MB

  All users of this forum, please ensure you familiarise yourselves with the sticky posts at the top of each forum; posts not conforming to these guidelines and requests will be deleted.

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Species in focus - House Martin


Status: Offline
Posts: 1024
Date:
RE: Species in focus - House Martin


The House Martin is another priority breeding species that we first had a look at in the latter half of last summer. Mention was made at that time as to the potential difficulties and pitfalls of watching birds that nest in such close proximity to man. Unfortunately, the data from the first three years of our ongoing atlas project suggests that the slightly less fraught option of looking out for recently fledged young had not contributed a great deal of confirmed breeding records to our atlas database between 2008 and 2010. In fact, only 13% of all records were of such sightings and were noted between 7th June and 1st August.

Yes, I'm afraid to report that the data suggests that there is no option but to look up at those nests to see what is going on!

Sightings of occupied House Martin nests (code ON) and for nests with young (code NY) accounted for approximately 59% and 24% respectively of all confirmed breeding records logged in the years 2008, 2009 and 2010. Just a quick reminder, that for nests with young it is not essential for us to actually view the young in the nest. The well grown nestlings are very vocal and just hearing them calling is sufficient to allow breeding to be confirmed.

Early and late dates for all ON and NY coded records in this three year period were as follows:-

ON NY

11/5/08 - 3/8/08 14/6/08 - 24/7/08
21/5/09 - 29/7/09 13/6/09 - 9/7/09
23/5/10 - 28/8/10 26/6/10 - 30/8/10


For occupied nests, June with 59% of all such records was the peak month, with July recording 27%.

For nests with young, June accounted for 33% and July for 58% of all such coded records.

The latest breeding activity/distribution map for House Martin can be seen here. Some progress was made in increasing the number of tetrads with confirmed breeding from 54 at the end of 2009 to 84 by the end of 2010. However, as the graphic clearly shows this is well down on the figure at the time of our atlas. Please help in trying to fill in some of these apparent gaps and upgrade the breeding status of tetrads wherever possible. This species has a much extended breeding season - certainly past some of the late dates recorded in the above tables! Indeed, the Birds in Greater Manchester County Report for 2009 noted birds not fledging from a nest in Higher Broughton, Salford until 3rd October. Please keep looking for and registering all of your breeding records for our atlas for House Martin, even after the end of the "official" recording season (July 31st). All records are valuable and they will make a big difference when we finally get round to assessing the current breeding status of the House Martin in Greater Manchester. Thank you.

__________________
GREATER MANCHESTER NEEDS YOUR BIRD SIGHTINGS!


Status: Offline
Posts: 1024
Date:

Hi Simon,

Many thanks for checking out these old House Martin colonies and for taking the time to report your findings. It really is a terrific shame that they are not still about. cry.gif

From what I have read, I understand that established breeders show a marked year to year loyalty to a nest site or its vicinity, with a good percentage of birds returning to the same nest or the same house/building. Near to where I live there used to be a substantial House Martin colony on a local brewery prior to it being "netted" to prevent the birds accessing the site. When I had a wander around the general area surrounding the brewery earlier this summer I was surprised to find small colonies on buildings, not too far away from the original site, that I had overlooked before in previous years. I'm sure you know your area much better than I do but is it possible that the distant descendants of that old Wythenshawe Hospital colony might have relocated somewhere suitable close by, but possibly now be split up into smaller colonies?

Once again thanks for looking. thumbsup.gif

Best wishes,

Bill.


-- Edited by Bill Myerscough on Saturday 10th of July 2010 08:51:01 PM

__________________
GREATER MANCHESTER NEEDS YOUR BIRD SIGHTINGS!


Status: Offline
Posts: 57
Date:

I went to a few old sites I remembered from the 1980s and there all gone, Wythenshawe Hospital used have a massive colony down the lane that is now closed, in the 80s it even overspiled to the etstate directy opposite, Nevendon Drive and surrounding areas.
The orange brick building actually inside the hospital in the late 80s early 90s had about 20+nests on it.
not a martin to be seen there today disbelief.gif






-- Edited by Simon Gregory on Friday 9th of July 2010 05:25:22 PM

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 823
Date:

I've been doing SJ8392 for the BTO BBS for 9 years now and House Martin's have always been thin on the ground (or air). There used to be a few nesting on the corner of Barlow Moor Rd/Princess Parkway but the building got renovated and they moved on. I think there were a few pairs on the old Withington Hospital as well - there were certainly Swifts nesting here, but all that has been demolished now.

