Cardiff Bay House Martins

I did my annual survey of nesting HM in the Bay area this week. Preliminary results indicate a big drop in numbers, with one former colony having no nests at all.. However, I saw one pair just starting to build a nest in Windsor Quay and a second half-built nest looked like it was this years, although I didn’t see the adults. Are birds still arriving? Or maybe they lost a first nest. And are numbers down generally?

My survey covers Adventurers Quay, Penarth Marina, Grangemoor Court and Windsor Quay. If anyone knows of other nesting HM in the Bay area, please contact me or reply to this post.

9 thoughts on “Cardiff Bay House Martins

  1. Paul – HM numbers are much reduced in Llanharan area – the 3 nests I monitor for BTO HM Survey are doing well and the first brood for 2 of the nest have already taken to the wing. Now waiting to see if they have a second brood. Regards Tony Swann

    1. Paul Seligman

      Thanks, Tony. Interesting. My local HM were unable to nest 2 years back because of repairs to the building (local shops) where there had previously been a small colony of 3-4 nests each year. They never returned, and I see none around my immediate area in Fairwater now, hence did not adopt any nests for BTO 2016 survey. But busy doing my own surveys, plus WCBS (butterflies), general birding and recording anything else that I can ID or get IDed…..

  2. From monitoring the Penarth Marina nests for the BTO survey adults are going into unused nests and looking like they may be prospecting/laying, about 14 nests with fledged young so far. Pete

    1. Paul Seligman

      I counted 17 nests that i believed had young in them (not fledged necessarily) on Tuesday, with a total of 74 nests that appeared to be ‘in use/active’ for which I count fresh-looking excrement or recent repair as indicative as well as seeing birds entering/leaving. Down on last year, but numbers are much more depleted around the rest of the Bay. A very late season then.

  3. Not much further afield, there are 9 nests top end of Glebe St in Penarth (near the Lion pub – must be happy hour again). Can’t remember this number here for quite a few years which I thought was a positive sign until I saw above comments. Haven’t been actively looking but have been happy to see good numbers feeding around St Augustine’s church especially when they cut the grass a week or so ago.

    1. Paul Seligman

      It’s always possible birds have moved to new areas, maybe some displaced from lower down to Glebe Street. They aren’t always fantastically site loyal, and I noticed this year that nests within the areas I looked at have moved a little.

  4. Not all of the Glebe st ones are in use although there were also attempts to start new nests this year. There’s quite a few in neighbouring streets as well. Salop place has several

    1. Paul Seligman

      I too opportunity to look round quite a bit of that area today and found 13 nests in Northern (‘top end’) of Glebe St and Queens Road nearby. I didn’t go to Salop Place, as I’d forgotten about this post, are there still nests there? @ianhartrey @cinemaclassic

  5. Steve Young

    In my BBS survey site (In Canton/Leckwith) it appeared that two pairs of House Martins might be nesting-flying into former sites on two occasions. The birds subsequently “moved on” without breeding.

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