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.



Friday, 11 May 2012


Migration slows a little.

With the mass arrival of many of our common migrants last week, Whitethroats, Garden Warblers, Swifts and Swallows poured in, it is hardly surprising that this week has been a little slower. That said, migration has been steady, with more Swifts, Swallows and House Martins arriving, along with Spotted Flycatchers, Turtle Doves and the first Nightjars.

Nightjar by Neil Calbrade

It has been the rarities that have grabbed the headlines, with both Calandra and Crested Larks turning up, both in Kent. At least three Pallid Harriers graced the east coast and, what continues to be one of the best springs for a long time for Black-winged Stilt continued with the appearance of four birds together in Kent. Red-rumped Swallows reached double figures, with at least fourteen birds being found, from the Isles of Scilly to North Yorkshire.

Will it be a good weekend for migrants?


It looks like it is going to be a largely dry but windy weekend. The wind will come from the north and north west on Saturday, dropping during the afternoon, and turning south westerly overnight and through to Sunday morning, only to increase in strength again. So, it looks like Sunday morning might be the best time to be out watching visible migration, or in search of grounded migrants.It is hard to say what might turn up. The light northerlies of Saturday afternoon and evening might coax something like a Great Reed Warbler this far north.

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