Breeding throughout mountainous regions of southern Europe and across to the Himalayas these birds are migratory, overwintering in southern Africa or central India. Worldwide, there are a total of ten subspecies from the nominate species, apus melba.
With boldly marked plumage and a habit of perching in prominent positions, the Woodchat Shrike is not difficult to spot. However, the species occurs only as an occasional vagrant in the UK, breeding regularly in mainland Europe to the south.
A large member of the bunting family, the Yellowhammer is best known as a farmland bird. The bright yellow head of the male, combined with its high-pitched twittering whistle, makes it stand out against countryside hedgerows and freshly ploughed fields.
Gulls and terns
Until fairly recently yellow-legged gulls were considered a subspecies of the caspian gull or the herring gull. In 2007, the British Ornithologists’ Union first listed it as a distinct species with key differences in appearance and distribution range from similar-looking gulls.
Yellow-browed warblers are rare winter visitors to the UK, with fewer than 30 birds arriving after their breeding season in Siberia has drawn to a close. A few hundred sightings of these tiny migrants are also recorded in passage each year, along the east coast of Scotland, and eastern and southern coasts of England.
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