I like March, as it’s the start of spring migration and the first of the summer visitors will be arriving soon. Here’s the rough order some of the most common species will probably arrive in Sheffield, based on their arrival times in 2005 (as listed in Sheffield Bird Study Group‘s ‘Birds of the Sheffield Area 2005’ – buy a copy today if you haven’t already!).
Mid-March (10th-19th) – Sand Martin, Wheatear, Ring Ouzel
Late March (20th-31st) – Little Ringed Plover, Swallow, Willow Warbler (plus most Chiffchaffs, although they can be seen in small numbers all winter.)
Early April (1st-9th) – Common Sandpiper, Turtle Dove, House Martin, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Redstart, Whinchat, Pied Flycatcher (plus most Blackcaps, although they can be seen in small numbers all winter.)
Mid-April (10th-19th) – Cuckoo, Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Garden Warbler, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat
Late April (20th-30th) – Wood Warbler, Swift
Early May (1st-10th) – Spotted Flycatcher
As you can see, we have to wait until the first three weeks or so of April before things really kick off, but I’ll be keeping my eyes firmly open for the sand martins. Feel free to send me a message the first time you see any of these species around.