Hi, Hardboiled, and welcome. That was the classic "rush", wasn't it? Wish I'd seen it.Hardboiled said:on 3rd Sept 1965 the Suffolk town of Lowestoft was brought to a standstill when up to 1/2 a million exhausted migrant birds of many different species descended on roads and pathways to rest. any further info?
From Stephen Moss, Birds and Weather: A Birdwatcher's Guide:
"At just after two 'clock in the afternoon of 3rd September 1965, the residents of Lowestoft looked up to see a vast cloud of small birds overhead. Birds were dropping out of the clouds like raindrops, and soon the town was alive with them, in gardens, on the beach, and even in the roads, where many fell victim to traffic. Two people, in different parts of the town, actually had Redstarts alighting on their shoulders from the sky.
"Tens of thousands of birds were involved. All along the Suffolk and Norfolk coasts, great flocks of Northern Wheatears and Whinchats, Redstarts and Pied Flycatchers, Garden and Willow Warblers were arriving exhausted from the North Sea, and landing anywhere they could find food and shelter.
"The following morning, one observer, David Pearson, walked along the coast south of Walberswick. Along a 3-km stretch, he logged a staggering total of 15,000 Redstarts, 8,000 Northern Wheatears, 3,000 Garden Warblers, 1,500 Whinchats, 1,500 Tree Pipits, and 1,000 Willow Warblers, along with smaller numbers of other migrants. Rarer migrants were seen in unprecedented numbers, too: Wrynecks and Bluethroats reached double figures in several places, with Icterine and Barred Warblers, Ortolan Buntings and Red-backed Shrikes also appearing.
"The species involved and the time of year, left the lucky observers in no doubt that they were witnessing a massive displacement of Scandinavian migrants which, heading south-south-west across the North Sea to the coasts of mainland Europe, had been diverted westwards to East Anglia by the adverse weather conditions."
The synoptic charts for the previous day, 2 September, show an anticyclone over Scandinavia creating clear skies for the birds' departure and a depression centred over southern Germany. On the 3rd the depression moved up into the North Sea. It was the east winds and bad weather on the top edge of this depression that caused the displacement.