01/11/2021
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Review of the Week: 25-31 October 2021

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It's said that one Swallow doesn't make a summer, but it's often the case that one bird can make (or break!) an autumn – for birders and twitchers alike. This week's Varied Thrush on Papa Westray, Orkney, certainly did just that, bringing a splash of tangerine technicolour to the archipelago. Found by island resident David Roche on the evening of 27th, discussions with the homeowner suggested that it has been in its favoured garden for around a fortnight – and there it remained as October drew to a close.


Varied Thrush, Papa Westray, Orkney (Jay Hutchins).

On the face of it, Varied Thrush is one of the most outrageous vagrants on the British list, with a distribution focused solely on the forests of the Pacific north-west coast of North America. It is an uncommon vagrant to the Eastern Seaboard, with just one record on eBird so far this autumn. Despite this, Varied Thrush has reached the Western Palearctic on two previous occasions, an aberrant 'white' first-winter at Nanquidno, Cornwall, in November 1982 and a more typical male in Iceland in early May 2004.


Varied Thrush (centre), Papa Westray, Orkney (Sam Viles).

A fine Eyebrowed Thrush at Kincraig, Highland, was found amid a sizeable Redwing arrival but proved tricky to pin down. First seen in a private garden on 28th, it was relocated on the opening day of November.


Eyebrowed Thrush, Kincraig, Highland (Keith Ringland / www.beautifulpictures.co.uk).

Shetland couldn't allow its neighbouring archipelago to hog all the limelight, turning up an Upland Sandpiper at Haroldswick, Unst, on 30th. Shetland enjoys an enviable record with the species with a total of seven records to date, most recently a one-day visitor to Leegarth, Fetlar, on 30 September 2017.


Upland Sandpiper, Haroldswick, Unst, Shetland (David Cooper).

Other Nearctic visitors included a one-day American Horned Lark on Dursey Island, Co Cork, on 25th, while two new American Buff-bellied Pipits were found on 30th – at Lizard Point, Cornwall, and Ring, Co Cork.


American Buff-bellied Pipit, Lizard Point, Cornwall (David Collins).

An apparent dark-morph juvenile Gyr Falcon cut a mightily impressive figure over Cardiff Bay, Glamorgan, on 30th. If accepted, it will become just the third county record, after two white morphs recorded around Rhossili Bay, Gower, in the winter of 2009 and 2010.


Gyr Falcon, Cardiff Bay, Glamorgan (Mathew Meehan).

Two subalpine warblers were recorded – a brief male at Landguard NR, Suffolk, on 28th and a probable Western Subalpine Warbler on St Mary's, Scilly, from 29th.


Probable Western Subalpine Warbler, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly (Nick Watmough).

The first-winter Brown Shrike cut a popular figure at Pendeen, Cornwall, until 30th, with three Eurasian Penduline Tits at a private site at Yeo Estuary, Somerset & Bristol, on 25th. Possible Eastern Yellow Wagtails were at Breydon Water RSPB, Norfolk, on 26th and Blackrock, Islay, on 28th. Elsewhere, the ever-reliable Snowy Owl remained on St Kilda, Outer Hebrides.

Brown Shrike, Pendeen, Cornwall (Tony Mills).

Five unidentified Pallid/Common Swifts – with Pallid always a fair possibility this late on – were sighted at St Mellons, Glamorgan, on 26th, Kilnsea, East Yorkshire, and Washington, Durham, on 29th, and The Naze, Essex, on 30th (two).

In Shetland, the Hume's Leaf Warbler at Boddam, Mainland, and Western Bonelli's Warbler at Tresta, Mainland, both lasted until 28th at least. A Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll was at Northdale, Unst, with another on North Ronaldsay, Orkney.


Hume's Leaf Warbler, Boddam, Mainland, Shetland (Rebecca Nason).

