Well in all my years of birding, I’ve never known an autumn like this one. There has been an unprecedented arrival of Siberian vagrants right across the country from Shetland down to the Isles of Scilly and the birds keep arriving. I’m guessing that September and October will also go down as the best months ever and we still have two weeks of October to go. The easterly winds are still blowing (17th Oct) and look like continuing to do so for the foreseeable future and there are new birds arriving each day.
The highlight of the autumn, so far, must be the arrival of Siberian Accentor, with four birds making landfall on our shores. A new bird for Britain a few days ago with the first one being found in Shetland, shortly followed by a long staying bird at Easington in Yorkshire (still present on 17th October), then one in Cleveland and another in County Durham. With so many rarities around, it was inevitable that we would have a cracking day on the east coast and we aimed for Bempton Cliffs and Flamborough Head on Saturday the 15th October. We had a bag full of good birds including lots of common migrants such as Robin, Goldcrest, Fieldfare, Redwing, Ring Ouzel, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Brambling. Rarity value were 2 Pallas’s Warbler, Radde’s Warbler, Dusky Warbler, Olive-backed Pipit and Great Grey Shrike. My only disappointment was the fact that I only got one year tick out of that lot, the Olive-backed Pipit. So my year list moved on to 238.
Brambling – male – above two images – Bempton Cliffs RSPB Reserve, Yorkshire – Tony Davison©
Goldcrest – Above 4 images – Bempton RSPB Reserve, Yorkshire – Tony Davison©
Dunnock – An Accentor, alas not the one I was looking for! – Flamborough Head, Yorkshire – Tony Davison©