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 28 August 2015

Migration moves into another gear

If you are interested in scarce migrants, the east coast was the place to be this week as it was set alight with Icterine Warblers, Barred Warblers, Wrynecks and Red-backed Shrikes, courtesy of a few days of easterly airflow. Wryneck led the numbers with around a hundred being reported from over sixty different sites and whilst the number of Icterine Warblers was much lower there was still around fifty birds reported. Surprise of the week has to be the mini-influx of Red-footed Falcons.

Wryneck by Jill Pakenham

Common migrants were equally as impressive, led by a huge fall of Pied Flycatchers on the east coast, accompanied by good numbers of Whinchats, Yellow Wagtails and Willow Warblers.

BirdTrack graph for Pied Flycatcher

It was also an amazing week for Wood Sandpiper, with the peak counts of 34 individuals at Seaton Marshes in Devon and 22 together at Pennington Marshes, Hampshire. Swifts have all but gone from their breeding areas but a small number are still moving through coastal watchpoints.

The weather forecast for the next week is looking mixed but with a dominant westerly airflow. However, there is a small window of easterly airflow on Saturday into Sunday so we might see a few more migrants drifting across the North Sea. Red-backed Shrike, Wryneck and Greenish Warbler are all possible but we could see good numbers of Pied and Spotted Flycatchers once again.

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