A new Semipalmated Plover was at Black Rock Strand, Co Kerry, on 28th, while the long stayer held on at Crookhaven, Co Cork, throughout. In Argyll, a new Long-billed Dowitcher was at Loch Gruinart RSPB, Islay, from 29th, while singletons continued in Ireland at Tacumshin, Co Wexford, until 25th and Lough Beg, Co Londonderry. The White-tailed Lapwing remained at Blacktoft Sands RSPB, East Yorkshire, with the juvenile Spotted Sandpiper still on St Mary's, Scilly.


White-tailed Lapwing, Blacktoft Sands RSPB, East Yorkshire (Jonathan Bull).


Spotted Sandpiper, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly (Sam Northwood).

The returning drake White-winged Scoter was back off Musselburgh, Lothian, on 26th – a day earlier than last year. Nearby, last week's young drake King Eider relocated to Port Seton on 25th and again to Musselburgh on 31st. Another at Spey Bay, Moray & Nairn, until 27th moved to Hopeman on 31st, with a new bird in Shetland at Wadbister Voe, Mainland, on 28th.


King Eider, Cockenzie and Port Seton, Lothian (Phil Dean).

Three Lesser Scaup – an adult female and two juveniles – constituted an excellent find on the River Tamar off Cargreen, Cornwall, on 29th. Scilly's juvenile relocated to Tresco from 25th, while the adult drake continued at Chew Valley Lake, Somerset & Bristol.

Welney WWT, Norfolk, scored a delightful drake Ferruginous Duck on 30th, with the female at Belvide Reservoir, Staffordshire, all week. A Blue-winged Teal at Termoncarragh Lough, Co Mayo, on 28th was joined by the lingering drake American Black Duck, while Co Cork's returning Pacific Diver was back at Crookhaven on 31st.


Ferruginous Duck, Belvide Reservoir (PERMIT ONLY), Staffordshire (Steve Nuttall).

Islay's goose-fest continued to dominate proceedings in the Inner Hebrides, Argyll, with the Red-breasted Goose again with Barnacle Geese at Loch Gruinart RSPB on 30th. Elsewhere on the island, three Richardson's Cackling Geese lingered along with three Barnacle × Cackling Goose hybrids.


Richardson's Cackling Goose (centre), Eorrabus, Islay, Argyll (Steve Percival).

In Co Cork, Owenahincha and Long Strand both hosted Bonaparte's Gulls. Another at Carnoustie, Angus & Dundee, on 20th was belatedly reported.

 

Scottish mainland

A Todd's Canada Goose was again at Balephetrish, Tiree, with two female Ring-necked Duck still at nearby Loch Bhasapol. Islay scored a drake American Wigeon and two Ring-necked Duck at Loch Skerrols from 28th and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Loch Gruinart RSPB. Meanwhile, a first-winter Red-backed Shrike was at Aros Park, Mull, on 31st.


Barnacle × Cackling Geese (centre), Eorrabus, Islay, Argyll (Steve Percival).

Up to three Surf Scoter kept the returning White-winged Scoter company at Musselburgh, Lothian. On 30th, Ruddy Shelduck were at both Littlemill, Ayrshire, and Dingwall, Highland, with the three white-morph Snow Geese back at Loch Spynie, Moray & Nairn, on 28-29th. Offshore, a White-billed Diver headed south past Thorntonloch, Lothian, on 25th, a Grey Phalarope flew past Fife Ness, Fife, on 26th and a young Long-tailed Skua floated past Collieston, Aberdeenshire, on 31st.

Isle of May, Fife, hosted a Radde's Warbler on 31st and a Yellow-browed Warbler from 30th – its first of the year. Meanwhile, a Lapland Bunting flew south over Dunnet Bay, Caithness, on 28th, with three Shore Larks reported at Musselburgh Lagoons, Lothian, the previous day.


Glossy Ibis, Middleton Moor, Lothian (Lukasz Pulawski).

Two Glossy Ibises were noted – at Loch of Strathbeg RSPB, Aberdeenshire, on 25th and Middleton Moor, Lothian, on 30-31st. Great Egrets were at Kemnay, Aberdeenshire, and Douglas Water, Clyde. A new Pectoral Sandpiper was at Balmore Pool, Clyde, from 25th, with a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper at Aberlady Bay, Lothian, on 31st.

