Residents urged to look out for birds

Residents are being urged to look out for Britain's biggest Scandinavian invasion since the Vikings after record numbers of birds of prey flocked to the region.

Residents in the Great Yarmouth area are being urged to look out for Britain's biggest Scandinavian invasion since the Vikings after record numbers of birds of prey flocked to the region.

The Norfolk-based British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has received an unusually high number of reports of kestrels, ospreys, and peregrine falcons from Norway, Sweden, and Finland migrating to our shores.

Since the bird research organisation began its bird ringing scheme in 1909, a total of 94 kestrels from the three northern European countries have been found in Britain.

But officials from the BTO, based in Thetford, said that no fewer than eight Scandinavian ringed kestrels were discovered along the south and east coasts between late August and September.


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They are blaming easterly winds during the early autumn and good breeding seasons for the birds in Sweden and Finland for the invasion.

An osprey from Sweden was found with a broken wing at Fritton, near Yarmouth, which later had to be put down, a Swedish kestrel was found dead on the beach near Hemsby, near Yarmouth, and a sick peregrine that was ringed in Norway was rescued in Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds.

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Mark Grantham, population biologist at the BTO, said the easterly airflow appeared to have caused more juvenile Scandinavian birds to fly into the country.

“Normally they are quite short-distance migrants and are not built for long distances.

“They sometimes end up in Denmark, but normally do not come much further south.

“We are encouraging people to keep an eye out and take a look at anything they find,” he said.

Anyone who finds a ringed bird is asked to contact the BTO on 01842 750050.

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