SAND MARTIN

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Mouth -

Nearly al­ways the first of our re­turn­ing hirundines, the Sand Martin chances its arm that there will be fly­ing in­sects around from March on­wards (of­ten stay­ing un­til Oc­to­ber). Sand Mar­tins are usu­ally first seen over wa­ter (where in­sects emerge), and soon head off to find suit­able nest sites (th­ese be­ing banks of sand which they can tun­nel out to make their breed­ing colonies). Brown-and-white Sand Mar­tins are our small­est swal­lows. They are eas­ily told from House Mar­tins by their brown colour, breast band and lack of white rump, and from Swal­lows by their colour and much shorter forked tail, as well as their smaller size.

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