I’ve been making regular evening visits to the Newstead Cemetery over recent weeks – chasing some decent shots of Rainbow Bee-eaters … so far without much success. On almost all visits I’ve been intrigued by the following behaviour from Fairy Martins. Small flocks of the birds, perhaps 30 in total (mixed with a few Welcome Swallows and the odd White-backed Swallow), mill over the cemetery before dusk. Small numbers then descend to areas of mainly bare ground to pick what appear to be tiny food items. The photographs below were of birds that alighted no more than a few metres away – inspection of their chosen sites revealed no real clues, other than a few fallen seeds. I was expecting to see insects, perhaps flying ants or something similar that might have brought the hungry martins to earth. Has anyone else observed this behaviour?
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