Saturday, 25 April 2015

Saturday Update - April 25

Still no definite european birds found on our shores - but it should happen within the next week.

With East winds for the next few days, including some associated with far reaching low pressure systems, it's hard to imagine that we won't get any.

Lots of signs around with that Little Gull earlier in the week, and today, 2 ARCTIC TERNS and a few jaegers - and perhaps the most promising sign is that of a flock of 8 plovers seen ~1000km offshore, flying due West for Newfoundland.

Our local breeding Arctic Terns show up in mid May. There are few April records of Arctic Tern and all have been associated with low pressure systems blowing winds from the centre of the Atlantic. Surely these birds are migrating to Iceland and have recently passed by Africa.

Arctic Tern - note the white cheek that is set off from the grey back, wings, and belly.

Been seeing an unusually high number of 1st winter LBBGs recently....

Most unusual was an adult Pomarine Jaeger sitting in some reeds less than 1km from my house. A few were seen today after some strong onshore winds and mega thick fog.

Scene from Cape Spear this evening: 

Hopefully more news tomorrow!
After all, April 26th is a certified Euro Vagrant holiday for birders in Newfoundland.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


Seen this morning at 7:11am flying steadily North past Cape Spear.

Did it come from the North American population or European/Iceland population of Little Gulls? Who knows.

Surprisingly, there is another late April record for Newfoundland from L'Anse aux Meadows (1995).

Hard to know if this is a vanguard of other European birds in the region - more probable though is that it's just a lost bird and its appearance has something to do with the huge Low pressure system that passed East of us just yesterday.

4 screenshots from the few seconds of video I managed to capture:

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Update on the Euro Vagrant Forecast

As promised, the Sunday weather forecast update (aka Euro fallout prophesies):

A large low pressure system, currently just South Southeast of the Avalon, will travel North and then swing East out over the Atlantic where it will draw winds from Britain and Ireland and send them directly towards Northeast Newfoundland.

As with any weather system - there are just too many variables and unknowns to be sure of what will happen. But, whatever happens in the next 7 days will be interesting.

Ideal winds will climax on Wednesday, but start to form on Monday night and continue right through to Friday.

Wednesday - a stunning map:

North Atlantic Surface Pressure for Wednesday:

These weather systems are a few days earlier than last years legendary winds that brought 300+ Euro Golden Plovers, 12+ Black-tailed Godwits, 40+ Northern Wheatears, and a bunch of other crazy megas.

A quick review of the Iceland occurrence charts reveals that Eurasian Oystercatcher, Meadow Pipit, and Redwing are among the earlier migrants that we missed last year. Would be nice to get any one of those in 2015 ;)

Geese are also earlier to migrate (Pink-footed & Graylag)

Spring of 2014 saw an incursion of european vagrants of unbelievable magnitude - can we double it up!??

Not the only passerine that will be on my mind next week