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 August 2015

Shear delight

With the right weather conditions - low pressure weather systems crossing the Atlantic - August is the best month to get to grips with a few shearwaters, and the south-west and southern Ireland is the place to be. During the week there have been small numbers of Cory’s, Great and Sooty Shearwaters off Cornish headlands and Isles of Scilly pelagics, along with Manx Shearwaters and small numbers of Balearics.

Cory's Shearwater by Joe Pender

Now tern numbers have started to build skuas have started to move too, Pomarine, Arctic and Great Skuas have all been seen on the move in that last few days.
Waders are still on the move and the adult birds that have been around for a few weeks are being joined by juveniles. There has been an increase in the number of Wood Sandpipers on the move and Curlew Sandpipers are turning up too.

Pied Flycatcher by John Harding

On the passerine front, Pied Flycatchers and Redstarts are being seen at coastal watchpoints and Sedge Warbler numbers are growing in southern reedbeds.
Highlight of the week on the rarity front has to be the three or four Black Storks that have been found, two of them, one in Aberdeenshire and the other in east Yorkshire, are youngsters from the same nest in northern France.

Wryneck by Jill Pakenham

The weather forecast for the next week is a bit of a mixed bag. During Saturday into Sunday we should see some southerly airflow, courtesy of high-pressure extending well into France, this may well bring the odd southern European migrant with it. Maybe one or two more Black Storks, or Hoopoe and Alpine Swift. As the week progresses the winds will turn south westerly and westerly, possibly good news for west coast seawatchers, and by the middle of the week the wind will be coming from the north east, perhaps it is a little early for Barred Warbler and Wryneck but you never know.

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