Martins over the Marsh

Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Saturday 1st May 1999

coot feeding young ON THE RUSHY FIELD a pair of Coots have hatched five chicks. It seems out of character for these belligerent birds to be tenderly feeding their offspring.

swallows sand martin sand martin Two Sand Martins, six House Martins and a pair of Swallows circle and swoop over the marsh. These are our first Martins of the year, it is unusual for us to see Sand Martins in this stretch of the valley.

house martin house martin The Sand Martins are smaller and brown, the House Martins have a white rump, the Swallows have tail streamers.

brown-lipped snail A Brown-lipped Snail, marked like a humbug, has climbed onto the bridge over the canal.

mason bees Mason Bees, Osmia, frantically prospect the mortar between the bricks of our east-facing house wall. The Mason is a solitary bee, the female will nest in a hole such as a nail hole which she fills with mud after laying the egg.

Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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