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 31 October 2014

Plenty of birds still to come

The last few days have seen a large movement of thrushes (mostly Fieldfares) and Starlings across the North Sea, prompted by high pressure and resultant light winds from the east coast of Britain to the Continent.

Fieldfare and Redwing by Anne Cotton

Falsterbo Bird Observatory in southern Sweden have also experienced a large movement of birds but of different species. Goldcrests. Long-tailed Tits and Robins have dominated there.

The weather forecast for the next week is for predominantly westerly airflow, strong at times as weather fronts cross the UK. However, in between these fronts the winds will become lighter and although not enough to allow Goldcrests to cross the North Sea, we should see further arrivals of thrushes and Starlings. There does seem to be a small window of light easterlies forecast for the middle part of next week and we could see a mass arrival of Goldcrests and Robins then, not to mention Short-eared Owls

Short-eared Owl by Amy Lewis

There is also a chance that we could see some frosts, and if the conditions are clear, with light easterly wind we could see what for me is the greatest autumn migration spectacle: large numbers of Wood Pigeons making their way south and west. This species is responsible for my own largest visible migration count, an almost continuous stream of around 50,000 birds migrating west over Hengistbury Head, Dorset.

If we do get the promised easterlies, we might see a Desert Wheatear on the east coast too.

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