Review of the Week: 11-17 October 2021


It's been a pretty wretched autumn so far for species such as Ring Ouzel and Yellow-browed Warbler and, until this past week, commoner species including Redwing. However, on 13th and 14th the floodgates for the latter species opened with some huge passage detected in the South-East and, to a lesser extent, the North-West. The biggest haul was a mighty 34,727 over Leith Hill, Surrey – one of the biggest British vis-mig counts on record. Many other sites in the Home Counties and Sussex scored large four-figure counts, chiefly on 13th. Some 17,782 counted over Horwich Moors, Greater Manchester, was the biggest count up north, with movement in the region peaking on 14th. Meanwhile, Isle of May, Fife, scored a bumper 13,165 on 17th.

Redwing, Isle of May, Fife (David Steel / Isle of May Bird Obs).

On 16th, the East Yorkshire coast scored a fine double act, with a Taiga Flycatcher at Flamborough Head followed by a Two-barred Warbler at Spurn. Although both are megas in every sense of the word, with just four and nine previous records respectively, both were also twitchable along the English east coast just last year, with a Two-barred at Budle Bay, Northumberland, followed by a Taiga Fly at South Shields, Durham.

Taiga Flycatcher, Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire (Lee Johnson).

Two-barred Warbler, Spurn YWT, East Yorkshire (Bethan Clyne).

Shetland's first Northern Harrier – a juvenile – was a timely find on Foula, Shetland, on 12th, right as the finders' prepared to depart the island. Just the 11th for Britain, it is the first juvenile since one at Ouse Washes RSPB, Cambridgeshire, back in October 2013, while another has been present in Iceland since 9th. 

Northern Harrier, Foula, Shetland (Tim Jones).

Last week's star, the adult Long-toed Stint, remained a popular fixture at St Aidan's RSPB, West Yorkshire, until 15th, becoming the longest-staying example of the species in Britain. The White-tailed Lapwing held out at nearby Blacktoft Sands RSPB, East Yorkshire, too.

Long-toed Stint (left), St Aidan's RSPB (Swillington Ings), West Yorkshire (Tony Davison).

White-tailed Lapwing, Blacktoft Sands RSPB, East Yorkshire (Geoff Brookes).

The first American Buff-bellied Pipit for mainland Wales was an excellent find in Glamorgan at Weobley, Gower, from 8-12th. It is just the second for the nation overall, following one on Bardsey Island, Gwynedd, in September 2019. Another was fresh in on Fair Isle on 11-12th, while others remained at Castle Point, Co Clare, and St Kilda, Outer Hebrides.

American Buff-bellied Pipit, Fair Isle, Shetland (Alex Penn).

Last week's Blackpoll Warbler was last recorded at Galley Head, Co Cork, on 11th; Northumberland's Red-eyed Vireo lasted on Holy Island until a day later, while another 'REV' was found on Lundy, Devon, on 16th.

Blackpoll Warbler, Galley Head, Cork (Aidan Duggan).

Red-eyed Vireo, Holy Island, Northumberland (Frank Golding).

Unfortunately, a White's Thrush was found dead after flying into a window in Weymouth, Dorset, early in the week – the second county record after one as far back as 1826.

White's Thrush, Weymouth, Dorset (Martin Cade / Portland Bird Observatory).

Nottinghamshire's third Baird's Sandpiper was at Idle Washlands from 12th, also crossing into the South Yorkshire section of the site on a number of occasions. Somerset's second in two years was at Steart on 16-17th. A new Wilson's Phalarope was at Tacumshin, Co Wexford, from 11-13th, joined by a Long-billed Dowitcher on 12-13th; another dowitcher continued at Bann Estuary, Co Londonderry.

Baird's Sandpiper, Idle Washlands, Nottinghamshire (Steve Furber).

A smart juvenile Spotted Sandpiper highlighted on St Mary's, Scilly, from 14-16th. Meanwhile, Hampshire's Western Sandpiper proved reliable at Normandy Marsh until 14th, with the Greater Yellowlegs still at Loch of Strathbeg RSPB, Aberdeenshire, until the week's end.

Spotted Sandpiper, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly (Marc Read).

Western Sandpiper, Normandy Marsh, Hampshire (Jeremy McClements).

