The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) will be conducting a national survey of House Martin nests next year in a bid to help understand their national decline.
The BTO say “Volunteers have helped us to collect information about breeding House Martins on their houses via a small-scale survey during 2009–13, and we’ve been encouraging ringers to carry out project work. During the summer of 2014 we tested methods for surveying House Martins and their breeding colonies on a larger scale and we hope that this work will lead to a national survey in 2015 and 2016. We hope to establish a reliable population estimate, investigate how the population is distributed in the built environment and look at the position of nests, timing of nesting and number of broods from a wide geographic area.”
We will be taking part in this survey and the Greener Bexley charity hopes to be encouraging householders near the small colony in Bexley Village to put up nests too. There are only a very few known nesting sites for House Martins in the Borough – others are Shearwood Crescent in Crayford, Chandlers Drive in Erith (both of which suffer from nest destruction by residents) and a road in Slade Green, but we suspect there are more. Perhaps one/some of the several hundreds of RSPB members in Bexley would like to lead a co-ordinated effort on this locally? If so, please get in touch with Jonathan Rooks at <email@example.com>
You can read more on them at http://www.bto.org/about-birds/bird-of-month/house-martin?dm_i=IG4,2SA62,H7T58M,A4NRY,1