RARE BIRDS OF 2015

Species by species ac­count of all the rarest birds of last year

Bird Watching (UK) - - Uk Bird Sightings - COM­PILED BY LEE EVANS

2015 turned out to be the warm­est

since records be­gan in 1890, while the El Niño ef­fect that had in­flu­enced so much of the au­tumn, re­sulted in the wettest Novem­ber and De­cem­ber in many parts of the coun­try, bring­ing un­prece­dented flood­ing to parts of Lan­cashire, Cum­bria, Dum­fries and Gal­loway and Aberdeen­shire. In terms of bird di­ver­sity, at just 434 species for com­bined Bri­tain and Ire­land, 2015 was one of the poor­est years this Mil­len­nium. As in 2014, there was just a sin­gle def­i­nite new species for the list in 2015 – an Aca­dian Fly­catcher at Dun­geness in Septem­ber. There were many other out­stand­ing oc­cur­ren­cies though, favourites among many be­ing Chest­nut Bunting, Citril Finch, Wil­son’s War­bler, Cret­szch­mar’s Bunting, Hud­so­nian God­wit, Hud­so­nian Whim­brel, Great Blue Heron, Crag Martin, Ru­fous Tur­tle Dove and Greater Yel­lowlegs. Lead­ing UK lis­ter Steve Gantlett was just six species shy of the Big 600 as we en­tered the New Year – will 2016 see him make the magic mile­stone? Only time will tell. The Sys­tem­atic List that fol­lows high­lights the ma­jor or­nitho­log­i­cal rar­ity events that head­lined dur­ing the year – a some­what sump­tu­ous ar­ray of lost waifs.

PA­CIFIC DIVER

The reg­u­lar adult in Mount’s Bay, Pen­zance (Corn­wall) back for its 7th con­sec­u­tive win­ter was seen in­ter­mit­tently un­til 8th March, while that off Pen­dower Beach (Corn­wall) was with Black-throated Divers on at least 17th-22nd Fe­bru­ary. The Mount’s Bay adult reap­peared on 30th April, in full breed­ing splen­dour, grac­ing the bay un­til 4th May, be­fore re­turn­ing for its 8th win­ter on 26th Novem­ber.

WHITE-BILLED DIVER

An­other good year. Win­ter­ing records in­cluded sin­gles in Bluemull Sound (Shet­land) un­til 15th March, off Kirk­abis­ter (Shet­land) un­til 5th March and at St Mar­garet’s Hope, South Ron­ald­say (Orkney) un­til 20th March. Up to 12 were then recorded in the cold wa­ters be­tween Port­soy and Burghead Be­tween 13th March and 10th May, while else­where in spring, at least

three were off­shore of Port Nis, Lewis (Outer He­brides) from 16th-20th April and sin­gles in Gru­inard Bay (High­land) on 15th April, Wa­ter Sound (Orkney) again from 17th April to 9th May, Eshaness (Shet­land) on 1st May and Quen­dale (Shet­land) on 2nd May. The reg­u­lar Bluemull Sound adult reap­peared in Shet­land on 28th Oc­to­ber.

PIED-BILLED GREBE

A tired transat­lantic mi­grant spent the day rest­ing on the River Sev­ern off Berke­ley Power Sta­tion (Gloucs) on 24th April be­fore mov­ing north overnight to Leighton Moss RSPB (Lancs), where it de­lighted large num­bers of ad­mir­ers from 25th April to 4th May.

FEA’S (SOFT-PLUMAGED) PE­TREL

A spate of sight­ings off SW Ire­land in early Au­gust per­haps in­volv­ing four or five in­di­vid­u­als were fol­lowed by one pho­tographed 16 km SSE of St Mary’s (Scilly) on 16th Au­gust and oth­ers fly­ing past Kil­cum­min Head (Co. Mayo) on 23rd Au­gust, both Flam­bor­ough Head and Scar­bor­ough (York­shire) on 8th Septem­ber.

LIT­TLE SHEAR­WA­TER

Dave Flumm watched one for five min­utes off Pen­deen Watch­point (Corn­wall) on 29th July and then had an­other there on 31st Au­gust.

WIL­SON’S PE­TREL

Rather un­usu­ally, the first of the year was sighted 110 miles WNW of Slyne Head (Co. Gal­way) on 21st April. This was then fol­lowed by rather a lean au­tumn with sin­gles off Mizen Head (Co. Cork) on 8th and 12th Au­gust, The Stags (Co. Cork) on 9th Au­gust, Toe Head (Co. Cork) on 9th Au­gust, Bal­ti­more Pe­lagic Trips (Co.cork) on 15th, 16th and 29th Au­gust and Bridges of Ross (Co. Clare) on 25th Au­gust. Bob Flood’s Scilly pe­lagic failed to reap re­sults un­til as late as 14th Au­gust, record­ing just one or two birds from then un­til 15th Septem­ber.

BLACK-BROWED AL­BA­TROSS

An adult Black-browed Al­ba­tross joined a small group of Mute Swans be­hind West Hide, Mins­mere RSPB (Suf­folk) for just a few min­utes dur­ing a heavy rain­storm on 12th July. The same bird that has spent two sum­mers on Hel­goland in Ger­many.

RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD

About a dozen lucky ob­servers watched a sub-adult pass Gwen­nap Head, Porthg­warra (Corn­wall) for five min­utes on 28th Au­gust.

LIT­TLE BIT­TERN

The first of the spring was un­for­tu­nately found dead at St Buryan (Corn­wall) on 12th May. This was then fol­lowed by a rather con­fid­ing male on Porthloo Duck­pond, St Mary’s (Scilly) from 13th May to 9th June be­fore a bark­ing male was lo­cated at Lak­en­heath Fen RSPB (Suf­folk) from 16th May un­til 26th June. Fur­ther birds were then lo­cated in Corn­wall, with a long-stayer at Tre­sem­ple Pool/st Cle­ment from 17th-28th May and at Hel­ston Loe Pool on 17th May. At the reg­u­lar breed­ing site in Som­er­set at Shap­wick Heath NNR, no fewer than four bark­ing males were present be­tween mid May and early July, while fur­ther records in­volved a male at Kirkby-on­bain GP (Lincs) on 28th June and bark­ing males at Old Moor RSPB (South Yorks) from 30th June to 18th Au­gust, Swill­ing­ton Ings (West Yorks) on 11th-12th July and Willing­ton GP (Der­byshire) on 2nd Au­gust.

AMER­I­CAN BIT­TERN

A first-win­ter af­forded some very fine views as it fre­quented the reedy edge of Castle­freke Lake (Co. Cork) from 25th Novem­ber un­til 6th De­cem­ber, con­sti­tut­ing the first-ever twitch­able in­di­vid­ual in Ire­land.

NIGHT HERON

A ju­ve­nile roosted in Nick­oll’s Quarry, Hythe (Kent) from 14th-23rd Jan­uary, pos­si­bly that seen at Steyn­ing (West Sus­sex) on 25th Jan­uary. This was then fol­lowed by an in­flux in early April in­volv­ing at least nine dif­fer­ent in­di­vid­u­als on Scilly, some of which sadly did not sur­vive: 3-6 in the Lower Moors/ Porthel­lick area of St Mary’s from 2nd April to at least 7th May, one on St Agnes from 3rd-9th April and three on Tresco on 5th April. Fur­ther ar­rivals then took place later in April at Marazion Marsh (Corn­wall), Kings­bridge and Black Hole Marsh, Seaton (Devon), Bournemouth (Dorset), Burgh-le-marsh (Lincs) and At­ten­bor­ough (Notts), with two to­gether at Kins­ley (Yorks). Two re­mained in Corn­wall into May, with up to three re­ported on the Som­er­set Lev­els through­out June. An adult was present in the Swill­ing­ton Ings area (West Yorks) from 18th Au­gust to 3rd Septem­ber. In Ire­land, a ju­ve­nile re­mained in Youghal (Co. Cork) un­til at least 4th Fe­bru­ary.

GREAT BLUE HERON

Only the third-ever for Bri­tain – a first-win­ter – re­mained on the Isles of Scilly from 14th April un­til 6th May. Ini­tially com­mut­ing be­tween Lower Moors and Old Town Bay, St Mary’s, on 14th-15th April, it then re­lo­cated to Bry­her’s Hell Bay, where it in­vari­ably showed well from 16th-25th April. It then be­came even more con­fid­ing, vis­it­ing the hide pools on Lower Moors from 27th April un­til 6th May.

CAT­TLE EGRET

Two re­mained from De­cem­ber 2014 at Dun­geness RSPB un­til at least 26th April, with pre­sum­ably the third from that area in De­cem­ber at Ham­street (Kent) from 11th Fe­bru­ary un­til April and at Ware­horne (Kent) on 5th-19th May, at Cool­ing Marshes (Kent) on 31st May and at Hers­den (Kent) on 13th June. One then re­turned to Som­er­set, be­ing seen near Trull on 25th, while fur­ther sin­gles were noted at Rut­land Wa­ter (Le­ics) on 16th June, both Trim­ley and Shot­ley Marshes in Suf­folk on 28th June and at St An­drews (Fife) on 29th July. There then fol­lowed an al­most un­prece­dented in­flux at the end of Au­gust, with a sin­gle flock of 25 birds at Brigh­stone (Isle of Wight) on 30th, leav­ing 23 at Coward’s Marsh, Christchurch (Dorset) later in the day with the ad­di­tional two at nearby Stan­pit Marsh. The flock then dis­persed and con­tin­ued in­land and west, with sev­eral reach­ing South Wales and oth­ers ap­pear­ing in

Devon and Som­er­set. At least eight re­mained un­til the turn of the year, with at least three in Devon and two in Som­er­set.

SQUACCO HERON

The West Coun­try saw two ar­rive in early May, with sin­gles present at Pol­gigga (Corn­wall) from 5th-12th and Prawle Point (Devon) on 9th-16th, with fur­ther ar­rivals from mid-month in­volv­ing sin­gles at South Mil­ton Ley (Devon) on 13th, Beesands Ley, Slap­ton (Devon) on 16th-17th, Land’s End (Corn­wall) on 15th-17th, Nan­jizal on 15th, Goon­hilly Downs on the Lizard (Corn­wall) on 16th and at Marazion Marsh RSPB (Corn­wall) from 6th-10th June. A long-stayer was also present on Scilly from 14th May to 3rd June, favour­ing Porthel­lick Pool, St Mary’s, with one in Ire­land at Bal­ly­cot­ton Marsh (Co. Cork) on 22nd May and fur­ther sin­gles at Saltholme Pools (Cleve­land) on 18th and 26th June, Kirkby-on-bain GP (Lincs) on 27th June, Cem­lyn Bay (An­gle­sey) on 30th June and at South­ease (East Sus­sex) on 3rd July. In Oc­to­ber, one was seen at Nan­jizal on 24th, then at nearby Skew­jack 26th.

