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Dawn Balmer
Tuesday 16th March 2004, 16:49
At long last the winds have finally turned and warmer air is arriving from the south-west. Over the last few days Sand Martins and Wheatears have been trickling in and we expect more to arrive throughout the week. I saw my first Wheatear of the year today in Thetford.

Migration Watch is keen to receive records of all your summer migrants that you see or hear between now and the end of June. Were not just interested in the first record of each species you record, we want as many of your records of migrants as possible so we can work out when the bulk of birds arrive and not just the first. You can enter all the birds you record on one of our specially designed lists.

At this time of year we are also keen to receive records of Fieldfare, Redwing and Brambling so we can map their departure towards their breeding grounds in Scandinavia. Have a look at the animated map for Fieldfare and help fill in the gaps
(http://blx1.bto.org/smw-dailyresults/results/anim-375-04.html).

To enter records visit the website www.bto.org/migwatch and register as a recorder if you are new to the project. If you have any difficulties please send an email to [email protected] and we will do our best to help you. Migration Watch is happy to receive all your birdwatching records during the spring whether you birdwatch from the garden, local nature reserve, whilst walking the dog or from a visit to the coast.

Best wishes
Dawn Balmer

cjay
Tuesday 16th March 2004, 18:04
Thanks dawn have done. Listen out for those Redwing Flocks leaving the country. There must have been 1000's returning last night over Lowestoft. One lucky observer heard a Stone Curlew passing overhead. I have often heard Coots, Curlews & Lapwings during the night. there must be loads of birds up there.

CJ

Andrew
Tuesday 16th March 2004, 18:57
Wheatears are appearing all along the south Devon coast. I must get out soon to see some.

Dawn Balmer
Wednesday 17th March 2004, 09:04
We had two Chiffchaffs singing at The Nunnery in Thetford (Norfolk) this morning - they are 'new in'. Also a Wheatear yesterday.

The weather is so fantastic today it just makes you want to go out birding all day.

Dawn

Steve Lister
Wednesday 17th March 2004, 09:19
We had two Chiffchaffs singing at The Nunnery in Thetford (Norfolk) this morning - they are 'new in'. Dawn

Also the first singing Chiffchaff at Swithland Res (Leics) today, with 6 Sand Martins there yesterday.

Steve

Jane Turner
Wednesday 17th March 2004, 09:31
First Wheatear has made it up here :)

cjay
Wednesday 17th March 2004, 09:36
been out at Dawn & what a morning I have had!

A considerable immigration of Jackdaws over Lowestoft with flocks no larger than 40 coming in them=n either flying north west, west or South. There were also some Carrion Crows with them. a few Woodpigeons were seen flying south along with Chaffinches & Goldfinches, Linnets wereflying north. There was also a considerable passage of Fulmars North.

On Gunton Warren I though I saw a dog walker put up a wheatear. An hour scanning the beach produced a cracking Male. Finally a singing Chiffchaff was in the woodland.

Phew what a morning!

seb_seb
Wednesday 17th March 2004, 15:54
Heard my first singing chiffchaff of the year and saw a lone sand martin near Sandwell Valley.

gthang
Wednesday 17th March 2004, 16:05
I saw a sparrow (i couldn't ID so I posted a thread, and dacol said it was a chipping sparrow). If the sparrow was indeed a chipping sparrow, the bird would have been the first migrant bird in our area. However the chipping sparrow is in New York in the summer, not the winter... So this is really confusing for me...

mipettin
Wednesday 17th March 2004, 16:12
Today counted 60 jackdaw in the field behind our house. Never seen them flock like this before - are they migrants?

cjay
Wednesday 17th March 2004, 18:00
Depends, They could be a local immigration or they could indeed be migrants. After my experience this morning I would say they were migrants

cjay
Thursday 18th March 2004, 10:38
1000's of waders at Breydon Water Today mainly winter plumaged birds including Black tailed Godwit, Grey Plover & Dunlin

HH75
Thursday 18th March 2004, 11:21
Hi all,
STILL haven't seen any migrants this year so far!Will be out tomorrow,hope to remedy that.
Harry
P.S.I have seen migrant species this year,such as LRP,Hume's etc....

