FIVE TO FIND in Au­gust

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N SOME WAYS, Au­gust is an in­ter­me­di­ate time of year. The breed­ing sea­son is com­ing to a close for many species; the rush of au­tumn mi­gra­tion is yet to take off. Birdwatching in Au­gust has a sum­mer hol­i­day feel to it. But, don’t be fooled. There is still a mass of ac­tiv­ity out there. Young birds are still be­ing fed and reared and some, es­pe­cially waders, have long ago left the Arc­tic breed­ing grounds and are still tak­ing a leisurely trip south through the coun­try. It is also the start of south­ward mi­gra­tion of small birds, such as scarce war­blers, chats and Wry­necks. Any­thing can and does turn up. Things are get­ting ex­cit­ing, and here are a few birds to get your bird­ing teeth into this month. PIED FLY­CATCHER

As birds start their south­ward mi­gra­tion in late Au­gust, the Pied Fly­catcher is one of the birds we all want to catch up with on pas­sage. Your best bet is at scrubby, bushy east coast sites; but birds will also oc­cur in smaller num­bers in­land, at a suit­able site or even in a gar­den or park. Don’t ex­pect these birds to be blackand-white stun­ners, though. In au­tumn, Pied Fly­catch­ers of all ages and sexes tend to be in their fresh brown-and-white garb. De­spite this, they are still lovely lit­tle birds, though! ICTERINE WAR­BLER

The long-winged, el­e­gant Icterine War­bler is a scarce vis­i­tor, mainly to the north­ern isles and the east coast of Eng­land. Be­ware Wil­low War­blers, which are of­ten very bright yel­low at this time of year. Wil­low War­blers are fid­gety birds with a dark eye­stripe, while Ic­ter­ines are more ro­bust birds with an ‘open’ face lack­ing a dark eye­stripe, and an al­to­gether more ‘lethar­gic’ man­ner. Most UK birds will be first­win­ters, which lack the in­tense colours of a spring adult, but still have a touch of yel­low and green in their plumage.

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