GREAT WHITE EGRET

Fur­ther breed­ing took place in Som­er­set this year with at least six young fledg­ing, while win­ter­ing num­bers in the first win­ter pe­riod av­er­aged 52 birds and 61 birds in the se­cond, Dun­geness once again at­tract­ing up to 12 in­di­vid­u­als and Shap­wick Heath NNR at least 19.

PUR­PLE HERON

A below av­er­age year with just eight in spring in­volv­ing sin­gles at Drift Reser­voir (Corn­wall) from 20th April un­til 29th May, Broad Lough (Co. Wick­low) on 29th April, Bry­her and St Mary’s (Scilly) on 3rd-4th May, Lod­moor (Dorset) on 12th-29th May, Rye Har­bour NR (East Sus­sex) on 13th May, Dun­geness RSPB (Kent) on 13th May, St Martin’s (Scilly) on 15th-16th and 26th-28th May (and sub­se­quently St Mary’s and St Agnes on 14th-25th June), Ken­fig Pool NR (Gower) on 19th-23rd June and Ham Wall again on 24th June and 4th July. As au­tumn ap­proached, a first-sum­mer took up res­i­dence at King’s Fleet, Felixs­towe Ferry (Suf­folk) from 14th July to 10th Au­gust, with one briefly at Cley (Nor­folk) on 22nd July. The last of the year was at Steart WWT (Som­er­set) on 14th Oc­to­ber.

BLACK STORK

One drifted slowly SW into the Wash from Scolt Head Is­land, Old Hun­stan­ton and Snet­tisham RSPB (Nor­folk) on 21st-22nd May, be­ing re­seen over Framp­ton Marsh RSPB, Bos­ton and Kirkby-on-bain GP (Lincs) on 22nd, then Mid­hope Moor (South Yorks) on 23rd May. One was then seen over Mar­loes Mere and Skomer Is­land (Pembs) on 25th May, mak­ing its way fur­ther east to Nan­tyffyl­lon (East Glam­or­gan) on 25th, Coed Mor­gan (Gwent) on 26th, Skomer again on 2nd June, New­ton Ab­bot (Devon) on 5th June, both Marazion Marsh and Con­stan­tine (Corn­wall) on 7th June, over Pen­zance, Nan­jizal and Pol­gigga on 8th June be­fore later fly­ing out to Scilly, drift­ing west over St Mary’s and then St Agnes. It moved back to St Martin’s on 9th then Corn­wall later that day, drift­ing once more back up coun­try at Three Bar­rows. A dif­fer­ent bird, first noted at Tud­den­ham St Mary (Suf­folk) on 9th June, was seen at both Nar­bor­ough and South Rayn­ham (Nor­folk) on 12th, while a ju­ve­nile first seen at Wen­has­ton Marsh (Suf­folk) on 28th July was found to be one of four fledged from a nest in France, all colour-ringed. An­other sib­ling ranged widely in the North­east, mov­ing from Greatham Creek (Cleve­land) on 1st Au­gust to Hag­ger­ston (Northum­ber­land) next day, with ‘F 05R’ even­tu­ally set­tling at Spurn Point from 3rd-10th Au­gust be­fore re­lo­cat­ing to Sunk Is­land and Stone Creek un­til 15th Septem­ber. A sep­a­rate fam­ily mem­ber kept to the south side of the Hum­ber, vis­it­ing Black­toft Sands RSPB (East Yorks) on 3rd Au­gust, then var­i­ous lo­cal­i­ties south to Gi­bral­tar Point (Lincs) un­til 1st Septem­ber, per­haps even mak­ing it to Cley NWT on 5th. One was then seen at Hover­ing­ham GP (Notts) on 4th Au­gust, be­fore be­ing seen over Mick­leby and Wyke­ham For­est (North Yorks) next day while F 05P made it to Loch of Strath­beg RSPB (Aberdeen­shire), where it lin­gered from 6th-23rd Au­gust. An­other (un­ringed ju­ve­nile) made it to the South Coast, drift­ing over Hythe and Dun­geness (Kent) on 7th Au­gust be­fore stalling in East Sus­sex, where it took up ter­ri­tory in Bex­hill-on-sea for sev­eral weeks, last be­ing noted fly­ing high out to sea on 5th Septem­ber. One was also in Dorset, vis­it­ing var­i­ous sites in Poole Har­bour on 8th-9th Au­gust be­fore mov­ing west to Port­land, Wey­mouth and var­i­ous sites on The Fleet un­til 12th and then on to Corn­wall and Wade­bridge on 17th Au­gust with an­other in off the sea at Land­guard NR (Suf­folk) on 28th Au­gust be­ing later seen at Clac­ton-on-sea (Es­sex) that day and over Staines Moor (Mid­dle­sex) on 18th Septem­ber. Sadly, F 05R was shot near Madrid on 20th Septem­ber.

GLOSSY IBIS

In the first win­ter pe­riod, few birds were around, with long-stay­ing birds just in Cambs, South Devon and Co. Water­ford. March saw a mi­nor ar­rival but with just three in­di­vid­u­als sur­viv­ing into May. By early au­tumn, birds were back, with sin­gles at Brough Air­field Marsh (South Yorks) on 1st-2nd Au­gust and at Mar­loes Mere (Pembs) on 1st Au­gust pre­ced­ing an­other mi­nor in­flux, in­clud­ing five birds per­haps of Nearc­tic rather than Iberian ori­gin on Fair Isle for more than a week or more. At least eight birds re­mained into Jan­uary 2016, with Ire­land ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a ma­jor ir­rup­tion in the last week of the year, with 25-plus in Co. Cork and Water­ford.

LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE

A party of four from a 2014 Swedish rein­tro­duc­tion pro­ject com­muted be­tween Mins­mere RSPB, North War­ren and Sud­bourne Lev­els (Suf­folk) from 30th De­cem­ber 2014 to 3rd Jan­uary, be­fore be­ing satel­lite-tracked back to Bel­gium. A fur­ther fam­ily party from the same scheme ap­peared in Shet­land in Septem­ber.

CACK­LING CANADA GOOSE

On Is­lay (Ar­gyll), one or two were with Bar­na­cle Geese at Loch Gru­inart RSPB and en­vi­rons un­til 13th March, while in North Uist, one re­mained with Bar­na­cle Geese on Bern­eray Machair un­til at least 9th Fe­bru­ary. At least two reap­peared in midoc­to­ber, re­main­ing into 2016. In Ire­land, a reg­u­lar re­turn­ing adult was with Bar­na­cle Geese at Lissadell (Co. Sligo) un­til at least 20th Fe­bru­ary, re­turn­ing as usual in Oc­to­ber.

ROSS’S (SNOW) GOOSE

One was with Pink-footed Geese in the East Chev­ing­ton/ Druridge Bay area (Northum­ber­land) from 24th Jan­uary un­til 20th Fe­bru­ary, re­lo­cat­ing to Sto­b­swood un­til 8th March. It then re­turned to Scot­land where it lin­gered in the Tulli­body area (Fife) from 11th-24th March. Pre­sum­ably the same adult re­turned to in Novem­ber, mov­ing with Pink­feet to Carstairs from at least 1st-12th De­cem­ber.

RED-BREASTED GOOSE

The Orkney adult was with Grey­lag Geese on Stron­say on 25th Jan­uary, while in au­tumn, an adult ar­rived with dark-bel­lied Brent Geese and flew SW past Land­guard NR (Suf­folk) on 30th Septem­ber.

BLACK DUCK

A drake vis­ited Samson (Scilly) on 19th Jan­uary, be­fore re­lo­cat­ing to the Abbey Pool on Tresco from 27th Jan­uary to 17th April, while the long-stay­ing Stron­tian (High­land Re­gion) drake was sighted again on 19th April.

AMER­I­CAN WI­GEON

In the first win­ter pe­riod, at least eight were present (in­clud­ing one in Ire­land and two fe­males to­gether on the Gan­nel Es­tu­ary in Corn­wall), with five mi­grant males in spring, in­clud­ing two drakes in Aberdeen­shire. Six had re­turned by Oc­to­ber

BLUE-WINGED TEAL

A drake, pre­sumed to be a re­turn­ing bird, was at The Shu­nan (Orkney) from 17th Jan­uary to 12th April, while in spring, a drake re­mained at Donna Nook (Lincs) from 12th-28th April.

FER­RUG­I­NOUS DUCK

The al­most res­i­dent drake of

un­known ori­gin was present at King­fisher Lake, Blash­ford (Hants) un­til 6th March and then again from 10th Novem­ber into 2015, while a fe­male re­mained at Slim­bridge WWT (Gloucs) un­til 2nd March. A fe­male was then sighted at Lak­en­heath Fen RSPB (Suf­folk) on 21st-22nd March. In the se­cond win­ter pe­riod, a ‘new’ drake ap­peared at Wash­ing­ton WWT (Co. Durham) in Oc­to­ber, ac­tu­ally join­ing 10 or so cap­tive Fer­rug­i­nous Ducks in their pen; it re­mained into 2016, while a drake bear­ing a metal ring resided at Din­ton Pas­tures Coun­try Park (Berks) from 6th De­cem­ber into 2016.

LESSER SCAUP

In the first win­ter pe­riod, reg­u­lar drakes were in Cardiff Bay at the Wetlands NR and Cosme­ston Lakes (East Glam­or­gan) un­til 4th March and Doz­mary Pool, Bod­min Moor (Corn­wall) un­til 9th March, Llan­gorse Lake (Powys) un­til 28th Fe­bru­ary, with a pu­ta­tive at Mart­na­ham Loch (Ayr­shire) from 1st Jan­uary into April. In spring, a drake vis­ited Trim­ley Marshes SWT (Suf­folk) on 7th April, with a fe­male on South Uist (Outer He­brides) from 11th-15th April, while fur­ther records in­volved a drake at Win­ter­sett Reser­voir (South Yorks) from 4th-17th May (in­ter­est­ingly the same nasal-sad­dled bird that had over­win­tered at Llan­gorse Lake) and a re­turn­ing drake at Blag­don Lake (Avon) from 5th July. In ad­di­tion to three reg­u­lar drakes, first-year drakes ap­peared on Scilly and on Shet­land in Novem­ber, most re­main­ing into the New Year. In Ire­land, the usual drake was on Lough Gill (Co. Kerry) un­til March (with an­other from 12th-24th Jan­uary) and from 22nd Oc­to­ber, with the fe­male at Ra­hasane Tur­lough (Co. Gal­way) un­til at least 3rd Jan­uary and then fur­ther sin­gles at Lough Pharisee (Co. Ca­van) on 19th Fe­bru­ary to 30th March, Lough Gara (Co. Sligo) on 8th March to 4th May and at Castle­plun­ket (Co. Roscom­mon) on 30th March. Two reap­peared at Lough Gill in Novem­ber.

