Looking for lum screamers

DO YOU have lum screamers in your neighbourhood?

If you do then the Angus Council ranger service would love to hear from you.

Lum screamer is a Scottish term for a swift. These fascinating birds visit Scotland from Africa for just over three months each summer.

They eat, sleep and mate on the wing, never perching on wires or posts like swallows and martins.

In fact the only time they land is when raising their chicks. They are faithful to one nest site and return there year after year.

However, figures show that since the mid-1990s there has been a 62% decline in Scotland’s swift population mainly due to loss of nesting and feeding sites.

Swifts rely on our buildings for nest sites, often using gaps in stonework, behind down-pipes, or under the guttering. One of the reasons their numbers have dropped is that nest sites are being lost due to building demolition and overzealous renovation.

July is a great time to spot them as they gather in screaming parties on a fine summer evening, as they zoom around the tops of the buildings in which they nest.

The ranger service in association with the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership are looking for the location and numbers of birds in these screeching parties, as well as details of where they are nesting.

Using the information gathered, the rangers can map Swift priority zones which will hopefully help safeguard these amazing birds for future generations.

The information the rangers are looking for is size of screeching party; location plus any nesting locations. Please contact the rangers at Forfar Loch Country Park, e-mail forfarloch@angus.gov.uk or telephone 01307 461118.

Alternatively sightings can be recorded directly into the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership’s on-line survey at www.taysidebiodiversity.co.uk/getinvolvedprojectswiftsonlinesurvey.asp