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Wildlife enthusiasts are being urged to look for nests made by birds migrating from Africa

WILDLIFE enthusiasts in Thatcham are being urged to keep their eyes open at the Nature Discovery Centre for nests which have been made by birds that have migrated from Africa.

With bodies shorter than a ball-point pen, the first to complete their journeys in March and mid-April were the Sand Martins and the Reed Warblers.

They have now been joined by the larger, silver-winged Common Terns.

All will have come to England to pair up and raise young before travelling back to Africa in the summer.

RSPB project officer, Lynsey MacFarlane said: “We can already see lots of Sand Martins building their nests in the purpose-built artificial bank next to the Centre.

"It's incredible to see them working so hard after having just flown all the way from Africa."

Like other birds, Sand Martins are very particular about where they nest. They burrow holes in vertical sandy banks, often near rivers.

Miss MacFarlane added: "Sand Martins are perfectly capable of building their own nests. But their global population is declining, probably due to climate change and other factors causing drought in their African wintering grounds.

"By providing extra suitable nest sites where they can breed and raise their young in spring and summer, we can give them a boost while they face the challenges of the changing environment.

Free date with nature events are being held at the centre from 11am to 4pm most Saturdays and Sundays until the end of September.

For more details call 01635 874 381.

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