BTO migration blog

Spring and autumn are exciting times for anyone who watches birds. Here on this blog we will make predictions about when to expect migrant arrivals and departures, so that you know when and where to see these well-travelled birds.

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Summer migrants begin to trickle in

Spring migration is well underway, with small numbers of most of our summer migrants having already been seen. The first Swallow was reported in Cornwall on January 10. It is hard to believe that this bird successfully overwintered in the UK given the harsh conditions so it is more than likely the first returning migrant. To see the first dates of arrival for other species look further along the timeline.

Above:  Swallow by Jill Pakenham
Migrant birds have made the best of the excellent early spring weather conditions and Swallows, Wheatears and Sand Martins have all been recorded as far north as northern Scotland. The light south/south-easterly winds that have dominated the weather have brought around a dozen Hoopoes, three White-spotted Bluethroats and a Short-toed Treecreeper to the UK.
The first Grasshopper Warbler arrived today and the weather between Europe and Africa looks favourable for our migrants to continue their journey north, however, here in the UK the westerly winds will strengthen over the next couple of days and could slow the arrival down. By Saturday the winds are predicted to drop and turn southerly again, so if you haven’t already seen your first Swallow the weekend is a good bet.

Above: Grasshopper Warbler by Ron Marshall

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