Over the last few days one of the biggest natural events of the autumn has been unfolding along the east coast with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of thrushes.
Redwing by Andy Mason
Along with thrushes were large numbers of other typical late autumn migrants, with Robin, Goldcrest and Brambling also arriving in force. There were numerous records of Black Redstart, usually a fairly scarce migrant and winter visitor, and a mouth-watering trio of eastern rarities appeared too! Britain’s first ever Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, which breeds no nearer than southeastern Russia, was found on Portland, Dorset. The Western Palearctic’s third Chestnut-eared Bunting, a species breeding from the Western Himalayas, China to southeast Siberia, arrived on Shetland, and Britain’s tenth Siberian Rubythroat, also on the Shetland Islands, added to an incredibly exciting period.
Waxwing by Andy MasonSwallows and House Martins are still moving through south coast sites in double figures. At Hengistbury Head, Dorset, 79 Swallows and 41 House Martins moved through on the yesterday morning of the 24th.
Starlings also began moving this week with over 5,000 being counted moving west on the North Norfolk coast on the 20th, and around 30 Waxwings have arrived in the north.
Little Auk by Andy Mason