Waders are definitely on the move, or at least northerly breeding adults are. Numbers are beginning to build for a few species. Small flocks of moulting Spotted Redshank are being seen at several sites around the country, Green and Common Sandpipers are being recorded from many inland sites and the number of Dunlin, Knot, both Godwits, Whimbrel and Grey and Golden Plover are growing steadily in the Wash.
Spotted Redshank by Mike Weston
One or two Crossbills are still moving over coastal watchpoints, Swifts are still on the move but numbers seem to have stalled a little, however, those that are moving have been joined by small numbers of Swallows and Sand Martins, and the first Wheatears of the autumn are also turning up.
Great and Cory’s Shearwaters have been moving through the southwest approaches in small numbers and the first of the season’s Wilson’s Petrel can’t be far behind. Small numbers of Balearic Shearwater have been seen off Portland Bill.
Great Shearwater by Joe Pender
With all the wader activity it is hardly surprising that the odd rarity has been found, arguably the best of which is the Least Sandpiper that was found on St Agnes, Isles of Scilly, followed by the Broad-billed Sandpiper at Snettisham, Norfolk.
The weather forecast for the weekend looks promising for one or two more American waders to turn up. A fast-tracking low pressure system will arrive on the west coast of Britain on Saturday evening/Sunday morning. More White-rumped Sandpipers and the first Buff-breasted Sandpiper has to be on the cards. The southwest could also see more shearwaters and the odd Sabine’s Gull.
Sabine's Gull by Joe Pender