Sample page: Yellow-browed Warbler

Phylloscopus inornatus

Amber List

Yellow-browed Warbler was first recorded on St Kilda in 1957 and remained a very rare autumn passage migrant until 2005, after which there was a sharp increase in numbers being recorded. This points to the species establishing new wintering grounds in the west rather than being lost or displaced vagrants.

Yellow-browed Warbler is now a scarce autumn passage migrant from mid-September to November on Lewis and Harris. It is also scarce but increasingly uncommon on the Uists and Barra and is now often the most abundant warbler on Barra in late September / October. It is rare on St. Kilda with birds occurring in 1957, 1990, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2020, and very rare on North Rona (1964), and the Isle of Shillay (1961). A bird was also seen at sea 30 miles west of Sula Sgeir in October 1986.

Some late birds will occasionally linger into early December and there is only one record of a Yellow-browed Warbler in mid-December, that of a bird on Barra in 2020.

There are no records from Vatersay.

2020 was an exception year when an invasion occurred following some unique weather conditions and an easterly airflow. The exact number of birds involved is unknown, but the highest daily count (which was considered to be an underestimate) was 200+ on 3rd October with circa 100 present on Barra alone.

Yellow-browed Warbler © John Kemp

Yellow-browed Warbler © John Kemp