Not just any old birds – I’m referring to the Sand martins (Riparia riparia), one of the first migrating birds to arrive in the springtime. When you start to see them swooping and diving in the hunt for insects and hear their characteristic chattering sounds, you know summer really is just around the corner.
The Sand martins have been arriving at various places along the south Wales coast for the past couple of weeks, after a marathon flight from their overwintering spots in the Sahel, south of the Sahara in Africa. For such small birds, it really is a huge effort so it’s no surprise they stop over in Cardiff Bay to refuel and rest up. Though many birds fly on to destinations throughout Britain, some will stay on in Wales to breed and raise their broods of four or five chicks before heading south to Africa again around August-September. It’s usually quite difficult to get photos of these aerial acrobats but this morning I got lucky when this little one sat and sang me a pretty song.