Wednesday 15 July 2015

Sand Martins - Visit Two

Last week John, Steve and myself headed over to Macfin for the second visit of the season to the large Sand Martin colony.  We went for an afternoon session and it was a little breezy but it remained dry and mostly cloudy.  On arrival there were a large number of birds very agitated by a Magpie around the nest holes, which was similar to last time but in that case it was a cat! 
The number of birds seemed to be slightly down on the last visit but the numbers were still high. 

                      Juvenile Sand Martin                © JC

In total we caught 55 birds, of which 15 were retraps and 20 of those new birds were juveniles.  Four of the retraps were from last year, taking us up to only 7 birds from last year, which still seems very low to me. 

There was an extra injection of excitement when a Sparrowhawk went tearing into the sand pit and went into the main 12 metre net.  It stuck in the top shelf for all of two seconds before dropping to the bottom shelf.  I went at full speed to extract the bird but it flipped out and away before I could get half way.  Maybe next time!   

The final visit of the season will probably take place on the last weekend of July. 

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