 

Northern Isles and the Hebrides

The Western Cattle Egret expansion reached Shetland at the month's end, when three appeared at Gremista, Mainland. Otherwise, late drift migrants came to the fore, including a Bluethroat at Toab, Mainland, on 28th and Pallas's Warbler at Norwick, Unst, on 31st. No fewer than two Red-flanked Bluetails were noted on 27th – at Swining and Voe, Mainland. The latter site also held a Red-breasted Flycatcher, with a sole Yellow-browed Warbler at Haroldswick, Unst.


Pallas's Warbler, Norwick, Unst, Shetland (David Cooper).

Ring-necked Duck remained at Sand Water, Yell, and Loch of Tingwall, Mainland, with two Tundra Bean Geese still at North Sandwick, Yell. The American Golden Plover held out at Fleck, Mainland, while 40 Jack Snipe at Loch of Clumlie, Mainland, was a notable count. Grey Phalaropes were at Burravoe, Yell, and Tresta, Fetlar.


Siberian Chiffchaff, Boddam, Mainland, Shetland (Rebecca Nason).

It was another quiet week on Fair Isle: Little Bunting, two Siberian Chiffchaffs, two Lapland Buntings, Little Auk and two Iceland Gulls were the best of the week's action.

Two Richard's Pipits on 31st were the best on North Ronaldsay, Orkney, while other island highlights included the drake Green-winged Teal, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Little Bunting, Grey Phalarope and four Siberian Chiffchaffs. A Hawfinch and Grey Phalarope provided a solid supporting cast to the biggie on Papa Westray, while a Red-breasted Flycatcher and Grey Phalarope duo were on Westray; a Hoopoe was belatedly reported from there mid-month.


Grey Phalarope, Papa Westray, Orkney (Jonathan Ford).

The Outer Hebrides had an impressive week. Juvenile Surf Scoter were at Craigston, Barra, from 27th and Loch Olaidh an Iar, South Uist, on 28th, while two drakes were off Luskentyre, Harris, on 29th. Loch Bee, South Uist, held up to two Green-winged Teal from 27th, with another drake at Aird Mhor, Barra, from 26th. Passerines included a Common Rosefinch at Callernish, North Uist, on 25th, Yellow-browed Warbler at Cuithir, Barra, on 29-30th and Hoopoe at Tarbert, Harris, on 30th. On 26th, a Leach's Storm Petrel flew south off Rubha Ardvule, South Uist, with a Long-tailed Skua at Port Stoth, Lewis, on 29th.

 

North-East England

A drake Green-winged Teal was found at Hallington Reservoirs, Northumberland, on 26th and remained for at least a couple of days. Budle Bay produced a Todd's Canada Goose and an Iceland Gull on 26th, with another of the latter at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. A Glossy Ibis was reported at High Newton-by-the-Sea on 25th. Siberian Chiffchaffs were at Holy Island and Newton Pool and several Yellow-browed Warblers were noted.


Arctic Warbler, Hartlepool Headland, Cleveland (Jonathan Farooqi).

In Durham, a Long-tailed Skua and possible White-billed Diver past Whitburn Coastal Park on 25th was the best of the week's seawatching. Two Greater White-fronted Geese were at Boldon Flats NR on 23rd. The Arctic Warbler at Hartlepool Headland, Cleveland, continued to attract attention until Friday when it may have departed overnight. Shore Larks were at Marske-by-the-Sea and Redcar.

Jonathan Farooqi

 

North-West England

Cumbria had a familiar week, with the Eurasian Spoonbill remaining steadfast at Arnside throughout. The Snow Goose once again cropped up in Lancashire, spending more of its time with the Pink-feet near Lunt Meadows NR until 28th. A Todd's Canada Goose was a good local bird in the Rainford area on 30-31st. A Pectoral Sandpiper was a brief visitor to Banks Marsh on 31st.


Todd's Canada Goose, Rainford, Lancashire (Kieran Foster).