KING EIDER

The Rud­don’s Point Largo Bay (Fife) fe­male was present un­til at least 7th April, while sin­gle drakes off Yell in Bluemull Sound (Shet­land) and Burghead (Mo­ray) were seen in­ter­mit­tently from Jan­uary to April. The reg­u­lar Aberdeen­shire adult drake ap­peared at St Combs from 28th-31st Jan­uary, with an im­ma­ture drake off Maen­porth (Corn­wall) from 27th Jan­uary un­til 17th March. On 5th April, the usual drake re­turned to the Ythan Es­tu­ary to moult, be­ing last re­ported on 20th June, with a drake at Buness, Unst (Shet­land) on 7th-9th June. Dur­ing the se­cond half of the year, the usual drake had re­turned to Nairn by early July, with a drake off An­nagh Head (Co. Mayo) on 20th Septem­ber.

HAR­LEQUIN DUCK

A pop­u­lar first-win­ter drake was on the River Don in north Aberdeen from 3rd Jan­uary un­til 21st May with a fe­male at Brora (Suther­land) from 17th Fe­bru­ary un­til 30th April.

BLACK SCOTER

An adult drake was with Com­mon Scot­ers off Ross­beigh (Co. Kerry) from 8th Jan­uary un­til at least 3rd April, while an­other was at Ch­eswick Sands (Northum­ber­land) from 21st Jan­uary un­til 26th March. The Kerry drake reap­peared on 10th Oc­to­ber, re­main­ing into 2016.

SURF SCOTER

No fewer than 18 reg­u­lar win­ter­ing birds in the first win­ter pe­riod (in­clud­ing up to nine in­di­vid­u­als off of Old Col­wyn, North Wales) with a wide­spread in­flux in the se­cond win­ter pe­riod, per­haps in­volv­ing up to 30 birds.

BUF­FLE­HEAD

A first-win­ter drake bear­ing a metal ring and of un­known ori­gin ar­rived with Tufted Ducks at Pri­ory Coun­try Park, Bed­ford (Beds) on 29th Oc­to­ber but was never seen again. Three fur­ther birds, all bear­ing coloured plas­tic rings, were con­sid­ered to be es­capes from cap­tiv­ity.

HOODED MER­GANSER

A pair, as­sumed to be of Nearc­tic ori­gin, re­mained on Tory Is­land (Co. Done­gal) from 19th-23rd May.

WHITE-TAILED EA­GLE

Away from Scot­land where the 100th chick was fledged in July, va­grants in­cluded a wide-rang­ing 2nd-win­ter in Es­sex on 13th-15th March, re­lo­cat­ing to Suf­folk and Nor­folk from 15th-23rd March. It then reap­peared in Nor­folk Broad­land from 18th-25th April and was last seen fly­ing north over Gi­bral­tar Point NNR (Lincs) on 25th April.

BLACK KITE

In­com­ing mi­grants in spring in­cluded sin­gles at Eas­try and Bough Beech Reser­voir (Kent) on 23rd March, Hayle (Corn­wall) on 8th April, Kings­don (Som­er­set) on 10th April, Grove (Kent) on 11th April, Mins­mere (Suf­folk) on 24th April, Exn­aboe (Shet­land) on 26th April, Kings­don (Som­er­set) on 10th April, Grove (Kent) on 11th April, Mins­mere (Suf­folk) on 24th April, Exn­aboe (Shet­land) on 26th April, Kings­don (Som­er­set) on 10th April, Grove (Kent) on 11th April, Lit­ton­dale (North Yorks) on 23rd April, Mins­mere (Suf­folk) on 24th April, Exn­aboe (Shet­land) on 26th April, Grove Ferry (Kent) on 9th and 17th May, Ash near Sand­wich (Kent) on 16th May, Titch­field Haven (Hants) on 17th May, Chelmer Park (Es­sex) on 25th, Rye Har­bour NR (East Sus­sex) on 25th May, Hayle (Corn­wall) on 28th May and Holkham (Nor­folk) on 1st June.

NORTH­ERN HAR­RIER

A male re­mained on North Ron­ald­say (Orkney) from 25th Septem­ber into 2016, while a ju­ve­nile lin­gered at New­cas­tle (Co. Wick­low) from 19th Novem­ber to 5th De­cem­ber.

PAL­LID HAR­RIER

Fol­low­ing an­other very suc­cess­ful breed­ing sea­son in Scan­di­navia/western Rus­sia, at least five made it to Shet­land from 23rd Au­gust to 2nd Oc­to­ber, with fur­ther ju­ve­niles on Fair Isle on 13th-21st Septem­ber, St David’s Head then Ram­sey Is­land (Pembs) on 22nd Septem­ber, Worth Marshes, Sand­wich (Kent) on 23rd Septem­ber, Spurn Point on 29th Septem­ber, The Burgh, Bur­pham (West Sus­sex) from 29th Septem­ber to 11th Oc­to­ber, Tar­bat Ness (High­land) on 4th Oc­to­ber, Loch of Sten­ness (Orkney) on 9th-11th Oc­to­ber, Isle of May (Fife) on 10th and 12th Oc­to­ber, Holy Is­land (Northum­ber­land) on 12th Oc­to­ber, An­nagh Marsh (Co. Mayo) from 19th-30th Oc­to­ber, Eas­ing­ton/spurn on 25th Oc­to­ber, Donna Nook (Lincs) on 27th-28th Oc­to­ber and at Gi­bral­tar Point NNR from 28th Oc­to­ber un­til 7th Novem­ber. This lat­ter ju­ve­nile male then re­lo­cated to North Nor­folk, where it roosted at Warham Greens from 15th-17th Novem­ber be­fore tak­ing up res­i­dence at the south end of Snet­tisham Pits from 17th Novem­ber to 7th De­cem­ber. It then moved in­land to Abbey Farm, Fl­itcham, into 2016.

ROUGH-LEGGED BUZ­ZARD

A wide­spread in­flux took place in Bri­tain in au­tumn in­volv­ing up to 22 ju­ve­niles, with 12 or more re­main­ing into the New Year. One in­di­vid­ual, at Hol­land Haven Coun­try Park in Es­sex, reg­u­larly showed down to a few feet.

RED-FOOTED FAL­CON

A re­turn to form with at least nine re­ported in spring be­tween 15th May and 24th June, with a rather con­fid­ing first-sum­mer male at Chat­ter­ley Col­liery (Staffs) from 9th July to 18th Au­gust.

This lat­ter in­di­vid­ual then re­lo­cated to Lin­colnshire, be­fore mov­ing north to Northum­ber­land, be­fore be­ing fi­nally shot in Cam­bridgeshire on its re­turn south in Septem­ber; while a flour­ish of ju­ve­niles ap­peared, in­clud­ing sin­gles at Girdle­ness (Aberdeen­shire), Flam­bor­ough Head, Gi­bral­tar Point and Brey­don Wa­ter (Nor­folk), as well as two at Spurn Point.

GYR­FAL­CON

As usual, a hand­ful of white-morph Green­land Gyrs were seen briefly in NW Ire­land and High­land Re­gion in Jan­uary, with one lin­ger­ing in the Lough Gill area (Co. Kerry) from 19th Fe­bru­ary to 6th March and an­other seen well on Inish­bofin (Co. Gal­way) from late Fe­bru­ary un­til 7th April. To­wards the end of the year, a ju­ve­nile white morph took up ter­ri­tory at Bal­ranald RSPB.

LIT­TLE CRAKE

James Lees dis­cov­ered his se­cond Lit­tle Crake at Slim­bridge WWT (Gloucs) on 8th Oc­to­ber!

AMER­I­CAN COOT

The first-win­ter re­mained on Lough Gill (Co. Kerry) from 5th Novem­ber 2014 un­til at least 2nd March with that at Loch nam Feithean, Bal­ranald RSPB, North Uist (Outer He­brides) from 16th Novem­ber 2014 un­til 3rd April.

LIT­TLE BUS­TARD

The high­light of the year for many was the first-win­ter fe­male that sur­vived un­til New Year’s Day in the ce­real crop at Fraisthorpe (East York­shire). One was found dead on the mi­nor road be­tween Blofield and Strump­shaw (Nor­folk) on 22nd Jan­uary.

BLACK-WINGED STILT

An­other bumper year which saw at least three pairs at­tempt to breed in Bri­tain (one suc­cess­fully). The first was a male at Ab­bots­bury Swan­nery (Dorset) from 3rd-10th April, fol­lowed by an in­flux of at least eight birds in North Kent from 14th April. A sin­gle bird lin­gered in West Sus­sex at Si­dle­sham Ferry Pool from 13th-17th April, while a pair vis­ited Bow­ers Marsh RSPB (Es­sex) in­ter­mit­tently dur­ing 14th April un­til 26th May and a trio at the Nene Washes RSPB (Cambs) on 16th April. While sev­eral pairs then de­cided to set­tle on the North Kent marshes, oth­ers went on a tour of the coun­try with one pair vis­it­ing Mid­dle­ton Lakes RSPB (Staffs) on 18th April, Neu­mann’s Flash, North­wich (Cheshire) next day, Mickle Mere, Ix­worth (Suf­folk) on 13th May, Framp­ton Marsh (Lincs) on 27th-28th May and at Pot­teric Carr YWT (East Yorks) on 29th May with an­other lone strag­gler at Grainthorpe (Lincs) from 3rd-9th May. Else­where, sin­gles were noted at Grove Ferry NR (Kent) on 11th-12th May and Si­dle­sham Ferry Pool again from 29th May to 7th June, with a pair at Sand­wich Bay (Kent) on 30th May and at Fin­gringhoe Wick NR (Es­sex) on 30th June.

COL­LARED PRAT­IN­COLE

A bird showed dis­tantly at Lak­en­heath Fen (Suf­folk) from 7th-11th June.

BLACK-WINGED PRAT­IN­COLE

What was pre­sum­ably last year’s bird re­turn­ing vis­ited Bothal Pond (Northumbs) from 28th May to 1st June then Loch of Skene (Aberdeen­shire) on 3rd June.

KEN­TISH PLOVER

An­other very poor year with sin­gles at Cley NWT (Nor­folk) on 25th April, Peg­well Bay (Kent) on 26th April, Steart Point (Som­er­set) on 2nd-3rd May, un­usu­ally north in Scot­land at Dornoch (Suther­land) on 7th-10th May and at Bal­comie (Fife) on 30th-31st May and at Ynys­las (Cere­de­gion) on 5th June. A fe­male was found at Fer­ry­bridge (Dorset) on 3rd Au­gust, with an­other there on 24th Septem­ber as well as one in Poole Har­bour on Brownsea Is­land on 1st Septem­ber.

