Mapping Spring Migrants

March 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

Wheatears, Sand Martins and Chiffchaffs have already been recorded in East Glamorgan – soon to be followed by a whole host of other summer migrants.

Swallow by Jeff Slocombe

Swallow by Jeff Slocombe

As you’re aware, due to climate change, the average arrival date of some species is getting earlier and earlier. While longer distance migrants are arriving too late to be able to exploit peaks in food abundance, such as insects and their larvae, which are now occurring earlier in the year. The table below shows the earliest ever arrival dates in East Glamorgan of some of the most common regular, true migrants:

Species Earliest Date Seen in East Glamorgan
Garganey March 02
Little Ringed Plover March 17
Common Cuckoo April 01
Common Swift March 09
Sand Martin March 01
Barn Swallow February 23
House Martin March 09
Tree Pipit March 20
Yellow Wagtail March 27
Common Redstart March 12
Whinchat January 26
Northern Wheatear February 17
Grasshopper Warbler April 07
Sedge Warbler April 03
Reed Warbler March 27
Lesser Whitethroat February 03
Common Whitethroat February 19
Garden Warbler March 21
Wood Warbler March 30
Willow Warbler February 16
Spotted Flycatcher April 05
Pied Flycatcher April 03
Source: Glamorgan Bird Club Database

An excellent way of helping to record migration patterns is by entering your records on BirdTrack. But, it’s not only a tool to record the first birds to arrive or the last ones to depart. By using the lists and counts of species submitted by volunteers throughout the spring and early summer, the BTO can work out when the bulk of the population has arrived. BirdTrack can also investigate how birds filter through the country – do they head up the centre of the country or do they disperse west or east in spring time?

Redstart by Jeff Slocombe

Redstart by Jeff Slocombe

And you can use BirdTrack throughout the year. It’s a place where you can store and manage your own personal records, in the knowledge that these could be used to support species conservation at a local, regional, national and even international level.

For more information please visit the BTO’s BirdTrack website. Please also consider sending your records to our local County Recorder for inclusion in the Eastern Glamorgan Bird Report.

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