The SGEG Bird Life List
Click here to see our SGEG Bird Life List since 2021. (A bird life list is typically a list of all the species that a person has seen over their lifetime - so in our case that the group has seen in Shamley Green since 2021).
Swift nest box scheme in Shamley Green
Swifts are extraordinary birds. For many their piercing call is the promise of summer’s arrival and better weather ahead. You are very likely to have heard their high-pitched calls in Shamley Green and spotted their boomerang silhouettes darting high overhead.
Sadly swift populations are rapidly declining due to a perfect storm of far fewer airborne insects, climate change, and dramatic habitat loss, resulting in their numbers halving in recent years.
But now we can help them! We can take part in The Shamley Green Swift Project, a simple initiative with an important goal: to ensure swifts can continue nesting during the breeding season, by increasing the number and density of nesting sites in Shamley Green. In short, knowledgeably putting up swift boxes in the village.
In 2021, after a large-scale installation in Merrow, Sarah Davis from the Guildford Environmental Forum came to Shamley Green with volunteers from Hampshire Swifts and installed boxes under the eaves of two houses in the village. By 2022 house sparrows had taken up residence while the swifts were flying overhead, which is good news because the swifts were likely to see the sparrows' activity and note the nesting opportunities for the following year.
A swift peeking out from a nest box installed in Guildford
But it’s all about numbers and clustering of boxes, so these two installations were not going to make much difference alone.
The initial goal was to gather expressions of interest from 20 households in Shamley Green who would each agree to one box for each site, or ideally two given swifts’ gregarious nature. The response from Shamley Green residents was brilliant and the goal easily reached. Wonersh and Shamley Green Primary School also committed to installation of a bank of boxes and to engage the children in learning about the swift story to kick-start the Project.
There will also be a second phase to the project as so many more people showed an interest: for more information about swifts and how you can get involved with the project click here, and you can email email@example.com with any queries.
By Summer 2023 we had 58 swift boxes installed in Shamley Green, as shown on this map:
Birds and Bird Watching in Shamley Green
The Shamley Green Bird Watching Group has identified 72 species so far in and around the village, all detailed in the SGEG Bird Life List, including summer visitors such as whitethroat, garden warbler and chiffchaff, and rarer species such as lesser spotted woodpecker and kingfisher.
Click on the following for news articles about birds:
Friendly Great tit
Siskin and Goldfinch, Caroline Colmer Feb 2021
Baby Tawny Owl
Great spotted woodpecker
All these birds have been photographed locally, but it's not easy to get good photos, so we need your help! We want to build up a gallery of our birds and would love it if you could send us your photos and tell us where you saw them and when.
Please also tell us about any exciting bird sightings. Previous sightings have included lesser spotted woodpeckers, flocks of linnets, a kingfisher, a spotted flycatcher on Run Common and two tawny owls spotted in Norley Woods. Let us know if you spot anything exciting!
Click here to get in touch.