As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 7 March 2019

Swallows and Sand Martins arrive in North Wales weeks ahead of schedule

Bird Notes columnist Julian Hughes of RSPB Cymru reveals what birds have been spotted in the past week and lists 13 upcoming wildlife events
By  Andrew Forgrave Rural Affairs Editor
23:16, 18 FEB 2019
This week’s plume of warm air, originating in the Sahara Desert, looks set to bring early migrant birds to Wales.
A Swallow feeding last Friday over gardens in Morfa Bychan, near Porthmadog , was exceptionally early, almost a month earlier than the first records in 2018, when arrival was delayed by bad weather in Spain and the “Beast from the East”.
Further Swallows were spotted across the UK over the weekend.
Friday’s Swallow was followed by the first Sand Martin in North Wales on Saturday at Morfa Nefyn , joint earliest in Britain this year, along with one at New Brighton in north Wirral.
Sand Martins are usually mid-March arrivals, while House Martins typically get to North Wales in the first days of April, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one is reported here this week; several House Martins were seen in southern England over the weekend, with two making it as far as northern Scotland.
These early arrivals will need to track down early-emerging flying insects, so the best place to look is over freshwater pools where non-biting midges hatch from the water.

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