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, 25 October 2013

West might be best

The southerly airflow of the last week or so resulted in a small influx of Pallid Swifts and Hoopoes, and during the periods when the wind was light the first large movement of Starlings across the North Sea, accompanied by smaller numbers of Chaffinches, Bramblings and thrushes.

Brambling by Tommy Holden

This week things are going to be very different indeed. A fast moving low pressure system is due to hit us on Monday, bringing very stormy weather with it. This will firmly put the brakes on any movement across the North Sea, and indeed anything trying to leave the UK too.

Upland Sandpiper by Joe Pender

So, it will be all eyes to the west this weekend and into the early part of next week, with the chances of North American birds turning up being high. Chimney Swift, Cliff Swallow, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Upland Sandpiper are all possible. We may see something even more exciting from that direction, with Britain’s second ever Cape May Warbler currently on the Shetland, perhaps we might see Britain’s second ever Yellow-throated Vireo too.

Golden Plover by Tommy Holden

Once the storm leaves our shores the north of the UK will for a short while be bathed in a north-westerly airflow. This could result in the first large arrival of Whooper Swans, Icelandic Redwings and any laggardly Golden Plovers that are still left that far north.

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