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Edward
Thursday 26th February 2004, 14:10
The first spring migrant of the year arrived in Iceland today when a Lesser Black-backed Gull was seen in the south-east. LBBGs are traditionally the first migrants and usually arrive in the last week of February or the first week of March, so it's bang on schedule. Next to arrive will probably be Great Skua or Whooper Swan. The last to arrive will be Red-necked and Grey Phalaropes which get here in the second week of May. The sun is shining, the sea is flat - is winter over?

E

Tammie
Thursday 26th February 2004, 15:11
The first spring migrant of the year arrived in Iceland today when a Lesser Black-backed Gull was seen in the south-east. LBBGs are traditionally the first migrants and usually arrive in the last week of February or the first week of March, so it's bang on schedule. Next to arrive will probably be Great Skua or Whooper Swan. The last to arrive will be Red-necked and Grey Phalaropes which get here in the second week of May. The sun is shining, the sea is flat - is winter over?

E

No, it's just playing tricks on you, Edward! Don't let it deceive you! ;)
I believe the first migrant I will see here should be the purple finch, hopefully next month. Shortly after that will be starlings and grackles, I'm sure. As for water birds.... they'll have to wait a little while yet!

SimonC
Thursday 26th February 2004, 16:37
Well winter here seems to not want to go without a fight!
Talking of first migrants, I'm convinced I heard a Willow Warbler singing last saturday (no-one I was with heard it though :( )
I'm telling myself it was one though, after all, if chiffchaffs regularly over winter here, who's to say that Willow Warblers don't?
That's my story & I'm sticking to it (though I haven't got the conviction to actually tick it for the year! ;) )

Bluetail
Thursday 26th February 2004, 16:45
Winter's certainly not over down here. It's been snowing in Plymouth today!

Jason

Michael Frankis
Thursday 26th February 2004, 17:48
Winter's certainly not over down here. It's been snowing in Plymouth today!

Jason
Dry here today, but cold enough for any precipitation to be snow (and a dusting forecast for tonight). So, needless to say, no summer visitors here yet. Did have a Blackcap in my garden again today, but that's a wintering bird. My first summer visitor is likely to be a Wheatear, in about a month from now. Chiffchaffs will be in earlier, but with one or two wintering, I can't really count that as a 'proper' summer visitor.

Michael

pauco
Thursday 26th February 2004, 18:03
The only visiter in leyland today was a few snow flurries, more forcast. oooooh great.

Tammie
Thursday 26th February 2004, 18:13
The only visiter in leyland today was a few snow flurries, more forcast. oooooh great.

Wow! What's happening over there! For the first time this winter.... and it IS still winter!.... it's warmer here than across the pond! How about that! It's a lovely day today... +5C, sunny, a little windy tho' but that's okay, it's making the snow melt faster!
I'm thoroughly enjoying this break from the cold altho' eastern Canada can't say the same thing just yet. Storming there again today, poor people!
Not seeing nearly as many birds today as when it's cold. And the ones that are here seem to be sunbathing more than they're eating! :)

Michael Frankis
Thursday 26th February 2004, 20:54
Not too surprising - land warms up faster than the sea in spring. Britain may be famous for its mild winters, but we're surrounded by a huge volume of winter-chilled water all through spring, and that means British springs are late and cold compared to continental areas.

Also in spring, the warming Asian continent tends to draw in south winds across Asia; this pushes cold air out of the Arctic; it has to go somewhere, and tends to come south over the Atlantic and across Britain. We get a higher proportion of cold north winds in spring than at any other time of the year.

I remember one year 4 or 5 years ago when the official measured mean temperature for April was colder than any of January, February or March that year.

Michael

Tammie
Thursday 26th February 2004, 22:33
I remember one year 4 or 5 years ago when the official measured mean temperature for April was colder than any of January, February or March that year.

Michael

THank God I don't have to worry about that here! This past January was truly brutal with mid
-40'sC most of the month! I don't think I could deal with it any colder than that!
We did have one Christmas about 8 years ago that actually... on record.... hit
-68C. Could not shut vehicles off for days or they were dead until spring! Should have known it was coming... we had puddles freezing in July that year!

