Tuesday, June 19, 2018

25 Apr

Seasonal Arrivals

Seasonal birds arrive from afar!

Seasonal birds arrive from afar in Spring

Seasonal birds arrive from afar in Spring

Along with spring comes a plethora of seasonal birds: the Cuckoo, the Wheatear, Swallows and Starlings are a few favourites. But, things aren’t what they used to be in our skies! The Cuckoo for example is not as common as it used to be. Climate change has influenced the habits of many wild birds and ‘many of them realise that they now need to fast-forward in line with rising temperatures’ according to Mike Stentiford, MBE in his article ‘Seasonal Arrivals.’

Mike calls this time of year ‘the welcome mat.’ Indeed, it is one of those seasons that will “keep the birdwatcher enthused and intrigued,” he says. For example, consider one of the seasonal birds, “the truly handsome, upright, sharp-suited grey and apricot-coloured bird – the Wheatear.” They travel in tandem with the Sand martin from the warmth of Tropical Africa back to our sand pits and cliffs to raise their families.

Following close behind the Wheatear and the Sand Martin is one of those birds synonymous with British Summer time – the Swallow. Barns, garages and garden sheds play host to this industrious species. This is the time when they “waste little time in getting down to the serious business of raising a family.”

Seasonal Starlings struggle to survive

We’ve already talked about how seasonal birds have to adapt to a changing climate. The Common Starling or Sturnus vulgaris highlights the plight of many birds. According to Mike Stentiford these birds are doing their level best to survive in a harsh and constantly changing environment. So, make the most of any sightings you may have because the Starling is just “a shadow of its former self.” It’s sad to think that the days are long gone when huge ‘murmurations’ cast their pre-roosting wintertime shadows over towns and cities. So, spare a thought for these birds and make sure they get a tasty treat at the bird table, because as Mike says, “it’s a tough old world out there for a Starling!”


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