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A Spring Migration Round up

Posted: Tuesday 9th June 2015 by The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust

Scuacco Heron © Ed Marshall

The spring migration here on Scilly has proven to be a good one. With plenty of interesting birds turning up, it has certainly kept bird-watchers happy. Here we go through a quick review of what the islands have seen arrive on their shores...

Kicking off the spring bird watching season with a bang, the arrival of a juvenile Great Blue Heron all the way from America saw hundreds of birders flock to the islands to catch a glimpse of this mega-rare bird. Only the second non-assisted arrival recorded for Britain, it was a must for many bird-watchers. Fearing that it might soon move on and be missed, those dedicated enough travelled from far and wide throughout the UK, but they needn't have rushed! The bird remained on the islands for several weeks, becoming quite comfortable spending its time feedin on lower moors within close proximity to the hides, allowing for some great views of this impressive bird.

Other arrivals around the time of the Great Blue Heron included Golden Orioles, a fantastic looking bird that really do their name justice; Ring Ouzels, a bird that could be shrugged off as a funny looking blackbird to the less trained eye, but is most easily distinguished by it's white bib, also arrived in good numbers across the islands.

A short while after the Great Blue Heron fell off the radar on Scilly, another influx of herons seemed to take it's place. With squacco herons, night herons, purple herons, and little bitterns all being present on the islands at the same time! These birds migrate across Europe during the spring migration, so it is likely that these individuals were blown off course on their migration to their breeding grounds and found themselves on the Isles of Scilly. A common crane (not so common for Scilly) was also found on the islands and has been on the islands since early May, another lost European migrant. 


Other birds that found their way to the islands during the spring migration included Hen Harrier as well as Marsh Harrier, and in the first weeks of June the likes of Bee-eaters and Red Kites (appearing in unprecedented numbers) were seen on the islands.So far a very productive Spring migration here on Scilly, feel free to share your shots of any unusual visitors you've seen near you.

© Amy Lewis

Bird watching is a great way, and an even better excuse, to get out and about in nature. As part of the Wildlife Trusts we love to encourage people to do exactly that, and so far throughout the month of June there has been the 30 days wild campaign where we challenge people to spend some time doing something wild each day throughout this month. But why stop there! I think you would be surprised how often you find yourself enjoying the natural world, whether it's watching it through an office window, or whilst sat in your car, or who knows where else! So whether you've been spending some time every day so far in June enjoying nature, or you've just heard about it, it's not too late to get involved. Simply follow this link and get going!


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