Three juvenile Semipalmated Sandpipers rocked up in Cornwall – at Carnsew Basin from 9th, Camel Estuary on 13th and Walmsley Sanctuary on 17th, with another at Carne, Co Wexford, on the latter date. Meanwhile, a probable Hudsonian Whimbrel flew in off the sea at Sennen Cove, Cornwall, on 11th.

Semipalmated Sandpiper, Carnsew Basin, Cornwall (Mark ferris).

The adult Pacific Golden Plover was again on Holy Island, Northumberland, from 12th, with another remaining at Blennerville, Co Kerry, until 13th. Ireland's sole mega wader fixture of the week – the Semipalmated Plover – remained at Crookhaven, Co Cork.

Semipalmated Plover (left), Crookhaven, Cork (Brian McCloskey).

No fewer than three Red-throated Pipits were clocked on 13th – a rare Irish record was over Lissagriffin, Co Cork, another overflew Nanjizal Valley, Cornwall, and a probable was the highlight of a bumper fall on Lundy, Devon. In Scilly, sightings on St Mary's, St Agnes and Tresco throughout the week perhaps concerned the same one or two wandering individuals, with a second in Cornwall at Rame Head on 10th.

Red-throated Pipit, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly (Rik Addison).

Shetland hosted an impressive six Hornemann's Arctic Redpolls – two were at both Hametoun, Foula, and Norwick, Unst, one was at Dale of Walls, Mainland, and a juvenile was trapped and ringed at Gorie, Bressay. In Orkney, a probable Coues's Arctic Redpoll was a brief visitor to Start Point, Sanday, on 13th.

Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll, Foula, Shetland (Matthew Bruce).

In Kent, the male Desert Wheatear lasted at North Foreland, Kent, until 13th, while vocal Western Bonelli's Warblers resided in East Yorkshire at Kilnsea from 12-14th and Flamborough Head on 15th. Rustic Buntings were at Sandwich Bay, Kent, St Mary's, Scilly, and Charleston Reedbed, East Sussex.

Desert Wheatear, North Foreland, Kent (Nick Smith).

Western Bonelli's Warbler, Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire (Martin Standley).

On 16th, a young Eurasian Penduline Tit was found Beddington Farmlands, London, a probable Amur Wagtail was reported from Lakenheath Fen RSPB, Suffolk, and a probable Eastern Yellow Wagtail was on Mainland Shetland at Toft. Meanwhile, a juvenile Pallid Harrier was at Pendeen, Cornwall, on 11th, the same day a large lark, either Calandra or Bimaculated Lark, flew over St Mary's, Scilly.

Eurasian Penduline Tit, Beddington Farmlands, London (Zach Pannifer).

Clare Island, Co Mayo, had a strong week, scoring an American Black Duck on 11th followed by an Arctic Warbler on 13th. The latter is actually the rarer species in an Irish context, with 16 accepted records compared to 22 of American Black Duck.

On Islay, Argyll, two Cackling Geese were with returning Barnacle Geese at Loch Gruinart RSPB during the week, with others at Loch Paible, North Uist (two), and on the Inishkea Islands, Co Mayo. A returning Grey-bellied Brant was with Pink-feet at Tornagrain, Highland, on 13th. Cheshire's Blue-winged Teal resurfaced back at Neumann's Flash on 17th, while, in Shetland, King Eider held on at Trondra and Wadbister Voe, Mainland.

Blue-winged Teal (rear bird), Neumann's Flash, Cheshire (David Bedford).

King Eider (left), Wadbister Voe, Mainland, Shetland (Peter Garrity).

In Orkney, North Ronaldsay's second or third Fea's-type petrel of the year headed past on 17th. On 11th, a possible albatross species was reported heading west past Overstrand, Norfolk, although would evade relocation.

Fea's-type petrel, North Ronaldsay, Orkney (Dante Shepherd).

St Mary's, Scilly, proved the place to be on the Lepidoptera front, with Monarch butterfly sightings recorded on 11th, 14th and 17th.


