Friday, 25 April 2014

Transatlantic Weather Alert

The first decent Northeast winds since last fall are shaping up to be very interesting. Prolonged, and far-reaching winds from Iceland to Newfoundland are forecasted over the next few days, peaking on Monday with what seems like direct wind from Southern Iceland to the entire North facing coast of Newfoundland.

Things could get very exciting early next week. I'm sure there'll be some European Golden Plovers on our shores, it's just a matter of if we find them...






Here's a brief rundown of what species these winds could bring us. If you're birding in Newfoundland you should be on the lookout for these.

Pink-footed Goose
Graylag Goose
Barnacle Goose
Common Shelduck
Little Egret
Eurasian Oystercatcher
European Golden Plover
Common Ringed Plover
Spotted Redshank
Common Redshank
Common Greenshank
Black-tailed Godwit
Common Snipe
Arctic Tern (although they do breed here, any ARTEs that show up over the next week are probably ones that breed further North so are semi-exciting)
Common Wood-Pigeon!?
Common Swift
Eurasian Jackdaw
Barn Swallow (Eurasian subspecies is distinct from the North American subspecies)
Common House-Martin
Northern Wheatear
White Wagtail
Meadow Pipit

There's a lot of species on this list. This is when it pays to know the common birds because theoretically you'll be able to pick out something different instead of dismissing it. Check everything twice.

One species that should probably already be on the Newfoundland list, but isn't is the Meadow Pipit. If you see a pipit, take pictures! Even if you think it's 'just' an American Pipit!!!

Meadow Pipit has streaks on the upper parts, a less obvious supercilium (i.e. eyebrow) and pinkish legs.

One way to distinguish the two species is by their calls. See below for a couple recordings.

American Pipit:

The rest of the photos are of Meadow Pipits:

Compare the supercilium and streaking on the back of this bird and the previous one!

The calls:

They're pretty similar, but if you listen you may be able to pick out the differences.

This recording is of a Buff-bellied Pipit which is another name for American Pipit:

Meadow Pipit:


  1. Hi Alvan, I'm a birder living in Cork on the south coast of Ireland and I normally check up on the Newfoundland blogs to see what might be coming our way in autumn so it's interesting to read this from
    the 'other side'. I hope you get some good stuff over the next few days, lots of Eurasian Whimbrel have been arriving on the south coast here over the past week and they were passing over my house last night in driving rain and a howling south easterly wind which should help them on their way. Skys are clear in Ireland with a slack NE wind tonight so there's nothing to stop anything heading for Iceland. Paul Moore

  2. Paul, we have conflicting hopes in terms of the direction of atlantic winds! This week is a rare week in favour of Newfoundland!

    Eurasian Whimbrel is high on our radar. Good to hear about the winds in Ireland & Iceland. We have big dreams for the next week or more!