A Yellow-browed Warbler in a private garden at Burton could be Cheshire's only record this year. The Ruddy Shelduck remained at Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB, where Western Cattle Egrets peaked at seven. A Snow Bunting was at Meols on 31st.

Dan Owen

 

Lincolnshire and Yorkshire

A drake Green-winged Teal at Marston STW on 30th was Lincolnshire's highlight of the week – although it proved brief. The American Wigeon lingered at Frampton Marsh RSPB until 27th, moving back to Freiston Shore RSPB from 28th. A Grey Phalarope was seen at Cut End on 25th. A report of two Twite at Toft Newton Reservoir on 28th would be a fine inland record for the county.

South Yorkshire was quiet, with a late Little Stint at Potteric Carr YWT on 30th, a Ruddy Shelduck with Pink-feet at Auckley Common and Water Pipits at a few sites. Caspian Gulls were at a couple of West Yorkshire localities, and a Kittiwake flew through at Wintersett Reservoir on 31st.


Caspian Gull, Redcar Tarn, West Yorkshire (Darrell Prest).

A White-billed Diver flew south off Filey, North Yorkshire, on 25th (and was later seen off Flamborough Head), while a Common Swift was over nearby Hunmanby Gap on 31st – an eclectic mix! A few inland sites produced Hawfinch, with two coastal localities claiming Lapland Bunting – one of which, Long Nab, also had a flyover Woodlark on 29th.

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Water Pipit, Blacktoft Sands RSPB, East Yorkshire (Stephen Pogson).

A female-type Ring-necked Duck appeared at Southfield Reservoir, East Yorkshire, from 25th, joining the Greater Scaup there, while the Green-winged Teal stuck around at North Cave Wetlands. A Grey Phalarope flew past Spurn on 29th. Migrants were few and far between, although a Siberian Chiffchaff did make it to Flamborough Head.

Josh Jones

 

West Midlands

The Ruddy Shelduck was still at Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire, while the adult Black-necked Grebe continued to show well at Ford Green NR. Greater Scaup records concerned the immature drake still at Belvide Reservoir, the juvenile still at Gailey Reservoirs and two at Aqualate Mere. A juvenile Greater Scaup at The Mere was Shropshire's only sighting of note, while a Ring Ouzel was in a private garden at Sedgley, West Midlands.


Black-necked Grebe, Ford Green NR, Staffordshire (Michael Erwin).

A Hoopoe turned up in Warwick, Warwickshire, on 25th and became one of the week's most popular visitors. The Red-breasted Merganser remained at Draycote Water and a Yellow-browed Warbler was photographed at Middleton Lakes RSPB on 27th – the first record for the reserve.


Hoopoe, Warwick, Warwickshire (Tony Davison).

A Yellow-browed Warbler at Kempsey sewage works on 27th was a fine record for Worcestershire in this current autumn. A second-winter Caspian Gull put in a few appearances at Upton Warren NR this week, with one again at Throckmorton Tip on 29th.

Dan Owen

 

East Midlands

A Yellow-browed Warbler was heard at Spondon, Derbyshire, on 26th, while a Little Stint graced Ogston Reservoir on 29th. A Ruddy Shelduck overflew Long Eaton GPs on 31st and was relocated at Melbourne Pool that afternoon. A Wood Sandpiper at Idle Valley NR, Nottinghamshire, on 25th was on the late side and a juvenile Northern Gannet flew over Toton the following day. A Twite was a great county record at Annesley CP on 30th, as was a brief Snow Bunting in Sherwood Forest that afternoon. The drake Ruddy Shelduck was still at Gunthorpe Pits. 


Glossy Ibis, Swithland Reservoir, Leicestershire and Rutland (Alan Shaw).

