The Red-flanked Bluetail count into thousands in Finland territory this summer and raising an outstanding record from numbers last year.
Records show a minimum of 1,230 singing males across the east and northeast of the country–an astonishing increase in the year 2020 total of 730 territories, which was also recorded. Most males recorded were second-calendar-year birds, which are expected after the 2020 bumper breeding season.
Finland proves to be the most productive breeding ground for Bluetails in 2021. While Finnish ringers caught many young birds, they were not as high as last year. The total is still a strong one and this will probably mean that fall 2021 will again be fruitful for reports of the species in Western Europe.
Red-flanked Bluetails in Britain was comfortably over 40 birds reported after the first on Unst, Shetland, on 27 September 2020. In the Holme-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, on 17 October, they made peak site count of five birds while first records of the breed were witnessed in several inland counties, including Derbyshire and Worcestershire.
Finnish birders report that 2021 has been an excellent year for the otherwise declining Rustic Bunting, a species that has struggled at the westerly limits of its range over the past couple of decades. High numbers of birds are being identified and ringed in various parts of the country in recent weeks, prompting suggestions, it could be the best year for the species in Finland this century.