Edward
Thursday 18th March 2004, 11:50
Decent numbers of Whooper Swans and Greylags starting to arrive in southern Iceland from the UK and Ireland. No reports of Pink-footed or White-fronted Geese just yet, another week or two for them usually.

E

Steve G
Thursday 18th March 2004, 11:53
Hi Edward,
The pinkies are massing here in Central Scotland & already seen a few large skeins high up heading north.

CJW
Thursday 18th March 2004, 11:54
Diddly-squat so far.....

christineredgate
Thursday 18th March 2004, 21:41
Apparently 3 Sandwich terns have been seen on our beach.

peteh
Saturday 20th March 2004, 13:35
1 Wheatear finally battled through the gale force winds to reach here today.

Adey Baker
Saturday 20th March 2004, 13:46
.... through the gale force winds.....

The weather forecasters are wrong again - they said today's winds wouldn't be as strong as yesterday - they must be joking!

I should think the migrants will be turning round and going straight back from where they came!

peteh
Saturday 20th March 2004, 15:02
Aye
I was amazed when I saw the Wheatear happily flying against the wind.
I was struggling to stand up it was that strong.

Andrew Whitehouse
Saturday 20th March 2004, 19:07
A very smart male Wheatear managed to find its way to the Eden Estuary here in the east of Fife today.

cjay
Saturday 20th March 2004, 19:15
Do the Males arrive first? Has anyone ever heard a Wheatear singing They are only passage migrants in East Suffolk.

Karl J
Saturday 20th March 2004, 19:18
Not seen any Wheatear yet but saw 4 (presumably returning) Little Egret doing battle with the wind yesterday

Andrew Whitehouse
Saturday 20th March 2004, 19:30
Do the Males arrive first? Has anyone ever heard a Wheatear singing They are only passage migrants in East Suffolk.

Most of the earliest ones I've ever seen have been males and I think it's generally suggested that the majority of the first migrants of a lot of species will be males - I suppose racing to stake their claim to a territory. I've heard Wheatears singing lots of times - a bit messy but with some nice notes in there.

Ivan
Sunday 21st March 2004, 07:24
Just had a Red Kite fly over the house at rooftop height. It was heading west so I presume has just come in off of the sea. It was mobbed by several corvids and flew off south only for the crows to give up and it resumed it's journey west, this time over Oulton Broad. I was so enthralled I did not even think about taking a picture as my camera was only feet away from me. This is not the first time I have seen kite over the house but a surprise none the less. This was an untagged bird so presume a migrant from the continent.
Ivan

cjay
Sunday 21st March 2004, 09:19
Yes a good day for Kites. It's very windy up here today

cjay
Sunday 21st March 2004, 18:23
Seriously for once. My Friend saw one at Blundeston Marshes this morning so a few have been coming through today.

streatham
Sunday 21st March 2004, 19:04
just saw my first eastern phoebe of the year out in the garden (plus tree swallows on my way home from the store) - amazing how a couple of spring birds can turn your day around (how sad am I!)

Steve Jones
Sunday 21st March 2004, 19:08
Today's a good day for Chiff-Chaff arrivals here in Preston. None yesterday, 3 singing today in the same lightly wooded area.
Suggests a good influx just came into the north-west.
Wonder if anyone else got some?

Steve.

StevieEvans
Monday 22nd March 2004, 20:40
Hi Steve et al.
A local pal of mine had 6 Chiffchaffs on Sunday but none the previous day in the same small area, it would suggest a good influx.

Had Wheatears & Sand Martins up here on Wednesday17th.

Yesterday 21st, Had singing Ring Ouzel & singing Wheatears back on upland breeding sites in Weardale.

I was Very surprised to see a single female Wheatear, she was closely following one of the males about, sitting nearby while he sang.

I wonder if they can pair up while on northward migration ?
It was a bitter cold day, with quite a bit of snow on the tops, makes you wonder why they dont just wait that bit longer?

Wind is due to change back to northerly.......so i guess these lot are in for a shock!