PA­CIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER

A win­ter-plumaged bird was iden­ti­fied at Alkborough Flats (North Lincs) on 29th Jan­uary, while an adult in par­tial breed­ing plumage graced Brey­don Wa­ter (Nor­folk) from 27th-30th June. A fur­ther adult was con­firmed at My­roe Lev­els (Co. Derry) from 23rd Au­gust to 6th Septem­ber.

AMER­I­CAN GOLDEN PLOVER

A first-sum­mer vis­ited Exmin­ster Marshes RSPB (Devon) on 23rd-24th May, with an­other on Tresco (Scilly) on 3rd July. The au­tumn pe­riod then saw no fewer than 13 reach Ire­land, with oth­ers be­ing lo­cated in Cum­bria, Outer He­brides, Orkney, Shet­land and Scilly in Septem­ber and in Nor­folk and Le­ices­ter­shire in Oc­to­ber.

BROAD-BILLED SAND­PIPER

One was with Ringed Plover and Dun­lin on Tin­ker’s Marsh, Wal­ber­swick (Suf­folk) on 22nd-23rd May, with an­other much fur­ther north at Find­horn Bay (Mo­ray) on 29th May. What may have been the Suf­folk bird then re­lo­cated to Framp­ton Marsh RSPB on 9th-12th June, be­fore re­turn­ing to Snet­tisham RSPB (Nor­folk) from 18th-26th July. A fur­ther bird was re­ported from Banks Lane Lake, Scor­ton GP (North Yorks) on 26th Au­gust.

TEREK SAND­PIPER

An adult in sum­mer plumage fed in tidal chan­nels at Pagham Har­bour (West Sus­sex) on 21st-22nd June, fol­lowed by sin­gles at Burn­ham Deep­dale (Nor­folk) on 25th-29th June and 5th-7th July and Low New­ton-by-thesea (Northum­ber­land) on 4th July.

BAIRD’S SAND­PIPER

An adult spent just the day at Black Hole Marsh, Seaton (Devon) on 15th Au­gust, with a ju­ve­nile on Tiree (Ar­gyll) from 29th Septem­ber to 2nd Oc­to­ber.

WHITE-RUMPED SAND­PIPER

The first of the year ar­rived on Papa Westray (Orkney) on 25th-28th April, most likely re­lo­cat­ing to North Ron­ald­say (Orkney) on 1st-3rd May. An adult then made it to Cley NWT (Nor­folk) on 25th-26th May, most likely re­lo­cat­ing to Framp­ton Marsh RSPB (Lincs) from 29th May to 12th June be­fore re­turn­ing once more to Cley from 13th-21st June. An adult was then at Kilnsea Wetlands NR (East Yorks) from 4th July to 7th Au­gust, with oth­ers at Hat­field Moors (South Yorks) on 15th July, North Ron­ald­say (Orkney) on 21st-24th July, South Gare (Cleve­land) on 4th Au­gust, Swim Coots, Hick­ling Broad (Nor­folk) on 9th Au­gust and a spate of fresh ar­rivals in au­tumn proper, per­haps in­volv­ing at least eight in­di­vid­u­als. The last of the year was a ju­ve­nile at Mus­sel­burgh La­goons (Loth­ian) from 12th-14th Novem­ber, un­til killed by a Spar­rowhawk. In Ire­land, one vis­ited Co. Derry in spring (Lough Beg on 28th-29th May), fol­lowed by sin­gles at Tacumshin (Co. Wex­ford) on 19th-21st July, Belfast Har­bour Pools (Co. Antrim) on 27th-29th July

SEMIPALMATED SAND­PIPER

The first iden­ti­fied of the au­tumn was at Inny Strand, Water­ville (Co. Kerry) on 19th Au­gust, with ei­ther that or an­other one there from 28th Septem­ber to 1st Oc­to­ber. Here in the UK, we mus­tered just one record – a longstay­ing but very dis­tant bird with Dun­lin on the River Sev­ern at Slim­bridge WWT (Gloucs) from 28th Septem­ber to 6th Novem­ber.

LEAST SAND­PIPER

An adult fre­quented the Big Pool, St Agnes (Scilly) from 16th-24th July.

BUFF-BREASTED SAND­PIPER

A slight im­prove­ment in for­tunes but not great with per­haps 16 recorded in au­tumn, in­clud­ing a welltwitched ju­ve­nile in clifftop fields at White Nothe, Ring­stead Bay (Dorset) in Septem­ber. Al­though West Corn­wall man­aged to muster three records, Scilly al­most blanked out yet again with just one brief ap­pear­ance!

LESSER YEL­LOWLEGS

Win­ter­ing birds in­cluded sin­gles at Pett Level (East Sus­sex) un­til 27th Fe­bru­ary and at North Ber­wick (Loth­ian) from 1st-4th Jan­uary, the for­mer mov­ing to neigh­bour­ing Rye Har­bour LNR (East Sus­sex) from 2nd-11th March. Spring saw the ar­rival of two more, with sin­gles at Whel­drake Ings (North Yorks) on 15th April

and Low New­ton-by-the-sea (Northum­ber­land) on 11th-14th May. Dur­ing the au­tumn, an adult moved from Brock­holes Quarry (Lancs) on 20th Au­gust to the Con­der Es­tu­ary at Glas­son (Lancs) from 23rd-26th Au­gust, while oth­ers were found on Tiree (Ar­gyll) on 21st-24th Oc­to­ber and Brey­don Wa­ter (Nor­folk) from 29th Oc­to­ber into Jan­uary 2016. In Ire­land, one was on the Roger­stown Es­tu­ary (Co. Dublin) un­til at least 14th April, with an­other at Sk­ib­bereen (Co. Cork) on 4th Fe­bru­ary, while in au­tumn, sin­gles were at Clogheen Marsh (Co. Cork) on 30th Septem­ber to 15th Oc­to­ber, White’s Marsh, Clon­akilty (Co. Cork) on 1st-6th Oc­to­ber

GREATER YEL­LOWLEGS

One was dis­cov­ered with win­ter­ing Ice­landic Black­tailed God­wits at Titch­field Haven NNR (Hants) on 11th Jan­uary. It van­ished with­out trace shortly af­ter­wards but then pitched up again on the Pos­brook Floods nearby on 11th April. It reap­peared at the Haven on 17th April, where it was then more re­li­ably seen un­til 9th May, even­tu­ally in­hab­it­ing Pos­brook daily un­til at least 29th July. It was re­lo­cated once more, across the So­lent on the isle of Wight on 23rd Septem­ber, fre­quent­ing the tidal River Me­d­ina un­til at least 16th De­cem­ber.

SPOT­TED SAND­PIPER

A win­ter­ing ju­ve­nile re­mained in In­ver­al­lochy Bay (Aberdeen­shire) from 19th Oc­to­ber un­til 19th Jan­uary 2015 while in spring, sin­gles vis­ited Ar­ran (Ar­gyll) on 19th-21st May and Welling­ton GP (Here­ford­shire) on 25th May. An adult in full breed­ing plumage loi­tered with in­tent at Coate Wa­ter, Swin­don (Wilts) from 16th-27th Au­gust, with fur­ther records com­ing from the River Teign (Devon) on 17th Au­gust and Bry­her (Scilly) on 21st Septem­ber. Later in au­tumn, fur­ther birds were recorded on Tresco Great Pool (Scilly) on 21st Oc­to­ber, Chard Junc­tion GP (Som­er­set) from 25th Oc­to­ber un­til at least 25th Novem­ber and at Pil­more Strand, Youghal (Co. Cork) from 22nd Novem­ber into Jan­uary 2016.

HUD­SO­NIAN GOD­WIT

An adult in breed­ing plumage graced the drained basin at Meare Heath (Som­er­set) on 24th-25th April and again from 29th April to 3rd May con­sti­tut­ing one of the largest twitches of the year. With the last in Bri­tain be­ing well over 20 years ago, this hand­some wader was par­tic­u­larly well re­ceived. A to­tally dif­fer­ent in­di­vid­ual – a male – was then dis­cov­ered in Ire­land, vis­it­ing Inish­dawros, Bal­ly­con­neelly (Co. Gal­way) briefly on 22nd July. For­tu­nately for Ir­ish twitch­ers, this same bird was re­lo­cated much later in the au­tumn on the Aran Is­lands at Kil­murry, per­form­ing daily from 15th-19th Septem­ber.

LONG-BILLED DOW­ITCHER

In Ire­land, records came from The Cull (Co. Wex­ford) on 12th and 28th June and Tacumshin Lake (Co. Wex­ford) on 14th June, then from Tacumshin/ross­lare (Co. Wex­ford) on 22nd-26th Septem­ber, The Gear­agh (Co. Cork) on 29th Septem­ber and on the Roger­stown Es­tu­ary (Co. Dublin) on 8th-10th Novem­ber. The last of the year was at Kil­lor­glin (Co. Kerry) on 11th Novem­ber. In Bri­tain, a very con­fid­ing ju­ve­nile reached Yell (Shet­land) from 8th-13th Septem­ber, with fur­ther transat­lantic ar­rivals at Skokholm (Pembs) on 20th-24th Septem­ber and at Pen­ning­ton/key­haven Marshes (Hants) from 23rd Septem­ber into 2016. A fur­ther first-win­ter was dis­cov­ered at Cress­well Pond (Northum­ber­land) on 9th Novem­ber, this bird also re­main­ing into 2016.

HUD­SO­NIAN WHIM­BREL

One re­mained in Pagham Har­bour off Church Nor­ton from 9th June un­til 27th July, while in au­tumn, one re­mained on Tresco (Scilly) from 15th-18th Oc­to­ber be­fore re­lo­cat­ing to Corn­wall, where it re­mained from 30th Oc­to­ber into Jan­uary 2016.

WIL­SON’S PHALAROPE

A ju­ve­nile made land­fall on Par Beach (Corn­wall) on 16th Au­gust fol­lowed by a firstwin­ter at Pan­nel Val­ley NR, Pett (East Sus­sex) on 19th Septem­ber that re­lo­cated to Vange Marsh RSPB (Es­sex) from 20th Septem­ber to 3rd Oc­to­ber.

