14th December

December sprung a nice surprise today with the discovery of a Hume's Warbler at Avalanche Road, where a presumed Siberian Chiffchaff was also present. A few thrushes - including a Fieldfare over Blacknor and Redwings at the Bill (4) and Sweethill (15) - put in appearances, whilst single Chiffchaffs at the Obs and Blacknor were also new arrivals; additionally, 2 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest were at Pennsylvania Castle. The only other reports were of singles of Brent Goose and Common Scoter through off the Bill.

What immigrant moth promise there was rather evaporated under a night sky that was so bright with the full moon that the moth-traps scarcely stood a chance of attracting anything; 3 Rusty-dot Pearls were the only captures at the Obs.

We hesitate to claim that the Hume's Warbler was a new arrival since we're not at all sure that anyone's birded the Avalanche Hump area for the last month! It was rarely really showy...

...but it did give itself away at regular intervals with decent bouts of calling:

We were somewhat distracted by the Hume's Warbler when the presumed Siberian Chiffchaff popped up quite close to it - the latter didn't call but it looked to be OK for a tristis in the flesh even if that might not be conveyed in our quick snap of it: