This week’s summary of summer visitors arriving in the county.
Five more spring migrants have arrived during the past seven days. This week’s quintet includes two species which, arguably, are not 100% summer visitors, as both Whimbrel and Spotted Redshank winter regularly in the UK. However, unlike Chiffchaff and Blackcap, for example, their wintering populations are tiny by comparison, with totals of perhaps only 20-30 Whimbrels and 90-100 Spotted Redshanks found principally, although not exclusively, in south coast locations (BTO, RSPB.1, RSPB.2). The arrival dates for these two species are unremarkable, the date for Whimbrel being fairly typical (19th April 2018, 17th April 2019), while Spotted Redshanks are rarer in spring than autumn and often they don’t appear before July.
Arctic Tern this year arrived nine days later than in both 2018 and 2019 and while not being unduly late, Black Terns arrived eleven days later than the earliest ever (7th April in 2019) and one day earlier than in 2018.
The first Common Swift this year, while being a shade on the early side (22nd April in 2018, 25th April in 2019) would have to go a long way, by being a full fifteen days earlier, to beat the earliest ever, on 5th April 1985.
With still more to come, an expanded list of general migrant arrival and departure dates, including historical extremes, can be found in the annually published Northamptonshire Bird Report.
Avian images used in map pins courtesy of RSPB