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, 10 July 2015

Migration under way already

The small but steady trickle of Crossbills down the east coast of Britain is a sure sign that autumn migration has begun. Small flocks have also been popping up on the northern isles. Swifts are also on the move, an impressive 3088 were counted passing through Spurn, East Yorks, on 4 July, with 2845 through the same site a couple of days earlier.

Crossbill by

The BTO Cuckoos are on their way. We are currently following 18 birds as they make their way south. All of them have now left the UK, the last, David from Tregaron, Wales, left during the evening of 9 July. On the same day the first of them, Dudley, reached Africa. He is currently in southern Algeria. You can follow all of them here.

Cuckoo by Edmund Fellowes

Waders are also on the move, Common Sandpipers have started to turn up in southern locations, along with a few Greenshank, Spotted Redshank and Curlew Sandpipers. Inevitably a few rarer waders have turned up too. Pride of place has to go to the Terek Sandpiper that was found in Northumberland. Tresco, Isles of Scilly, played host to an American Golden Plover, and a White-rumped Sandpiper was found at Beacon Ponds, East Yorks.

Terek Sandpiper by Andy Mason

Surprise of the week has to be the touring flock of 10 Bee-eaters that have settled in Suffolk for the last few days.

According to the weather forecast, next week is likely to be more unsettled than the last couple of week, with most of the weather coming from the west. This shouldn’t stop the wader movement though and we should see a few more of these global travellers passing through. With the direction of the winds, maybe a Stilt Sandpiper will be found somewhere but even if not, I am sure there will be one or two unusual waders found somewhere.

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