Macquarie University PhD students Linda Beaumont and Ian McAllan, together with associate professor Lesley Hughes, have analysed the movements of migratory birds visiting south-eastern Australia since the 1960s.
Using published literature, bird observer reports, and observations of bird watchers, the team compared the arrival date for 24 species and the departure for 12 species over the past 40 years.
The study is believed to be the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, and is published in the current edition of the international journal Global Change Biology.
The study found half of the species analysed – which included sandpipers, kingfishers, bee eaters and plovers – showed a significant trend toward earlier arrival since 1960.
It showed they were arriving on average 3.5 days earlier per decade across the whole study group.
At the same time, there was an average delay in departure of 5.1 days per decade.
For some time, I’ve believed timings of migrants changing on ne China coast (near Beidaihe) as a result of warming; seems that area is more affected by warming than many regions. Also, increases in some residents such as Vinous-throated Parrotbill perhaps as winters less harsh than had been normal.