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.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Migrants just keep coming

North-easterly winds and the second week of June wouldn’t ordinarily be the perfect recipe for the arrival of migrant birds.  
Common migrants continue to arrive albeit in smaller numbers and included Spotted Flycatchers, Swifts and House Martins, the notable exception to this being Common Crossbills, flocks of which have been reported as heading south from Shetland to Dorset, the likely origin of these birds being Scandinavia.
Crossbill by Andy Mason

The remarkable migration of this spring just keeps on going. At times the north-easterlies have been quite light and during these conditions it was inevitable that a few birds destined for places east of the UK would turn up, drifting west as they tried to make headway north. As predicted last week, the north and east of the UK would be the place to be, and as it turned out it is where a lot of birders had to be as the third White-throated Robin turned up in Cleveland.
Other scarce and rare birds included three Red-footed Falcons, two on the east coast but the third was found in Herefordshire, up to fourteen Common Rosefinches, several Red-backed Shrikes and Icterine Warblers, a small number of Marsh Warblers and singles of Bee-eater, on the Isles of Scilly and Hoopoe in Dorset.
The wind for the next few days will come from the west and south-west and will be strong at times, this in effect should pretty much bring migration to a halt with the exception of Manx Shearwaters which could continue their movements along the west and south coasts in particular.

Manx Shearwater by Joe Pender

What will this mean for the 5 Cuckoos we are satellite tracking? If the wind is as strong as it is forecast to be Chris will probably hang around in Sussex, with Martin, Kasper and Lyster staying put in East Anglia. Clement might be the only bird to move as the lighter westerly winds in southern France help him on his way east. Take a look at the maps to see what happens and don't forget you can help this project by sponsoring one of our Cuckoos.

A BTO project is using satellite tags to track Cuckoos to their wintering grounds

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