Migrating birds need safe places to provide food and rest along the way. In the UK, wetlands, such as marshes and estuaries, are havens for migrants.
Swallows, wagtails and other small birds roost in reedbeds, while wading birds gather to feed on the rich supply of food beneath the tidal mud. One estuary – such as the Wash in Lincolnshire – may host hundreds of thousands of birds every year.
You won’t see them all at once, since they pass through in waves. But each bird depends upon the few days that it spends there. If people damage these places, or disturb the birds while they are roosting and feeding, the birds have nowhere to recover and refuel. They may never gain the energy they need to finish their journeys.