You don't need to be a bird expert or even have lots of free time. Swifts are noisy and highly visible birds with a concentrated presence around their nest sites in the early morning and at dusk.
You'll need to be able to carry out 6 surveys between May and the end of July, walking the streets within a designated 500m x 500m survey square. The survey squares will be focused around Cardiff Bay but other survey squares within Cardiff are available.
Surveys should be carried out in the evening, usually between 7:30pm and 9:30pm, timed to finish before dusk. There's no set length of time for the survey but survey squares need to be thoroughly covered, so patience and an eye for detail will help, as will lots of enthusiasm and commitment; there may be times when you don't see a single swift.
Your survey time will be spent visiting known nest sites to establish their condition, identifying new nest sites that we're not currently aware of and watching out for screaming groups of swifts flying at roof height, as this means they're breeding nearby. In carrying out this work it's highly likely you'll come into contact with members of the public. You'll need to be confident engaging with the public if and when the moment arises to help them understand what you're doing and why.
You'll need to record the results from your surveys on our standardised recording forms and input these results to our online Swift Survey. If you're unable to get online from home all volunteers will be able to use the RSPB office in Cardiff to input their survey results if needed.
All training, equipment and survey materials will be provided by the RSPB and Glamorgan Bird Club to ensure you feel both confident and capable to fulfil this extremely important role. Ongoing support will also be available during the survey period should you have any questions or need help along the way.