Scottish mainland

It was an action-filled Scottish week: on 13th, a young Red-backed Shrike was at Aberlady Bay, Lothian and a probable Olive-backed Pipit overflew Ferry Hills, Fife. Meanwhile, a Hoopoe was at Roster, Caithness, on 11th, with Rosy Starlings at Skateraw, Lothian, and Balnakeil Marsh, Highland. A European Turtle Dove remained in a garden at Uig, Skye; a Woodlark flushed at Donmouth on 17th was a rare Aberdeenshire record. Yellow-browed Warblers were at St Andrews, Fife, Collieston, Aberdeenshire, and in Highland at Carrbridge and Tokavaig, Skye. Elsewhere in Aberdeenshire, the Barred Warbler lasted in Aberdeen until 11th and a Siberian Chiffchaff was at Girdle Ness.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Balephuil, Tiree, Argyll (John Bowler).

The returning Taiga Bean Goose flock continued to build, with 140 back at the Slamannan plateau, Forth, from 15th. In Fife, birds flew over North Queensferry (two) and Fife Ness on 15th, and St Andrews on 16th. A Tundra Bean Goose was at Wester Lonvine, Highland, on 14th, while another was with Canada Geese at Boarhills, Fife, on 16th. Three 'white' Snow Geese were again at Nairn Bar, Moray & Nairn; Fail Loch, Ayrshire, hosted a Ruddy Shelduck from 11-14th, and Todd's Canada Geese were at Collieston, Aberdeenshire, on 12th and Montrose Basin, Angus & Dundee, on 13th.

Taiga Bean Goose, Slamannan, Forth (John Nadin).

The Lesser Yellowlegs lasted at Loch of Strathbeg RSPB, Aberdeenshire, until 13th, with at least five bean geese. A single Pectoral Sandpiper lasted at Frankfield Loch, Clyde, until 12th, Fife Ness, Fife, held a Curlew Sandpiper, and Little Stints were at Loch of Strathbeg RSPB and North Berwick, Lothian. Six sites held Great Egrets, while two Eurasian Spoonbills graced Eden Estuary, Fife, on 16th.

Little Stint, North Berwick, Lothian (Iris O’Neill).

A White-winged Tern was reported in Bervie Bay, Aberdeenshire, with a juvenile Sabine's Gull also there. Other 'Sabs' were off Iona, Argyll, and Chanonry Point, Highland, Balearic Shearwaters flew past Fife Ness, Fife, on 12th and Brora, Highland, on 17th, and both a Long-tailed Skua and Leach's Storm Petrel were off Corsewall Point, Dumfries & Galloway, on 14th. In Caithness, a Little Auk was in Dunnet Bay, and Lossiemouth, Moray & Nairn, posted a Surf Scoter on 12th, while a single drake continued off Musselburgh, Lothian. An Isle of May, Fife, record count of Jack Snipe was reached with 36 on 12th, with a Grey Phalarope there towards the week's end.

Sightings on Tiree, Argyll, included both Ring-necked Duck, Great Egret, Eurasian Dotterel, two Yellow-browed Warblers and a probable Siberian Lesser Whitethroat.

Eurasian Dotterel, Balevullin, Tiree, Argyll (Jim Dickson).


Northern Isles and the Hebrides

Shetland settled down this week – a combination of fewer observers and unfavourable winds – although some quality was still had. A juvenile American Golden Plover was mingling with its European counterparts at Ringasta, Mainland, on 13th before moving to Fleck the following day. Ring-necked Duck were reported from three lochs this week, the lingering drake at Sand Water, Yell, was ever-present, while an eclipse drake was a one-day bird at Loch of Spiggie, Mainland, on 11th before presumably moving to Loch of Tingwall on 15th. Two Tundra Bean Geese were at Cunnister, Yell, on 12th while at least one of the adult White-billed Divers remained in South Nesting Bay. Glaucous Gulls arrived at 10 sites.

Little Bunting, Cunningsburgh, Mainland, Shetland (Penny Clarke).

It's been a lean autumn for Red-flanked Bluetail, so one at Hestingott, Mainland, on 17th was most welcome. The Woodchat Shrike remained at Aith, Mainland, until 12th and a small arrival of Hawfinch was underway with eight localities reporting birds, including five at Bardister, Mainland, on 11th and three at Brae, Mainland, on 12th. A Blyth's Reed Warbler was at Foula on 11-12th.

Blyth's Reed Warbler, Foula, Shetland (Matthew Bruce).

