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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Most intense September storm in 30 years wreaks havoc in Northern England and produces a flood of LOCUSTELLAS...

The most intense September storm in over 30 years has wreaked havoc in the northern half of Britain as well as bringing in a flood of locustellas and other rare birds to the country.......

PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLERS today were discovered at three widely spaced localities on the East Coast following the two days of torrential rain and strong easterly winds that bought serious flooding to Yorkshire and the closing of the A1.

First to be located was a first-winter at Hartlepool Headland in Cleveland (Chris Bell, Tom Francis, Richard Taylor, et al) but which quickly flew to dense cover and was lost. Next off, one was trapped at Whitburn Coastal Park in Tyne & Wear and after being released at 1350, reappeared several times during the afternoon around the smallest mound. The best was then left to last with a very confiding individual in Aberdeenshire, favouring a tiny copse besides the road to Collieston at Whinnyfold.

LANCEOLATED WARBLERS too were caught up in the conditions, with a second individual trapped and ringed on Fair Isle (Shetland) and another on North Ronaldsay (Orkney). Fair Isle also hosts a bag of other goodies including a PADDYFIELD WARBLER, BLYTH'S REED WARBLER, an OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT, 3 LITTLE BUNTINGS, 3 Barred Warblers, Richard's Pipit and up to 27 Yellow-browed Warblers whilst Foula (Shetland) has two different BLYTH'S REED WARBLERS, a long-staying SYKES'S BOOTED WARBLER, OBP, Richard's Pipit and Common Rosefinches (it also hosted a BLTYH'S PIPIT on Monday).

Kenny Buchan watched a FEA'S SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL pass south off Fraserburgh (Aberdeenshire) late morning, whilst Northumberland down to North Lincolnshire shared in the feast of rare waifs that were blown onshore including an ARCTIC WARBLER on Holy Island, GREENISH WARBLERS at Filey NCCP, Old Fall Plantation at Flamborough Head and at Spurn Point, the odd elusive LITTLE BUNTING here and there, numerous RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHERS and two juvenile Red-backed Shrikes, an Icterine Warbler and a bag of Yellow-browed Warblers. Most odd was an adult BAIRD'S SANDPIPER making landfall on Brownsman (the Farne Islands).

At the opposite end of the country on SCILLY, the 35 or so birders now instilled on the islands are starting to reap rewards, with an AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT showing well around the lighthouse rocks on Peninnis Head (St Mary's), a first-winter CITRINE WAGTAIL on the Great Pool (Tresco), a very confiding ORTOLAN in Hugh Town, a BARRED WARBLER & Wryneck by the Airfield and an AQUATIC WARBLER still opposite the Porthloo Duck Pond.

Portland has an ORTOLAN in the field opposite the Observatory, with the juvenile SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER still at Lodmoor (Dorset), the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER on Davidstow (Cornwall) and Spotted Crake at Marazion Marsh RSPB (Cornwall).

The BOOTED WARBLER remains elusively just south of Gun Hill, Burnham Overy Staithe (Norfolk), where elsewhere along that coastline ROSE-COLOURED STARLING and Red-breasted Flycatcher are at Holme, Richard's Pipit at Sheringham and Yellow-browed Warblers are scattered in various localities.

The GREATER YELLOWLEGS has reappeared once more at Loch of Starthbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire)

Watch this space - this is just the start........