BON­A­PARTE’S GULL

Two reg­u­lar adults ap­peared in Jan­uary at Dawlish War­ren NNR (Devon) and at Lochgilp­head in Ar­gyll, with that in Cardiff Bay show­ing up reg­u­larly dur­ing Fe­bru­ary and March. The Devon bird was last re­ported on 22nd March, while the Ar­gyll bird stayed un­til 27th March, while in Cardiff Bay, two adults lin­gered from 24th March to 9th April. Else­where, a first-win­ter COM­PILED BY LEE EVANS vis­ited Fer­ry­bridge (Dorset) on 7th March (re­lo­cat­ing to Radipole Lake RSPB, Wey­mouth, from 26th March to 7th April, Mil­ford-on-sea, Hants, on 15th April then in River­side Park, Southamp­ton, from 3rd-24th May), an adult was at Bal­ly­cot­ton (Co. Cork) on 1st-8th April, one was at Tramore Back Strand (Co. Water­ford) from 15th March to 7th April, at Bowl­ing Green Marsh, Top­sham (Devon) on 9th-10th May, Llan­rhid­ian Marsh (Gower) on 12th May, Dun­geness (Kent) on 16th May, Kingsmill Lake (Corn­wall) on 26th May, on Unst on 11th June and on St Kilda (Outer He­brides) on 12th and 21st June. The reg­u­lar reap­pear­ing 3rd-sum­mer was once more at Oare Marshes NR (Kent) from 20th June un­til 23rd Au­gust, as was the Teign­mouth (Devon) adult from 23rd Au­gust, while a ‘new’ bird was at Lossiemouth (Mo­ray and Nairn) from 4th-16th Oc­to­ber. Novem­ber saw an adult visit the Farne Is­lands (Northum­ber­land) on 23rd and 29th Novem­ber.

AMER­I­CAN HER­RING GULL

A first-win­ter was iden­ti­fied in Black Ball Har­bour (Co. Cork) on 15th March re­main­ing un­til at least 19th April while in West Corn­wall, a 3rd-cal­en­dar year bird re­turned to Drift Reser­voir and fields around Jeri­cho Farm, St Just, from 16th March to at least 3rd May. This lat­ter bird reap­peared on 17th Oc­to­ber, re­main­ing in the area into Jan­uary 2016.

SLATY-BACKED GULL

An adult vis­ited Killy­begs Har­bour (Co. Done­gal) on 17th-18th Jan­uary, con­sti­tut­ing the se­cond record for Ire­land.

ROSS’S GULL

One was re­ported from Brora (Suther­land) on 12th Septem­ber.

THAYER’S GULL

A ju­ve­nile was pho­tographed at Ruf­forth Air­field (South Yorks) on 2nd-3rd March

IVORY GULL

The very con­fid­ing ju­ve­nile at Uig Pier (Skye) re­mained present un­til 4th Jan­uary.

LAUGH­ING GULL

The 2nd-win­ter sur­vived at Bal­ly­cot­ton Pier and sur­round­ings (Co. Cork) un­til at least 30th April, while a first-win­ter af­forded ex­cel­lent views at New Brighton (Cheshire and Wir­ral) from 3rd Fe­bru­ary un­til 9th April, cross­ing the Mersey to Seaforth NR (North Mersey­side) on 5th-17th April. Later in the year, an adult sum­mer vis­ited Kilnsea Wetlands NR (East Yorks) on 13th-14th June and Salt­house Duck­pond (Nor­folk) on 14th June, last be­ing seen fly­ing west at Cley and Blak­eney Point. Much later, in au­tumn, one was iden­ti­fied on St Martin’s (Scilly) on 17th-18th Novem­ber.

FRANKLIN’S GULL

What may have been the same bird was seen at Rusheen Bay (Co. Gal­way) on 13th June and Lough Beg (Co. Derry) from 22nd June to 4th July

GULL-BILLED TERN

An adult was seen eat­ing earth­worms in a re­cently ploughed field south of the A30 at Four Bur­rows (Corn­wall) on 14th April, this in­di­vid­ual re­lo­cat­ing to Walm­s­ley Sanc­tu­ary (Corn­wall) on 19th April and then Bowl­ing Green Marsh (Devon) on 23rd May. An­other was then seen on the Swords Es­tu­ary (Co. Dublin) on 6th May, with a fur­ther at Bothal Pond (Northum­ber­land) on 29th-30th May, Neatholme Fen, Lound GP (Notts) on 11th June, Old Moor Wetlands RSPB (West Yorks) on 16th June and Bir­say (Orkney) on 20th-22nd June. One or other then reap­peared at Hayle (Corn­wall) on 1st July, Ynys-hir RSPB (Ceredi­gion) on 2nd July, Bur­ton Mere Wetlands (Cheshire) on 3rd July be­fore set­tling on the Teign Es­tu­ary at King­steign­ton (Devon) from 12th-17th July, with fur­ther re­ports from Cley NWT (Nor­folk) on 12th July and Chapel St Leonards (Lincs) on 16th July. At the end of the year, one be­gan the longestever stay in Ire­land, sur­viv­ing at Blen­nerville Marsh (Co. Kerry) from 17th Oc­to­ber un­til 29th Novem­ber.

CASPIAN TERN

An­other very lean year for this Scan­di­na­vian va­grant with one seen briefly at Gi­bral­tar Point NNR (Lincs) on 30th May and one rest­ing for an hour at Hol­land Haven scrape (Es­sex) on 1st Au­gust.

FORSTER’S TERN

The usual re­turn­ing win­ter­ing adult was in Co. Gal­way at Nimmo’s Pier and en­vi­rons er­rat­i­cally dur­ing Jan­uary to April and was last re­ported at Fid­daun Is­land on 5th June. What was pre­sum­ably the same wide-rang­ing adult was then seen at Sol­dier’s Point (Co. Louth) on 22nd-26th Au­gust and the Roger­stown Es­tu­ary (Co. Dublin) on 6th-27th Septem­ber, be­fore re­turn­ing once more to Nimmo’s Pier, Mut­ton Is­land Cause­way and Doorus from 24th Oc­to­ber, also vis­it­ing New Quay (Co. Clare) on 29th Novem­ber and 6th De­cem­ber.

WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN

An adult in breed­ing plumage spent the day at Gypsy Lane East, Broom GP (Beds) on 24th April fol­lowed by a marked ar­rival of birds in May in­clud­ing two at Dun­geness RSPB Bur­rowes Pit (Kent) on 14th-15th and sin­gles at Martin Mere WWT (Lancs) on 24th, Lunt Mead­ows (Lancs) on 25th, Pax­ton Pits NR (Cambs) on 26th, Pugney’s CP (West Yorks) on 28th and at Swine­ham GP (Dorset) on 2nd-4th June. Mid­sum­mer saw an­other spate of oc­cur­rences with sin­gles at Blith­field Reser­voir (Staffs) on 15th June, past Whit­burn (Tyne and Wear) on 28th June, Saltholme Pools RSPB (Cleve­land) on 29th June, Mid­dle­ton Lakes RSPB (Staffs) on 3rd July, Leighton Moss RSPB (Lancs) on 4th-5th July, Framp­ton Marsh on 5th-7th July, Dun­geness (Kent) on 18th July, Stanwick GP (Northants) on 19th July, Rut­land Wa­ter (Le­ics) on 19th July, West­port Lake (Staffs) on 8th Au­gust and Kilnsea Wetlands NR on 9th Au­gust. The first ju­ve­nile ap­peared at Dun­geness (Kent) on 17th Au­gust, with an­other at Hornsea Mere (East Yorks) from 24th-27th; an­other then ar­rived at the ARC Pit at Dun­geness on 27th, in­creas­ing to two from 30th un­til 6th Septem­ber. Fur­ther birds were then dis­cov­ered at Ab­ber­ton Reser­voir (Es­sex) on 30th Au­gust, Willing­ton GP (Der­byshire) on 31st Au­gust and Cliffe Pools (Kent) on 31st Au­gust with an­other at Ormesby/filby Broad (Nor­folk) on 5th-13th Septem­ber be­fore the last two of the year ap­peared at Heysham Out­falls (Lancs) from 26th Septem­ber to 1st Oc­to­ber and at Cant­ley Beet la­goons (Nor­folk) on 7th-8th Oc­to­ber.

WHISKERED TERN

One flew west along the Dun­geness beach (Kent) on 6th Au­gust.

BRÜN­NICH’S GUILLE­MOT

Tom Lowe pho­tographed one off South Gare (Cleve­land) on 8th De­cem­ber but the bird never resur­faced af­ter be­ing at­tacked by a Great Black­backed Gull.

RU­FOUS TUR­TLE DOVE

A first-win­ter meena was present in a Scal­loway gar­den (Shet­land) from 25th Novem­ber to 17th De­cem­ber.

MOURN­ING DOVE

A very con­fid­ing first-win­ter in­hab­ited a Ler­wick gar­den at three Mur­rayston from Box­ing Day un­til 14th Jan­uary 2016 con­sti­tut­ing the first record for Shet­land.

GREAT SPOT­TED CUCKOO

The only record of the year was a first-sum­mer at Cwm Cad­lan (East Glam­or­gan) from 15th-17th April.

SNOWY OWL

The Co. Done­gal Kin­cass­lagh bird was seen reg­u­larly un­til 5th Jan­uary, with oth­ers in Ire­land at Glen­i­nagh Moun­tain (Co. Clare) on 6th-20th April, Tar­mon Hill (Co. Mayo) on 26th April, Cuilcagh Moun­tain (Co. Fer­managh) on 7th May and at Bal­li­narobe (Co. Mayo) on 12th June. A male sum­mered as usual on Ar­ran­more Is­land (Co. Done­gal)

SCOPS OWL

One ar­rived on Great Sal­tee Is­land (Co. Wex­ford) on 11th April with an­other found dead on St Kilda (Outer He­brides) on 1st May.

PAL­LID SWIFT

A hand­ful of sight­ings in late Oc­to­ber, in­clud­ing sin­gles at Flam­bor­ough Head, New­big­gin (Northum­ber­land), Mars­den Quarry and Whit­burn Steel (Tyne and Wear) on 31st Oc­to­ber, Boulby Cliffs (Cleve­land) on 1st Novem­ber, Glyn­neath (Gower) on 5th-6th Novem­ber, Chapel St Leonards (Lincs) on 6th Novem­ber, Sizewell (Suf­folk) on 7th Novem­ber and Mar­gate (Kent) on 9th Novem­ber.

ALPINE SWIFT

Dur­ing a spell of cold, wet, in­clement weather, one re­mained around the Vir­gin At­lantic head­quar­ters on the Manor Way Trad­ing Es­tate in Craw­ley (West Sus­sex) from

28th-30th March, roost­ing for much of the time on the wall of the tall build­ing. In spring proper, at least six oth­ers were seen, with sin­gles at Flam­bor­ough Head (East Yorks) on 11th April, Ver­wood (Dorset) on 12th April, Rut­land Wa­ter (Le­ics) on 14th April, Me­ols (Cheshire) on 22nd April, Spurn Point on 7th May, Ilk­ley (West Yorks) on 8th May then at Pugney’s CP and Calder Park (West Yorks) on 9th May, The Mul­let (Co. Mayo) on 12th May, Lyme Regis (Dorset) on 14th May, Lod­dis­well (Devon) on 16th May and an­other at Spurn on 7th June. Early au­tumn saw an­other spate of sight­ings with sin­gles over Garnock Floods (Ayr­shire) on 24th June, Beachy Head (East Sus­sex) on 1st July and Spurn Point on 8th July, as well as one pho­tographed over Horsey Dunes (Nor­folk) on 5th Au­gust. Much later in the au­tumn, one lin­gered at Lit­tle Orme (Caernar­fon­shire) on 5th-6th Oc­to­ber, with oth­ers at Land’s End, St Levan and Porthg­warra (Corn­wall) on 10th-11th Oc­to­ber and from a boat 8km south of Ply­mouth (Devon) on 10th Oc­to­ber.

