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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Autumn hitting new highs

The foggy and drizzly conditions being currently experienced along much of the East Coast south of Spurn Point is currently grounding many thousands of migrants, particularly Ring Ouzels, Fieldfares, Redwings, Common Blackbirds, Continental Song Thrushes, Robins, Chaffinches, Bramblings and Common Starlings, as well as numerous Long & Short-eared Owls, Coal, Blue & Great Tits and other day-flying migrants. The first wave of Waxwings are also arriving, as well as a few Pallas's Leaf Warblers, many Yellow-browed Warblers and the odd PENDULINE TIT....

However, amongst all of this action, area host of rarities headlining on Shetland where today a CHESTNUT-EARED BUNTING appeared at Virkie Willows and a SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT on Fair Isle - these two new additions furthering the list to 439. A LANCEOLATED WARBLER regrowing a lost tail also remains on Fair Isle (at Field) whilst at least 3 of the 5 recent OLIVE-BACKED PIPITS remain. A first-winter male PIED WHEATEAR was also newly found at Quendale

Further south, the EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER remains for a sixth day at Fife Ness (Fife) with a number of DUSKY WARBLERS and LITTLE BUNTINGS appearing at coastal sites, a RUSTIC BUNTING at Marsden Quarry, a BLUETHROAT at Easington Lagoons (East Yorks) and a number of RICHARD'S PIPITS.

OLIVE-BACKED PIPITS are occurring in ever-increasing numbers (following the influx in the Northern Isles last week) with 'new' birds at Holme Firs and Holkham Pines (North Norfolk), Corton Church (Suffolk) and in Gunners Park, Shoeburyness (Essex), with a confiding RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL in Stiffkey Meals (Norfolk) and the SIBERIAN STONECHAT still at Birling Gap, Beachy Head (East Sussex).

Along the South Coast, a dapper adult male ISABELLINE SHRIKE is in Portland Top Fields (Dorset), whilst on the Isles of Scilly, the AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT remains with LITTLE BUNTING and OBP on Bryher, a RADDE'S WARBLER is on St Agnes, PENDULINE TIT still on Tresco Great Pool and the 3 first-year RING-NECKED DUCKS on St Mary's at Porthellick.

An adult BONAPARTE'S GULL on Dawlish warren Beach (South Devon) is an excellent local record, with LESSER YELLOWLEGS' in South Devon and Lancashire and LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS on North Uist and still at Slimbridge WWT (Gloucs)

The efforts of Hugh Delaney continue to impress on Inishmore Island (County Galway), his recent haul of finds including an OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT and DUSKY WARBLER there. A truly emerald isle.