As a boy in the 1970s I remember seeing a Brambling in Speyside during the breeding season. The warming climate has made such records a thing of the past, but early autumn records – like one I saw on Out Skerries in early August 2011 on the same day as a Siberian Accentor in Norway – provide occasional excitement and reason for enquiry. Probably, it had come from Scandinavia. Wintering birds are scarce in Shetland, though I did see one at Kergord on 18 January this year. Most Shetland records involve migrants; as local plantations expand might occasional breeding be a possibility?
Occurrences in Leicestershire & Rutland are more predictable: stands of beech remain reliable sites for small winter flocks, for example along Barnsdale Avenue and around the churchyard at Owston.