At this time of year house martins and swallows are using damp mud to repair existing nests or build new ones to rear their young. Resident garden birds like blackbirds and other thrushes will also use mud as a building material. But the driest April on record, coupled with more dry weather across parts of the UK in May has left the ground hard, making it difficult for birds to find the mud they need for their construction work.
“The dry spell has made it extremely tricky for lots of birds to build nests and fix their old ones, “ said John Day, an RSPB Urban Adviser. “Without the right materials to make their nests it could affect their chances of breeding successfully.”
Here in Ireland heavy rainfall across much of the country in early May means this is likely to be less of a problem here, but if the ground is still dry near you making damp mud available in your garden could improve these birds’ chances of a successful breeding season.