As of 10 November 2015, a total of 430 species have been recorded this year

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Friday, 27 November 2015

Week Ending 27 November 2015

Friday Night Roundup Week Ending 27 November 2015
Undoubted bird of the week was a first-winter RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE discovered in a Scalloway garden on Shetland on Wednesday (25th) - the first-ever to be recorded in mainland Shetland. It was frequenting a garden in Ladysmith Way, on the west side of the town, and afforded observer's with outstanding views. It is of the western form meena, of which the majority in the Northern Isles have been, and therefore much smaller in size and whiter in the tail than the long-staying Oriental Turtle Dove (orientalis) that wintered in Oxfordshire several years back.
Also in Scotland, a drake RING-NECKED DUCK is to be found on Loch of Skaill (Orkney), with at least 1 RICHARDSON'S CACKLING GEESE with Barnacle Geese on Islay (Argyll) and a first-winter drake RING-NECKED DUCK and drake Green-winged Teal at Caerlaverock WWT (Dumfries & Galloway). The drake SURF SCOTER remains off Joppa (Edinburgh), with another in Lower Largo Bay (Fife) and a further off Tankerness (Orkney), while in Fife on 25th, a drake LESSER SCAUP was seen on Loch Leven (Tayside). Notable, was a BARRED WARBLER on fatballs at Thorntonloch (Lothian) on 26th-27th.
The juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was still being seen in the Druridge Bay/Cresswell Pool area (Northumberland) until at least Thursday morning (26th), while best bird in the MIDLANDS was a HOOPOE NNW of Kingswinford at Wall Heath (Staffs/West Mids) from 25th (DY6 0BP).
At least 5 ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARDS continue to survive in East Anglia with the most reliable that confiding juvenile at Holland Haven NR (Essex), while newly discovered birds included juveniles at Elmley Marshes (Kent) on 22nd and Therfield Heath, Royston (Herts) on 24th-27th. The juvenile PALLID HARRIER has been present at Snettisham RSPB (Norfolk) all week, pre-roosting in sueda 700 yards south of the southernmost hide during each afternoon, while up to 4 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS have been feeding on the Hawthorn berries just where Beach Road leaves the A149 at Snettisham 24th-27th. At least 3, sometimes 6 SHORELARKS are commuting either side of the Thornham Creek (Norfolk), with up to 18 Twite opposite the brick coal bunker in the harbour.
The LESSER YELLOWLEGS reappeared on Breydon Water (Norfolk) on 23rd, while a flock of up to 23 TAIGA BEAN GEESE arrived in the Yare Valley at Cantley Marshes/Buckenham Marshes (Norfolk) on 26th. A probable female FERRUGINOUS DUCK visited Dagenham Chase LNR (Essex) on 22nd-23rd   A very confiding first-winter GREY PHALAROPE has graced Farmoor 1 Reservoir (Oxfordshire) since 22nd, where a RED-NECKED GREBE continues
Despite being seen by several observers on Saturday 21st, there has been no further sign of the juvenile Surf Scoter off North-east Kent near Reculver, while in Berkshire, the drake RING-NECKED DUCK reappeared at Bray GP, Maidenhead, on 25th. A GLOSSY IBIS spent the afternoon of 26th feeding on roadside pools at Pett Level (East Sussex), where a Red-throated Diver ha sremained on Arlington Reservoir since 25th.
The long-staying adult drake Ferruginous Duck of somewhat suspicious origin has returned to Kingfisher Lake, Blashford Lakes, north of Ringwood (Hants) (viewed only through the wire fence and very difficult to see), while 2 first-winter female RING-NECKED DUCKS have spent the entire week at Rooksbury Mill LNR, Andover (Hants). The adult winter RING-BILLED GULL has been roosting each evening at Ibsley Water, north of Ringwood (Hants), with the first-winter LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER still at Pennington Marshes (Hants) until at least 23rd
The juvenile SURF SCOTER was seen daily off of Blue Anchor, Carhampton (Somerset) until Wednesday (25th) but not since, with 2 masked PENDULINE TITS to the SW of Longham Lakes, Bournemouth (Dorset) until 26th. The 3 CATTLE EGRETS remain at Teigngrace (South Devon) and 1 at Shapwick Heath NNR (Somerset) with the GLOSSY IBIS back again at Ham Wall RSPB (Somerset), with others at Seaton Marshes (South Devon) until at least 24th and at South Huish Marsh (South Devon) until at least 21st. The adult drake LESSER SCAUP remains on Chew Valley Lake (Avon), while in West Cornwall, the adult PACIFIC DIVER reappeared off Marazion Beach on 26th. Several YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS are being found in the far west with singles in Plymouth in Beaumont Park (Devon), at Sandy Cove, Newlyn, and in Cot Valley, St Just (Cornwall).

