BIRD 1

Bird Watching (UK) - - May Id Challenge -

This one should have pre­sented no great prob­lems for you. If it did, you need to go back to your first les­son in swal­low ID; or at least look in a book and learn. Here we have a black-and-white look­ing bird, with a beak full of wet mud. The un­der­parts are a clean, pure white from the throat to the un­der­tail coverts. Even the legs are feath­ered white, and in­ci­den­tally, are far too long for a swift species (which have tiny legs). The up­per­parts ap­pear black or very dark, glossy blue-black. But the white of the un­der­parts seems to wrap around to the rump (just be­hind the wings); we only have one hirun­dine with a white rump. The un­der­wings are dark. All the el­e­ments are there to iden­tify this as a House Martin, gath­er­ing mud for a wall-mounted mud nest.

KEY FEA­TURES †Clean white over whole of un­der­parts, even ‘trousers’ †White rump †Dark un­der­wings †Blue-black head, back and up­per­wing

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