Wednesday 18 September 2019 and the Long-billed Dowitcher was showing well on The Moat at Fairburn Ings RSPB, West Yorkshire. Difficult light conditions to photograph and video this rarity from North America. A Cetti's Warbler called and a Marsh Harrier circled a nearby Flash. Back home on the South Yorkshire moorlands a skein of about 70 early Pink-footed Geese flew east late afternoon.
Thursday 19 September 2019 and up on the South Yorkshire moorlands Meadow Pipits were moving west throughout the day, a small trickle, and possibly a few Buzzards over as well were not local. A family party of Stonechats were nice to see as was a Wheatear.
Friday 20 September 2019 and a twitch out west. First up the 2 moulting American Golden Plovers on a pool at Lunt Meadows to the east of Liverpool. They showed well despite being chased around the scrape by Lapwings. A Common Sandpiper and Ruff noted with several Buzzards in the area. A nice surprise was a calling Raven flying over.
Up the road near Southport a Red-necked Phalarope was spinning away in between roosting Black-tailed Godwits as viewed from Nel's hide at Marshside RSPB. Whilst feeding it was trying to avoid a Black-headed Gull determined to chase it around the pool. All of this to a cacophony of returning Pink-footed Geese, and perhaps the surreal sight of about a dozen Cattle Egrets walking amongst the resting 'Pink-feet'.
Blackpool Tower, a year tick, could be seen in the distance, and I was soon heading that way where on the outskirts of the seaside resort a Pectoral Sandpiper, presumably of Nearctic origin, was to be found feeding on the edge of the small flood by the car park at Blackpool Wake Park. It was spooked on one occasion flying around the site giving a distinct 'preet' call, before settling back down. Of note were 2 more Ravens that flew from a nearby building.
Saturday 21 September 2019 and birding out east at Spurn, East Yorkshire where a Red-breasted Flycatcher showed nicely in the trees at the back of the Crown and Anchor car park, Kilnsea. Not much else in the way if scarce or rare migrants. Saw several Stonechats in the nearby Triangle where a Yellow Wagtail flew south. Double figures of Mediterranean Gulls (equal spread of 1st winters, 2nd winters and adult winters), joined Black-headed Gulls following the plough in fields behind the South Bird Observatory building. A variety of waders present on the quickly receding tide at the Humber shore. Migrant Hawker dragonflies showed well as did a single Wall Brown butterfly on the riverside path in the Kilnsea Triangle.
Sunday 22 September 2019 and a quick look on the moorlands produced a variety of birds ahead of a front slowly encroaching from the south west despite showery, muggy and misty conditions. Jays were obvious this early in the autumn, perhaps indicating an irruption year from the continent this autumn? A twitch to Old Moor RSPB for a local patch tick in the form of 4 Mandarin Ducks at the Willow Pool.
More photos at Latest UK Bird Photos.