Monday, 23 May 2011

Birds of Leabank Square - House & Sand Martins

All the way from Africa - the past few weeks we've had these speedy visitors zooming along the canal feeding on the mozzies.

I'm very sorry about the pics - but these tiny birds are just too quick for me to get a shot of. But I am so happy they're feasting on the mozzies!

First of all we couldn't work out if they were house or sand martins - but after zooming in blearily on the pics - we saw the markings of both.

The house martins spend much of their time on the wing collecting insect prey. Their mud nest is usually sites below the eaves of buildings & they're landing in Gainsborough Schools eaves - so we think they're there. They are summer migrants and spend their winters in Africa.

The sand martins are agile fliers, feeding mainly over water. They will perch on overhead wires or branches - and are landing in the beautiful Sycamore tree along the river.

Do yourself a favour - take a cuppa up to the Purple Garden in the evening after work & marvel at how many mozzies they are sparing us from with their acrobatics.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's really enjoyable listening to a crowd of house martin's chirruping on the wing, it's a sign summer's here. Before Docklands knocked the place down we used to have house martins nesting under the eaves. I was lucky one year to be awake early in the morning to watch the parents coaxing the young to launch themselves out of the nest - really magical.