Learn all about swifts at Ballyronan marina centre

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IF you are a keen bird-watcher, then why not learn more about the humble swift at an evening that will reveal some amazing truths about this overlooked bird.

A ‘Swift Evening’ has been organised as part of the Mid Ulster Biodiversity Project at Ballyronan Marina Centre on Tuesday 3 April at 7.30pm.

Mark Edgar, Biodiversity Officer for the Mid Ulster area explained: “Swifts are those dark coloured streamlined birds with long pointed wings, which speed and scream over the rooftops of our buildings in the summer. They are with us for just 3-4 months each year.”

Ballyronan has been chosen as a venue as Lough Neagh is an important feeding area for swifts, with breeding birds travelling from nearby towns and villages to fill up on the ‘Lough Neagh Fly’ on which they feed their young. Mark appealed, “The swifts are due to arrive with us towards the end of April, or into early May, depending on the weather. I would be delighted to hear from anybody when they see the swifts arriving and settling down to breed. Ideally if you could let us know of any colonies of swifts breeding in the area, but even knowing single nest sites is important.

If you are interested in finding out more about swifts, Mark would be delighted to see you on the night. For further information on this event, or if you are interested in the Mid Ulster Biodiversity Project in general, please contact Mark Edgar, Biodiversity Officer, Cookstown, Magherafelt and Dungannon & South Tyrone councils on 028 86762205, 07717732034 or e-mail: mark.edgar@dungannon.gov.uk.