RARITY PRE­DIC­TOR

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month -

Rare birds are rare and the rarest pretty dif­fi­cult to pre­dict. But each month, like fools, we have a go at guess­ing what will be the next big thing in the rare bird world. Here are this month’s out­landish pre­dic­tions, plus a cou­ple of our suc­cess­ful pre­dic­tions.

DUSKY THRUSH

There have been just 11 ac­cepted records of this Asi­atic thrush in the UK, mostly ap­pear­ing in the au­tumn or win­ter. Three have been Novem­ber birds. Check out all those win­ter thrush flocks care­fully for one, with black-and-white face and breast mark­ings and rus­set­tinged wings.

BLACKPOLL WAR­BLER

One of the ‘com­moner’ North Amer­i­can war­blers over here, there have been more than 40 ac­cepted UK records. Black­polls look a lit­tle like the Amer­i­can war­bler ver­sion of a Siskin, with a yel­low throat and breast and green up­per­parts, plus two white wing-bars. Most ap­pear on Scilly.

PIED-BILLED GREBE

There have been 43 Pied-billed Grebes in the UK (though some of these re­fer to re­turn­ing in­di­vid­u­als). A bit bigger than a Lit­tle Grebe, they may ap­pear on sim­i­lar bod­ies of water, just about any­where. In 1997 there was even one on the lit­tle lake on Toot­ing Bec Com­mon, south London.

HOW DID WE DO? ✓ SOLI­TARY SAND­PIPER

One was at a pri­vate site in Lin­colnshire on 8 Septem­ber.

✓ WHITE’S THRUSH

Two were found in early Oc­to­ber: on Shet­land and in Northum­ber­land.

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