Meadow Pipit by Nigel Clark/BTO
Although the first large movement of Wheatears and Swallows is still to happen, a few individuals of both species have made it as far north as Highland, Scotland. A handful of Willow Warblers arrived last week too, as expected, mainly in the south. Meadow Pipits finally started to move; 1650 were counted during a visible migration watch at Hengistbury Head, Dorset on the 22nd, along with a smaller number of ‘alba’ Wagtails (Pied / White). The first Stone Curlews arrived back on their breeding grounds in the Norfolk and Suffolk Brecks, and the first House Martins were seen on the Isles of Scilly and in Northumberland.
Sand Martins arrived in sufficient numbers to form small flocks; 32 together in Lancashire was amongst the largest. At least eight Ospreys were logged, with sightings from Surrey to North Yorkshire, and an Alpine Swift spent the weekend on the Lizard, Cornwall, joining the three or four Night Herons that have arrived in the south-west.
With the weather set to continue in a similar vein, early migrants that have made it into southern Europe should begin to pour north. The high pressure system that is now over the UK stretches all the way from northern England to the northern shores of the Mediterranean, with the whole area experiencing light winds.