Martins on the Move


Martins on the move (Joe Turner JT Photography)


Swallow whipping over the island heading south (Joe Turner JT Photography)


Good numbers recorded in recent weeks (Joe Turner JT Photography)

Wednesday 14th September comments: Migration through the May has picked up in recent weeks and we’ve had a noticeable passage of Hirundines; the family name for Swallows, House Martin and Sand Martins.

As the autumn advances and the darker nights (and colder days) are fast approaching, these migratory birds are moving south to warmer climes and we are recording them on the move. From October-March they’ll spend the winter in Africa before returning north to breed in Scotland and beyond (the May actually supports five pairs of breeding Swallows).

It’s great to watch diurnal migration in action and the May is ideally situated to pick up on this impressive passage. So the next time you look up and see a Swallow fly over, just think of the incredible journey its doing by land and sea on its way south. Below shows recent peaks of Hirundines over the Isle of May:

Tues 6th Sept: Swallow 124, Sand martin 16, House Martin 562

Tues 13th Sept: Swallow 491, Sand Martin 144, House Martin 111

Wed 14th Sept: Swallow 276, House Martin 11

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