The conservation of Sand Martin birds at Whitemountain Sites.

As part of Whitemountain’s Environmental Sustainability Plan, employees have created habitats at Sandy Bay and Macosquin Depots, Ballystockart and Temple Quarries to facilitate breeding pairs of Sand Martins who arrive each spring from Sub Saharan Africa.

At each of the sites where Sand Martins have nested, the Whitemountain environmental team have segregated off the immediate area around the nesting colonies to facilitate the conservation of the birds.

Site staff have been provided with instruction regarding the protection of the colony and the measures taken to avoid the immediate area until nesting has finished. Sand Martins are the smallest European hirundines (martins and swallows), with dark brown upper parts and dark under wings contrasting with otherwise pale under parts divided by a distinctive dark chest bar. They are very gregarious and nest in colonies, which may contain more than 100 pairs. They excavate tunnels in sandy, dry vertical banks, in sand and gravel pits and also dust piles located in Quarries.

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