Weather & Tides

Cumulus Clouds over Pegwell Bay, Kent, UK as the tide recedes What birds will the weather bring? ©Fatbirder Website
…weather and rain have undone it again, and now you would never know…

Birding and weather are inescapably linked. Birds don’t seem to mind foul conditions, but of course they have no choice. Its a matter of weather the storm to survive and many species have to search for food to get through the day. On the other hand many birders might be put off! Sunshine makes life more pleasant (and viewing through scopes and bins better); but is far from essential. Temperature is somewhat irrelevant – we dress appropriately. Rain is just plain annoying!

Wind direction and strength is all important. Brisk on-shore winds favour sea watching. Calm conditions make it easier to hear bird song and calls.

In the migration seasons, Southerly winds in Spring might result in a few interesting overshoots. In the Autumn, strong Westerlies blow those Americans across the Atlantic. Drizzly, South Easterlies can result in big falls of passerines on the East Coast.

Useful Reading
  • Birds & Weather

    | (A Birdwatcher`s Guide) | by Stephen Moss Hamlyn | 1995 | Paperback | ISBN: 9780600586791 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Weather and Bird Behaviour

    | by Norman Elkins | T & A D Poyser | 2004 | [3rd edition] | Hardback | ISBN: 9780713668254 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Other Links
  • Maps - DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteers

    Website
    DeLorme is the leading publisher of maps, atlases, mapping software and online mapping applications
  • Maps - Elstead Maps

    Website
    A commercial site for maps and all data related to travel
  • Tides - Tidal Height and Current Site Selection

    Website
    Select a region here, then from that page, select a site for which to generate predictions. You will get basic predictions and a form for customized predictions. Predictions take a few moments to calculate, please be patient. This is much easier to use if you do the Alpha search as pointed out on Jack`s website. The other two tide sites are fine. When you have your favoured place, bookmark it.
  • Tides - Tide Table Programme

    Website
    Careful use of this should let you know the state of the tide wherever you want to go.
  • Tides - UK Tide Guide

    Website
    The British Admiralty's own tide guide - for today and the week ahead
  • Travel - Rough Guides

    Website
    An on-line travel magazine and information on 10,000 destinations; it is very much in the same vein as the series of books under the same name.
  • Travel - The Lonely Planet

    Website
    The website is very similar in scope to the series of books; like the rough guides they are intended for people who see themselves as independent travellers not tourists. However, The Fatbirder is a great believer in looking at every source before you go to steep yourself in the local mores.
  • Travel - The Universal Currency Converter

    Website
    Not only useful for working out what costs what before you go but useful for checking your bills when you get home or for shopping on the net for those all important bird books!
  • Travel - US Travel Warnings

    Website
    Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Countries where avoidance of travel is recommended will have Travel Warnings as well as Consular Information Sheets. So it says
  • Weather - AccuWeather

    Website
    UK & World Weather. Satellite images which come from Nottingham University.
  • Weather - BBC

    Website
    The latest UK satellite picture and radar maps
  • Weather - Met Office Weather forecasts

    Website
    The good old UK met office weather forecasts as used by the BBC etc. Despite what everyone says the predictions are now above 90% accurate on a country wide basis.
  • Weather - Satellite Weather Picture

    Website
    The second best satellite picture we know of. It is updated every 3 hours at 0040, 0340, etc.
  • Weather - Unisys Weather Information Service

    Website
    The latest forecast in the form of a weather map. Straightforward information to use in conjunction with your knowledge of what weather conditions favour good birding!
  • Weather from ITV

    Website
    …with UK & NI Regional Forecasts etc.
  • World Weather

    Website
    Pick the country and area you are going to, to get up to date weather information.

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