As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Crazy winter weather brings rare red-rumped swallow to British shores

ONE swallow might not make a summer but it has certainly made a memorable festive season for nature lovers.
PUBLISHED: 00:00, Sat, Dec 26, 2015 | UPDATED: 14:03, Sat, Dec 26, 2015

The balmy winter weather with its bees, butterflies and flowering bulbs has produced another phenomenal sighting of a swallow on the wing. And not just any swallow.

A rare red-rumped swallow from the Mediterranean is spending its Christmas on the North Norfolk coast - further evidence that December 2015 is likely to go down on record as the warmest since records began.

The red-rumped swallow that has brought a dash of seasonal, russet colour to our shores is finding enough small insects to maintain its energy levels as it patrols the skies over Norfolk's network of famous nature reserves.

By rights, the red-rumped swallow should be enjoying sunshine south of the Sahara or even as far away as India rather than the skies over Wells-next-the-Sea.

Temperatures as high as 16 degrees in recent days are also helping other fair weather species to survive. A hoopoe has been showing off its powder pink plumage at Hinksford in Staffordshire.

These dazzling birds occasionally turn up Britain during spring when they overshoot their breeding grounds around the Mediterranean.

Warm weather with its glut of small insects is also helping several tiny warblers to stay alive.

Dusky, yellow-browed and Pallas's warblers have all been seen in different parts of the UK in recent days when, by rights, they were meant to have migrated from their Siberian nesting areas to tropical South East Asia.

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