becomes a crisis.
Well, here we are some 12 years later, and at last the RSPB has recognised that action in respect of Swifts is urgently needed. I won't divulge the details, but I can tell you after our latest meeting at The Lodge, I and my colleagues came away heartened that "resource" is now available to help Swifts.
My other news is that my campaign (renamed Action for Swifts three years ago) has now amalgamated with London Swifts to form a new organisation called Swift Conservation. I can now bin my copy of Dreamweaver, thank god!
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;
Clung to the whistling main of every wind. (Thomson)
Maybe I can start to relax now.