30th August 2017 House Martins

A complete change of season in 24hrs. Yesterdays hot and settled weather pushed aside by a wet cold front and with it, a moderate northerly wind. A thoroughly wet and miserable day especially if you’re a long distance, insect seeking migrant looking to feed up before leaving. It rained throughout a late afternoon visit and I spent most of my time looking through the 400+ House Martin that had gathered to feed in the lee of the wind below the cliff tops. All I could see amongst them was a single Swift.

5T6A5756

Adult House Martin.

Unfortunately the light was poor for photography. It was interesting to see the contrast across the worn wings of the adults, BWP suggests wing moult takes place mostly in the tropics, after the majority of the autumn migration has been completed. However (to my untrained eye!) the above bird does seem to show some signs of body moult. Some of the juveniles were very dusky about the face and rump.

5T6A5637

Juvenile House Martin.

5T6A5617

A small part of the group along with the Swift.

5T6A5682

Todays weather a far cry from the Afrotropics where these birds are headed.

5T6A5675

5T6A5851

Surely one of the only true migration spectacles the UK has, congregations of Martins and Swallows. I often wonder what these birds will see on their journey as they pass over so many different landscapes, cities, arid regions and tropical forests.

About BEACHYBOY

Birder
This entry was posted in beachy head birding. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s