With the dry conditions I thought i would make up a puddle close to home and see if I could tempt some birds in to drink and bathe and hopefully get some swallows or house martins in collecting mud from the puddles edge. I was not to be disappointed I can tell you.
The expected birds such as yellow wagtails and finches and buntings were present although shy to come to the water, and not staying for long. But it was not long before the calling of swallows became present and over the next 2 mornings I was able to get some new images of them along with the more shy house martin. What fantastic colours that shine and dazzle in the sun.
What a delight to watch them coming and going. The swallows obviously had a bit further to travel and the house martins were always first back, but they were a lot more shy in landing and it was down to the swallows return where they would relax enough to land and gather up the mud.
In watching them I could see that the house martins tended to gather small bits of grass material or grit and then gather the soft mud, the swallows would go for the strands of hay/grass from a nearby heap of manure and then gather the mud which would then be placed at the nest with the straw already built in and ready to dry. It was lovely to watch and with the ground so hard I felt good in providing nesting material for them.