|Buff-breasted Sandpiper by Ron Marshall|
Yellow Wagtails are still on the move but have been increasingly joined by Grey and alba wagtails, the latter involving both White and Pied Wagtails. The last few days have also seen the first real movement of Meadow Pipits, with notable counts of 85 at Hengistbury, Dorset on 6 September and 250 moving over Portland, Dorset on the same day.
|Meadow Pipit by Jill Pakenham/BTO|
September is also the month to enjoy tern passage, and this week hasn't disappointed. Offshore movements of Common, Arctic, Sandwich and Black Terns being reported fro several coastal watchpoints. When terns are on the move, skuas aren't far behind and a few Arctic and Great Skuas have followed the terns. As the month progresses, both tern and skua passage should build. Early September is also a good time to look for Long-tailed Skua at coastal watchpoints.
|Reporting rate of Sandwich Tern on BirdTrack|
Migrant passerines found in the last few days include Red-backed Shrike, Wryneck, Ortolan Bunting and Bluethroat arriving from continental Europe despite the westerly wind. Two other typical autumn migrants, Common Rosefinch and Barred Warbler should also start appearing at coastal headlands soon.
|Barred Warbler by Moss Taylor/BTO|
The weather forecast for the next four or five days suggest that westerly airflow will once again dominate, with several low-pressure systems set to cross the Atlantic. These will very likely bring more shorebirds, perhaps a few more Buff-breasted Sandpipers or American Golden Plovers to our shores in the days ahead. An American Redstart was found on Barra in western Scotland yesterday, the first record in Britain since 1985. Will more Nearctic warblers be found over the weekend?
This weekend sees the fifth Spurn Migration Festival – the BTO team are there all weekend. If you are planning on going to the festival, why not drop by and say hello to the team?
Paul Stancliffe and Stephen McAvoy