A smart adult drake Surf Scoter was a prize find on Fair Isle on 11th and is just the third record for the island. It continued to provide unbeatable views throughout. Equally as rare, the Little Egret that flew over the island on 13th was also the third record. Drift migrants included Red-breasted Flycatcher and Bluethroat, plus a Tundra Bean Goose on 14th.

Surf Scoter, Fair Isle, Shetland (Alex Penn).

In Orkney, a Richard's Pipit at Start Point, Sanday, on 12th was the best on the eastern front while two Pectoral Sandpipers were on Papa Westray on 17th. Sanday also hosted a Barred Warbler on 11-12th and a Glaucous Gull was at Loch of Swartmill, Westray, on 12th. A Vagrant Emperor dragonfly caught by a cat at Kirkwall, Mainland, on 17th was an eclectic record.

A Lesser Yellowlegs on North Ronaldsay from 13-15th was the second there this autumn; a Pectoral Sandpiper was a brief visitor on 11th. Otherwise it was seawatching records that dominated sightings, with Long-tailed and Pomarine Skuas reported on 17th alongside a handful of Little Auks.

An American Golden Plover was on Barra on 13-17th. Otherwise, there was a more eastern feel to the island with Red-breasted FlycatcherBarred Warbler and Red-backed Shrike. The Greater Short-toed Lark remained at St Kilda until 13th and the Black-necked Grebe was still on Coot Loch, Benbecula, until 17th.

Dan Owen


North-East England

What was likely the same one or two Great Shearwaters was seen off a number of sites between St Mary's Island and Holy Island, Northumberland, during the week. Two were reported past Beadnell on 16th. Other seawatching highlights included a White-billed Diver tracked past three sites on 15th with St Mary's Island scoring a second individual later that day, several Long-tailed Skuas, and Grey Phalaropes off the Farne Islands and Annstead Point.

An arrival of geese into Budle Bay led to three Todd's Canada Geese being picked out among the many Barnacles. The juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper remained there, and a blue morph Snow Goose headed west over Hallington Reservoirs on 11th.

Greater Scaup, Holy Island, Northumberland (Ian Stewart).

In Durham, a Great Shearwater and White-billed Diver flew past Whitburn Coastal Park on 12th and 15th respectively and were later seen in Northumberland. A Grey Phalarope also flew south there on 16th and a Red-necked Phalarope was reported from Cleadon at the end of the week.

What might have been the same Arctic Warbler as last week was trapped and ringed on Hartlepool Headland, Cleveland, on 13th. A seawatch on the headland also produced a possible White-billed Diver on Sunday, with a Black-throated Diver appearing late in the week.

Jonathan Farooqi


North-West England

A Pectoral Sandpiper paid a one-day visit to Heversham Moss, Cumbria, on 13th. Meanwhile, a Yellow-browed Warbler was at South Walney NR the same day. Last week's Snow Goose continued to tour Lancashire with the arriving Pink-feet. A juvenile Ring-necked Duck was at Fishmoor Reservoir from 13th and a Hoopoe was a brief visitor to Preesall on 15th.

Ring-necked Duck, Fishmoor Reservoir, Lancashire (Paul Foster).

Cheshire was quiet. A Spotted Crake was reported from Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB on 11th, but wasn't seen again. A Snow Bunting touched down on Hilbre before continuing west and Ruddy Shelduck remained scattered across their usual haunts. The 14th saw some big counts of Redwing over Greater Manchester sites with 17,782 over Horwich Moors and 16,798 over Pennington Flash CP.

Dan Owen


Lincolnshire and Yorkshire

A Glossy Ibis at Far Ings NR on 14th and a Grey Phalarope at Alkborough Flats on 17th were not exactly the highlights Lincolnshire birders could have hoped for given the date. Nine Little Auks passing Saltfleetby NNR on 10th was early, with two Taiga Bean Geese there on 12th a major county record.

Three Common Cranes over St Aidan's RSPB, West Yorkshire, on 14th were later seen over Wintersett Reservoir and Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Potteric Carr YWT had up to five Spotted Redshanks, with more in the Dearne Valley. A first-winter Caspian Gull was in Sheffield.

Eurasian Spoonbill, St Aidan's RSPB (Swillington Ings), West Yorkshire (Stephen Pogson).

