Spring has been around here in Lleida for some time now. According to weather reports from the UK it’s difficult to echo that statement further north.
So just for a bit of fun, let’s compare notes. The good (native and naturalized) birders from the general area around Lleida have been collecting observations of first spring arrivals of migratory bird species for the last few years. And rather than keeping them to ourselves, I thought “Why not share them with the international birding community?”. Someone out there might find this information useful or at least interesting.
Of course observations of first arrivals of migratory birds are not much use for scientifc purposes. Personally I think that such records should be extended to at least second and third observations, mostly in order to help to iron out anomalies, either in the bird world or in their human recorders.
But let’s be content with what there is, rather than gripe on about what there isn’t.
Below then are the first arrival dates for the migratory birds recorded in the Lleida area (northeast Spain) up until the 15th March. Birds recorded on later dates to follow.
Black Stork Ciconia nigra 19-Feb
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius 19-Feb
Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius 21-Feb
House Martin Delichon urbicum 23-Feb
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 23-Feb
Garganey Anas querquedula 27-Feb
Black Kite Milvus migrans 01-Mar
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica 01-Mar
Ruff Philomaxus pugnax 02-Mar
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus 04-Mar
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus 06-Mar
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni 08-Mar
Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus 09-Mar
Sand Martin Riparia riparia 09-Mar
Osprey Pandion haliaetus 12-Mar
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 13-Mar
Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus 13-Mar
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus 13-Mar
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava 13-Mar
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis 13-Mar
Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus 14-Mar
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra 14-Mar