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Visitors to the reserve may now notice a change in the view from the bird hide!

On Thursday, the team and some wonderful volunteers embarked on a mammoth task. The dismantling of the sand martin box, and its relocation to the island to the left-hand-side of the bird hide.

Its original position on the boundary bank adjacent to the brickworks was not successful, with only one blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus and one sand martin Riparia riparia seen accessing the box since it was erected in April 2021. This position was intended to try and draw the sand martins away from the brickworks where they were nesting in the brick stacks in the stock yard. However, this was unsuccessful.

Undeterred, it was decided that the box would be better placed on the island close to where the birds feed (and would also be more easily viewable for monitoring purposes). So, work started to deconstruct the box for its careful relocation.

The box, weighing a quarter of a tonne, took a whole day to dismantle, move and reconstruct in its new island location. The following day, finishing touches took place, to ensure the box was again water tight and ready for use. We must say, it is looking impressive and we are hopeful that the sand martins favour this new spot overlooking the lake, with easy access to lots of their favourite food.

Sand martin’s feed on invertebrates taken on the wing and are incredibly agile fliers, feeding mainly over water.  So look out for them skimming across the lake in front of the hide during the coming months.

Please ensure you record all sightings during your visits, in the bird hide log book. All records are imported throughout the year into our Mapmate database. They are also submitted annually, to the local records office.