A Snow Bunting flew over Albert Road Reservoir, West Yorkshire, on 13th, while any inland Yellow-browed Warbler this year is worth a shout – one was at Rodley NR on 17th. St Aidan's RSPB had Eurasian Spoonbill and Black-necked Grebe to go alongside its mega visitor this week.

It was a desperately quiet week for North Yorkshire. Siberian Chiffchaff and Siberian Lesser Whitethroat were the best migrants recorded from the coast, but even the Yellow-browed Warbler at Filey is newsworthy in this bleak October. The few notable inland sightings included Garganey at Hellifield Flash.

Snow Bunting, Spurn YWT, East Yorkshire (Paul Coombes).

There was a report of three Snow Geese with Pink-footed Geese over Howden, East Yorkshire, on 11th. A late Black Tern was at Southfield Reservoir to 12th and a Glossy Ibis visited Hornsea Mere on 11th. Long-tailed Skua and Grey Phalarope passed Flamborough Head, while there was a big arrival of Redwings there on 13th. A Little Bunting was at Kilnsea on 12th, with a Red-breasted Flycatcher at Easington on 15th and a brief Vagrant Emperor dragonfly at the former site on 16th.

Josh Jones


West Midlands

In Staffordshire, an adult Little Gull was at Belvide Reservoir on 11th, where a Ruddy Duck was belatedly reported as present between 24 September and 7 October. The Ruddy Shelduck remained at Blithfield Reservoir, while a Greater White-fronted Goose was with the Greylags at Middleton Lakes RSPB on 15th. A Melodious Warbler was a shock October find in a garden at Lydbury North, Shropshire, on 15th, although there was no further sign the following day. A female Greater Scaup was at Stubber's Green, West Midlands, on the evening of 12th.

Ruddy Duck, Belvide Reservoir, Staffordshire (Steve Nuttall).

A Kittiwake was at Upper Bittell Reservoir, Worcestershire, on 13th. An adult Dark-bellied Brent Goose was at Upton Warren NR on the evening of 16th and two Glossy Ibises overflew Ripple GPs on 17th. A Yellow-browed Warbler was notable at Hartshill Hayes CP, Warwickshire, on 13th, when an adult Kittiwake was at Earlswood Lakes. A drake Greater Scaup was at Draycote Water on 15th.

Melodious Warbler, Lydbury North, Shropshire (Pete Jennings).

Dan Owen


East Midlands

In Derbyshire, the Snow Bunting continued at Carsington Water, while a Kittiwake flew through Bottoms Reservoir on 13th, when a Greater Scaup-Common Scoter duo was at Carsington Water. Not a lot was going on in Nottinghamshire, the Little Stint remained at Idle Washlands and up to three Black-necked Grebes were still at Idle Valley NR. 

Snow Bunting, Carsington Water, Derbyshire (John Dickenson).

A Yellow-browed Warbler was trapped and ringed at Stanford Reservoir, Northants, on 12th. A Ruddy Shelduck moved between Foxholes Fisheries, Crick and the DIRFT 3 pools at Lilbourne. The latter site hosted a Dark-bellied Brent Goose on 12-15th and a Greater White-fronted Goose was at Clifford Hill GPs on 13th. A Black-necked Grebe was at Thrapston GPs throughout. A Kittiwake flew through Groby Pool, Leicestershire, on 13th while a Glossy Ibis proved hard to get at times at Swithland Reservoir. A late-ish Wood Sandpiper was at Eyebrook Reservoir on 17th.

Dan Owen


East of England

Titchwell's Rosy Starling was last noted on 11th, with the reserve one of four Norfolk sites to host Grey Phalarope – others included two off Cley Marshes NWT. These were upstaged by the White-billed Diver that flew past there on 17th. A Leach's Storm Petrel passed Cromer on 14th. On the land, a Richard's Pipit was at Sidestrand on 17th, with three north-coast sites logging flyovers on 14th and one on the deck at Cley on 15th. A Barred Warbler was at Paston on 16th.

Grey Phalarope, Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk (Barry Perkins).

The continuing Pectoral Sandpiper at Carlton Marshes SWT was among Suffolk's highlights, as was a White-tailed Eagle at Henham Woods on 16th. Passerine migrants were few and far between, although a Richard's Pipit stuck around at Bawdsey on 17th, a Siberian Chiffchaff was at Lowestoft and four sites produced Yellow-browed Warbler.

