House Martins in the Garden
A welcome Summer visitor from Africa
House Martin in flight - Photo: © Down the Lane
The House Martin is a Summer visitor to the UK and upon arrival in late April after a some 4,000 mile flight, they will take rest usually along the coastline before travelling inland to re-occupy their previous Nests or find another suitable spot. The wonder of these birds finding their destination by pinpoint navigation is something to behold!
Upon arrival at their chosen nesting place they will immediately start building their homes from Mud. This takes 7 - 10 days and during this time you'll see them searching out mud pools left by rain, hose or the side of streams.
House Martins are prone to nest under eaves on white or light coloured buildings, so if you wonder why the neighbour gets them and not you, this could be the reason.
After building their nests they will spend most of the time feeding on insects up to a great height.
Regret to say their numbers are falling but much work in the form of Field Studies is being carried out by the British Trust of Ornithology to find the reason for this. Once again climate change comes into this plus suitable environments for their food source.