Migrant May

Top left Redwing, Top right Blackbird

Middle Left Dunnock, Middle Right Robin

Bottom left Chiffchaff, Bottom Right Goldcrest

Wednesday 25th March comments: It’s been a stunning day on the Isle of May as the bright sunshine and warm temperatures have definitely made it feel like spring! Whilst our attention focuses on setting and checking out the seabirds, at this time of year migrant birds are also on the move as they use places like a service station; refuelling (on juicy insects) and resting before heading on.

It’s an interesting time of year for migration as we have birds both coming and going depending on the species. In recent days we’ve seen small numbers of Redwing, Fieldfare and Woodcock which have been wintering in the UK but are now heading back north to Scandinavia for the summer months. We’ve also got migrant Dunnock’s and Robins both on their way north following a similar journey (yes both these species migrate!)

However it’s not just birds departing, but bird arriving. Over the last few days we’ve had 5 Chiffchaffs; a species which winters in Africa and returns to breed in woodlands across the UK. Over the next few days there is a possibility that we could also see the first Wheatears and Ring Ouzels on the island (both having wintered in Africa). So birds are coming and going and soon we’ll have more as spring progresses and birds such as Sand Martins, Swallows and various warblers will be seen. It’s never dull on the Isle of May and it could get even better tomorrow…

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