News archive

November 2013

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Migration Hotspots Around the World

Migration Hotspots Around the World

Tim Harris has produced a book for the RSPB called 'Migration Hotspots: The World's Best Bird Migration Sites', published this year, it is a celebration of migration.

As Tim described the fantastic places where you can see birds on the move in their millions, we shared his feeling for one of the most amazing natural phenomena that our planet has to offer.

Bird ringing has been one of the main ways of learning about who goes where and when but now more detailed information is being collected as new technology allows species such as Cuckoos to be satellite tagged. The routes the individual tagged Cuckoos took on their journey from the UK to south of the Sahara differed radically and was totally unexpected.

We need to know what areas the migrating birds rely on in their mammoth and dangerous journeys so we can protect them en-route as well as their breeding and wintering grounds. Tim described the main migration routes across the world and highlighted hotspots for each of them - some very well known and others only recently appreciated such as Batumi in Georgia where an amazing number of European Honey-buzzards pass through in the autumn (possibly more than 50% of the world population).

Tim showed us some of the brilliant photos of migrating birds which feature in his book - skies full of birds, individual raptors soaring overhead and close ups of birds at hotspots where they come to refuel or take refuge from bad weather when it holds up their migration. Perhaps it will inspire you to visit some of these hotspots but at least everyone can enjoy the descriptions and information in the book (see the link at the bottom of this page).

Tim is a stalwart of the WREN group and has led walks for us at his local patch of Wanstead Flats and Park. We are very grateful to him for stepping in at short notice as David Lindo had to pull out of our scheduled talk for November.

If you click on the 'Download file' link, then you will see the striking poster that David (our Publicity officer) produced to advertise this talk.

Download file