Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Birds and weather

I have always been interested in weather patterns and the effect they have on migrating birds. I have had a look at some historical weather charts to see the effect of this on bird migration.

Tory has had so little regular birding done in recent years that it would be difficult to draw any conclusions from historical records.

There are a lot of similarities between the timing of falls of birds on the Western Isles and Tory, just 100 miles to the south. So I thought I would look at the weather during a good fall on the western Isles  in June 2011.
It started on 1st June with Laughing Gull,Little Stint,Greenland Redpoll and Pectoral Sandpiper (the yanks presumably moving north in the spring having wintered in Europe?). The 3rd had Black headed Bunting. Bonapartes Gull on the 4th, Golden Oriole on the 5th, Garganey on the 6th, Hobby on the 7th, Turtle Dove on the 8th and Woodchat Shrike on the 10th. A good set of birds by any standards, particularly way out west.

And now the weather satellite photos....

 June 1st

The bank of cloud was pretty much stable from late May till at least 10th June drifting slowly to the south east....

 June 7th

Presumable the clear weather in Europe gave the birds a good opportunity to move north during the spring with birds over shooting and the bank of cloud stopped them dead in their tracks over the Western Isles.

 God bless the birds who met this weather over the open ocean to the north west of Ireland....

There have been a few good falls on Tory over the years. I had 61 warblers on the 25th October 2011 which included 4 Yellow browed Warblers.
I must have a look at the weather at the time of that fall..............................

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