Over the past month our team have been creating Sand martin (Riparia riparia) habitats out of recycled barrels ready for when these agile birds arrive from their annual long haul flight from Africa. With thanks to IC Innovations, T.W.Wards and Sheffield City Council, we have installed these bird barrels today!
Previously along this stretch of the River Don at Effingham Street, the birds would nest within the wall cavities, however, due to essential re-pointing works to prevent flooding, these holes are no longer a viable option.
To mitigate this, the team have created an artificial alternative, designed to imitate their natural nesting habitat. As the birds feed predominantly on airborne insects along waterways, the barrels have been placed within this riverine habitat with the anticipation of occupation.
As one of the earliest migrants to touch down in Blighty, Sand martins usually begin to arrive in the UK around March and depart in the late summer (Jul-Sep).
UPDATE (11.04.2017): Sand martins have now been spotted in the area and RSC/SCC are currently revising the positioning of the barrels following ornithologist recommendations!
River Stewardship Company is a company limited by guarantee and registered in England.
Company registration number: 6759419. VAT registration number: 975669843