CHIM­NEY SWIFT

One was seen briefly at Mizen Head (Co. Cork) on 26th Oc­to­ber.

HOOPOE

An in­flux took place in early April, in­volv­ing at least 33 birds, in­clud­ing four at Mizen Head (Co. Cork) on 9th, four on St Mary’s (Scilly) and two on Skomer Is­land (Pembs), at Kil­mur­rin (Co. Water­ford) and Carn­sore Point (Co. Wex­ford). More and more then con­tin­ued ar­riv­ing, with per­haps as many as 65 in Ire­land by 25th April. None were re­ported breed­ing this year, with only a light au­tumn pas­sage and just one made it through De­cem­ber sur­viv­ing into the New Year at Kingswin­ford (Staffs).

BEE-EATER

Af­ter the first, in Cleve­land on 11th April, a wide­spread in­flux took place across Bri­tain through­out the spring, cul­mi­nat­ing in a group of five that toured var­i­ous South Coast lo­cal­i­ties in April and groups of up to 12 that went from Scilly east along the south and east coasts north to York­shire through­out May and July. A flock of 10 that roosted nightly at The­ber­ton Grange near Leis­ton (Suf­folk) in June were par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar as were the two breed­ing pairs in a Cum­brian quarry at Lower Gelt, once news was re­leased and an ob­ser­va­tion watch­point put in place.

ACA­DIAN FLY­CATCHER

The first for Bri­tain and only the se­cond for the Western Palearc­tic made land­fall at Dun­geness Point (Kent) on 22nd Septem­ber, pre­sum­ably hav­ing dis­em­barked from a pass­ing ves­sel. Its ar­rival had been as­so­ci­ated with a suc­ces­sion of trop­i­cal hur­ri­canes leav­ing the east­ern se­aboard of North Amer­ica with just shy of 600 ob­servers con­nect­ing be­fore it made a dash for free­dom in the half hour of de­cent weather as dark­ness ap­proached.

CRAG MARTIN (right)

For the se­cond year run­ning, the UK was blessed with a twitch­able sight­ing of this alpine dweller from Cen­tral Europe. Al­though a bird was seen briefly in spring at East Dene, Bonchurch (Isle of Wight) at 1415 on 7th April, at­ten­tion went to a late au­tumn first-win­ter that lin­gered in the vicin­ity of a crooked church spire in Ch­ester­field Town Cen­tre (Der­byshire) from 8th-19th Novem­ber. This bird even made it onto Jeremy Vine’s lunchtime chat show on Ra­dio 2, as well as adorn­ing the pages of sev­eral na­tional news­pa­pers!

SHORT-TOED LARK

A par­tic­u­larly poor year with none noted in spring. One ar­rived on St Mary’s Air­field (Scilly) on 27th Septem­ber, lin­ger­ing un­til at least 27th Oc­to­ber

RED-RUMPED SWAL­LOW

A fairly wide­spread in­flux in spring in­volved at least 24 in­di­vid­u­als fol­low­ing the first at Mizen Head (Co.cork) on 9th April, while mid­sum­mer saw the ap­pear­ance of sin­gles at Burn­ham Overy Staithe (Nor­folk) on 17th June and in Ler­wick (Shet­land) on 2nd-14th July. In au­tumn, sin­gles were noted at Dun­geness (Kent) on 30th Au­gust, Porthcurno (Corn­wall) on 27th Septem­ber and then ridicu­lously late in North Nor­folk at Cley on 17th De­cem­ber, mov­ing west to Blak­eney, Morston, Well­snext-the-sea, Holkham Park and even­tu­ally Bran­caster. The sight of a Red-rumped Swal­low fly­ing around a Christ­mas tree on Christ­mas Eve was pretty unique and some­what bizarre!

TAWNY PIPIT

Sin­gles were noted on Fair Isle (Shet­land) on 4th-19th May and Port­land Bill (Dorset) on 9th-10th May in spring, with an odd mid­sum­mer record at Seaford Head (East Sus­sex) on 21st June, while the only oc­cur­rence in au­tumn was at Gun­ner Point, Hayling Is­land (Hants) on 5th Septem­ber.

BLYTH’S PIPIT

The hugely pop­u­lar over­win­ter­ing Pugney’s CP (West Yorks) in­di­vid­ual re­mained un­til 6th Jan­uary, while in au­tumn, sin­gles were iden­ti­fied at Stiffkey Salt­marsh (Nor­folk) on 2nd Oc­to­ber, on St Mary’s (Scilly) from 13th-25th Oc­to­ber, Nan­jizal (Corn­wall) on 31st Oc­to­ber and in flight over Spurn Point on 5th Novem­ber.

OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT

Un­usu­ally, one ap­peared on North Ron­ald­say (Orkney) on 5th June. It was a rel­a­tively pro­duc­tive au­tumn, with sin­gles on Fair Isle on 28th Septem­ber and 5th Oc­to­ber, in Ler­wick (Shet­land) from 2nd-5th Oc­to­ber, at Spurn Point (East Yorks) on 3rd Oc­to­ber, Gi­bral­tar Point (Lincs) on 4th Oc­to­ber, Scat­ness (Shet­land) on 5th Oc­to­ber and a fur­ther 26 be­tween 6th Oc­to­ber and 5th Novem­ber, in­clud­ing seven on Shet­land, five on Fair Isle, three in York­shire and Nor­folk and oth­ers in Cleve­land, Corn­wall, Dorset, Co. Durham, Fife, Orkney, the Outer He­brides and Scilly. A very late bird was then seen at Sandy Point, Hayling Is­land (Hants) on 12th Novem­ber. COM­PILED BY LEE EVANS

RED-THROATED PIPIT

A fly­over at Hengist­bury Head (Dorset) on 24th April was fol­lowed by two very pop­u­lar sum­mer-plumaged males in May, with sin­gles at Lud­worth Moor, on the Der­byshire/ Greater Manch­ester bor­der, on 3rd-4th May and at Seaton Com­mon (Cleve­land) on 10th-12th May. A bet­ter au­tumn than usual with sin­gles on Tory Is­land (Co. Done­gal) on 30th Septem­ber, Pil­ning Wetlands, North­wick Warth (Gloucs) on 3rd-4th Oc­to­ber, St Mary’s Air­field (Scilly) on 4th-5th Oc­to­ber, Isle of May (Fife) on 6th Oc­to­ber, Car­ra­hane Strand (Co. Kerry) on 8th-9th Oc­to­ber, St Abb’s Head (Bor­ders) on 11th Oc­to­ber, St Mary’s (Scilly) on 13th-17th Oc­to­ber and Tresco (Scilly) on 18th Oc­to­ber.

PE­CHORA PIPIT

A long-stay­ing bird re­mained in the Loch of Norby area at Melby (Shet­land) from 22nd Septem­ber un­til 13th Oc­to­ber with one trapped and ringed at Porthel­lick Pool, St Mary’s, on 24th Septem­ber, while in Oc­to­ber, sin­gles reached Foula (Shet­land) on 10th Oc­to­ber and North Ron­ald­say on 13th Oc­to­ber.

CIT­RINE WAG­TAIL

At least nine ap­peared at the end of Septem­ber in­clud­ing a very con­fid­ing first-win­ter at Spurn Point Canal Zone from 3rd-5th Oc­to­ber.

BLACK-BEL­LIED DIPPER

Sin­gles were on the Kirk Beck, Harpham (North Yorks) from 10th Fe­bru­ary to 25th March and on Unst (Shet­land) from 24th Fe­bru­ary to 4th March in the first win­ter pe­riod, with pos­si­bly an­other at Voe (Shet­land) on 2nd-13th March.

CEDAR WAXWING

A spate of sight­ings fol­low­ing a con­stant suc­ces­sion of deep At­lantic lows, with sin­gles at Kil­kee (Co. Clare) on 3rd-4th June, Tiree (Ar­gyll) on 10th June, Hugh Town, St Mary’s (Scilly) on 19th June and found dead in Treginnis (Pembs) on 27th June.

THRUSH NIGHTIN­GALE

Three were recorded in 2015 with sin­gles on Browns­man Is­land, Farnes (Northum­ber­land) on

15th-16th Au­gust, Fair Isle on 19th Au­gust and trapped and ringed on Thorne Moor (East Yorks) on 24th Au­gust.

SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT

A first-win­ter reached Fair Isle on 20th Oc­to­ber.

RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL

In line with re­cent years, an­other bumper crop of oc­cur­ren­cies with some 19 in­di­vid­u­als recorded in­clud­ing sin­gles on Whal­say (Shet­land) on 22nd Septem­ber, Westray (Orkney) on 5th Oc­to­ber, Fair Isle on 7th Oc­to­ber, Den­mark House, Wey­bourne (Nor­folk) on 11th Oc­to­ber, Covean, St Agnes (Scilly) from 11th-20th Oc­to­ber, Fair Isle on 11th Oc­to­ber, Kilnsea (East Yorks) on 12th-13th Oc­to­ber, Holkham Meals (Nor­folk) on 12th-19th Oc­to­ber, Sand­side Bay, Deer­ness (Orkney) on 12th Oc­to­ber, Flam­bor­ough Head on 12th-16th Oc­to­ber, Ker­gord Plan­ta­tion (Shet­land) on 16th-17th Oc­to­ber, Wells Woods (Nor­folk) on 16th-20th Oc­to­ber, Low New­ton-by-thesea (Northum­ber­land) on 16th Oc­to­ber, Kings Loke, Hemsby (Nor­folk) on 18th Oc­to­ber, Sand­wich bay (Kent) on 20th Oc­to­ber to 7th Novem­ber, Gi­bral­tar Point (Lincs) on 20th Oc­to­ber, Mizen Head (Co. Cork) on 20th Oc­to­ber and Bard­sey is­land (Pembs) on 25th Oc­to­ber.

EAST­ERN BLACK RED­START

The first-win­ter male re­mained on Scilly at Shark’s Pit, Porth­mel­lon, St Mary’s, un­til at least 12th Jan­uary.

ISABELLINE WHEATEAR

One was seen late af­ter­noon on St Mary’s Air­field (Scilly) on 8th Oc­to­ber.

DESERT WHEATEAR

A male lin­gered on Port Askin, St Agnes (Scilly), from 21st-26th March – only the se­cond to have ever been recorded on the ar­chi­pel­ago in spring. Just one oc­curred in au­tumn – a first-win­ter male at Eskmeals (Cum­bria) from 16th-19th Novem­ber. A very poor year by re­cent stan­dards.

