You're most likely to see swifts whirling around high in the sky at great speeds, or screaming around rooftops in small groups. They swoop low to catch flying insects but don't land. If you see a similar looking bird perched on a wire, it's almost certainly a swallow.
Swifts come here to nest and breed, flying without a break from Africa. They nest inside barns and in holes inside buildings so you're unlikely to see their nests.
Swifts eat and sleep on the wing so are airborne for several months at a time. Recognise them by their dark colour, slightly forked tail (not as much as swallows) and long, narrow wings. One of the places you may see them is around Masham Market Place, where they're such a familiar and much-loved sight, a Swift Sculpture Trail has been created.
Ten sculptures were created by Michael Kusz, Jennifer Tetlow, Katherine Dereli, Adrian Wood and Gaynor Pearson. Each of the sculptures are mounted on historic buildings in and around the square. Some of them are more obvious than others so you may take a little while to spot them, or pick up a map leaflet from Masham Community Office.