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Aves, 46/1 | 2009 | 21-40

  Observations from March to May 2008
Centrale Ornithologique Aves - Groupe de travail « Chroniques »

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Article summary

April was a normal month because of the predominating ocean currents, relatively dry but not hot; only the 25-27 April were hot and anti-cyclonic. From the 3 May, the continental (3-15, 19-24) and tropical maritime (25-31) currents produced exceptionally warm weather, well above normal (16.4° C mean at Uccle as opposed to 12.7° C on average).The poor weather in March led to late migration, which really began only at the end of the month and in April. Most of the movement was not noteworthy (ducks, birds of prey, gulls, shorebirds, wagtails, finches, ...), among other reasons, because April was favourable for high flight migration. The most important rarities were an Audouin's Gull on the 13th April, the first for Belgium, and a Caspian Tern the next day. Another notable event was the arrival of Red-footed Falcons between the end of April and the end of May. Other rarities included the Slavonian Grebe, Ring-necked Duck, White-tailed and Short-toed Eagles, Arctic, Little, and Whiskered Terns, Rock Pipit, and Rock and Snow Buntings.Nesting was important for herons: confirmation for Little Egrets and Night Herons, as well as the first Cattle Egrets. The Great White Egrets stayed the summer, parading but not nesting. Other rare nesters were successful: Black-necked Grebe, three harriers, Oystercatcher, Wryneck, and Savi's Warbler on four sites; we may also note the return of the Common Tern to Virelles, the installation of Ravens between the Sambre and Meuse, the expansion of the Tree Creeper in the Condroz, and a new nesting of the Red-backed Shrike north of the Sambre-Meuse. The Ferruginous Duck (of unknown origin) reappeared at Ploegsteert. Crossbills were very rare and the number of Serin decreased. Some resident birds nested very earlier, in particular the Tits.

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