A ringing session held locally was productive today with the capture of 47 new House Martins. This is not a species I catch very often and they are quite different from the norm with their incredible soft feathery legs and stunning two-tone plumage. Up close of course the mantle emanates a resplendent metallic blue colour (similar to Swallow), with the upper-side of the wings being more variable and often brown-based and of course the birds also sport a clean white underside and rump. Birds from a previous session this spring at the same site means that we have managed to catch and process a total of 76 House Martins locally - it is assumed that most of these will be local breeders.
Other new birds caught today included 8 Swallows, 5 Pied Wagtails and 4 Magpies. A Grey Wagtail present was seemingly too clever to catch!
Yesterday (3rd) and Eleanor again saw the two Turtle Doves at Harrington Airfield and on the evening of the 2nd a Barn Owl was hunting in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton (they seem very scarce this year).