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House Building Yorkshire Style

We recently had family staying with us over from America and so we had to take them to the Dales to see the glory of Yorkshire. I wasn't expecting to have much time for taking pictures other than family portraits and poses. However I knew the Peregrines were back nesting on the Cove so I packed all the lenses, you never know!!

Unfortunately the falcons weren't playing but there were plenty of House Martins bombing around which I can watch for hours. After awhile I noticed they kept disappearing behind a rock in the river at the foot of the cove. I thought they were probably drinking so went for a closer look.

There were a regular 15 to 20 birds at a time and they were collecting mud to build there nests. The nest is a neat cup fixed below one of the many ledges on the Coves face. The nest has a narrow opening at the top. Both sexes will help build the nest with beaks full of mud and will then line it with grasses, hair or other soft materials. The mud is added in successive layers and this is what they were busy scooping up.

It's amazing to think that these little guys fly all the way from Africa to build a nest on the cliffs of Malham to raise their young! They are around 13cm long and weigh about 18 grams and fly all the way from the Sahara to spend the summer in Yorkshire! Can't blame them really.

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