They started breeding on Burton Rd last year.

__________________



Status: Offline
Posts: 439
Date:

Thanks Tony,

Your record has added another confirmed breeding tetrad to the House Martin map. There is in fact no record in this tetrad on the BBGM distribution map. This may be due to lack of coverage at the time or possibly indicates that this species may be nesting in previously unoccupied areas.

The results from the 2008 & 2009 breeding seasons show House Martin as a confirmed breeder in just 6 tetrads in the whole of Manchester borough. Surely not a true indication of its status?


Steve

__________________
The Watergrove Skyline (January 2010) - before desecration.


Status: Offline
Posts: 11745
Date:

Remember folks, any sightings go in the sightings forum please

__________________
Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


Status: Offline
Posts: 823
Date:

Pub Martins under the eaves at the Metropolitan on Burton Rd, Withington

I've entered a Roving Record for them.

__________________



Status: Offline
Posts: 1024
Date:

The problems and pitfalls of urban birding? Yes, it's certainly not easy looking at species that breed on houses and suchlike. All that craning of the neck and peering up towards the roof space shocked.gif...... with all those nagging worries that the house owner may spot you and think you are checking-out their burglar alarm system and "casing out the joint" or even worse that you are taken to be some oddball peeping-tom ashamed.gif, hoping to catch a glimpse of the occupier as he/she gets undressed behind an upstairs window! biggrin.gif Still even these entirely reasonable fears can't be the only explanation why we have far less confirmed breeding records than we might have expected for House house.gif Martin for the current breeding birds atlas projects!! shrug.gifconfuse.gif

Let's get those all important facts and figures out of the way first blahblah.giflaughing.gif and then have a look at what we can do to improve the number of records on our atlas database. At the end of the 2009 breeding season House Martin had been confirmed as a breeding species in only 54 tetrads.....a paltry, pathetic, pitiful, piffling (isn't it just great going way "over the top" laughing.gif with the thesaurus function on a word-processing program!) 28% of the total figure recorded at the end of our last local breeding birds atlas project (1979 - 1983 BBGM).

Fortunately, there is still time for us to rectify this, as generally House Martin is one of our later breeding species. At this time of the year most nest building should have been completed and House Martins seen disappearing under the eaves of roofs at present are almost certainly visiting occupied nests. If you are happy that this is the case, then for atlas purposes you should use the code - ON - (adults entering or leaving nest-site in circumstances indicating occupied nest). Of course you may be fortunate enough to hear or even catch sight of young birds at the entrance to the nest hole and then you may use code - NY - (nest with young seen or heard). Don't forget to also look on shops, pubs and other such buildings... remember Shop Martins and Pub Martins all count as well! biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

It would be really great if all GM birdwatchers could help by contributing their records of breeding House Martins and dont forget that every single record is really important and all will eventually be used in producing our very own GM breeding birds atlas for the period 2008 to 2011. Let's make our atlas something we can be proud of.

Anyway that's all for now - must go and try and get a few confirmed breeding records for House Martin myself....and if I unintentionally catch a glimpse of any of my neighbours grandma.gif in the buff blush.gif at an upstairs window, well I'll just have to immediately forget what I observed won't I.......other than the occupied House Martin nest of course!!!

Many thanks,

Bill.

P.S . - on a genuinely serious note now and apologies for stating the completely obvious but please use your common sense when looking for House Martin nests and always consider the privacy of residents and also for your own well-being, do not put yourself at risk of confrontation fight.gif by your bird watching activities.



__________________
GREATER MANCHESTER NEEDS YOUR BIRD SIGHTINGS!
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

RODIS

 

This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar; rest in peace mum.