Friday, August 5, 2022

Martin News

We received information about the French ringed Sand Martin 8911708 Paris we caught at the Cockerham colony on 4 June 2022, the martin identified then as a breeding male ( 4 ). 

4 June 2022

Paris 8911708

Adult Sand Martin

At the time we assumed it had been ringed along the Atlantic coast of France but a detail that surprised us was not the place of ringing, Chenac-Saint-Seurin-d'Uzet, Charente-Maritime, but rather, the early date of the capture as 17 July 2021.  At that time it was a juvenile of the year 2021 so must have left its place of birth quite early before flying over the English Channel and then to South West France in the early part of July. 

Sand Martin 8911708
The BTO Migration Atlas tells us that young Sand Martins continue to roost in their birth tunnels or adjacent ones for several weeks before their gradual dispersal to other roosts and other colonies during their familiarisation period. This is a time of life that helps their return in the following year when they choose a place in which to breed, a location that is usually close to their place of birth. 

The summer of 2021 was an especially poor one of rain, below average temperatures and lack of food when the Cockerham colony, perhaps along with others colonies, appeared to abandon their nests early. We have no way of knowing for sure if the wet and cold summer contributed to the early capture of 8911708 so early in July 2021 but it almost certainly played a part. 

Juvenile Sand Martin
Duration: 322 days Distance: 951 km Direction: 352deg (N). 

The week has not been helpful to ringing with strong winds on most days. Saturday and all of next week are looking much more helpful. 

And the week after next will be our last visit to the Sand Martins before they all fly south again. Hopefully we can increase our total of 160 captures for 2022 and gather more information about the fascinating lifestyle of this species.

Thanks are due to the Parry Family for allowing continued access to the site and for their support in our studies.

Log in soon to Another Bird Blog for more news, views and photos. 

Linking this weekend to Eileen's Blogspot and Anni in Texas.


Jenn Jilks said...

Migration must be a fascinating topic for researchers, as well as people, like yourself, who help with the studies.
(ツ) from Jenn Jilks , ON, Canada!

Shiju Sugunan said...

Great tracking! I learn a lot from your posts.

eileeninmd said...


It is interesting to learn about these Sand Martins and their lifestyle and migration. It is a cute little bird, great photos. Thank you for sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your weekend.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

How awesome to find one banded and figure out his path! Enjoy your weekend!

Rostrose said...

It's exciting stories that the birds tell, dear Phil! And some birds have obviously traveled far.
Speaking of stories, speaking of travel:
You asked me if I could imagine going on holiday and not taking a camera or two? I can hardly imagine it - we always take a lot of photos of our vacations and afterwards I not only write travel reports in my blog, but I also create beautiful photo books that we leaf through again and again and remember. I wouldn't want to just take pictures on my phone and not do anything with those photos.
But there was one holiday - in the mid-1980s - I was traveling alone and my camera was stolen. I only have a few photos from that time (sent to me by the people I met along the way) - but from this holiday more pictures have burned into my memory than from any other trip. This shows me that it is also possible without photos...
Happy weekend and all the best!

Taken For Granted said...

Thank you for introducing me to a bird I know nothing about. Great photos.

Anni said...

I am always fascinated by the info on ANY bird's migration. And you ringers help with research so much, never to receive the accolades deserved. Very interesting read today Phil.

Thanks so much for taking time to link in this week at I'd Rather B Birdin'.

Linda said...

Sweet birds. I hope your weather has improved.

Andree said...

This is a fascinating post. I'm sure I'll be learning more in the future here. I see on the sidebar that you read Insectopedia. Me, too. Lots of great info it it.

Veronica Lee said...

There's always so much to learn from your posts, Phil.

Spectacular photos!

Wally Jones said...

The more we learn, the more we want to know.

Your efforts to provide data for researchers continue to be stellar! Thank you for your unselfish labor.

That young Sand Martin appears to be an over-achiever! Hopefully, he has helped spread his healthy genes around so more stalwart martins will be prepared for their journey through life.

We hope your weather begins to cooperate so you can be even more productive in the field. Too much time lying about the hacienda may reveal domestic chores which need your attention. No one wants that!

Our own weather continues to be predictable. Clear mornings with extreme humidity, very hot by noon, thunderstorms in the afternoon. Wash - rinse - repeat.

We observed three migratory passerine species this week: American Redstart, Prairie Warbler and Prothonotary Warbler. Autumn (!) migration has begun.

Gini and I send you best wishes from the colonies.

NCSue said...

So cool to read your posts - thanks so much for sharing at

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