Bird Migration


Article in significance: 1 


Oldest database: 2

Taken from website:

This data set, one of the longest of its kind in the country, lists all known county first arrival dates for 32 species of migrant, 29 summer and three winter, from 1886 onwards. Dates are converted to consecutive days of the year for analysis. 

Download R file:



To allow visualisation in R, the following packages should be installed as described:dplyR package: 3, to manipulate data frames

  • ggplot2 package: 4, to create plots
  • lubridate package: 5, to work with dates
  • timeDate package: 6, to extract Easter dates
  • astrolibR package: 7, one package to calculate full moon
  • lunar package: 8, another package to calculate full moon
  • rwunderground: 9, package to download weather data*
  • oce package: 10, package with oceanographic data; including magnetism data of the earth

* An API (Application Programming Interface) number is required for the rwunderground package. To obtain an API, register a free account at Once registered, request a free API from and select the pricing tab. The free developer code codes allow you to download 500 API calls per day and 10 calls per minute.

Latitude and longitude are used to describe a location on earth. They can be expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds (DMS notation) or in digital degrees (DD notation). In software programs, it is easiest to use the DD notation. It is however straight forward to convert from one format to the other using the following functions:

R download: convert_dms_dd

R download: convert_dd_dms

The following functions should be copied and pasted into R and executed as described to convert between the different formats.



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Wuertz D, Setz T, Chalabi Y, Maechler M, Byers J. timeDate: Rmetrics - Chronological and Calendar Objects [Internet]. 2018. Available from:
Chakraborty A, Feigelson E. astrolibR: Astronomy Users Library [Internet]. 2014. Available from:
Lazaridis E. lunar: Lunar Phase & Distance, Seasons and Other Environmental Factors [Internet]. 2014. Available from:
Shum A. rwunderground: R Interface to Weather Underground API [Internet]. 2017. Available from:
Kelley D, Richards C, Layton C. oce: Analysis of Oceanographic Data [Internet]. 2018. Available from: