Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Exodus begins...

Working at the house all day today with JWR, so no time for proper birding. When I arrived a couple of Fulmars were soaring around over head and were added straight on to the 'from the garden' list.



A bit later and the familiar calls of Pink footed Geese encouraged me outside to see these going over. A few more groups passed during the day totalling about 300 birds. It just takes a mild day like today to set the ball rolling. These geese will be heading to Scotland on the first leg of their journey to the breeding grounds. In April they will head off over the sea to Iceland...

Quite a few birds reported in Northumberland today with several Iceland Gulls ( an adult in Amble Harbour is my nearest and may well tempt me to get the bins out...) a drake ( what else) Green winged Teal at Bothal Pond and a Smew at Bolam Lake. The Ring Ouzel is still up the coast at High Newton.

Slavonian Grebes and Long tailed Duck numbers are going up in the north of the county with 17 Slavs and 45 Long tailed Duck at Stag Rocks...

Ipin asked me if the coastal Fieldfares could have come from the continent at this time of year. I believe so, though most will already be here or in the south of Europe by now. When the cold weather on the continental side gets too harsh these powerful thrushes can just up and away westward to milder climes, to meet birds already wintering here, pushed to the coast by harder weather inland. Its the same weather system that brings the Grebes, LT Ducks and Smew... Weather induced movements are quite dynamic and can occur at any time, often well outside the usual migration periods.

Things are starting to happen...

1 comment:

Dean said...

"things are starting to happen", they sure are Stewart.
High presssure over southern europe for most part of this week. Wonder if that will trigger some migrants to move north, early.