I can remember seeing Wheatears in Upper Teesdale one freezing mid-April morning, the ground was frozen solid & the birds were perched trying to shelter from the wind & snow by perching on the sides of the dry-stone walls.

StevieEvans.

Dawn Balmer
Tuesday 23rd March 2004, 07:29
Not much happening here in Thetford (Norfolk) after the initial influx of Chiffchaffs last week. Now up to three singing on the local common. No LRPs on the scrape yet.

Dawn Balmer

Steve Jones
Sunday 28th March 2004, 19:59
3 Garganey (2 males and a female) have just arrived at Myerscough Quarry here in Lancashire (found them at 7pm...thank goodness the clocks have gone forward again!).That makes you feel that spring is here again, not to mention still birding at 7.50pm!... happy days are here again!

Steve.

Edward
Monday 29th March 2004, 13:20
Saw the first Puffins noted in Iceland this spring on Saturday. Six birds bobbing on the waves below breeding site amongst the usual suspects of Eider, Kittiwake, Fulmar and Harlequin.

It's snowing like mad at the moment though so if you could tell any migrants passing through the UK to wait a couple of days, it would be much appreciated.

E

Birdbrain
Monday 29th March 2004, 14:34
Hi all i noticed Chiffchaffs at Rye Meads at the weekend and Reed Bunting also Little Ringed Plover at Lee Valley from the Bittern hide.

Karl J
Monday 29th March 2004, 18:01
Hi all i noticed ... Reed Bunting .... at Lee Valley from the Bittern hide.

Are Reed Bunting migrants ?

Saw a few - 5 or 6 (more than I've seen for a while) on my local patch yesterday, never crossed my mind they could be migrant.

Did hear my first Chiffchaff the other day near Horsey All Saints church

Steve G
Monday 29th March 2004, 19:11
Ospreys have started to return to Central Scotland. This bird was munching a fish on a favoured dead tree adjacent to the nest tree on 28/03/04 having first been seen the day before.

Birdbrain
Monday 29th March 2004, 19:39
Sorry carlos did'nt explain no their not migrants but i have'nt seen them at Rye Meads for a while,as i am a bird monitor there.

Karl J
Monday 29th March 2004, 19:45
Oh right, thanks for clearing that up. Nice to see them again anyhow

Birdbrain
Monday 29th March 2004, 19:55
Hi ya steveg hopeing to see Osprey at Rutland this year going there on the 8th of april won't see them then to early but hopefully in august.

Michael Frankis
Monday 29th March 2004, 21:36
Are Reed Bunting migrants ? Hi Carlos,

They're partial migrants. Some move out, others stay. And a lot just move locally to different habitats in the winter, e.g. from wetland breeding sites to weedy stubble fields for winter feeding, so they may disappear from a particular site, but not be very far away either.

Some areas, they're fully summer visitors - ask e.g. Karwin in Finland, he won't have any staying the winter.

Michael

Dawn Balmer
Tuesday 30th March 2004, 07:41
Reed Buntings do move about, particularly between breeding and wintering areas. If you look at the BTO's Migration Atlas you will see that there have been quite a few exchanges with abroad eg France, The Netherlands and Scandinavia. A few birds from Scandinavia, and a few from Finland winter in Britian but probably more pass down the east coast of Britain in the autumn to winter in France and the Low Countries.

Dawn

christineredgate
Tuesday 30th March 2004, 20:03
Yes,I have seen 3 prs of Reed buntings in the last couple of days,first I have seen,also our common terns are arriving,and competeing with the black headed gulls for nesting space,on the ski(jet) bank in the laggoon.It is very noisy now,they are all settling down ready for the breeding season.It will get even noisier as the Artic and Little Terns arrive .Also,the Ringed Plovers were sorting out thier nesting spots amongst the limestone in the reserve.Lapwings and Oystercatchers ,staking their places,but so far,I haven't seen any of the Great Crested Grebes building their nests.It is certainly very busy everywhere.

Karl J
Tuesday 30th March 2004, 22:06
Thanks Dawn.

Thats interesting Christine .... you've Terns in the area before we do, yet you're further North.

