Report on scarce migrant birds in Britain in 2016: passerines

Published on 11 September 2018 in Main articles

By Steve White and Chris Kehoe

This report presents data on scarce passerine migrants recorded in Britain during 2016. Perhaps the most notable event of the year was the prolonged pattern of easterly winds that resulted in wave after wave of scarce migrants originating from Asia reaching Britain’s shores throughout October, and resulted in new record totals for four of those species. Yellow-browed Warblers Phylloscopus inornatus are now arriving in such numbers that it has become impossible to keep track of new arrivals, particularly in those recording areas where it is often the commonest warbler in October, and an estimated total (4,500) is given here. ‘Siberian Chiffchaff’ P. collybita tristis (434), Dusky Warbler P. fuscatus (71) and Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla (169) also smashed their previous record highs, while Radde’s Warbler P. schwarzi, (25, 2nd=), Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor (270, 3rd), Greenish Warbler P. trochiloides (37, 4th), Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum (18, 4th) and Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva (174, 4th) also enjoyed an excellent year.

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Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla Sumburgh, Shetland, September 2016. Roger Riddington