For the past few weeks a flock of about 30 Fairy Martins, together with a few Welcome Swallows, have been flying for insects near the Newstead Cemetery. At the weekend I was watching them as it approached dusk (hence the dodgy photographs!) – on a number of occasions the flock together settled on areas of bare ground, rested for a minute or two, then resumed feeding.
This species makes its bottle-shaped mud nests under bridges and in road culverts. At this time of year they can be observed collecting pellets of mud from puddles to construct their nests. These birds were not obviously collecting material so I’m a bit perplexed by their behaviour. I’ve seen them doing this previously, as I have with swallows – perhaps they are just finding a safe resting place?