28th May

Yesterday's comment that it's now rarity season was more a simple statement of fact than something prophetic and so it came to pass today with first a Rosy Starling - probably just as likely a new individual than one of yesterday's birds - and then a Black-headed Bunting turning up at the Bill; the Rosy Starling performed on and off all day between the Bill lighthouse and the QinetiQ compound whilst the Black-headed Bunting was eventually pinned down in Top Fields late in the afternoon after first being reported briefly (as an unidentified bird seen by an inexperienced birder) early in the morning near Wallsend. A Nightjar was also seen briefly at the Bill whilst commoner migrants there included 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 each of Wheatear and Spotted Flycatcher, and a single Reed Warbler; 4 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, an unseasonable Brent Goose and a Whimbrel were at Ferrybridge. Sea reports included 29 Common Scoter and singles of Whimbrel and Great Skua through off the Bill.

The Rosy Starling in the Bill Quarry © Keith Pritchard (stills) and Martin Cade (video)...

...and the Black-headed Bunting in Top Fields © Martin Cade: