The Early Bird Catches The (Frozen) Worm

The Early Bird Catches The (Frozen) Worm

Posted by Eric Dempsey, With 0 Comments,

The Early Bird Catches The (Frozen) Worm

Is it just me that’s looking out the window and thinking…what’s going on?


A week or so ago, I was walking without a jacket and enjoying the warm spring weather at last. Swallows were overhead, Willow Warblers were singing in the garden and Song Thrushes were collecting worms to feed young in one of our hedges.


Today is 27th April and, as I write this, it is snowing outside. Yes…snowing! What the hell is going on? Snowing? It’s not even that nice fluffy snow…it’s more that wet, sleety snow. But it’s snow…and on 27th April.


I can’t help but feel sorry for all the migrant birds who have arrived in their tens of thousands over the last week or two. I’m thinking about the warblers trying to find insects and the Swallows flying in snowy downpours. No insect in it’s right mind would be flying in this weather!


So what happens if these Arctic conditions continue on? Do the birds decide…’to hell with this, I’m outta here!’? If they did, I wouldn’t blame them. In fact I sort of feel like that myself.


Migrants use up so much energy and resources making it this far and need to refuel quickly. How many tired and weak migrants reach our shores only to be confronted with Arctic weather conditions in late April? I can’t help wondering if, for some, meeting these weather conditions when they reach Ireland is simply one step too far?


We can only hope that our summer visitors who have reached our shores can manage to survive these un-seasonal conditions for a few more days until the warm winds and spring sunshine returns.


Until then, I shall wish them all luck…I think they need it.




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