Sand Martin in the Breamish Valley
On my walk around the stunning yellow Hedgeley yesterday, I also happened upon several sand martin that appeared to be in the process of exploring the banks of the River Breamish to choose the best spots for excavating their nesting tunnels. Being a social bird, hundreds of pairs can readily nest close together in a colony. On my walk, though, I’d guess I saw around 20 sand martin exploring one bank in the bend of the river.
Over-wintering in eastern and southern Africa, sand martin are one of the first migrant birds to arrive in the UK. They are related to swallows but are the smallest of all the European swallows and martins.
I don’t have a long wildlife lens for my camera, so the following images are the best I could do with my landscape lens fitted. But they do give some idea of the shape of the bird in flight.