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.
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.
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.
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.