As part of our Neighbourhood Planning activity, there is a focus on better protection for Long Leys wildlife. One area where help from the Leys community would be appreciated is on spotting migratory birds such as House Martins, Swallows and Swifts which arrived this spring to nest. The West Common provides good feeding and nest material for these birds which then generally nest around buildings in Long Leys.
Update 30 July 2019 : We have now added the Burton Ridge and West End to the survey area. Whilst very late in the season, data collected will give us a head start for next year.
How You Can Help
We would like help in identifying the areas that each of these three birds have chosen to nest in 2019. This information will direct future conservation efforts. To take part, keep a look out for the three birds and their nests close to your home.
If you sight them then please report the sighting using the Bird-Survey system on the website. This involves:
- Typing in your name and email address
- Selecting the habitat area the bird was seen in; For Long Leys, Burton Road and West End neighbourhoods use “homes & gardens” if you saw it in an area of housing. For housing areas we also need the postcode of the home (not the house number). To view a map identifying the other habitat areas in Long Leys, Burton Road and West End see Habitat Maps. For other areas no postcode is needed.
- Select the correct bird from the list and choose sighting or nesting.
- For fuller details on using the system, read the Bird-Survey overview.
The priority is to track House Martins, Swallows & Swifts, as nesting season is almost over and they will soon leave us to head south. Later this year we will also be looking for community help in identifying all the resident birds who have their homes in Long Leys, again using the Bird-Survey system. See a Summary of All Bird Sightings to see all birds so far identified in our area.
How to Identify
Click on links below to open RSPB information on each bird (opens in new tab)
- House Martin
- Swift (nest in holes rather than a visible nest, often in buildings)
What We Know Already
A popular place for House Martins to collect mud for nesting material is an ephemeral pond on West Common (that’s a pond that appears and disappears according to ground water levels/rainfall). At least some of the birds make their home in a House Martin colony on Mitchell Drive (Postcode LN1 1AW). Here they make use of the outer walls of houses, under the roof eaves, to build their nests.
Swifts are known to breed in the Burton Road area (with a confirmed sighting in 2017). They are very elusive and it’s pure luck to see where they go, unless your home is the nesting site. Some may well be within our area.
Please help us fill in other locations where House Martins, Swallows and Swifts make their nests.
For any queries email email@example.com.
This particular activity is part of the Neighbourhood Planning project for Long Leys and supports the following focus area:
- Better care and protection for green spaces and wildlife
The Long Leys Neighbourhood Plan is being developed by LLRA and community volunteers, along with specialist support from a grant funded planning consultant and other specialist consultants. The overall project is being managed, on behalf of LLRA, by the Neighbourhood Planning Action Group (NPAG). If you would like to volunteer to help with any of the Neighbourhood Plan activity, which is 100% community led and controlled, then email us at NPAG@long-leys.org. Volunteers willingly give up their time to benefit the whole Long Leys community.
See long-leys.org/neighbourhood-plan/ for more details on the project.
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sue tilford says
There are swallows nesting at the Grandstand stables , anecdotally there are fewer than previous years . I haven’t seen a swift this year and the house martins tend to pass thru on migration in Autumn but otherwise seldom seen in the stable yard
There are lots of House Martins nesting in the Eves of St Faiths church hall on West Parade. I see lots of swallows swooping over the football pitches in the West Common. I imagine they might be nesting on the old grandstand but haven’t been down there personally.