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bird notes; gardening.

Byline: ROBIN SANDHAM

LAST week, and especially Wednesday and Thursday, turned into one of those periods where everything can go a bit daft during the autumn in that rare birds just kept turning up one after another.

Most were outside the region but nonetheless it was amazing, and it would be unjust not to mention such a quality line-up. The northern isles boasted a brown flycatcher, Siberian thrush, Sykes's, olivaceous, and thick-billed warblers, bobolink and buff-bellied pipit.

The east coast held a brown shrike, pallas's grasshopper warbler, radde's warbler, redflanked bluetail, and a lesser-grey shrike.

Other birds included a greater-sand plover in Lothian and an American redstart in County Cork. Truly incredible records.

To top it all Llandudno's Great Orme struck gold with the superb discovery of Wales' sixth and only mainland record of radde's warbler.

This gem of a Siberian visitor should be heading towards south east Asia for the winter but the easterly air over the last week brought this, and other extremely rare birds, our way.

This species usually turns up on the east coast of the UK, which makes it an exceptional record for the region. Wales' previous five records were from Skomer and Bardsey.

More common birds should be steadily returning to gardens so look out for newly arriving fieldfares, redwings, thrushes and blackbirds, numbers of which increase over the winter.

To encourage them during cold spells leave some windfall fruit throughout the winter or supplement with sultanas or specialist food blends.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 4, 2008
Words:247
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