Friday 3 May 2013

Migration continuing apace

The first few days of May can be a turning point in spring migration as numbers of those species that are already represented build towards the full complement, as if to prove this Blackcap, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler ,Willow Warbler and Nightingale have all arrived in force during the last week.

BirdTrack Blackcap reporting rate

This is also the classic arrival time for Swift, and bang on cue, Swifts rapidly spread across the country over the weekend, along with the first few Turtle Doves.

Turtle Dove by Mike Weston

 Two of the BTOsatellite tagged Cuckoos are back on their breeding grounds on the shores of Loch Katrine, Stirlingshire, and House Martins have been recorded back at their nests too. If you have House Martins we would really like to hear about them via the BTO House Martin Survey.

It has also been a week of classic Mediterranean overshoots, with up to seven Purple Herons scattered around the country, a Bee-eater in Shropshire, at least six Hoopoes spread from Cornwall to Ayrshire, five Red-rumped Swallows and a flush of Golden Orioles adding to the flavour.The last few days have also seen a mini-influx of Red-footed Falcons, with as many as five birds arriving, at least four in the East Anglian Fens and one on St Martin’s, Isles of Scilly.

Collared Pratincole by Dawn Balmer

So, what can we look forward to this weekend? With very light winds forecast for much of southern Britain, as a result of high pressure that will extend all the way down to Spain, and by Monday, North Africa, we can look forward to more of the same, in southern Britain at least. It seems that the north is returning to wintry conditions which will put a temporary hold on things there, and as it’s May, we could just about expect anything to turn up. Collared Pratincole would
be my favourite.

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