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Weather & Tides

What birds will the weather bring?

Birding and weather are inescapably linked. Birds don’t seem to mind foul conditions, but of course they have no choice. Its a matter of weather the storm to survive and many species have to search for food to get through the day. On the other hand many birders might be put off! Sunshine makes life more pleasant (and viewing through scopes and bins better); but is far from essential. Temperature is somewhat irrelevant - we dress appropriately. Rain is just plain annoying!

Wind direction and strength is all important. Brisk on-shore winds favour sea watching. Calm conditions make it easier to hear bird song and calls.

In the migration seasons, Southerly winds in Spring might result in a few interesting overshoots. In the Autumn, strong Westerlies blow those Americans across the Atlantic. Drizzly, South Easterlies can result in big falls of passerines on the East Coast.

Useful Reading

Birds & Weather

- A Birdwatcher`s Guide by Stephen Moss 1995 Hamlyn

ISBN: 0600586790

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Weather and Bird Behaviour

by Norman Elkins [3rd revised edition] 2004 T & A D Poyser ?35

ISBN: 0713668253

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Other Links

Maps - DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteers


DeLorme is the leading publisher of maps, atlases, mapping software and online mapping applications — renowned for their detail and ease of use.

Maps - Elstead Maps


A commercial site for maps and all data related to travel… some accessible but most for sale… nevertheless, a reliable company operating at the highest standards.

Maps - Xerox World Map Viewer


A useful first place to visit to get your bearings before considering that foreign trip… its all very well having a guidebook to tell you where the best birding spots are but its not a lot of use without a map to sort out just where that is.

Tides - Tidal Height and Current Site Selection


Select a region here, then from that page, select a site for which to generate predictions. You will get basic predictions and a form for customized predictions. Predictions take a few moments to calculate, please be patient. This is much easier to use if you do the Alpha search as pointed out on Jack`s website. The other two tide sites are fine. When you have your favoured place, bookmark it.

Tides - Tide Table Programme


Careful use of this should let you know the state of the tide wherever you want to go.

Tides - UK Tide Guide


The British Admiralty's own tide guide - for today and the week ahead…

Travel - Rough Guides


An on-line travel magazine and information on 10,000 destinations; it is very much in the same vein as the series of books under the same name.

Travel - The Lonely Planet


The website is very similar in scope to the series of books; like the rough guides they are intended for people who see themselves as independent travellers not tourists. However, The Fatbirder is a great believer in looking at every source before you go to steep yourself in the local mores.

Travel - The Universal Currency Converter


Not only useful for working out what costs what before you go but useful for checking your bills when you get home or for shopping on the net for those all important bird books!

Travel - US Travel Warnings


Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Countries where avoidance of travel is recommended will have Travel Warnings as well as Consular Information Sheets. So it says… visit the site then make up your own mind.

Weather - BBC


The latest UK satellite picture and radar maps – updated very regularly… jack says these are now the best available.

Weather - Met Office Weather forecasts


The good old UK met office weather forecasts as used by the BBC etc. Despite what everyone says the predictions are now above 90% accurate on a country wide basis.

Weather - On Line Weather


UK & World Weather. Satellite images which come from Nottingham University.

Weather - Satellite Weather Picture


The second best satellite picture we know of. It is updated every 3 hours at 0040, 0340, etc.

Weather - Unisys Weather Information Service


The latest forecast in the form of a weather map. Straightforward information to use in conjunction with your knowledge of what weather conditions favour good birding!

Weather from ITV


…with UK & NI Regional Forecasts etc.

World Weather


Pick the country and area you are going to, to get up to date weather information.