EAST­ERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR

A su­perb male de­lighted a suc­ces­sion of ad­mir­ers as it per­formed ad­mirably at Acres Down (Hamp­shire) through­out the day on 13th June.

PIED WHEATEAR

Four recorded this au­tumn with a first-win­ter male at Spurn Point on 3rd Oc­to­ber, a first-win­ter male at Skaw, Unst (Shet­land) on 14th Oc­to­ber, a male at Bo­tal­lack (Corn­wall) on 21st Oc­to­ber and a male at Land­guard NR (Suf­folk) on 2nd-3rd Novem­ber.

SIBERIAN STONECHAT

Just five recorded, with first-win­ters at Or­ford­ness (Suf­folk) on 10th Oc­to­ber, Quen­dale (Shet­land) on 12th-14th Oc­to­ber, Flam­bor­ough Head on 14th-20th Oc­to­ber and Hook-with-warsash (Hants) on 24th Oc­to­ber, with an adult male in Cais­ter Dunes (Nor­folk) on 21st-25th Oc­to­ber.

SWAIN­SON’S THRUSH

One re­mained on Skokholm (Pembs) from 2nd-10th June, with an­other on Fet­lar (Shet­land) on 16th Jun, with two more in au­tumn recorded, at San­day (Orkney) on 28th Septem­ber and on Unst (Shet­land) on 4th Oc­to­ber.

GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH

Ex­cep­tion­ally, one was iden­ti­fied on The Mul­let (Co. Mayo) on 25th May. A suc­ces­sion of au­tumn storms re­sulted in a wave of records later in the year with sin­gles at Covean, St Agnes (Scilly) on 23rd-24th Septem­ber, Ol­laberry (Shet­land) on 28th Septem­ber.

VEERY

One re­mained on North Ron­ald­say (Orkney) from 30th May un­til 9th May.

WHITE’S THRUSH

Sin­gles typ­i­cally recorded in Shet­land at Bal­ta­sound, Unst, on 20th Oc­to­ber and at Gul­ber­wick on 23rd-24th.

SIBERIAN THRUSH

A first-win­ter male was seen briefly on Fair Isle on 5th Oc­to­ber.

EYE­BROWED THRUSH

One was on Whal­say at Sym­bis­ter on 20th June.

SAR­DINIAN WAR­BLER

A singing male re­mained at Land’s End (Corn­wall) from 14th-26th May.

WESTERN SUB­ALPINE WAR­BLER

The first to ap­pear was a male at Brown­stown Head (Co. Wex­ford) from 11th-17th April, fol­lowed by fur­ther birds at Ky­nance Cove, Lizard (Corn­wall), on 13th-16th April (two males), Kenid­jack Val­ley (Corn­wall) on 25th April, Bard­sey Is­land (Gwynedd) on 9th May, South Uist (Outer He­brides) on 14th May, Port­land Bill (Dorset) on 23rd May, Unst (Shet­land) from 25th-28th May, Bal­ranald RSPB, North Uist (Outer He­brides) on 4th June, North Ron­ald­say (Orkney) on 20th-21st June and on Fair Isle from 30th June to 3rd July. Sev­eral more were dis­cov­ered in au­tumn, with sin­gles on St Mary’s (Scilly) on 23rd Au­gust and 26th Septem­ber, Europie, Lewis (Outer He­brides) on 4th-5th Septem­ber and at Kelling Wa­ter Mead­ows (Nor­folk) on 8th Septem­ber.

MOLTONI’S SUB­ALPINE WAR­BLER

A pair was present on Blak­eney Point (Nor­folk) on 11th May: a rather con­fid­ing male in the Plan­ta­tion and a far more skulk­ing fe­male in neigh­bour­ing tamarisks. Both rep­re­sented the first records for Nor­folk and had ar­rived on a rather unique weather sys­tem that also spawned a Citril Finch in the same county at the same time. Lit­er­ally just a few days later, a male was trapped and ringed on Fair Isle on 15th, re­main­ing on the ar­chi­pel­ago un­til 26th May.

EAST­ERN SUB­ALPINE WAR­BLER

A male was at Nan­jizal (Corn­wall) on 19th-20th April be­fore re­lo­cat­ing to Land’s End on 22nd, while in au­tumn, sin­gle males were at Old fall, Flam­bor­ough Head from 18th Septem­ber to 1st Oc­to­ber and at Moss­bank (Shet­land) from 25th Septem­ber un­til 13th Oc­to­ber.

AQUATIC WAR­BLER

One was trapped and ringed on Or­ford­ness (Suf­folk) on 9th Au­gust, with fur­ther records from Whel­drake Ings (West Yorks) on 12th Au­gust and Fair Isle on 15th-16th Au­gust.

LANCEOLATED WAR­BLER

Sin­gles noted in Shet­land at Dale of Walls on 26th Septem­ber, Fair Isle on 27th Septem­ber and 12th Oc­to­ber and on Out Sk­er­ries on 5th Oc­to­ber.

PAL­LAS’S GRASSHOP­PER WAR­BLER

A skulk­ing first-win­ter re­mained at Is­bis­ter (Shet­land) on 11th-12th Septem­ber, with an­other on Fair Isle on 19th Oc­to­ber.

SAVI’S WAR­BLER

A reel­ing male was present in north-east Kent for three weeks in May.

BLYTH’S REED WAR­BLER

One was trapped and ringed on Fair Isle on 8th June, while fur­ther mi­grants in­cluded a skulk­ing bird on Blak­eney

Point (Nor­folk) on 13th-14th June and a singing male at In­verurie (Aberdeen­shire) from 18th-27th June. Th­ese were then fol­lowed by an in­flux in au­tumn in­volv­ing at least seven birds in Shet­land and oth­ers in Co. Cork, Corn­wall, Co. Durham, Fair Isle, Orkney, Nor­folk and East York­shire.

PADDYFIELD WAR­BLER

One was on Blak­eney Point (Nor­folk) from 11th-14th June, while an­other made an ex­cep­tion­ally long stay on Noss (Shet­land) from 22nd July to 16th Au­gust. Sin­gles were iden­ti­fied at Col­lieston Church­yard (Aberdeen­shire) on 28th-29th Au­gust, St Agnes (Scilly) on 7th Septem­ber and on Fair Isle on 8th Oc­to­ber.

GREAT REED WAR­BLER

A singing male bel­lowed out from Phrag­mites at Swan Pool, Sandwell Val­ley RSPB, on 17th-18th May, with an­other iden­ti­fied at Bal­ta­sound, Unst (Shet­land), from 3rd-22nd June.

THICK-BILLED WAR­BLER

The 7th for Bri­tain was in Quen­dale Burn (Shet­land) on 24th Septem­ber.

EAST­ERN OLIVACEOUS WAR­BLER

One re­mained on Whal­say (Shet­land) from 12th-16th Septem­ber.

MELO­DI­OUS WAR­BLER

In spring, sin­gles noted at Port­land Bill (Dorset) on 15th May and 16th June, Skokholm (Pembs) on 15th May, Penin­nis Head, St Mary’s (Scilly) on 20th May, Pon­songath (Corn­wall) on 27th May and Sen­ny­bridge (Pembs) on 21st June, with a singing male near Hamp­tonin-ar­den (West Mid­lands) from 11th June un­til 11th July. Not many more were recorded in au­tumn, with an odd mid­sum­mer record on Blak­eney Point (Nor­folk) on 31st July and eight more in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber and three late birds in Oc­to­ber.

BOOTED WAR­BLER

Sin­gles were noted in early au­tumn on Fair Isle on 19th-22nd Au­gust, North Ron­ald­say (Orkney) on 21st-22nd Au­gust, Gram­bor­ough Hill, Salt­house (Nor­folk) on 22nd-23rd Au­gust and at Sum­burgh Head (Shet­land) on 22nd Au­gust and 9th-14th Septem­ber.

WESTERN BONELLI’S WAR­BLER

A singing male was present along the Weaver’s Way at Hick­ling Broad (Nor­folk) briefly on 26th May and this was fol­lowed by an ex­cep­tional run of au­tumn oc­cur­ren­cies, per­haps in­volv­ing 10 birds: Porthg­warra (Corn­wall) on 17th Au­gust, St Agnes (Scilly) on 21st Au­gust, Bass Point, Lizard (Corn­wall) on 22nd Au­gust, Port­land Bill (Dorset) on 22nd and 26th Au­gust, Long­stone, St Mary’s (Scilly) on 24th-27th Au­gust and 19th Septem­ber, Sal­combe (Devon) on 27th Au­gust, Billinge (Lancs) on 31st Au­gust, Gal­ley Head (Co. Cork) on 8th and 17th Septem­ber, Sum­burgh Head (Shet­land) on 14th-18th Septem­ber and on Unst from 15th-18th Septem­ber.

DUSKY WAR­BLER

A win­ter­ing bird was at Ivy Lake, Chich­ester GP (West Sus­sex) from 5th-19th Jan­uary, whilst an­other was pho­tographed at Mar­ton Mere, Black­pool (Lancs) on 16th Jan­uary. At the other end of the year in au­tumn, some 20 or so ap­peared in au­tumn fol­low­ing the first at Grut­ness (Shet­land) on 5th Oc­to­ber. The last to ap­pear were at Dun­geness (Kent) on 16th20th Novem­ber, Ather­ing­ton Pools, Climp­ing (West Sus­sex) on 9th-10th De­cem­ber, Holkham (Nor­folk) on Christ­mas Day and at Ham Wall RSPB (Som­er­set) from 26th De­cem­ber into 2016.

RADDE’S WAR­BLER

Up to nine ap­peared in Oc­to­ber, with sin­gles at Inish­bofin on 6th, Holy Is­land (Northum­ber­land) on 8th, Holkham Pines (Nor­folk) on 11th-12th, Great Yar­mouth Ceme­tery (Nor­folk) on 12th-13th,kilnsea on 12th and Fair Isle on 14th.

ARC­TIC WAR­BLER

An ex­cel­lent au­tumn with sin­gles noted at Sands of Forvie NNR (Aberdeen­shire) on 19th-20th Au­gust, Dale of Walls (Shet­land) on 25th Au­gust, Scous­burgh (Shet­land) on 28th Au­gust, on Fair Isle from 8th-11th Septem­ber, Skat­eraw Har­bour (Loth­ian) on 11th-15th Septem­ber, Inish­bofin (Co. Gal­way) on 13th-14th Septem­ber, Uyea­sound, Unst (Shet­land) on 23rd-27th Septem­ber, Kilnsea (East Yorks) on 27th-29th Septem­ber, Weis­dale Voe, Ker­gord (Shet­land) on 30th Septem­ber to 4th Oc­to­ber, Kew Villa, Kilnsea on 4th Oc­to­ber, Inish­more (Co. Gal­way) on 11th Oc­to­ber, Gar­ri­son Pines, St Mary’s (Scilly) on 11th-12th Oc­to­ber, Er­ris Head (Co. Mayo) on 22nd-28th Oc­to­ber and a very late bird at Mars­den Quarry (Tyne and Wear) on 2nd-7th Novem­ber.

