Cornwall Swift Survey 2020


The spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is having a significant impact on our lives and is likely to continue to do so over the coming months. Cornwall Birds (CBWPS) is taking this threat seriously, with utmost concern for the health and well-being of our wardens, officers and members, and those landowners and communities with which we interact. The guidance issued for the Swift Survey is based on the position of the BTO and RSPB who have liaised with the JNCC and appropriate members of government.

The JNCC position clearly states that survey and monitoring work undertaken by volunteers is not classed by government as an essential activity, meaning that surveyors, including ringers and nest recorders, are subject to all constraints on travel and other areas of life currently imposed on the general public. It is therefore vital that:

  • All activities adhere to government guidelines at all times.
  • Swift surveyors ensure that the guidance being referred to is up-to-date – guidelines are subject to change, dependent on the prevalence of disease over coming months.

A key message we’d like to get across is that our highest priority during our activities must be to protect the welfare of volunteers and members of the public; there is no obligation to take part in Swift survey work and if you have any doubts about the impacts of your activities on yourself or others, please do not undertake them.

Specifically the Swift Survey is tetrad based and as swifts nest near to areas of human habitation it is essential to follow the social distancing guidelines. However, you should feel under no pressure to visit certain locations if you do not feel comfortable doing so, or if you are concerned about the impacts of carrying out survey work on relations with householders. If you do survey a tetrad, please indicate in the comments box whether any estimates are considered representative for the year or are likely to be an under-estimate. It is unlikely that the survey will be completed this year and we propose to continue monitoring next year and if necessary into 2022.

The Swift Survey form and instructions can be download here >Cornwall Swift Project Recording Form< or records can be entered onto the Swift Mapper smartphone app which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

For more information on how you can help our swifts and other ways you can help please see our main Save our Swifts- Homepage