Monday, 18 July 2016

NORTHANTS BIGGEST SANDMARTIN COLONY?

I've been so preoccupied with visits to Otmoor, Barn Owl excursions and job hunting (didn't take long) and the yearly Greyhound Championship (Saturday) that I've ignored Quarry Walk.
I went down on Sunday and was kicking myself as to why I failed to visit Quarry Walk.
Moulton Quarry is very dead and no Sandmartins this year. So I've been missing my tiny winged terrors.
I kicked myself so hard I've broken my toe because inside the working Quarry has to be the biggest Sandmartin colony in the county.
There's more holes to the right of the frame.
What looks like (for a change) good news as I watched and failed miserably to count was obvious signs the aggregate company has taken steps to accommodate them. At the base are plastic like fences to perhaps stop accidentally loading up the sand from the nesting area. If that's the case,  kudos to the company.
I will stress don't be a numpty and enter the site, even at weekends. You can see the colony from a field adjacent to the gravel pit, in fact standing in the field is the best option as it's here they're nipping around your head busy hunting.
Number wise I'd guess 50+ not bad given where they're nesting


8 comments:

  1. Excellent view and even better news. Congratulations on the job.

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    1. Cheers Adrian. It's only agency work at the moment but it gives me a bit more freedom and better hours

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  2. "Well done" to the quarry company, Doug! That's one heck of a wall of sand that they're saving for the Martins. It's good to know that there's some good news somewhere.

    I take it, by your "didn't take long", that you've now found a job again. Wishing you all the best - - - Richard.

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    1. Excluding the big holes there's 64 nest holes so if they're all occupied that's 128 birds excluding juveniles. Though I don't believe all holes are occupied. In the image there's 19 birds flying back, however 50 birds is conservative claim. I think the company has done well as you pointed out the size they've left to one side is massive and must have an impact on the business on some way.
      I'm working but it's agency. Which suits me at the moment, weirdly more money then previous job.

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  3. Well done with the new Job Douglas..betters/more convenient hours and more money...can't be bad?

    I hope the Sand Martin bank is a permanent fixture and isn't 'dug up' when the birds have gone?...[;o)

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    1. I think I'll stay on agency for a while better money and an ability to choose what days to work, can't be bad ;-)
      The sand pile at the quarry since I was a kid has never really changed in size so hopefully by the time they visit next year it'll still be there

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  4. Nicely done Doug, sadly the colony that was near me has since been gone, they moved the sand bank!

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    1. Sadly Sandmartins and House Martins seem to suffer the same fate when it comes to nest destruction. Which is why I was so surprised this hasn't been

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