I keep getting asked the difference between a Swift, Swallow and a Martin. So here are my top tips to tell the difference between these fast flying summer migrants.
Swifts are large, jet black and are always very high in the sky. Often screaming away.
Swallows have streamers from their tails (the males are slightly longer). They also have a red bib. They build their nests as open top ‘shelves’.
Whereas House Martins build their nests right up to the ceiling, leaving just a small hole in which to get in. The main distinguishing features in flight is the wedge shaped tail and white rump.
Sand Martins on the other hand have a yellowy, dusky belly and are dark on top. They are of similar size and shape to a house martin but dirtier with no white rump! They nest solely in sandbanks, hence the name.