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The annual SpringMAP project is especially important for SABAP2. It is the only opportunity we will ever have to collect data on the timing of the arrival of migrants this spring. We will compare this year's data with the awesome data we have collected over the past five years. Once upon a time, we lived in a world in which we thought of the timing of migration as a static thing. Once we had done enough fieldwork to establish when the swallows arrived, we did not ever have to do that again. But our world view is different now, and we are aware that nothing can be assumed to be stable. We have already demonstrated that the timing of the arrival of many migrants has changed since SABAP1. With lots of data every spring we can quantify the timing of migration within each year, and compare this between years. We can also begin to understand the regional timing of migration. How long after the Barn Swallows reach Polokwane do they reach Cape Point?
Besides all this useful stuff, spring is a great time to be outdoors. It is warm, but not hot. And to be out at dawn does not mean getting up at five o'clock! So it is a great time of the year for easy birding. Many breeding species are singing conspicuously.
Every list made between now and the end of November contributes to SpringMAP. But the best data of all consists of repeat lists for the same pentad. You can make a fantastic contribution by doing your local pentad as frequently as it is fun for you to do it!