Fresh dollops of mud are needed in gardens in order to help birds that are struggling to build nests during the dry spell says the RSPB. Swallows and Martins both species that use mud for ornate nests, have been left out to dry because of the record dry April. There have been a number of reports of martins that have been inspecting their nest from last season only to not find any mud to do repairs.
Another problem with the dry weather is nests falling since they lose the ability to stick to the wall. The RSPB has encouraged gardeners and the public that are used to feeding the birds, to also offer at least a lid loaded with wet mud.
They suggest leaving the mud in a small shallow container for instance a dustbin lid, or if they want, they can create damp mud on pond edges or on bare patches of grass. The mud is useful for them to repair existing nests as well as make new ones. If they are not able to make good nests it may affect their breeding for the season. House martins use small dollops of mud to construct a domed nest below the eaves of a house.
Usually they are able to get mud from the edges of watering areas such as puddles or low lying areas, but the very dry April has parched everything. A strong nest is of great importance since the swallows and martins from Africa will have two to three broods a season. At times the nests will fall with the baby Martins still in them, this may occur much more frequently because of the lack of wet mud.