Motmot
Wednesday 31st March 2004, 17:44
Here in Majorca migration is now great! Yesterday I saw quite a few species in the South (Salinas de Levante, Cabo Salinas). * year's first.
Montagu's Harrier *
Collared Pratincole*
Marsh Sandpiper*
Knot*
Turnstone*
Cuckoo *
Short-toed Lark*
Woodchat Shrike*
Whinchat*
Wheatear
Yellow Wagtail (iberiae, flava, thunbergi,cinerocapilla so far)
Swifts
Red-rumped Swallow
Sand Martin

Will get better!

Jane Turner
Wednesday 31st March 2004, 17:47
My first Willow Warbler arrived today.
Here is the first date for the last 3 years.... like clockwork!

30 March 2001
29 March 2002
31 March 2003

Michael Frankis
Wednesday 31st March 2004, 22:16
Thats interesting Christine .... you've Terns in the area before we do, yet you're further North.
Hi Carlos,

That's because the west coast warms up much more quickly than the east coast. The North Sea is a huge pool of cold water at this time of year (about 8C, compared to 12 or 13C in the Atlantic). Was up at Ullapool for a couple of day in mid April last year, and the spring was a good 3 weeks ahead of Newcastle, in terms of trees leafing out, etc.

Michael

Ian Whittle
Thursday 1st April 2004, 19:30
Michael, passing Osprey noted in the north east today, its usual "stop off", wheatear (male) and ring ouzel noted too kielder way.

StevieEvans
Thursday 1st April 2004, 21:59
Yellow Wagtail !
An early bird today near Chester-le-Street, Co.Durham today.
Also 500+ superb Golden Plovers, many with full jet black fronts, waiting to go further north.
Stevie.

seb_seb
Sunday 4th April 2004, 15:24
Theres a little ringed plover at Sandwell Valley, along with chiffchaffs,sand martins and swallows. Apparantly an osprey passed through aswell.

Jane Turner
Sunday 4th April 2004, 15:29
I've managed Tree Pipit, but missed a nearby Redstart and Ring Ouzel

HH75
Sunday 4th April 2004, 17:43
Hi all,
Very disappointing over here so far:at Knockadoon Head today all I had was a single Chiffchaff and a Sandwich Tern.A good few Sand Martins were at local lakes,but no Swallows(had seen one on 19th March,but none since).
I know there's a Yellow-browed here in Cork city(saw it again today),but I'd say that that's a bird that overwintered unnoticed by anyone until Friday last....
Harry

StevieEvans
Monday 5th April 2004, 10:26
SAT: Swallow, Willow Warbler in Weardale
SUN: LRP's 7, Little Egret Teesside; Swallow Scarbrough
Stevie.

christine
Monday 5th April 2004, 20:36
Hi all,
This will probabley sound like a daft question to all your experienced ears, but when can i expect to see swallows over London?
also,with all this talk of migration can i expect to see streams of birds flying in?

Christine

Michael Frankis
Monday 5th April 2004, 20:56
Hi all,
This will probabley sound like a daft question to all your experienced ears, but when can i expect to see swallows over London?
When the cows come home . . .

Sorry to say, but at least in central London, you won't, Swallows are not urban birds. Not least because a lot of their feeding is done on insects attracted to herds of cows on farms. The only Swallows over London will be odd ones going over high up on migration.

Outside of the urban area, Swallows will arrive from now in small numbers, but not in large numbers until about 15th-20th April.

You should get Swifts in central London though, from around 5th May or maybe a little earlier that far south.

Michael

Steve G
Monday 5th April 2004, 21:10
When the cows come home . . .

Sorry to say, but at least in central London, you won't, Swallows are not urban birds. Not least because a lot of their feeding is done on insects attracted to herds of cows on farms.
Check out Whitehall & the Houses of Parliament there should be plenty of flies feeding off the bullsh*t. ;)

Michael Frankis
Monday 5th April 2004, 22:51
Check out Whitehall & the Houses of Parliament there should be plenty of flies feeding off the bullsh*t. ;)
NOT a good place to be seen with binocs, tho'!

alan_rymer
Tuesday 6th April 2004, 06:42
Hi all,
This will probabley sound like a daft question to all your experienced ears, but when can i expect to see swallows over London?
also,with all this talk of migration can i expect to see streams of birds flying in?

