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Quick question regarding bird migration UK? (1 Viewer)


New member
Hello People,

I'm writing a short story and would love your help in keeping the story as true to life as possible. I have tried researching this myself but didn't want to get it wrong and then for someone who knows there birds to tell me "you would never see this type of bird in the area you have set the story".

I would like to know what is the largest or a even just a medium sized bird that would migrate through middle or southern England around spring or this current time of year.

They can be migrating from any direction or be based in UK and just leaving to migrate to make my story work :-D

Hope you guys can help?

Thanks very much in advanced.

Kind Regards,

Lewis Dowman B :)

Jack Dawe

Well-known member
The regular spring migration is pretty much over by mid May and autumn migration won't start for a while. Most birds on the move in the UK around now are probably either vagrants or wandering non-breeders. There have been a number of Ospreys in unexpected places recently and I suppose they could be on an as yet fairly aimless journey south. I'm sure other forum members will have more sensible suggestions.


New member
Thanks for the answer Jack?

When would the autumn migration start?

As autumn could work with the story.

Kind regards,


Jack Dawe

Well-known member
It begins with a trickle of small wading birds from the very end of June. Waders from the Arctic continue to pass through during July and August. One or two British species like Nightjars and Cuckoos depart early from mid July onwards. Swifts are mostly gone by mid August. However, the main autumn migration for most species takes place from mid September to mid October. Autumn migration is more protracted than in spring. In spring birds are in a hurry to get to the breeding grounds and down to business. In autumn there's no such urgency and birds can stop off at suitable feeding spots (e.g. Ospreys on southern estuaries) for up to two or three weeks before continuing.

It might be better if you decide on what species you want to feature and then ask again. Then we could be more precise.

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