Europe and Central Asia
9 Oct 2017

(Bird)Life through a lens: EuroBirdwatch 2017

Pallid Harrier © BirdLife
By Christopher Sands

Bird lovers, young and old, across Europe took out their binoculars for the bird-watching highlight of the year – BirdLife’s annual EuroBirdwatch! Over the weekend of 30th September – 1st October, nearly 22,000 people attended 934 different events across 41 countries. And now the results are in!

BirdLife’s ‘EuroBirdwatch 2017’ (30th September – 1st October) hosted almost 22,000 people across 41 countries. In over 934 different events, the magnificence of the autumn migration was in full flight as over 4 million migratory birds were observed making their way south to their wintering places.

A different BirdLife partner takes on the coordinating and data collection role each year to provide us with this amazing snapshot of the weekend. This year SOS/Birdlife Slovakia assembled the aggregate figures and notable moments, which are available in their entirety at www.eurobirdwatch.eu.

A glimpse of some of the excitement includes over 1.2 million birds observed in Finland, among them a Desert Wheatear, 3 Red-flanked Bluetails, and 2 each, Olive-backed Pipits, Dusky Warblers, and Common Firecrests.

Hungary had the most participants with nearly 4,000 enthusiasts showing up and spotting, among other spectacular travelers, a Yellow-browed warbler, Lesser White-fronted goose, Saker falcon, Peregrine falcon, Black stork, Golden plover, Osprey, and Cattle egret.

As mentioned above, with the rare Desert Wheatear in Finland, other highlights included many other rare species, including: a Buff-breasted sandpiper in Sweden; Yellow-browed Warbler in Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Hungary, Latvia and Czechia; Red-throated Pipits in Belarus, Switzerland and Lithuania; White-headed Duck in Uzbekistan; Dusky warbler in Italy; Eleonora's falcon in Bulgaria; Pallid Harrier in Cyprus and Malta; and the amazing Cory’s Shearwaters migration in Gibraltar.

A tip of the feather to SOS/BirdLife Slovakia for their superb work in collating and organizing the results, and to all of the organizers and participants across the 41 European countries celebrating the natural miracle of migration and wishing all birds travelling south a safe flyway.

 

Christopher Sands - Head of Communications, Europe & Central Asia


Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.