ChristineChristine

You should get Swallows in the larger parks, especially those with large lakes. eg Regents Park. The Zoo there should be the source of a few flying insects too, no, not Locusts, I meant flies and midges & mozzies!.

StevieEvans
Tuesday 6th April 2004, 16:45
Tuesday
Sandwich Terns & Manxies past Seaburn this afternoon.
SE

Steve G
Tuesday 6th April 2004, 20:42
First of the local Chiff-Chaff singing in west Fife on the 05/04/04.

Motmot
Tuesday 6th April 2004, 22:18
Last Sunday we had the first "official" birding marathon in Majorca. There were four groups. The winners managed to find 118 species. A total of 140 were found counting all groups lists. Many migrants were seen, here's a list of them.
1 Spoonbill
1 Glossy ibis
a few Collared Pratincoles
1 Spotted Crake
1 Black Kite
many Marsh Harriers leaving the island at the Formentor Peninsula
1 Montagu's Harrier
many singing Nightingales
a few Garganeys
many Hoopoes arriving to the south coast
1 singing Reed Warbler
a few singing Great Reed Warblers
loads of Yellow Wagtails of different subsp.
many Woodchat Shrikes
many Willow Warblers, singing a lot even though this birds don't breed in Majorca
many Chiffchaffs singing, they don't breed in Majorca
Loads of Swifts
2 Pallid Swifts
many Short-toed larks
2 Common Whitethroats
2 Slender-billed gulls
1 Tawny pipit
a few Wheatears
1 Whinchat
1 Subalpine Warbler
1 Cuckoo
2 Common Redstarts
3 Temminck's Sandpiper
many other different waders but most of them also winter here so hard to tell if real migrants
a few Alpine Swifts
lots of Cory's Shearwaters and Balearic Shearwaters, they're def. back.

Not top migration yet but quite a lot.

seb_seb
Wednesday 7th April 2004, 09:00
"Loads of Swifts"

Good stuff :)

nickf
Thursday 8th April 2004, 19:17
Last Sunday while walking the dog in the New Forest near Brockenhurst I spotted a bird of prey soaring on strong SW wind. I am sure it was a Red Kite but can find no other record on the site. Surely somebody else saw it! I have often seen them in Switzerland and Germany so I know that's what it was.I guess it was migrating north to Wales as the forest rangers don't believe they breed here.
Regards
Nick





At long last the winds have finally turned and warmer air is arriving from the south-west. Over the last few days Sand Martins and Wheatears have been trickling in and we expect more to arrive throughout the week. I saw my first Wheatear of the year today in Thetford.

Migration Watch is keen to receive records of all your summer migrants that you see or hear between now and the end of June. Were not just interested in the first record of each species you record, we want as many of your records of migrants as possible so we can work out when the bulk of birds arrive and not just the first. You can enter all the birds you record on one of our specially designed lists.

At this time of year we are also keen to receive records of Fieldfare, Redwing and Brambling so we can map their departure towards their breeding grounds in Scandinavia. Have a look at the animated map for Fieldfare and help fill in the gaps
(http://blx1.bto.org/smw-dailyresults/results/anim-375-04.html).

To enter records visit the website www.bto.org/migwatch and register as a recorder if you are new to the project. If you have any difficulties please send an email to [email protected] and we will do our best to help you. Migration Watch is happy to receive all your birdwatching records during the spring whether you birdwatch from the garden, local nature reserve, whilst walking the dog or from a visit to the coast.

Best wishes
Dawn Balmer

Michael Frankis
Thursday 8th April 2004, 21:32
Last Sunday while walking the dog in the New Forest near Brockenhurst I spotted a bird of prey soaring on strong SW wind. I am sure it was a Red Kite but can find no other record on the site. Surely somebody else saw it! I have often seen them in Switzerland and Germany so I know that's what it was.I guess it was migrating north to Wales as the forest rangers don't believe they breed here.
Regards
Nick
Hi Nick,

Welcome to BirdForum!