In Essex, the unringed White Stork was still at Stanway Green and a ringed bird visited Coalhouse Fort on 17th. A Red-necked Grebe was at Abberton Reservoir, with up to 11 Spotted Redshanks there. A Black-necked Grebe was at Hanningfield Reservoir on 16th.

White Stork, Coalhouse Fort, Essex (Ian Plume).

Hertfordshire news included a Yellow-browed Warbler at West Hyde GPs for three days to 15th, the returning Caspian Gull hybrid at Fairlands Valley Park, Rock Pipit at Wilstone Reservoir and Little Stint at Stanborough Pits on 11th.

American Wigeon, Bluntisham, Cambridgeshire (Paul Chamberlain).

Two reports apiece of Caspian Gull and Hawfinch were received from Bedfordshire, although these would have been upstaged had the possible Alpine Swift over Whipsnade on 14th been confirmed. A Leach's Storm Petrel was a bolt from the blue at Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire, on 15th, while a Eurasian Dotterel was near Ring's End on 15th, a Red-necked Grebe (and Common Scoter) visited Ferry Meadows CP on 13th, the American Wigeon was still at Bluntisham to 16th and the Glossy Ibis flock still near Earith.

Josh Jones

South-East England

The region's scarcity of the week was probably the Greater Short-toed Lark that flew over Tweseldown in north-east Hampshire on 17th. Reward for dedicated vis-miggers, the bird – tailing a flock of Redwings – marks an extraordinary inland record and is just the fifth for the county since 1983. On the same day, a Richard's Pipit flew south-west over Farlington Marshes. The Pectoral Sandpiper continued at Oxey Marsh throughout and, along with two Little Stints, offered a fine supporting cast for the Western Sandpiper. On the Isle of Wight, a juvenile American Golden Plover was at St Helens on 14th.

Western Sandpiper (left) and Little Stint, Normandy Marsh, Hampshire (Mark Leitch).

In Sussex, the Purple Heron continued near Pagham throughout, though could go missing for long periods. A Black-necked Grebe was on a private farm reservoir near Middleton-on-Sea, while the Rye Harbour individual was still about. Otherwise it was quiet, with the county still awaiting its first Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn and having only recorded Ring Ouzel at two sites so far.

It was pretty mundane in Kent, too, though a Radde's Warbler was at Sandwich Bay from 16th. A Shore Lark was at Foreness Point on 13th, with the site one of four in the county to host Snow Bunting this week. Seasalter and Reculver both scored presumably the same Black Guillemot on 11th, the same day a Lapland Bunting flew over Ash. Up to two Black Brant were at Seasalter/Garaveney Marshes from 12th and, on 13th, a juvenile Sabine's Gull lingered off Sandgate and Hythe scored a Grey Phalarope. Glossy Ibises continued at Cliffe Pools and Dungeness.

In London, both Harefield and Upper Norwood hosted Yellow-browed Warblers. Surrey scored its eighth Glossy Ibis, when one flew over Clandon Wood on 11th. Other bits in the county included the returning female Ring-necked Duck to Priory Pond in Reigate from 16th and a Dark-bellied Brent Goose at Frensham Great Pond.

Ring-necked Duck, Reigate, Surrey (Josephine Snell).

Berkshire had a very quiet period but Buckinghamshire enjoyed two Rock Pipits, both at Willen Lake from 13th. Indeed, it's been a good autumn for inland Rock Pipits in England and no fewer than three Oxfordshire sites scored this week: Grimsbury Reservoir, Farmoor and Thame. Farmoor also hosted a Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

Ed Stubbs


South-West England

The best of the new arrivals on Scilly this week included a mobile Red-rumped Swallow, European Serin, Radde's Warbler, Dusky Warbler and Red-backed Shrike on St Mary's, Bluethroat on Bryher and Little Buntings on Tresco and Bryher. The Little Bunting on St Martin's was still in place, along with a Bryher Rosy Starling. Several Red-breasted Flycatchers, Common Rosefinches, Siberian Chiffchaffs and Yellow-browed Warblers were scattered across the islands.

Dusky Warbler, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly (Richard Stonier).

