Siberian Accentors in Sunderland?
The sight of a rare threesome of Siberian Accentors in Sunderland has got the Twitching World in a flurry! These very rarely seen birds have been seen in a number of places in the UK recently including Shetland, East Yorkshire and Saltburn. It's thought that shifts in winds have brought the birds over from their native Siberia.
The Siberian Accentor has striking colouration with mottled plumage on the breast and dark flashes across the eyes. This gives the bird a 'mask of zorro' look distinguishing these birds from native species. These birds are very similar in size to our native house sparrows, but the colouration definitely makes these birds stand out!
Siberian Accentors have never been seen before in the UK, so this sudden appearance of birds is shocking to say the least, prompting bird watchers to flock to sites where the birds have turned up over the past few weeks.
Could Global Warming be to Blame?
Siberian Accentors usually migrate to south east Asia during the colder months, however this year it seems these birds have either chosen to migrate west or have been brought by changing trade winds. If the former is true then it may be the case that increases of global temperatures may be to blame for this change in migratory pattern.
These birds are insectivores, so it may be that the birds are capitalising on the shorter winter season being experienced in the UK for the past few years with increasing temperatures. Insects are still in plentiful supply in October this year, a shift from normal patterns, so maybe this explains the appearance of these birds.