Last call for winter thrushes

01 Mar 2014 | No. 2014-16

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is calling for members of the public to look out for thrushes, in particular those that will be leaving our shores for northern and eastern Europe over the next few weeks, birds such as the Redwing and Fieldfare. 

This winter members of the public have been monitoring thrushes for the British Trust for Ornithology, and the response has been fantastic: more than 640,000 birds have been recorded since mid September from almost 3,000 locations throughout the UK. However, monitoring the arrival of birds is far easier than keeping check on their departure. The arrival of Fieldfares at the beginning of the winter is eagerly awaited by birdwatchers and is well recorded but when numbers begin to dwindle during the last days of winter the departure of birds is easily overlooked.

John Marchant, Winter Thrushes Survey organiser at the BTO, said, “The survey comes to an end in mid April and the next few weeks are critical for logging the departure of our winter-visiting thrushes. We hope to see just when they leave different regions of the country and where their exit points are. Please register a ‘winter walk’ for the survey at and tell us what’s happening in your area.”

This has been the second and final winter of the survey. Thrushes wintering in some areas have benefited from a better crop of berries than in the first winter, and from milder temperatures everywhere. Flooding has restricted their use of low-lying farmland but provided easy access to earthworms and other foods in waterlogged fields. Right now, these birds are on the move. To help the BTO and for more information, please visit

Notes for Editors

1. The BTO is the UK's leading bird research charity. A growing membership and up to 60,000 volunteer birdwatchers contribute to the BTO's surveys, collecting information that underpins conservation action in the UK. The BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Thetford, Stirling, Bangor (Wales) and Bangor (Northern Ireland), who analyse and publicise the results of surveys and projects. The BTO's work is funded by BTO supporters, government, trusts, industry and conservation organisations.

Contact Details

Paul Stancliffe
(BTO Media Manager)

Office: 01842 750050
(9am to 5.30pm)
Mobile: 07585 440910 (anytime)
Email: press [at]

Images are available for use alongside this News Release.
Please contact images [at] quoting reference 2014-16

The BTO has an ISDN line available for radio interviews.
Please contact us to book an interview
Office: 01842 750050

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