Northamptonshire was quiet, and a juvenile Greater Scaup was at Daventry Reservoir CP on 27-28th was the only new addition to the roll-call. The female Ruddy Shelduck remained content at Foxhole Fisheries and the Black-necked Grebe was still being reported from Thrapston GPs until 30th. Swithland Reservoir, Leicestershire & Rutland, continued its good run, with up to four Greater Scaup alongside the lingering Glossy Ibis. The Wood Sandpiper put in another appearance at Eyebrook Reservoir on 28th and 30th. A drake Ruddy Shelduck was at Rutland Water throughout, where 41 Great Egrets were recorded on 28th – a new site record.

Dan Owen

 

East of England

In Norfolk, White-billed Divers flew past Cley on 26th and Winterton again (perhaps the latter accounting for a sighting off Great Yarmouth on 25th), but the week's most popular bird was a Greater Short-toed Lark in fields at West Runton. Up to four Shore Larks were at Holkham Gap, the Great Grey Shrike lingered at Waxham and a Glossy Ibis was at Stokesby.


Greater Short-toed Lark, West Runton, Norfolk (Craig Shaw).

A Eurasian Dotterel was near Falkenham, Suffolk, from 30th, with a lingering Western Osprey still at Alton Water. The first Smew of the autumn was at Minsmere RSPB on 31st, where a Red-necked Grebe was seen offshore. Two White Storks remained at large in Essex, including one over Abberton Reservoir on 25th. A European Turtle Dove was in a Barling Magna garden on 25th.


Snow Bunting, Southend-on-Sea, Essex (Ian Plume).

In Hertfordshire, a Kittiwake was at Amwell NR on 30th. Neighbouring Bedfordshire produced a fine drake American Wigeon at Marston Vale Millennium CP on 29-30th, with a Garganey also there and a Western Cattle Egret nearby at Stewartby Lake on 27th.

A Hoopoe was reported from Helpston, Cambridgeshire, on several dates. Also in the county, the Common Crane flock built up to 69 at Nene Washes and the group of Glossy Ibises continued at Berry Fen. An extraordinary 45 Western Cattle Egrets roosted near Bluntisham on 31st – a new county record.

Josh Jones

 

South-East England

In another desperately quiet week, a Hoopoe at Tenterden, Kent, was a new find on 25th. Snow Buntings in the county were at Conyer, Langdon Cliffs and South Foreland, while the Hythe Rosy Starling and Dungeness Glossy Ibis continued. The latter site also enjoyed a few Sooty Shearwaters and an in-off Hooded Crow on 31st. A Yellow-browed Warbler was at Kingsgate on 25th.


Snow Bunting, Conyer, Kent (James Massey).

In Sussex, Combe Valley CP and Portslade-by-Sea both enjoyed Glossy Ibis records and the Hooded Crow remained at Polegate, while a Snow Bunting at Westdean Woods was a smart find on 31st. Interesting reports of Long-tailed Skua and Balearic Shearwater were received from Widewater Lagoon, while a juvenile Sabine's Gull spent Sunday at Langney Point.

A Twite at Normandy, Hampshire, on 27th was a great county record, while Keyhaven Marshes hosted the lingering Pectoral Sandpiper until 25th. The South-East's first Great Grey Shrike of the winter was back at Backley Bottom from 28th, though a more impressive New Forest record involved a female Snow Bunting at Leadenhall from 27th, following on from the male last week. A Grey Phalarope was at Sway on 31st too.

The Padworth Lane Pink-footed Goose was still around in Berkshire throughout, while Linford Lakes, Buckinghamshire, hosted Western Cattle Egret. Oxfordshire's Pectoral Sandpiper lingered until 30th at Port Meadow and a Greater Scaup was at Farmoor.


Pectoral Sandpiper, Port Meadow, Oxfordshire (Stephen Burch).

In London, a Snow Bunting was a brief visitor to Beddington Farmlands on 30th and Beckton hosted a Rock Pipit. At least one of Surrey's three Western Cattle Egrets continued in the Esher area until 30th with the Ring-necked Duck persisting at Reigate until the same date.

Ed Stubbs

 

South-West England

It was a slightly quieter week for new arrivals on Scilly. A Hoopoe and Wryneck on Bryher, Richard's Pipit and Rosy Starling on St Mary's, European Serin on Tresco and Richard's Pipit and Red-breasted Flycatcher on St Martin's were all unearthed, however. Some of last week's highlights were still in place including Olive-backed Pipit, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Little Bunting, and several Siberian Chiffchaffs.