Congrats on the Red Kite, it could be a migrating continental bird, but perhaps more likely a wandering bird from one of the re-introduction sites, perhas the Chilterns (not too far away as the Kite flies, some of the Scottish kites have moved much further).

Michael

HH75
Saturday 10th April 2004, 14:54
Hi Michael,
NOT a good place to be seen with binocs, tho'!
What about that Blyth's Reed Warbler found near Canary Wharf shortly after Sep.11th and suppressed for security reasons?That's a REALLY odd record!Shows just what can turn up even in the centre of a large city.
Re migration,Birdguides shows large arrivals of common birds in Devon and Dorset today,with one site having 'Gropper',50 Willow Warblers, 20 Chiffchaffs, 100 Swallows, 30 Sand Martins and 3 Blackcaps.
In comparison,a visit to the Old Head this morning yielded 3 Swallows and no warblers etc!
The Yellow-browed was still on the UCC campus when we returned to Cork city.
Harry

StevieEvans
Friday 16th April 2004, 21:31
This afternoon a brief check of a small, shallow roadside pool revealed:-

1 Ruff
12 Snipe
1 Little ringed Plover
100+ Golden Plover (BlackNorthernBirds) &
1 Spotted Redshank (almost full summer plumage)

all migrants at this particular location.

SE

Jane Turner
Friday 16th April 2004, 21:59
I have 75 White wagtails on the beach tonight..

StevieEvans
Saturday 17th April 2004, 10:10
Sat 17th April
Common Sandpiper & Grasshopper Warbler today.
Earliest dates i've seen these 2 locally.
SE

prairiemerlin
Saturday 17th April 2004, 13:53
I've been seing a few Yelllow-Rumped Warblers and Hermit Thrushes. The Chipping Sparrows just showed up.

StevieEvans
Saturday 17th April 2004, 21:35
The following have been see in our County in the past few days:-

Corncrake
Wood Sandpiper
Swift
Cuckoo
Whitthroat
Firecrest
Red Rumped Swallow

NB. Global warming Does NOT exist............. :h?:

christineredgate
Saturday 17th April 2004, 21:39
Swallows,Wheatears,Whinchat,all seen today.

Gerry Hooper
Monday 19th April 2004, 08:45
Whimbrel flew past the bedroom window this morning, I saw a couple nearly 2 weeks ago, then no more 'till this one.

very boring banned member
Monday 19th April 2004, 09:15
Local Prunella modularis & Pandion haliaetus arrived yesterday. Tetrao tetrix bubbling in vicinity this morning. About the last days to have a snowball fight here.

Yve_M
Monday 19th April 2004, 12:53
The Sandhills (Grus canadensis) arrived yesterday. Spring must finally be here, although we had six inches of snow last Tuesday and could still have a snowball fight here. Tag, you're it Karwin!

gthang
Monday 19th April 2004, 14:43
I finally got a chipping sparrow! My first post to this thread, post #9, I stated that dacol had ID'd a bird i saw as a chipping sparrow, but he looked harder and said it was an Am. Tree Sparrow. Now the differences are extremely obvious! white eyebrow, duller brown on wings than Am. tree sparrow.

dacol
Monday 19th April 2004, 18:21
I finally got a chipping sparrow! My first post to this thread, post #9, I stated that dacol had ID'd a bird i saw as a chipping sparrow, but he looked harder and said it was an Am. Tree Sparrow. Now the differences are extremely obvious! white eyebrow, duller brown on wings than Am. tree sparrow.

Hi gthang,

Chipping Sparrows also breed in my neighborhood here in Maryland. Last year I had a pair come up to feed in the yard for most of the spring and summer. This year I first noticed them on 10 April.

Spring migration (for land birds) is in full swing around here. The biggest push so far started this last Friday: in the morning the woodlands along the Potomac river were thick with migrating Blue Jays and Northern Flickers which were the most numerous migrants there that morning closely followed by Yellow-rumped Warblers. I walked about 6 miles (round trip) and all the time I was either seeing or hearing one or more of those 3 species. I didn't see or hear any rare migrants but had a good variety for this time of the year: 63 species altogether.

