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Archives for August 2011

Autumn bird migration news: Garden warblers, flycatchers, chats and waders

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Nick Moran & Paul Stancliffe (BTO) Nick Moran & Paul Stancliffe (BTO) | 12:04 UK time, Friday, 26 August 2011

wryneck

The intricately-patterned wryneck © Jill Pakenham/BTO

Easterly winds and drizzle dumped a scattering of migrants along the east coast this week. On a wander down the three-mile long shingle spit of Blakeney Point in Norfolk on Tuesday I was quite surprised to find that the most numerous warbler species was the usually unobtrusive garden warbler, while willow warblers and whitethroats were rather few and far between.

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Warbler watcher's week: Autumn bird migration news 18 August 2011

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Nick Moran & Paul Stancliffe (BTO) Nick Moran & Paul Stancliffe (BTO) | 15:05 UK time, Thursday, 18 August 2011

sedge warbler

Sedge warbler migration is now at a peak © Dawn Balmer/BTO

Last week it was the swifts, this week sedge warbler migration is at its peak. Large numbers of this intricately-marked warbler are passing through watchpoints on the south coast right now. This was illustrated perfectly at a bird ringing site on the Pett Level in East Sussex this weekend. A team from the BTO joined the regular ringers to help get a handle on the huge volume of birds leaving the country at the moment. Of more than 2,000 birds caught and ringed, about 25% were sedge warblers. The Birdtrack reporting rate shows perfectly how this species is flooding out of the UK.

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Autumn bird migration news 12 August 2011

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Nick Moran & Paul Stancliffe (BTO) Nick Moran & Paul Stancliffe (BTO) | 15:27 UK time, Friday, 12 August 2011

willow warbler copyright Ron Marshall/BTO

Willow warblers are on the move © Ron Marshall/BTO

Our birds are already on the move.

For those following our five satellite tagged cuckoos this will come as no surprise, with four of them already south of the Sahara desert. However, lots of other birds are also leaving the UK, probably the most noticeable being the swift. All summer they have been screaming around our streets and houses but have disappeared during the last week. Many of these could already be well south of the Sahara and close to their winter quarters.

Willow warblers have also been flooding out of the country with more than 100 birds being counted at some south coast migration watchpoints; these have often been in the company of smaller numbers of common whitethroats.

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