Richard's Pipit, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly (Nick Watmough).

Both Blyth's Reed and Marsh Warblers were trapped and ringed in Nanjizal Valley, Cornwall, early in the week. American Golden Plovers flew over Polgigga and Crows-an-Wra on 30th and 31st respectively, with one also seen at Carn Brea on the latter date. A few seabirds were moving including a couple of Sabine's Gulls, Leach's Storm Petrels and a Grey Phalarope. A drake Green-winged Teal was found near Nanpean on 31st and Ring-necked Duck remained at Dozmary Pool (four) and Siblyback Reservoir (two). A couple of Siberian Chiffchaffs remained and a possible Siberian Lesser Whitethroat was at Porthgwarra.


Black-necked Grebe, Drift Reservoir, Cornwall (Alex Mckechnie).

A Barred Warbler was a good find at Dawlish Warren, Devon, on 30-31st. Glossy Ibis were recorded on Lundy and Fremington Pill, with the former locality also scoring a possible Olive-backed Pipit. Bowling Green Marsh RSPB produced a Pectoral Sandpiper on 27th, with Paignton holding onto its Rosy Starling until at least 30th.


Black Redstart, South Brent, Devon (Steve Hopper).

The Hoopoe at Lytchett Bay, Dorset, was also still present until at least 30th. Black Brants were noted at Ferrybridge and Chickerell (two) and Portland's Common Rosefinch put in a reappearance on 28th. A Glossy Ibis over Christchurch Harbour and a Greenland Redpoll at West Bexington were the best of the rest in the county.


Common Rosefinch, Portland, Dorset (Mark Eggleton).

A Leach's Storm Petrel was a late highlight at Severn Beach, Gloucestershire, on 31st. The juvenile American Golden Plover continued at Steart WWT, Somerset & Bristol, and the Glossy Ibis was still at Chew Valley Lake on 25th, while a Common Crane put in a brief appearance at Kingston Seymour the following day.  A few Ring Ouzels and the lingering Dipper at Marlborough were Wiltshire's highlights.

Jonathan Farooqi

 

Wales

On 30th, Llanon, Ceredigion, hosted an enviable cast of Red-backed Shrike, Richard's Pipit and two Lapland Buntings. Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, hosted the sole Yellow-browed Warbler on 26-27th, with Siberian Chiffchaffs at both Penrhos Coastal Park, Anglesey, and Skomer, Pembrokeshire. A flock of at least six Cirl Buntings reported at Oxwich Burrows, Glamorgan, on 31st would be an exceptional record if confirmed.

Bardsey Island, Gwynedd, held a Lapland Bunting and two Snow Buntings. Inland, a first-winter Snow Bunting was at Mynydd Garn-fach, Glamorgan, with Skomer and Dinas Island, Pembrokeshire, and Cemlyn Bay (two) and South Stack RSPB, Anglesey, also hosting individuals. Hooded Crows were at Gann Estuary, Pembrokeshire, Mynydd Mawr, Gwynedd, and The Range RSPB, Anglesey.

In Conwy, a drake Surf Scoter was again off Pensarn on 30th. A Ring-necked Duck was photographed at Dolymynach Reservoir, Powys, on 29th, with others hanging on at Cardiff Bay, Glamorgan, and Teifi Marshes, Ceredigion. Garganey at Llanelli Wetland Centre WWT, Carmarthen, and Ruddy Shelduck at Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB, Clwyd, both lingered. Meanwhile, an adult Sabine's Gull flew past Skomer, Pembrokeshire, on 25th and a Glossy Ibis visited Gann Estuary from 28th.

