BTO migration update

Thursday 1 November 2012, 12:02

Paul Stancliffe Paul Stancliffe BTO

Even though the winds are less than ideal migration is still underway. Wednesday morning has already seen small numbers of Woodpigeon, in their low to mid hundreds heading southwest. In light northerly winds at this time of the year they would normally be moving in the tens of thousands. Mixed in with these are small numbers of Stock Dove.

Swallows are still being seen but the numbers are getting smaller as they make the best of the relatively light winds to head off.

Blackbirds, Fieldfares and Starlings are arriving on the east coast in the low hundreds along with smaller numbers of Brambling, redpoll and Siskin.

Short-eared owl Short-eared owl by Amy Lewis  

Waxwings continue their arrival but the numbers are still relatively small, and a small number of short-eared owls have been seen coming in off the sea. Rather intriguing is a report of three Short-eared Owls colliding with an aircraft at Heathrow this morning. One of them was picked up and taken into care briefly before being released.

The first Goldeneye of the winter have been reported at several sites. The BirdTrack reporting rate shows that they are turning up bang on cue, having spent the summer months further north and west as far as north western Russia.

Whooper swan Whooper swan by Andy Mason

The winds are turned north westerly later yesterday and are forecast to stay that way for most of today, particularly in the north of the country. This could prompt Whooper Swans to leave their winter quarters in Iceland for the UK.  We could also see Greenland White-fronted geese arriving too.


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    Comment number 1.

    During the Wednesday edition of Autumnwatch Chris pointed to a map of Africa to explain that birds migrated to UGANDA. He was pointing at somewhere nowhere near Uganda ... but Zaire and surrounding countries. Surely someone in the production team should spot such a glaringly simple error ?

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    Comment number 2.

    Hi, on hearing the piece about starlings declining, we had over 25 in our garden today along with a pair of jays, 2 squirrels, robin, magpies and sparrows. We love our birds and feed them everyday to stop them going into decline. Beginning of this year, we had flocks of redwings and fieldfares feeding on the ivy berries. Suzanne and Katie.

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    Comment number 3.

    Woke up this morning to discover upwards of 20 waxwings posing in the sunshine on the conifers and rowans at Achgarve in the western highlands. Yesterday saw the arrival of a flock of redwings - at least 50 birds who spent the day gorging on the rowans. Too much to hope for a few bramblings tomorrow?

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    Comment number 4.

    OK so I got my wish this morning - eight bramblings arrived at Achgarve, as well as a solitary fieldfare.

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    Comment number 5.

    Last Saturday driving through a village, we saw maybe 5 'V' shapes in the sky and I think they were Canadian geese, really nice to see!

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    Comment number 6.

    Hi just to say the other day a comment was made about Starlings that there is not so many about now,well every day i have between 15-35 starlings and they are a pest they fight each other over food and the other birds that i get are Robin,Sparrows,Chaffinch,Blue Tit,Blackbirds,Doves and Goldfinch`s and the Goldfinch`s come in numbers of 20 and upwards the most i have had in one time is 51 Goldfinch`s,i have two tables for them with 7 feeders 5 single/ 1 double / 1 treble, i just use Nyjer seed for the Goldfinch`s, i wish i could stop the Starlings coming in the Garden

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    Comment number 7.

    Hi. I live in colchester essex and and have a beautiful 14thC church behind my house. I noticed a few weeks ago that it was covered in starlings, squarking like crazy! I think theyre my fave bird and this lot must have been migratory as they turned up suddenly.
    I now put out meal worms for them and only today there was at least six on my bird feeder.
    Its such a shame that their numbers are in decline; I remember magnificant starling formations as a child but have not seen this for years.


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