Edward
Friday 27th February 2004, 07:15
We did have one Christmas about 8 years ago that actually... on record.... hit
-68C. Could not shut vehicles off for days or they were dead until spring! Should have known it was coming... we had puddles freezing in July that year!
Crikey, that's near the all-time northern hemisphere low of -73C set somewhere in gulag country in eastern Siberia. Surely it was absolutely impossible to go outside in those temperatures, Tammie?

It snowed in the night here by the way, knew this spring thing was too good to be true.

E

Motmot
Saturday 28th February 2004, 17:40
Winter is still here in Majorca, today it snowed a bit on the coast!! a rare event here, specially on Feb 28th!! Poor birds already breeding!

Tammie
Monday 1st March 2004, 01:27
Crikey, that's near the all-time northern hemisphere low of -73C set somewhere in gulag country in eastern Siberia. Surely it was absolutely impossible to go outside in those temperatures, Tammie?

It snowed in the night here by the way, knew this spring thing was too good to be true.

E

My husband was still supposed to work that season (24 hours on call duty). He did get one trouble call Christmas night but had to return home as even the gasoline in the truck was beginning to gel and it was just too dangerous to be out! Weather like is truly scary and luckily, it's never happened again.

jayhunter
Monday 1st March 2004, 06:00
Nice one Edward you said you thought Spring was on its way in your PM. Looks like the LBBG proved you right, we are still sliding up and down the steep country roads here but saw the Robin and Dunnocks out at the feeders yesterday.

Edward
Monday 1st March 2004, 11:56
Hi Bob,

it's turned mild again and yesterday, Redwings, Wrens and Goldcrests were all singing like mad. At the moment my local patch is holding a Grey Wagtail, a Wood Pigeon, a Rook, several Chaffinches and several Bramblings, in addition to the regular Starlings, Redwings, Blackbirds, Redpolls, Ravens, Goldcrests and Snow Buntings. All I need is Blue Tits and Great Tits (and dog dirt) and I could be in Stockport!

E

Edward
Friday 5th March 2004, 09:51
Great Skuas have been seen returning to their breeding grounds on the vast sands of southern Iceland, and a few Whooper Swans were reported as arriving over night. It's spring all right.

E

Brendan Doe
Friday 5th March 2004, 11:39
The first spring migrant of the year arrived in Iceland today when a Lesser Black-backed Gull was seen in the south-east. LBBGs are traditionally the first migrants and usually arrive in the last week of February or the first week of March, so it's bang on schedule. Next to arrive will probably be Great Skua or Whooper Swan. The last to arrive will be Red-necked and Grey Phalaropes which get here in the second week of May. The sun is shining, the sea is flat - is winter over?

E

Edward

LBBGulls are the first sign of spring migrants i see at my patch in east Scotland as well. It is always the last week in February or first week in March that they arrive. Last week they went up in number from the usual 3+ wintering birds to 39 individuals.

cheers, Brendan

Edward
Thursday 25th March 2004, 08:26
THE spring migrant, the one that all Icelanders consider the real harbinger of spring arrived yesterday, and it has arrived on the same day, 24 March, for three years in a row now. I'm talking about Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) whose delightful song will be filling the air everywhere for the next few months. Very soon every open area of grass in Reykjavk will be covered in Golden Plovers, feeding very actively, before they disperse into the countryside to breed. Another migrant seen yesterday was Pale-bellied Brent Goose, a week earlier than normal. It stays until around mid-May and then heads off west over the Greenland icecap to the islands of Arctic Canada to breed, returning for another month in September on its way south.

E

Tammie
Thursday 25th March 2004, 14:01
THE spring migrant, the one that all Icelanders consider the real harbinger of spring arrived yesterday, and it has arrived on the same day, 24 March, for three years in a row now. I'm talking about Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) whose delightful song will be filling the air everywhere for the next few months. Very soon every open area of grass in Reykjavk will be covered in Golden Plovers, feeding very actively, before they disperse into the countryside to breed. Another migrant seen yesterday was Pale-bellied Brent Goose, a week earlier than normal. It stays until around mid-May and then heads off west over the Greenland icecap to the islands of Arctic Canada to breed, returning for another month in September on its way south.

E
I figure it MUST be spring now........ saw my first starling of the season this morning!! Not as exciting as yours, Edward, but it's a symbol for me that the end of winter is FINALLY in sight!! Yee Haw!!! :)