 

Ireland

A first-winter White-rumped Sandpiper at Bannow Bay, Co Wexford, was a smart mid-week find on 28th. Three Eurasian Dotterel were recorded at Black Hill, Co Wicklow, on the same date. Elsewhere, Lesser Yellowlegs continued at Tacumshin, Co Wexford, and Ballycotton, Co Cork. A count of four American Golden Plovers there on 30th would be an impressive tally if confirmed, while Co Kerry's adult held on at Carrahane Strand.

A noticeable influx of Glossy Ibis saw records spread across the southern portion of Ireland from Co Kerry to Co Wexford, with a peak count of four at Timoleague, Co Cork, on 30th. Otherwise, a Hoopoe at Mizen Head, Co Cork, on 28th starred. Yellow-browed Warblers were at Knockadoon Head, Co Cork, and The Mullet, Co Mayo, with Siberian Chiffchaffs at Cape Clear, Co Cork, and Kilbaha and Loop Head, Co Clare. Two Great Shearwaters were noted off Ballycotton, Co Cork, on 31st.


Glossy Ibis, Timoleague, Cork (Richard Mills).

Five sites hosted Ring-necked Duck, including two in inland Co Monaghan and a high count of three drakes in Co Armagh at Ardmore Point, Lough Neagh (with a fourth individual seen separately on 31st). Drake Green-winged Teal lingered at Blennerville, Co Kerry, and Kilcoole, Co Wicklow, with a juvenile Surf Scoter at Lough Gill, Co Kerry, on 29th. A new Ring-billed Gull – an adult – was at Blennerville, Co Kerry, on 29th, with one still at Blackrock, Co Louth. Termoncarragh Lough, Co Mayo, had a decent week, with a juvenile Surf Scoter, two American Wigeon and a Todd's Canada Goose all present.


Ring-necked Duck (top bird), Descart Lake, Monaghan (Brian McCloskey).

 

Western Palearctic

Corvo, Azores, enjoyed a series of new arrivals: a Black-and-white Warbler on 24th, American Coot from 27th and Dickcissel on 28th. Other Nearctic visitors included the lingering Black-throated Blue Warbler, two Northern Parulas, Northern HarrierRing-billed Gull and four Ring-necked Duck.

Praia da Vitória, Terceira, enjoyed a purple patch with a Snowy Egret joining the continuing Belted Kingfisher, Solitary Sandpiper and two Great Blue Herons. On Flores, a Least Bittern was taken into care at Ponta Delgada on 30th, while the Green Heron held on at Lagoa dos Patos. Another Great Blue Heron was at Lajes do Pico on 31st.


Snowy Egret, Praia da Vitória, Terceira (Vincent Legrand).

Late September saw an influx of Greenlandic macruros Ptarmigan into the northern part of Iceland, with a flock of 15-20 on Grimsey and four recorded on vessels north of the country. A male Two-barred Crossbill was at Akureyri this week too. In Norway, a Swainson's Thrush was at Utsira on 30th and a Brünnich's Guillemot turned up well inland at Brumunddal from 26-29th, with a first-winter Brown Shrike in neighbouring Sweden at Nabbelund, Öland, on 30th.

The Netherlands' first Cream-coloured Courser since 1986 was at Bergen aan Zee on 24-25th before flying high north. Meanwhile, the country's first Eastern Olivaceous Warbler continued at Nieuwvliet-Bad, the Walrus was still at Den Helder and the Pygmy Cormorant lingered near Utrecht.

Ouessant Island, France, held a Brown Shrike from 27th, while a Western Swamphen at Zoutleeuw on 31st was a Belgian first. In the Channel Islands, the young Spotted Sandpiper held out at St Ouen's Pond, Jersey, until 29th. The young Long-legged Buzzard remained at Els Plans de Sió, Spain, with an Elegant Tern again at Chipiona on 24th.

The third Paddyfield Warbler for Cyprus was at Gönyeli on 29th; Croatia's third Little Bunting was belatedly reported from Brtonigla on 16th. A Black-faced Bunting trapped and ringed at Agmon Hefer on 31st was a surprising Israeli first, while a Siberian Buff-bellied Pipit flew south over Kızılırmak Delta, Turkey, on 30th.

Written by: Sam Viles & the BirdGuides team