As if to confirm, a quote I saw on a fellow subscriber’s blog, I give you some news. The Nearly half way through November post and it’s reference to “the seasons’ constant cycle ignores the diary” seems somehow appropriate, in light of current ornithological sightings.
By no means unprecedented, but interesting nonetheless, I will present the following snippets, courtesy of Birdguides.
- 30+ sightings of Swift species
- 7 sightings of Northern Wheatear
- 4 sightings of Swallow
- 3 sightings of House Martin
- 2 sightings of Common Redstart
- 1 sighting of Pied Flycatcher
I hereby admit to cherry-picking some of the above information and apparently ignoring some twitchable species. I am NOT a twitcher, merely a citizen scientist. Actually, the listing above is a small sample of the information that can be accessed as a subscriber to Birdguides. The BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) will no doubt possess much more information on the current situation of November migrants in the United Kingdom. As the bird species aforementioned concern just those seen since November 1st, many will have since departed to warmer climes. All his however, takes me back to the original quote, in that nature does not always play by the rules.
Why are these migrant birds staying longer and arriving earlier?
Are these birds simply in an unfit physical state, deterring them from undertaking migration?
Are these birds simply developing a shorter migrational journey, year on year? Hence, staying longer and arriving earlier.
I don’t know the answers to the above questions. Science always requires answers but sometimes they are not always immediately obvious. In trying to resolve some of the mysteries surrounding Bird Migration. Can I refer you to a publication of the same title by Ian Newton, no.113 in the New Naturalist‘s series?