British wildlife recordings
Riparia riparia : Sand Martin - Hirundinidae
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OS Grid Reference(258500,80500)
Sand Martin, Riparia riparia
Sand martins calling, recorded at a sandbank colony (location unspecified). Sand martins begin arriving from their African wintering grounds during March and can be found across the British Isles where they breed along river banks, earth banks and quarries. These extremely skilled fliers are recognisable by their sharply turning flight paths, a skill which enables them catch invertebrates whilst in the air. Another recognisable feature of sand martins is their plumage which consists of brown wings and upperparts contrasting well with white underparts. The song and call are very similar, both consisting of twittering sequences, however the call is probably richer in content and more pleasant to the ear.