In Cornwall, a Lesser Yellowlegs was at Walmsley Sanctuary on 12th before moving to Clapper Marshes, with a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper at Stithians Reservoir the following day. Olive-backed Pipits were noted at Nanjizal Valley and Park Head, with several localities producing Richard's Pipits, Wrynecks and Siberian Chiffchaffs. St Levan scored a Red-breasted Flycatcher on 14th and the drake Ring-necked Duck at Dozmary Pool was joined by a second individua. Walmsley Sanctuary held onto its Glossy Ibis throughout. 

Lesser Yellowlegs, Walmsley Sanctuary, Cornwall (Adrian Lea).

Highlights in Devon included a Hoopoe at Uplyme on 17th, European Honey Buzzard over Thurleston and a Wryneck at Dawlish Warren NNR. A single Glossy Ibis remained at Fremington Pill for most of the week and a couple of Siberian Chiffchaffs arrived on Lundy.

A juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper was at Lytchett Fields RSPB, Dorset, on 12th, lingering until the week's end. A Red-breasted Flycatcher was trapped on Portland on 14th, with a Common Rosefinch, Sabine's Gull and Siberian Chiffchaff also there. Winspit Valley scored a Red-backed Shrike on Tuesday, with the Black Brant putting in another appearance at Wyke Regis the day before. Three Common Cranes were seen in flight north of Chedington on 16th and another Siberian Chiffchaff was at Cogden Beach.

Short-eared Owl, Portland, Dorset (Verity Hill).

A Grey Phalarope at Slimbridge WWT on 14th was Gloucestershire's only scarcity of the week. Somerset fared slightly better with a juvenile American Golden Plover at Otterhampton Marsh, Steart WWT, on 11th and a Glossy Ibis at Chew Valley Lake from 12th joined by a second four days later. As many as eight Little Stints were also at Steart WWT.

Black Redstart, Cley Hill, Wiltshire (Paul Boult).

The Dipper remained at Marlborough, Wiltshire until 15th, with the female Ruddy Shelduck still at Langford Lakes and a Black Redstart at Cley Hill.

Jonathan Farooqi



The first Red-flanked Bluetail for Skokholm, Pembrokeshire, on 11th was the week's highlight, supported no fewer than three Siberian Chiffchaffs and a Yellow-browed Warbler; a Glossy Ibis overhead with a flock of Jackdaws and a Lapland Bunting on 11th were the best on neighbouring Skomer. Further afield, Yellow-brows were at Great Orme, Conwy, and Porth Clais, Pembrokeshire. In Glamorgan, a probable Little Bunting was a brief visitor to Mewslade Bay, Gower, on 11th; a Hoopoe was belatedly reported from Letterston, Pembrokeshire, on 10th. On 16th, a Richard's Pipit graced Great Orme, Conwy, with Lapland and Snow Buntings at four sites apiece. Hooded Crows were at The Range RSPB, Anglesey, and Bardsey Island, Gwynedd, with a Vagrant Emperor dragonfly at the latter site on 15th

Red-flanked Bluetail, Skokholm, Pembrokeshire (Richard Brown / Skokholm Warden).

Two Ruddy Shelduck were fresh-in at Llanelli Wetland Centre WWT, Carmarthen, on 16th, with another lingering at Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB, Clwyd. The female Ring-necked Duck was again in Cardiff Bay, Glamorgan, on 12th, with the Garganey remaining at Conwy RSPB, Conwy. A new Curlew Sandpiper was at Goodwick, Pembrokeshire, with others at Pwllheli, Gwynedd, and Llanelli Wetland Centre WWT, Carmarthen. Meanwhile, the juvenile American Golden Plover was reported back at Dale Airfield, Pembrokeshire, on 15th.



An arrival of eastern birds was welcome after such a poor autumn for migration. In Co Galway, a Hoopoe lingered on Inishbofin and a Common Rosefinch visited Inishmore. In Co Cork, Barred Warblers were on Cape Clear and at Garinish Point, the former also producing a Red-breasted Flycatcher.

Common Rosefinches were on Dursey Island at Owenahincha, the latter also scoring a flyover European Serin on 15th. Another Hoopoe was taken into care near Carrigaline, Co Cork, on 12th, with a Red-backed Shrike at, Ballysallagh, Co Waterford from 12-15th, plus several Siberian Chiffchaffs noted in the west and south-west.

