April & May

Birds to look out for in April / May

This is the time when the last of the winter visitors depart for their more northerly / easterly breeding grounds and when the bulk of the summer visitors arrive to breed while others pass straight through. Please record first arrival dates and any movements of summer & passage birds e.g. Swallow & Common Sandpiper resp. Far more difficult record last records of our winter visitors – e.g. Redwing, Fieldfare.

Records are required for all the species below:

Departing winter visitors:-

  • Redwing & Fieldfare, Brambling, Siskin & Redpoll. The latter 2 may stay to breed.
  • Pink-footed Geese will be heading back to their Icelandic breeding grounds.
  • Record remaining Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Pintail, Pochard & Tufted Duck. Latter may stay to breed so please record.
  • Hen Harrier

Summer Visitors & Passage Migrants

1 Warblers – most should be in by end-May

Chiffchaff (In in large numbers now), Willow Warbler & Blackcap (First birds already recorded in our area), Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler. Cetti’s Warbler is a resident but listen for its explosive song.

2. Wagtails

Yellow Wagtail is now a very rare bird so please submit all sightings. Do not confuse with Grey Wagtail which is a resident along our streams & rivers. All breeding records.

3 Wheatear, Black Redstart, Ring Ouzel & Redstart will be mainly passing on the coast but can occur in WVBS area

4. Cuckoo, all records

5. Spotted Flycatcher – late May / early June, declining rapidly, all records

6. Ducks: Garganey – a rare summer visitor. Shelduck – now moving back inland to breed

7. Waders

Green Sandpiper & Common Sandpiper are mainly passage birds but Lapwing, Redshank and Snipe may just stay to breed. Oystercatcher move inland to breed.

8. Gulls & Terns

Common Tern will return from Africa any day. Record numbers and any evidence of nesting. Arctic Tern are not easy to separate but like Little Gull may pass through. All records please

9. Raptors – please treat all records as confidential

Hobby, Honey Buzzard & Montagu’s Harrier are all scarce / rare summer visitors. Marsh Harriers will be establishing breeding territories. Red Kite & Goshawk are very rare


Many species are far easier to see at this time of year. Great Spotted and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers before all the trees are in full leaf. Raptors including Sparrowhawk & Common Buzzard will be displaying
Linnet record flock size & nesting pairs

Mainly Coastal these waders may be in spectacular breeding plumage:
Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Knot, Grey Plover, Turnstone, Dunlin, Ruff, Avocet, Curlew Sandpiper.


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