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WATCH: Sand martins build new nesting site on collapsed cliffs

PUBLISHED: 11:48 04 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:48 04 May 2020

Sand martins have been building a new nesting site on the cliffs at Walcott in north Norfolk. Picture: Jon Sweatman

Sand martins have been building a new nesting site on the cliffs at Walcott in north Norfolk. Picture: Jon Sweatman

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A colony of sand martins has made a welcome return to Norfolk.

Sand martins have been building a new nesting site on the cliffs at Walcott in north Norfolk. Picture: Jon SweatmanSand martins have been building a new nesting site on the cliffs at Walcott in north Norfolk. Picture: Jon Sweatman

The birds fly more than 5,000 miles each spring to roost in spots including the cliffs on the north Norfolk coast.

Jonathan Sweatman photographed some of the birds building a new nesting site on the cliffs at Walcott.

Mr Sweatman, who lives in the village, said: “Where they are building is on part of the cliff that collapsed last winter.”

Sand martins bore tunnels up to a metre in length, and they lay their eggs on collected straw and feathers in a chamber at the end.

Sand martins have been building a new nesting site on the cliffs at Walcott in north Norfolk. Picture: Jon SweatmanSand martins have been building a new nesting site on the cliffs at Walcott in north Norfolk. Picture: Jon Sweatman

There was an outcry around this time last year when North Norfolk District Council put up netting over a mile-long stretch of cliffs in the area to stop the sand martins using the holes there.

This was because of fears they would be at risk of works part of a £21 million sandscaping project. But the council was forced to remove part of the netting so the sand martins could return to their holes.


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