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Godwit feeding

A record breaking number of migrating birds have aborted their spring migration and landed in the Hebrides.

Black tailed godwits usually make their spring migration flight of nearly 2,000km from the Solent to Iceland in one non-stop journey. This year strong northerly winds has put a spanner in the works and thousands have stopped off on the Island of Tiree in the Scottish Hebrides.

The same thing happened in the spring of 2013 when cold winds blowing from the north forced around 1,320 of these majestic birds to make an unplanned stop in Tiree. This year that figure nearly doubled as the RSPB have reported 2,270 black-tailed godwits have spent time on the island this spring.

These strong northerlies not only block the departure of wintering birds that are trying to fly to Iceland, Greenland and Northern Canada but also delay spring arrivals of African migrants to the UK. We hope they are able to finish their crossing soon and will of course update you when we hear more!