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 7 November 2014

Woodpigeons are go!

The crisp, clear conditions and light easterly airflow earlier this week was perfect for a Woodpigeon spectacular, and the Woodpigeon fans among us weren’t disappointed. Woodpigeon migration pretty much signals the end of the autumn migration season, often beginning during the first week in November and petering out during the third week of the month.

Woodpigeon by Jill Pakenham - a truly dynamic bird

It can however, be spectacular , and to have been on the other side of the North Sea earlier in the week must have been the things that dreams are made of (for the vis-migger that is). Earlier in the week an amazing 3,000,000 (yes there are six noughts) Woodpigeons were counted migrating through the Netherlands and Belgium, and on Wednesday morning (5 November), 202,000 were counted in three hours, moving south-west over Portskewett, Gwent.

Other migrants weren’t left out. Starlings, thrushes, crests and Robins featured at some coastal watchpoints, and the predicted Desert Wheatear duly turned up, in fact three were found, a male each in Suffolk and Kent, and a female in Norfolk.

Kittiwakes passing Portland Bill by Martin Cade

The weather over the next few days is forecast to be unsettled and a little stormy, so there will probably be little movement, although the sea is worth a look for divers, seaducks, Kittiwakes and a few late skuas and a few early Little Auks.. However, if we get a return to clear, cool conditions, Woodpigeons will certainly begin to move again, and we could get a small influx of Great-grey Shrikes.

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