Dalcio

gthang
Monday 19th April 2004, 20:56
Well, I'm off to bed now (yes, at 4:55pm eastern time!)! hope to see some more migrants throughout the rest of the week!

Dawn Balmer
Wednesday 21st April 2004, 13:26
There are a couple of interesting graphs on Migration Watch (www.bto.org/migwatch) for Chiffchaff (http://blx1.bto.org/smw-dailyresults/results/s422-20-04.html) and Blackcap (http://blx1.bto.org/smw-dailyresults/results/s412-20-04.html).

For Chiffchaff it shows that the proportion of people recording Chiffchaff this year is higher than in the previous two years. The curve is really steep showing that birds came in quite fast this spring. My personal feeling is that Chiffchaffs seem to be everywhere this spring. Is it like that where you are?

For Blackcap, the graph shows that birds are a bit delayed. Again looking at the proportion of visits when Blackcaps were observed graph (bottom graph) the line for 2004 is well below the previous two years showing the delayed arrival.

It's interesting because both species winter in a similar area.

Dawn Balmer

Gerry Hooper
Wednesday 21st April 2004, 13:31
Looking at the weather for Southern England-Strong southerly winds- I thought it would be good for the migrants, but I'm not so sure.
If a bird is flying with a tailwind it is far more likely to 'stall' in the air, so do the migrants tack across the wind diagonally or wait for a change in wind direction?
Following this idea thru' would lead me to think a Northerly breeze would be ideal for passerine migrants flying North.They would get all the lift they need from the oncoming wind and float in the air a lot easier. Whattadayathink?

Michael Frankis
Wednesday 21st April 2004, 14:22
Hi Gerry,

No, it doesn't work like that - a tail wind speeds them up. Birds like to take off into the wind (that helps them gain immediate height off the ground), but once flying, the bird's airspeed and the wind speed are just added together. A bird flying at 40 km/hr airspeed into a 50 km/hr headwind has a reverse ground speed of 10 km/hr (backwards!), a bird flying at 40 km/hr airspeed with a 50 km/hr tailwind has a ground speed of 90 km/hr.

More to the point is that southerly winds, having come over warm southern seas, are moist, and on cooling as they move north, the moisture condenses and gives cloud, rain and poor visibility. Birds don't like flying in these conditions, and that is more likely to be the cause of the hold-up.

Michael

Gerry Hooper
Wednesday 21st April 2004, 20:26
Hello Michael,
I see your point, a Swallow flies at about 20 mph relative to the air around it.
You must be right, otherwise birds would fall out of the air whenever they changed direction!
I have seen buzzards have difficulty in a strong tailwind, I expect the large wing surface area is responsible.

Gill Osborne
Wednesday 21st April 2004, 20:59
Quite a few migrants for me over the past few days...they probably arrived a lot earlier but I've not had a chance to get out birding for a couple of weeks!

Saturday, 17th April...male Chiffchaff singing next to North Shields Metro lines.
Tuesday, 20th April....male Pied Flycatcher at Wallington Hall (National Trust), Northumberland.
Tuesday, 20th April...3 Swallows just outside Morpeth, Northumberland.
Wednesday, 21st April...4 male Wheatear at Brown's Bay, Cullercoats.

GILL

StevieEvans
Thursday 22nd April 2004, 11:03
Last Evening, Reed & Sedge Warbler joining the Grasshopper Warbler at North Tees Marshes.
(Most species appear to have come in early (if only in small nos so far) )
Whitethroat & Swift seen in Co Dham last week.
SE

columbidae
Tuesday 27th April 2004, 01:07
During the past week the migrants have started pouring in. In the last few days I have had:

Louisiana waterthrush
Hooded warbler
Black-throated blue warbler
Prairie warbler
Baltimore oriole
American redstart
Palm warbler
Warbling vireo
Great-crested flycatcher
Rose-breasted grosbeak
Blue-gray gnatcatcher
Northern parula
Ovenbird
Black-and-white warbler
Indigo bunting
Black-throated green warbler

