April migration update

29 Apr 2014 Garden Warbler by Jon Lowes

April is undoubtedly THE month that spring arrives, for birdwatchers at least. April 2014 has been no exception though perhaps surprisingly, in light of this year's unseasonably warm March, the main arrivals for most species haven't been particularly early. While there were reports of some very early individuals, such as the odd Grasshopper Warbler and even a Cuckoo in the first half of March, the BirdTrack reporting rates – reflected in the anecdotal evidence we've heard – indicate that the bulk of most migrant species' populations have been arriving on cue. It's even been suggested that some species, such as Wheatear, were a little late this year.

When you think about it, it's no surprise that every year is different – one of the things that makes migration so fascinating and exciting. One big story this year was the high number of Ring Ouzel records from a wide spread of both coastal and inland sites. With most British and Irish breeders back on territory by mid April, at least some of the birds encountered on passage in the second half of the month were surely destined for Scandinavia.

During the last week, Garden Warblers have flooded in, their rich, liquid song adding to the already bustling dawn chorus. Swifts have been arriving too, though the main arrival is still awaited with anticipation, along with that of other late-arriving species like Spotted Flycatcher. You can keep up with all the latest migration news and find out what other species are expected soon on the BTO Migration Blog.

Related content