GREEN­ISH WAR­BLER

For the se­cond spring in suc­ces­sion, an ex­cel­lent spring with no fewer than 10 found dur­ing 2nd-4th June, with sin­gles on Out Sk­er­ries (Shet­land) on 2nd and 6th, Unst on 2nd, San­day (Orkney) on 3rd, one or two on Fair Isle on 3rd-5th, St Martin’s (Scilly) on 4th-11th, Swin­ing (Shet­land) on 5th, Sand­wick (Shet­land) on 5th-6th and on Whal­say (Shet­land) on 8th. Blak­eney Point (Nor­folk) on 11th and Skomer (Pembs) on 12th. A late bird was on Skokholm (Pembs) on 23rd July. An in­flux of at least 13 in­di­vid­u­als oc­curred in Au­gust, in­clud­ing two in Co. Durham, East York­shire, Aberdeen­shire, Northum­ber­land and Orkney and sin­gles on Fair Isle, in Fife and in Shet­land.

YEL­LOW-BROWED WAR­BLER

A hugely suc­cess­ful breed­ing sea­son led to a phe­nom­e­nal au­tumn in­flux in­volv­ing more than 2,000 birds be­tween mid Septem­ber and mid Oc­to­ber, with Shet­land daily counts ex­ceed­ing 130 dur­ing 22nd-30th.

PAL­LAS’S LEAF WAR­BLER

A rel­a­tively poor au­tumn with fewer than 35 recorded, al­though a dozen or so reached North Nor­folk.

HUME’S LEAF WAR­BLER

Sin­gles were noted at Wells Woods (Nor­folk) on 15th-20th Oc­to­ber, Kings­down Leas (Kent) on 18th Oc­to­ber, COM­PILED BY LEE EVANS Flam­bor­ough Head on 27th-28th Oc­to­ber and Durl­ston Head (Dorset) on 31st Oc­to­ber.

RED-BREASTED FLY­CATCHER

Very few were recorded out­side of Shet­land – a mere 15 in­di­vid­u­als shared be­tween the east and south coasts!

COL­LARED FLY­CATCHER

A su­perb adult male was at Sum­burgh (Shet­land) on 21st Septem­ber.

PEN­DU­LINE TIT

The party of three re­mained at Darts Farm and Bowl­ing Green Marsh, Top­sham (Devon) un­til early March, with just two sur­viv­ing there un­til 4th April. They then mi­grated back east, paus­ing briefly at Black Hole Marsh, Seaton (South Devon) next day. In the se­cond win­ter pe­riod, one or two were at Mins­mere RSPB (Suf­folk) from 18th-29th Oc­to­ber, two re­mained at G and M Grow­ers Pit, Broom (Beds) from 31st Oc­to­ber to 2nd Novem­ber, with sin­gles at South­wold (Suf­folk) on 3rd Novem­ber and St Olaves (Nor­folk) on 8th Novem­ber. Two were then seen in Lytch­ett Bay (Dorset) on 22nd Novem­ber, re­lo­cat­ing to Long­ham Lakes, Bournemouth (Dorset) from 22nd-24th, with an ad­di­tional party of three at Titch­field Haven (Hants) from 7th De­cem­ber into Jan­uary 2016.

SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER

One was recorded at Dun­geness (Kent) on 10th Oc­to­ber, with an­other at Beachy Head (East Sus­sex) on 27th Oc­to­ber.

BROWN SHRIKE

A first-win­ter vis­ited

Porthg­warra (Corn­wall) on 20th Oc­to­ber be­fore re­lo­cat­ing to Oues­sant in SW France next day.

DAURIAN ISABELLINE SHRIKE

An adult male vis­ited St Martin’s (Scilly) on the highly un­usual date of 2nd July while in au­tumn, first-win­ters were iden­ti­fied at Bee­ston Com­mon (Nor­folk) on 11th-19th Oc­to­ber, Holkham Meals (Nor­folk) on 14th-19th Oc­to­ber, Mun­des­ley (Nor­folk) on 15th Oc­to­ber and at South Huish Marshes (Devon) on 14th-19th Oc­to­ber.

WOOD­CHAT SHRIKE

The first of the spring made land­fall at Porthg­warra (Corn­wall) on 31st March, with three more in Corn­wall in April and May and three fur­ther birds in Pem­brokeshire and oth­ers in Devon, Cork and Wex­ford. The only records in au­tumn in­volved sin­gle ju­ve­niles on St Mary’s (Scilly) on 19th Au­gust, Blake­hill Farm (Wilts) on 28th-29th Au­gust, The Lizard (Corn­wall) on 30th Au­gust and Noster­field (North Yorks) on 13th-19th Septem­ber.

BALEARIC WOOD­CHAT SHRIKE

A male of the form ba­dius was at Wyke­ham For­est (North Yorks) on 13th May.

LESSER GREY SHRIKE

Just two records this year – at Lunna Ness (Shet­land) on 25th Au­gust and at Cromer (Nor­folk) on 28th Au­gust.

ROSE-COLOURED STAR­LING

One was dis­cov­ered win­ter­ing in Prud­hoe vil­lage (Northum­ber­land) on 11th Jan­uary, re­main­ing in gar­dens there un­til at least 9th Fe­bru­ary. It may have been the bird found dead in Ry­ton (Co. Durham) on 3rd May. In spring, one ap­peared on South Uist (Outer He­brides) on 19th-21st May, fol­lowed by fur­ther sin­gles on Lundy Is­land (Devon) on 14th June, Fowl­sheugh (Aberdeen­shire) on 16th June, at var­i­ous sites on Lewis and Har­ris (Outer He­brides) on 19th June to 29th July, Hoy (Orkney) on 24th June and on Fair Isle on 2nd July. Mid­sum­mer birds in­cluded sin­gles at Aber­avon (Gwent) from 31st July to 5th Au­gust and on Fair Isle from 1st-4th Au­gust, while a fur­ther 15 or so ju­ve­niles oc­curred in au­tumn. The last of the year was at Tewkes­bury (Gloucs) from 22nd Oc­to­ber to 11th Novem­ber, while the only win­ter­ing in­di­vid­ual was on the Lizard (Corn­wall), sur­viv­ing un­til at least 28th Jan­uary 2016.

CITRIL FINCH

One of the rarest finds of the year was that of a male in Burn­ham Overy Dunes just west of Holkham Pines on 10th-11th May.

TWO-BARRED CROSS­BILL

A sin­gle male was in song at Yew Tree Brake, Cin­der­ford, For­est of Dean (Gloucs) on 15th Fe­bru­ary and was seen again on 21st and 25th March. On 15th Oc­to­ber, a male was at Ter­mon in Co. Mayo.

RED-EYED VIREO

One re­mained on St Agnes from 25th Septem­ber to 2nd Oc­to­ber.

BLACK­POLL WAR­BLER

One was seen in St Warna’s Cove on St Agnes on 23rd Septem­ber.

WIL­SON’S WAR­BLER

An­other con­tender for bird of the year – a strik­ingly beau­ti­ful male at Port Nis, Lewis (Outer He­brides) from 13th-17th Oc­to­ber.

DARK-EYED JUNCO

A first-sum­mer male gave views to a few feet in a Toab gar­den (Shet­land) on 11th May, with an­other on Dursey Is­land (Co. Cork) on 9th June.

LIT­TLE BUNTING

An over­win­ter­ing bird was present at For­est Farm Coun­try Park (East Glam­or­gan) from 5th Fe­bru­ary un­til 7th May, with fur­ther sin­gles at Gul­val, near Pen­zance (Corn­wall) from 12th Fe­bru­ary to 22nd April and in Ash­down For­est (West Sus­sex) on 10th-27th Fe­bru­ary. Mi­grants in spring in­cluded sin­gles at Flam­bor­ough Head on 15th and 27th April, while in au­tumn, above av­er­age num­bers oc­curred, with per­haps 65 in to­tal.

RUS­TIC BUNTING

A male was on Fair Isle on 19th May, with fur­ther sin­gles on North Ron­ald­say (Orkney) on 20th-25th May, Bal­ta­sound, Unst, on 27th-29th May, San­day (Orkney) on 29th May and at Sum­burgh Head (Shet­land) on 21st June. At the op­po­site end of the year, sin­gles ap­peared on Shet­land on Foula on 20th-23rd Septem­ber, Bres­say on 24th Septem­ber and on Unst on 5th Oc­to­ber, with sin­gles else­where on Lundy Is­land on 27th Septem­ber, Cape Clear Is­land (Co. Cork) on 5th Oc­to­ber, Sand­side Bay (Orkney) on 10th Oc­to­ber, Gi­bral­tar Point on 11th Oc­to­ber and Yell (Shet­land) on 13th Oc­to­ber.

OR­TOLAN BUNTING

An­other poor year with few recorded in spring and just a dozen or so in au­tumn. The writ­ing’s clearly on the wall re­gards the sur­vival of this species.

CRETZSCHMAR’S BUNTING

Per­haps con­tender for ‘bird of the year’ was this su­perb male that spent 11 days on Bard­sey Is­land (Gwynedd) from 10th-20th June.

CHEST­NUT BUNTING

A first-win­ter af­forded views down to a few feet on Papa Westray (Orkney) on 19th29th Oc­to­ber.

BLACK-HEADED BUNTING

As usual, a male reached Wales in spring, vis­it­ing Skomer Is­land (Pembs) on 7th June and Saun­der­s­foot (Pembs) on 10th, while in early au­tumn, Kester Wil­son re­ported one in Nan­jizal Val­ley (Corn­wall) on 8th Au­gust and an­other im­ma­ture was seen at Dale of Walls (Shet­land) on 24th Au­gust.

Aca­dian Fly­catcher, Dun­geness, Kent, 22 Septem­ber

Fea’s Pe­trel, off Scilly (pe­lagic), 16 Au­gust Great Blue Heron, Bry­her, Isles of Scilly, 17 April

First-win­ter drake Har­lequin Duck, Aberdeen, Jan­uary

Hud­so­nian God­wit, Meare Heath, Som­er­set, 29 April

Mourn­ing Dove, Ler­wick, Shet­land, De­cem­ber

Dark-eyed Junco, Toab Shet­land, 11 May

Citril Finch, Holkham Pines, Nor­folk, 10 May

Chest­nut Bunting, Papa Wes­tay, Orkney, 25 Orkney NOTE: UKBS will re­turn to its usual for­mat next month.

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