Your Bird­ing Month

Bird Watching (UK) - - Contents -

Five birds to find this month in­clude Garganey, Rock Pipit and Black Redstart

YES, IT IS AL­WAYS good to hear the repet­i­tive, stut­ter­ing notes of your first singing Chif­fchaff, or the beau­ti­ful fluty war­ble of that early singing Black­cap. But, spring only re­ally ar­rives when the first Sand Martins ap­pear. The soft buzzing call and that ex­otic sweep­ing flight are so evoca­tive, re­mind­ing you how won­der­ful spring’s bird­watch­ing will be. Don’t ex­pect them to turn up as soon as March be­gins, though; Sand Martins are sen­si­ble enough to wait un­til there is a bit of fly­ing in­sect food be­fore they grace us with their pres­ence. Some­times (and al­ways de­pend­ing where you live), you won’t see one un­til the last week or so of March; though some­times a week or two ear­lier. All three of our hirundines love to feed over wa­ter, on the abun­dance of newly-emerged in­sects, but none is tied to wa­ter as much as the lit­tle Sand Martin. In ad­di­tion to do­ing much of their feed­ing over wa­ter, they also nest colo­nially in sandy banks which are mostly next to a river, lake, or pit. And the first Sand Martins you see this year will prob­a­bly be skim­ming over wa­ter. Some begin­ner bird­watch­ers still get con­fused by swal­low, martin and Swift iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. But there are only four species to think about and all are easy to recog­nise. The Sand Martin is the small­est, and is mid-brown over its up­per­parts with a brown up­per breast band on a white back­ground (belly and throat).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.