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House Martins returned (1 Viewer)

Ernest Garcia

Active member
Crag Martins apart, southern Iberian hirundines do not winter in North Africa, nor even by and large in Iberia. They have to complete their annual post-breeding moult and this must require considerable energy resources over and above the day to day requirement. I am of the opinion that those seen in southern Iberia or the Maghreb in January are early returners that have completed their moult south of the Sahara. Much the same applies to Pallid Swifts. Crag Martins may be able to overwinter in southern Europe because they are larger than the other hirundines and so are probably less sensitive to cold snaps - they still descend to low level locations, principally along coasts, where temperatures are milder and aerial insects more available.
 

gerald762

Well-known member
England
We assume that these early swallows have a long way to go. Nothing stops here for at least 2 more months.
 

Simon Wates

Well-known member
We assume that these early swallows have a long way to go. Nothing stops here for at least 2 more months.

In the 1980s when I lived near Tarifa, Swallows started breeding in February. I'm convinced the early birds in southern Iberia have come to breed in the region. There is a large influx that moves through March and April, fitting in with arrival times further north.
 

Simon Wates

Well-known member
Crag Martins apart, southern Iberian hirundines do not winter in North Africa, nor even by and large in Iberia. They have to complete their annual post-breeding moult and this must require considerable energy resources over and above the day to day requirement. I am of the opinion that those seen in southern Iberia or the Maghreb in January are early returners that have completed their moult south of the Sahara. Much the same applies to Pallid Swifts. Crag Martins may be able to overwinter in southern Europe because they are larger than the other hirundines and so are probably less sensitive to cold snaps - they still descend to low level locations, principally along coasts, where temperatures are milder and aerial insects more available.

Thanks, very nicely put. It has been my take on this subject too.
 

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