Migrating Birds Giving Britain A Miss
Britain is losing its appeal as a winter feeding station for migrating birds, with significant declines in at least eight species of wetland birds. Global warming is thought to be responsible.
The trend was identified by the State of the UK’s Birds 2006, a report by conservation organisations as part of a wetland bird survey project.
Mallard ducks, dunlin and ringed plovers traditionally fly hundreds or thousands of miles to reach Britain for the winter. They set off from their spring and summer breeding grounds in regions such as Greenland, Siberia and Canada in search of a milder climate. But some no longer fly so far because they can get what they need elsewhere on their route.
The biggest decline, of two thirds, is among European white-fronted geese. They are showing a preference for the Baltic and the Netherlands. Mallard numbers have fallen by a third.