The Sand Martin is one of our first summer visitors to arrive back in the UK after spending the winter months in sub-Saharan Africa, heralding the new spring and the beginning of a new migration season.
Sand Martin by Andy Mason
With reports of a couple of Sand Martins in Devon at the weekend, and one in Cheshire on 28 February, it seems that spring is definitely here. The first Osprey was also seen on 28 February in Gloucestershire. With light winds forecast for most of southern Europe for the next few days, we should see the arrival of more Sand Martins, the first Wheatears and possibly the first Swallows.
Whilst these birds have successfully completed their long migrations, many others are just beginning theirs. Anyone that has been following the five satellite tagged cuckoos that overwintered in Congo, will have noticed that they have just begun to move north. Kasper was the first to move, and is currently in Ghana, and the furthest north of the five, whilst Clement, the only other cuckoo to have made a significant movement north, is in Cameroon.
You can follow all five cuckoos as they make their way back to the UK here.