Bird News Thursday 15th October

Yesterday morning (14 Oct) at St John’s Point, Razorbills were passing north at a rate of 1200/hour plus 6 Red-throated Divers (south), 10 Brent Geese (south), 10 Common Scoter, 1 Goldeneye, 1 Wigeon. Other evidence of visible migration included: 1,000 Starlings, 250 Skylarks, 20 Linnets, 20 Reed Buntings, 12 Tree Sparrows, 40 Lapwings, 4 Pied Wagtails, 1 Mistle Thrush, 3 Song Thrushes, 4 Great Tits, 10 Redpolls, 2 Greeenfinches, 20 Swallows, 50 Meadow Pipits, 1Snipe, 4 Stonechat. Also 3 Buzzards, 1 or 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Merlins and 2 Kestrels (Chris and Tim Murphy)

A Buzzard that was seen on Rathlin Island yesterday had unusual colouration and a striking red tail with a tail band (Jim Wells / Gerry Bond). Any comments about this bird or similar birds elsewhere are welcome.
The Buzzard appears to be a possible Steppe Buzzard, dark trailing edge to uniformly brownish upperwing and broad subterminal band on tail (Forsman The raptors of Europe and the Middle East) These feature appear to be shown well in the photograph, Steppe Buzzard appears in N and E Europe and is a long distant migrant, with winds coming from the east over the last week this would seem to give the bird more credence.      
Thanks to Gerry Bond for the Buzzard pic below. More pics are on our bird pics blog:

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