And more on their way, I'm sure.
I'm still waiting for my first hummingbird of the spring.

gthang
Tuesday 27th April 2004, 13:30
Some of my birds are winter visitors here, and some of those haven't left yet!
Great Egrets have been seen at Bashakill Marsh State Wildlife Management Area in NY (summer visitor, first sighted at Bashakill on April 25th), Ring-Necked Duck at Bashakill (winter, first sighted on April 24th), Eastern Phoebe was an extremely early arrival (first sighted in Stormville on March 28th), Yellow-Rumped Warbler (winter visitor, first sighted in Stormville on April 24th), Chipping Sparrow (summer, first observed in Stormville on April 19th), American Tree Sparrow (winter, first observed on March 16th, last observed on April 14th), White-Throated Sparrow (winter, first observed on April 21st), Dark-Eyed Junco (winter, first observed on February 28th), and Pine Siskin (winter, first observed on March 17th, last observed on April 23rd).

Edward
Thursday 29th April 2004, 17:43
All migrants in Iceland accounted for now except the two phalaropes, which won't be here until mid-May, and the two storm-petrels. Nobody even visits their remote colonies until late June so I don't know when they arrive anyway. I've yet to see an Arctic Tern this spring but a (very) few have arrived. It's bright enough to bird from 5.00 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the moment if you're very keen. 24 hour birding is only a month or so away!

I wake up every morning to the sound of Golden Plover, and they are usually doing their "butterfly" display over my house and singing when I leave for work.

E

Surreybirder
Wednesday 5th May 2004, 17:22
This is probably the wrong thread to post this: but I've tried several times to enter casual sightings in the BTO migration watch page (using IE 5.5) and each time I get an error message saying the page has expired. Is it just me or has the BTO site got probs. (I tried at about 2 pm. and 6.20 pm.)

(I was going to report my first hobby and nightingale sightings for TQ34.)

gthang
Wednesday 5th May 2004, 18:28
Saw a "purple finch" female on the feeder, so I got my camera, at which point it flew to the safety of a nearby tree. However, looking through the viewfinder, I noticed that the white eyebrow was too clean (i.e. very contrasting to the surrounding head patterns, no streaks in the eyebrow stripe, etc.) for a purple finch. going through the possibilities in my mind, I also thought sparrow, but the beak was too large for a sparrow, it couldn't have been a finch either, and the next thing that popped into my head (when the bird turned around to face me) was Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, after seeing a faint pattern on this female that resembled the rose-breast on the male. After downloading the images and looking through the bird guides, I was right on the money, even better since i've never seen a rose-breasted grosbeak (either male or female) before!

So that's the newest arrival, and the newest bird on my list!

Dawn Balmer
Monday 10th May 2004, 08:54
This is probably the wrong thread to post this: but I've tried several times to enter casual sightings in the BTO migration watch page (using IE 5.5) and each time I get an error message saying the page has expired. Is it just me or has the BTO site got probs. (I tried at about 2 pm. and 6.20 pm.)

(I was going to report my first hobby and nightingale sightings for TQ34.)

Hi
It sounds like a session timeout problem. You may need to either
configure your firewall (if you have one) to allow access to
http://blx1.bto.org , and/or lower the security settings on your web
browser.

We have a good Web Support Team at BTO so do get in touch directly if you are experiencing problems ([email protected]).

Cheers
Dawn Balmer
Migration Watch Organiser

very boring banned member
Monday 10th May 2004, 09:00
Luscinia luscinia arrived today - almost summer here.

gthang
Monday 10th May 2004, 12:38
According to my Birds of New York field guide, the following birds (that I've seen) are summer residents where I live:
Common Grackle (seen since March 22nd)
Turkey Vulture
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Chipping Sparrow
Eastern Phoebe (first seen on March 28th)
Great Blue Heron (actually a year-rounder here)
Great Egret

Of course, some of these I've been seeing for quite some time, like the Grackle, which appears to be listed as year-round in other guides.

I'll be keeping a lookout for more migrants.