Save our House Martins!!!!

I bet most of you who are reading this blog, have seen our lovely summer migrant; the House Martin. This bird is about the size of a 15cm ruler and it migrates from the Tropics and South of Africa, to the breeding grounds of Northern Africa and Europe. The reason that I'm blogging about this lovely black and blue hirundine is because its in danger as this species has dropped down to Amber listing and we don't want it to fall to RED, as it has declined by 16% over the last 10 years, but more worrying they've declined by 50% over the last 50 years!!!! AND WE'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING.

The BTO are launching from 2015-2016 a special survey on House Martins will be conducted in 2015:
  • A national survey in 2015 to gather information on the House Martin population, local distribution and their habitat preferences.
And in 2016:
  • A nest monitoring study in 2016 to learn about breeding success, timings and location of nests.

So here are some ways to help out our House Martins:

  1.  If you are not already a member of the BTO, DO SO!
  2. Go to the BTO's website and donate or sign up for their Survey by clicking on the link; http://www.bto.org/support-us/current-appeals/house-martin-appeal?dm_i=IG4,2TMR2,5AE8W7,A90TI,1 
  3. Over this Autumn and Winter put artificial nests up under eaves of your house to encourage the birds to come and nest.
  4. Don't forget to add your sightings to Birdtrack as well!!

For as long as I can remember, my family have been lucky enough to have House Martins breeding under the eaves of my house, and last Autumn my dad bought 2 artificial nests to help boost our local House Martin population so we have 2 artificial and 5 natural nests, during this summer holiday just gone, my ringing group decided to do a study to see how many juveniles and adults will return, also to see if the juveniles from last year will take the nest from which they came from, from the adults?
So far we have ringed 13 birds so can't wait to carry on the project next spring!!!

House Martins 



Boy what a great month for ringing

Sorry about the lack of blogging recently, because I'm settling in to Year 10, with coursework starting already so even less birding time.

Since I've last done a ringing update (its been a while), I've been trying to get out ringing when I can, especially if the weather plays in our favour and boy it has, even when I've been able to go ringing, the others have been catching so many great birds.

A week after the Birdfair I went and cut the rides with my ringer, it started raining so we took shelter under a tree and talked about what we would catch tomorrow, both of us agreed the usual lot like Blackcap, Chiffchaff and possibly a late Willow Warbler. When I got home I got told that I couldn't make the session down to seeing friends, but I wish I was there as they caught 1 TREE PIPIT, 2 Male REDSTARTS, plus even better a NIGHTINGALE!! Nightingale and Redstart are species I've never seen.


Tree Pipit


If you had seen my last update we managed to catch a Kingfisher, 2 weeks later. Sadly I couldn't make the session but they managed to catch another Kingfisher, plus another stonking male Redstart!!

Also we've caught Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler and Tawny Owl as well recently!!!

Tawny Owl