Spring bird migration highlights - 13 May: rare waders galore
Although the predicted sociable plover failed to show, it's been an extraordinary week for migration, according to the BTO's Paul Stancliffe. Especially for rare waders. "At least three buff-breasted sandpipers were reported and singles of broad-billed sandpiper and Kentish plover in Cumbria, spotted sandpiper in Buckinghamshire, and lesser yellowlegs and great snipe in Norfolk," he says. "The snipe was in full display for one evening only."
Rock bunting © Kevin Carlson/BTO
"Along with the collared flycatcher, mentioned in last week's post, Britain's fourth rock bunting, and the first since 1967, was seen and photographed in North Yorkshire and subsequently identified from the photograph. An audouin's gull in Suffolk took the British total to seven, and the 16th calandra lark was seen in Lincolnshire.
Audouin's gull © Dawn Bulmer/BTO
"The distinct lack of common migrants at south coast watchpoints has caused observers there to lament the end of spring migration. Nothing could be further from the truth on the east coast. On Wednesday Spurn recorded one of its biggest swallow days so far this spring, when 3,356 were counted flying south. It's also been the best week of the spring for spotted flycatcher, and wader migration continues apace.
Spotted flycatcher © Edmund Fellowes/BTO
"Things should be a little quieter this weekend as the weather changes and the winds come from the west. However, May is the best month of the year for an American sparrow to turn up. With low fronts tracking across the Atlantic, the safe money however is on white-throated sparrow, however, another lark sparrow would be very welcome."
Have you seen any of these rarities? Did you see the swallow invasion on the east coast? What have been your spring migration highlights so far? We'd love to hear.