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Beautiful photos show nesting sand martins returning to Suffolk dunes

PUBLISHED: 13:30 18 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:32 18 April 2018

Sandmartins nesting in Corton Cliffs near Lowestoft. PICTURE: John Ellerby

Sandmartins nesting in Corton Cliffs near Lowestoft. PICTURE: John Ellerby

Sand martins returned to the cliffs of Corton as summer weather took hold of the Suffolk coast.

Sandmartins nesting in the sand dunes of Corton Cliffs. PICTURE: John EllerbySandmartins nesting in the sand dunes of Corton Cliffs. PICTURE: John Ellerby

The migrant birds are one of the first spring birds to appear, arriving mid-March to mid-April, with some birds arriving as late as June.

Sand martins nest in colonies, some of which can contain more than 100 pairs. They excavate tunnels in sandy, dry vertical banks in sand and gravel pits, railway cuttings, riverbanks and sea-cliffs.

John Ellerby, the photographer who took the photos, said: “An angler told me that they would be here soon in March, and about eight days ago they arrived.

“When I first arrived there were about eight a week ago and now there are about 30.”

Sandmartins nesting in Corton Cliffs. PICTURE: John EllerbySandmartins nesting in Corton Cliffs. PICTURE: John Ellerby

He added: “They are obviously feeding like mad. I think what they are doing is sorting out who goes in which nest.

“There is a lot of chasing about and then they all come back and have a conversation. It’s fascinating to watch.”

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