Spring Sessions

Spring is upon us and migration is already underway with wheatear, chiffchaff, sand martin, swallow, blackcap, osprey and even a nearby ring ouzel arriving in the UK, so it’s time to kick off the 2012 Cabot Tower visible migration watches.As most of you will know, autumn 2012 was our first season of watches, and although successful, we don’t know what the spring is likely to bring – birds could be following entirely different flight paths on their return journeys – but even if we see nothing, this is still valuable data! If nothing else, we should at least count a few meadow pipits and alba wagtails in the coming weeks, as they have already started moving north in reasonable numbers. The local raptors have also been quite active since it’s warmed up and in the last few weeks, plenty of buzzards and sparrowhawks have been up over the Downs and Ashton Court, so we’ve got our fingers crossed for something exciting passing over at some point… Red kite… Honey buzzard… Ring ouzel…?!As always, you don’t need to be an expert birder as we will be all working together to identify the birds. You just need to be vigilant. Although, all are welcome, we are all essentially contributing to an ongoing migration survey and you must bring your own birding equipment, even if it is a £10 pair of binoculars. If you are planning on bringing a spotting scope and tripod, please let me know in advance as, these have to be limited due to health and safety reasons, as Cabot Tower is a public building. If you are interested, do contact us and we hope to see you atop the Tower this spring. After all, who knows what could turn up!
Alex Rhodes

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