Figures in for the Season

Statisticians have been working day and night to bring us the numbers that matter – House Martins.  Regulars here will recall that Third Man for half the year shares his humble cot on the Squire’s estate with these engaging fellow residents – see  South African Tourists Arrive  and Departing Visitors.

The British Trust for Ornithology has just published its results for their 2010 House Martin Survey.   One fact that stands out is that the number of respondents has fallen dramatically this year.  So … if you can, Third Man is sure that your help in 2011 will be much appreciated.

The average number of nests per respondent is also down which was in line with the experience here.  2009 was a bumber year but this year’s figures must be a worry.  The northerly winds that brought volcanic ash to our skies earlier this year also made the northward progress of many of these birds particularly demanding.

Here is the BTO newsletter with some of the results.  There is a wonderful photograph of the eaves of a farmhouse with a nest between every beamend in a total of 35 active nests for the entire building.

On many grounds these good friends are an intrinsic part of the cricketing experience.  KP is not the only one who has headed for Southern Africa this autumn.  Let’s hope the House Martins have been more successful.


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