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.

Thursday 8 March 2012

Early migrants trickle in

The run of early migrants has been hindered by the wet and windy weather of the last few days, with birds probably being held-up in central France. With high pressure now building over southern Europe and extending from Spain to southern UK, the next few days should see migration getting underway again, and indeed today has seen the arrival of a small number of Sand Martins, Swallows, Wheatears and a Ring Ouzel, the latter in Somerset, where another Osprey was also seen. With lighter winds forecast for the weekend it is looking good for more of these to turn up.

Chiffchaff by Amy Lewis

Spurn Bird Observatory caught their first Chiffchaff of the year on 4th March, though it is possible this was a departing bird that had spent the winter in Britain, rather than a returning bird from further south. Either way, the BirdTrack reporting rate shows that start of the main Chiffchaff arrival is imminent.

Shelduck by Jill Pakenham

At this time of the year it is not just about returning summer visitors, many of our winter visitors are departing right now and it is a good time to look out for flocks of Redwings and Fieldfares. If you are near the coast, skeins of Brent Geese and flocks of Shelduck, along with a smaller number of divers, mainly Red-throated, will also be on the move.

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