FIVE TO FIND in August
TELL US WHAT YOU’VE SEEN!
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.