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We are delighted to be managing the new Blairgowrie & Rattray Swift Conservation Project, which will be running over the next two years. Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust and the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership have teamed up to fund the project which aims to raise awareness of swifts and their threats, work with groups to map screaming parties and good locations for nestboxes, work with developers and schools and boost the population of these wonderful birds in the towns.

We had our first event in Blairgowrie library a couple of weeks ago where people found out a bit more about the birds, adopted streets to survey and we mapped screaming parties – some from that morning! – on the Swiftmapper

Our next event is a free guided walk and survey training session on Saturday, 24th of June, meeting in front of the library on Leslie St (What3Words ref ///powder.edits.suits) at 8.30pm. It should last until 10 or 10.30pm, depending on what the swifts are doing. No booking is necessary. We will look at how to tell the difference between swifts, swallows & house martins, what a swift nest site looks like, what to look for in screaming parties and chat about how wonderful swifts are! Below is a picture of a low River Ericht in the town.

In other news, we continue to get brilliant sightings of beavers on our tours (apart from on 1 recent canoe safari which may be linked to the low water levels). Otters regularly make an appearance, along with Kingfishers, Dippers and Sandpipers. Here’s a video of one of the four beavers we saw on a tour last week.

Please join us on a tour soon – we aim to make them informative, fun and to bring about a strong feeling of wellbeing.

Swift photo by Craig Cantwell Photography.