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Thrush Rush

Mass invasion of Redwings

For birdwatchers up and down the UK it has been one of the most exciting weekends of the year. One birdwatcher in Cheshire said that in 20 years of birding he has never seen anything like it. He is talking about the mass invasion of Redwing over the weekend of 9-10 October. The signs were all there on Friday 8th ? some large counts of Redwing in the east, strong easterly wings and news of a build up of thrushes in Scandinavia.The event in Cheshire involved perhaps as many as 100,000 Redwing recorded in just three hours, flying north-east on Saturday morning. It is likely that the Redwings entered Britain in the north east, crossed south-west overland and reached the Irish Channel and then perhaps re-orientated in a north-east direction. It is interesting that the largest counts submitted to BirdTrack over the weekend came from the western part of Britain with 40,000 in Lancashire, 1,000 in South Gloucestershire, 250 in Merseyside, 250 in Berkshire, 200 in Herefordshire on Saturday. On Sunday, counts of 1,000 came from Powys, 400 in Shropshire, 200 in Cheshire and 150 in Hampshire. Elsewhere, smaller numbers were recorded. Records suggest that Redwings entered Britain in a fairly narrow band, for example few were recorded on the Norfolk and Suffolk coast over the weekend, yet good numbers were in Yorkshire and further north.

In addition to Redwing, smaller numbers of Fieldfare and Brambling arrived on our shores. Goldcrests were arriving in a weak condition, particularly on Sunday afternoon, with an estimated 5,000 present at Spurn Point in East Riding of Yorkshire on Monday 11th. The discovery of a White`s Thrush at Easington Cemetery near Spurn on Sunday morning sent twitchers dashing from all over the country to try and see this sough-after species from Siberia. Most were rewarded with flight views, which showed off the distinctive under-wing pattern.BirdTrack welcomes records of winter visitors such as Redwing, Fieldfare and Brambling so that the timing and pattern of arrival can be mapped. BirdTrack is an online recording project that birdwatchers can use to store their records and at the same time contribute to local, regional and national monitoring of migration and the distribution of birds. Using the Internet allows birdwatchers to keep track of migration and movements at the speed they are happening.

To submit your records to BirdTrack, visit the website whttp://www.birdtrack.net and register as a recorder. Birdwatchers can register the sites they visit, and enter lists of the birds they seen and hear. Lists of all species seen and heard whilst out birdwatching will provide us with the best information, but casual sightings are also of value. For further information contact the BirdTrack Organiser birdtrack@bto.org

4th July 2014