Every month, we present our tips for the rarity lottery. Not every one is a winning ticket, but the fun is in the taking part. Here are our predictions (in the loosest sense of the word) for September.
There have been about half a dozen accepted records of Ovenbird in the UK, one each on Orkney, Shetland, Scilly, Barra (Outer Hebrides), Devon and Herefordshire (a long-stayer). Most have been in October. Of the two accepted records in Ireland, one was in late September. So, we may be a week or so early with this prediction, but if an Ovenbird turns up in September, we called it first!
The first UK Masked Shrike was as recently as 2004, at Kilrenny, Fife. Since then there have been birds on Scilly (2006) and one for a couple of weeks (20 September to 2 October) at Spurn, East Yorkshire, in 2014. So, exceptionally rare, but there is no reason why we can’t have another this year, is there?
Brown Shrikes have become something of a ‘thing’ in this millennium. There was a 15-year gap from the first one, on Shetland in 1985, to the next. But since, the turn of the century, there have been about 20 more records. In 2013 alone, there were five accepted Brown Shrikes in the country. Late September is the time to go and bag yourself one.
HOW DID WE GET ON? ✓ BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS
In our August issue we predicted an albatross, which duly turned up a few months early on the North Sea coast!