#30DaysWild Day 5 – Cardiff Bay Sand Martins

Sand Martin Nest

Day 5 of 30 Days Wild brought me to Cardiff Bay today, looking fairly busy due to the Volvo Ocean Race that is currently being hosted in the harbour. However, boats or no boats, the bay is a great place to spot coastal birds – and that’s exactly what I did!

Cardiff Bay has a variety of habitats, including the Cardiff Bay Wetlands which is reed beds and wetlands, host to many wading birds which would have originally been there when the bay was previously a salt marsh. The bay itself is a freshwater lake and is a good place to spot waterbirds, including Great Crested Grebe.

Great Crested Grebe Cardiff Bay
Great Crested Grebe Cardiff Bay

Sand Martins in Cardiff

Tonight I was looking for Sand Martins, the smallest of the UK martins and distinguished from it’s family by a band around it’s neck and it’s favoured habitat being by the coast. They’ve found their home in Cardiff Ba,y not in their natural sandbanks, but in the old industrial docks, in small holes originally used when the docks were actively used in the last century.

I first noticed them darting about catching insects mid-flight, they fly quite low unlike swifts so were easy to spot. After having their fill they then flew back to their little nooks in the docks, quite quickly but not at the same speed of the swifts I’d been tracking yesterday! They were tricky to photograph but I managed to get pictures of them getting into their nesting holes.

Sand Martin Nest
Sand Martin Nest

Keep It Wild

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Sand Martin Nest
Sand Martin Nest

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