A Crowded House of Martins
A type of birding experience that I greatly enjoy is one of those moments where I’ve come across a simply huge number of birds. It can be during migration, in an enormous nesting colony, or with a very gregarious species.
As I mined my old birding photos, I recalled one such experience at the Palekhori-Kambi Dam in the eastern part of the Troodos mountain range of Cyprus. It was June 14 in 2008, when we stopped by the dam for a nice walk after lunch with family in the mountains. And the number of House Martins was pretty damn impressive.
This picture just doesn’t do justice, as it’s a bit zoomed in. The dam wall was over 100 meter wide, which the House Martins sitting and flying about at about this density the whole way. Plus there were many clustered in a few nearby trees:
My thought was that there had to have been over a thousand Martins total. At least. It’s a common species throughout Cyprus and Europe for that matter, but sometimes the common can impress.