RAR­ITY PREDICTOR

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month -

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.

OVENBIRD

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!

MASKED SHRIKE

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 SHRIKE

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!

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