Almost two weeks ago we visited the Áridos Sanz gravel pit to conduct some tests on our artificial sand stocks and to sample Sand Martins and their spacial use at the quarry.
Since we were hoping our stocks would be colonized by Sand Martins, we wanted to measure and monitor different variables from our stocks so as to be able to explain the processes behind the colonizations.
For that purpose, we measured compactness in all four orientations in both stocks. Our hypothesis is that two sides, which the trucks used to get onto the stocks, would be more compact than the other two.
We also placed several pluviometers. We are going to instal humidity and temperature sensors on each face of the stocks soon, so as to determine if different orientations behave differently during rainfall.
And finally, we conducted observations so as to determine the spacial use of the Sand Martins at the gravel pit. We are aware that they use some areas of the gravel pit for nesting, and others for feeding. Therefore, we included all the water bodies, sand stocks, and vertical sand walls. We also included some transects in agricultural fields, where we had noticed them feeding during previous visits.