Nature makes swift return to Argyll

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?


Subscribe Now

Before coronavirus restrictions were imposed, Argyll Bird Club provided monthly field trip outings around mainland Argyll led by experienced bird watchers.

With most bird surveying suspended as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the club is relieved it has now chosen a species which can be surveyed from home within government advice.

Swifts are slightly larger than swallows and have an all-dark plumage with a short forked tail. They feed on flying insects and spend most of their life in the air – including when they sleep – usually coming down to earth to breed. They are fast fliers, often chasing one another over buildings when they give a screeching call.

Swifts arrive back in Argyll in early May and breed in towns, villages and other buildings in Argyll. They spend around three months in Argyll, departing early-mid August to their wintering grounds in Africa.

The British Trust for Ornithology’s Breeding Bird Survey indicates the population of Swifts in Scotland has declined by around 60 per cent since 1995. A similar decline has taken place in England and Wales. The reasons for the decline are not fully known but are believed to be related to changes in insect numbers and a lack of nesting sites as buildings are modernised.

Argyll is at the north-western limit of the world range of Swifts. Their distribution and numbers in Argyll is not well-known and the purpose of the Argyll Bird Club Survey is to try to find out the size of the breeding population and where they remain.

If you have a Swift nesting in your building, or near you, or would like to take part in this survey further information is available at

For more information about Argyll Bird Club, email Jim Dickson at