Currently in the process of recording migrating hirundines and other birds at a reserve close to the East Sussex coast, the British Trust for Ornithology can ring as many as 1,000 hirundines in one evening. Hirundines comprise of Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows — all of which roost in high numbers on the reserve over summer before continuing their migratory route back to Africa. In fact, the site is one of the world’s largest ringing stations. Other birds are also ringed including Nightjar, Grasshopper Warbler and Sparrowhawk.
Volunteers and staff capture the birds using long mist nets that are erected and run through the reedbeds before the birds come in to roost every evening. Details recorded before being released include the bird’s age, weight and sex, which allow the BTO to monitor long-term population and global migration patterns. | Photos taken by Dan Kitwood of Getty Images.