Migration in Action

Sunday 4th October comments: We knew it was coming and boy did it deliver. An easterly weather front was predicted for the weekend and the anticipation couldn’t have been greater as the weekend grew closer. Headlands and islands including the Isle of May up and down the east coast were rubbing their hands with flee the easterlies would bring migrants.

At this time of year millions of birds are migrating from northern Europe and if the wind blows from the east, a good number will be blown onto the east coast before navigating their way back south. As well as birds heading south, there are also birds heading into the UK for the winter and so it is an exciting time to be present on the island. Over the weekend we experienced some impressive arrivals including continental Robins, winter thrushes moving into the country including Blackbirds, Fieldfare and Redwings, warblers in good numbers such as Garden, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, with other summer migrants such as Spotted Flycatchers and Redstarts, whilst Bramblings and Chaffinch’s have been feeding across the island as they migrate in from Scandinavia.

As well as the birds in numerous numbers, we also had many strange and wonderful birds (as always!) including a Spotted Crake (only 4th for the island and first since 2000), an unseasonal Nightjar, Barred Warbler, an influx of Yellow-browed Warbler (up to 16 in one day), an invasion of Jack Snipe, Short-eared Owl 2, and Lapland Buntings. Its been a fabulous time witness migration in action on the island and we suspect we might see even more over the following few days…


                                                Saturday                     Sunday

Woodcock 1 – 7

Jack Snipe 1 – 19

Short-eared owl 1-4

Peregrine 1- 2

Willow Warbler 3-1

Chiffchaff 12-88

Yellow-browed Warbler  16- 15

Blackcap                                 14-78

Barred Warbler                     1-1

Goldcrest                                46-101

Ring Ouzel                              8-9

Blackbird                                19-87

Fieldfare                                  1-2

Redwing                                  300-225

Song thrush                             123-447

Spotted Flycatcher                 2-7

Robin                                        74-172

Redstart                                  2-24

Wheatear                                2-6

Chaffinch                                12-28

Brambling                                42-107

Siskin                                      11- 25

Reed Bunting                          2-4

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