Canada Goose Cheap Chilliwack Bomber Ireland
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The first waxwings are here John Harding/BTO
This is absolutely true and is illustrated perfectly in a passage from Ian Newton's excellent book, Bird Migration. Organ reduction has been found in a number of migratory species, including pied flycatchers, willow warblers and swallows. However, extreme changes were found in bar tailed godwits killed accidentally in Alaska as they hit a radio tower, just after take off on a presumed trans Pacific flight of at least 10,400km to New Zealand.
Autumn bird migration news
At this time of the year migration is very much influenced by the weather in northern and eastern Europe, with temperature all important.
Up until now there hasn't been a need for these birds to move. Check out the BirdTrack reporting rate for goldeneye.
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Any cool crisp day with light winds, particularly from the east, over the next couple of weeks should prompt a big movement of woodpigeons, with flocks often tens of thousands strong heading south west. You don't have to be on the coast to observe this migration spectacle, big flocks can be seen flying over land locked counties too.
Comment number 4. At 20:42 4th Nov 2011, phatbird wrote: What type of tiny bird about the size of a great tit flies in huges flocks? This morning about 6:30am I saw them but couldn't make them out. They were flying north to south across my garden in Runcorn Cheshire.
These Alaskan godwits had some of the highest fat contents recorded among birds, comprising 55 percent of total body mass. They also had relatively large breast muscles and heart (exercise organs), but very small gizzard, liver, kidney and gut (digestive organs). They had largely dispensed with parts of their metabolic machinery that were not essential during flight, presumably converting them to other tissue.
Comment number 7. At 21:06 4th Nov 2011, GerryRys wrote: Re your opening report on the geese on Islay: Love the show but anyone that has been daft (or devoted) enough to get up in the dead of night to witness a dawn sky full of geese will know that the most awesome part of the spectacle is the noise which you hear before you see anything. First you talked over it, then you played music over it, then you go back on set and Martin emphasizes the significance of said noise of which you have just deprived us! AAAaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!!!!!!
Flocks of lapwings and golden plovers on the move are a sure sign that the ground is frozen on the continent, so falling temperatures there could cause an influx of these winter field inhabiting waders.
So far this autumn with temperatures higher than normal we have seen very little of this. The daytime Canada Goose Cheap Chilliwack Bomber Ireland temperature in eastern Europe, however, is forecast to drop to near freezing this weekend, so we could see an arrival of pochard and goldeneye, along with a small arrival of Bewick's swans. [Editor's note: Slimbridge, Autumnwatch's hosts for the next four weeks, is one of the UK's best sites for Bewick's.]
On arrival at their migratory destinations, birds rebuild their digestive organs, so that they can once again feed efficiently.
Comment number 6. At 21:03 4th Nov 2011, nick rock wrote: are Red Kites re populating the N/W of England?
The first waxwings of the autumn have been seen, with a flock of 20 birds being found in Stromness, Orkney, and three seen on Lewis, Outer Hebrides. It's too early to say whether it will be a waxwing winter, but with the drop in temperature on the continent this weekend we might see a few more arrive. At this time of the year waxwings generally arrive in the north and work their way south as berries become harder to find.
Comment number 5. At 20:55 4th Nov 2011, rachaelfield wrote: where i walk there are wild bees living in a hole in a tree,do they partly cover the hole in winter? iknow they behave a bit like penguins do huddling together.
As the migration of our summer visitors comes to a close, it's easy to think that autumn migration also comes to a close. Nothing could be further from the truth. Migration watchers in early November can be rewarded with some of the most spectacular bird migrations of the year.
Comment number 1. Many reasons were given but not a definate report! Has the reason for this event been found yet and what was it?? Does anyone else remember the news story??
Question of the week: Is it true that some birds reduce internal organs to compensate for the extra fat they carry for migration?
A sudden freeze will see blackbirds on their way John Harding/BTO
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Comment number 2. At 10:40 4th Nov 2011, Brenda Thompson wrote: Do Cormorants migrate? We saw over 100 of them along the water's edge by Hilbre Island, Wirral yesterday around midday. Thanks. Brenda Thompson
Each week Paul and Nick from the BTO are updating us on all the comings and goings of autumn's bird migration. We'd love to hear what you've been seeing too, whether in your garden or out and about.
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Comment number 3. At 18:31 4th Nov 2011, colin wrote: Just been surprised by a flock of Fieldfares while out on my bike. They flew out of a hedgerow and into the trees on the other side of the road. Had some in the garden a couple of years a go. Really aggressive feeders. Bye the way I'm in Dundonald in Ayrshire
A sudden freeze will see berry crops fall and waterbodies ice over, prompting cold weather movements for thrushes (redwings, fieldfares, blackbirds, song thrushes and ring ouzel), finches (siskins, redpolls, linnets, chaffinches and bramblings), larks (skylarks and woodlarks), pigeons (woodpigeons and stock doves) and wildfowl (ducks, swans and geese).