23 Apr 2012

Where have all the migrants gone?

Feathered not economic. There's still plenty of the former. A distinct dearth of migrants is being reported over the UK with just a trickle making it through. Hopefully its due to the continuing presence of winds with a northerly bias once they switch we'll be flooded with incoming birds.

A wet Friday afternoon meant a recce of my usual sites looking for migrants was abandoned in favour of watching the garden birds from the refuge of the conservatory. The weather cleared up about 4 pm and I took the opportunity to erect a small mist net in the garden and promptly caught a Chiffchaff that had been hanging around followed closely by a male Great-spotted Woodpecker. The Chiffchaff had quite a good fat score (20) suggesting it hadn't come far and that many birds are making short hops interspersed with refuelling stops as they battle against the winds.

Saturday saw a brave and intrepid band heading for Hilbre despite the dire forecast. Some overhead migrations was noted with the first Yellow Wagtail (for Hilbre) of the spring being logged along with White Wagtail and Whimbrel. The only migrant present was a Chiffchaff that was duly caught and processed.

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