American Golden Plover, Lissagriffin, Cork (Brian McCloskey).

A good week for American Golden Plover saw 10 recorded along the south and west coasts between Cos Wexford and Mayo. The Lesser Yellowlegs remained at Kilcoole, Co Wicklow, all week. Four Pectoral Sandpipers included two in Co Derry.

Ring-billed Gull, Blackrock, Louth (Fergal Stanley).

A juvenile Surf Scoter was off Kinvarra, Co Galway, on 16th, with a drake off Banna Strand, Co Kerry. Two Ring-necked Duck were at Lough Gara, Co Sligo, on 12th, with long stayers including the Glossy Ibis at Turvey NR, Co Dublin, and Ring-billed Gull at Blackrock, Co Louth.

Josh Jones


Western Palearctic

The second Prothonotary Warbler for the Azores and Western Palearctic starred in an action-packed week on Corvo, Azores, from 12-14th. Other highlights included Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Grey-cheeked Thrush and an enduring Cape May Warbler (the latter two both trapped and ringed), while an Alpine Swift came from the east. Other lingerers included two Northern Parulas, Swainson's Thrush, Upland Sandpiper, two American Cliff Swallows, Semipalmated Plover, Rough-legged Hawk and an American Buff-bellied Pipit. Elsewhere, a Solitary Sandpiper and two Great Blue Herons were at Praia da Vitória, Terceira, with the Green Heron still at Ribeira do Ferreiro, Flores, and a Laughing Gull at Ponta Delgada, São Miguel.

Prothonotary Warbler, Corvo, Corvo (Mika Bruun).

A presumed juvenile Rough-legged Hawk photographed at Navalvillar de Pela on 12th would be the first example of this Nearctic subspecies for Spain. Meanwhile, a young Steppe Eagle visited Medina-Sidonia on 10th, a Red-billed Tropicbird was off Getaria on 5th, and a Brown Booby was logged from a boat off the Canary Islands on 10th. The White-backed Vulture was noted at Los Barrios on 13th.

What looks to potentially be the forerunner to another Siberian Accentor influx headlined the week's news in Eastern Europe, with no less than five birds recorded. In Belarus, one was at Niasviž on 8th, with singles ringed at Sasnovy Bor on 9th and 14th  – just the second, third and fourth national records. Meanwhile, two made their way into the very same mistnet on the very same net round at Salacgrīva, Latvia, on 13th, with another trapped at Birzgale on 14th.

Norway's first Veery starred on Utsira on 16th, the same island that hosted the country's first Cape May Warbler just last year. Elsewhere, a Brown Shrike was at Kvitsøy on 17th Finland's second highlighted near Helsinki on 14th, while Croatia's first Dusky Warbler was trapped and ringed on Mljet the previous day. Belated news concerns Denmark's third Green Warbler at Skagen on 7 September; an Oriental Pratincole was at Videåslusen from 16th.

Veery, Utsira, Rogaland (Bjørn Mo).

An exceptional week for two famous birding islands off Finistère included France's second White-throated Sparrow on Ouessant, plus the Two-barred Warbler until 11th, Spotless Starling, two Black-winged Kites, White's Thrush and an isabelline shrike species, with a White's Thrush the best on Île-de-Sein. Elsewhere, Pygmy Cormorants persisted at Erstein (two) and Lavours.

Iceland's fourth Eurasian Dotterel on Heimaey was accompanied by a Laughing Gull. Meanwhile, the Northern Harrier lingered at Sandgerði. In The Netherlands, the Greater Sand Plover continued on Texel and the drake Black Scoter remained off Schiermonnikoog, while the Two-barred Warbler departed Maasvlakte after 11th. A Purple Sandpiper delighted at Zicksee on 16th – Austria's fourth.

In Israel, the Pin-tailed Snipe lingered at Rosh Haayin until 12th, while Cape Verde's first Eurasian Sparrowhawk overflew Monte Leão, Sal, on 16th. The Channel Islands hosted a Rustic Bunting, with one trapped and ringed at Mannez Quarry, Alderney, on 17th.

Pin-tailed Snipe, Rosh Haayin, Central District (Yoav Perlman).

Written by: Sam Viles & the BirdGuides team