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October is a month when most of the summer visitors have departed, incoming migrants arrive in force, visible migration watches are active and there is always the chance of a few rarities. This year mapped all of that.
Scarcer species included two Woodlark reports, a number of Rock Pipits and a single observer Firecrest. Somewhat rarer were fourYellow-browed Warblers, a Lapland Bunting and the county’s first ever Red-flanked Bluetail. Sadly, the latter was only seen at a private ringing site, so was not available to the majority of us.
There were strong movements of Whooper Swans and Pink-footed Geese, two Cattle Egrets lingered and there were more Bittern sightings. Wildfowl numbers continued to grow, the usual long listof waders included Grey Plovers and a Grey Phalarope, and the gull enthusiasts had plenty to look at. Two Kittiwakes were good finds, and a late Arctic Tern was also found.
There were some large flocks of finches, including the first Bramblings of the autumn, and a nice batch of Common Crossbill reports. But now we move into another lockdown!
Bryan Barnacle and Kate Barnacle