IRELAND has had a cracking week, highlighted by the first twitchable AMERICAN BITTERN to grace the green isle, attracting & delighting upwards of 85 Irish birders as it fed out in the open in the reedbed edge on the lake below Castlefreke House, just east of Owenahincha (County Cork). It was first seen on 25th, showed most of the day on 26th but just showed during this morning today. Also in County Cork, a juvenile Spotted Sandpiper has been showing well at Pilmore Strand, near Youghal, since 23rd, while in County Kerry, the long-staying adult GULL-BILLED TERN remains in Blennerville. A drake NORTH AMERICAN BLACK SCOTER identified amongst 300 Common Scoter off Waterville Golf Course (Kerry) on 26th was seen again today, as were two LESSER SCAUPS, an adult and first-winter drake, on Lough Gill. A long-staying GLOSSY IBIS remains at Tramore Back Strand (County Waterford), whilst the regular adult FORSTER'S TERN continues in County Galway off Nimmo's Pier and neighbouring Mutton Island Causeway.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Friday Highlights

A blast of polar air is set to arrive for the weekend bringing with it strong northerly winds and some light snow showers. Little Auks may well fall victim of these conditions with a handful recorded today in the North Sea.
In fact, it is to Scotland where most activity currently falls, with 3 different SNOW GEESE being seen, with singles at Loch of Skene (Aberdeenshire), just SW of Beauly by the A862 (Moray) and with Barnacle Geese at Anthorn (Cumbria) and the border with England at Skinburness. The drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL remains at Caerlaverock WWT (Dumfries & Galloway) where also a drake RING-NECKED DUCK is showing well on the Whooper Pond. A COMMON CRANE remains for a third day in Highland in a field by the A99 south of the Loch of Wester, while near Forss, a juvenile GREENLAND GYRFALCON was picked up dead on Wednesday. A single BOHEMIAN WAXWING has reached South Uist (Outer Hebrides) at South Glendale while on Orkney, the adult male NORTHERN HARRIER remains on North Ronaldsay, with a ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD still at Lochindorb (Badenoch & Strathspey). The long-staying adult drake SURF SCOTER remains off Joppa (Lothian) while on Shetland, a first-winter LESSER SCAUP remains on Shetland.
Further south, a male DESERT WHEATEAR was on Eskmeals Beach (Cumbria) from 16th-18th, with strong NW winds producing a daily passage of LEACH'S PETRELS since Wednesday, culminating in 6 today past Leasowe Embankment (Wirral) with the odd one elsewhere and GREY PHALAROPE.
In Norfolk, a juvenile GLOSSY IBIS spent much of the week in a ditch south of the lake at Felbrigg Hall, with a late HOOPOE in horse paddocks NNE of the Hall Lane junction, west of the B1150 NE of Spixworth at Crostwick (TG 259 167) (since 14th). A juvenile PALLID HARRIER, initially roosting at East Hills, Wells-next-the-Sea, relocated to Snettisham RSPB on Wednesday, where it remained today. Three SHORELARKS about at Holme Dunes, a few Snow Buntings and 12 Twite at Thornham Harbour Creek. A BLACK BRANT remains at Cley NWT in the Eye Field.
Not much in the Midlands now that the EURASIAN CRAG MARTIN has departed Chesterfield (Derbyshire) (last seen on 19th), although a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at Russell's Hall Estate, Dudley (West Midlands) continues to show (park at the south end of Merryfield Road and follow gravel track SE towards the hospital to view - DY1 2PB).
A male EUROPEAN SERIN continues at Beddington Sewage Farm (Surrey) (permit access only)
In Avon, the GLOSSY IBIS remains at Pilning Wetland, Northwick Warth, with a first-year SURF SCOTER offshore of Blue Anchor, NE of Carhampton (Somerset). An adult RING-BILLED GULL continues to roost on Ibsley Water (Hampshire).
Along the South Coast, single GLOSSY IBISES are at Seaton Marshes and South Huish Marsh (South Devon), with an elusive DUSKY WARBLER at Dungeness RSPB (Kent).

In IRELAND, a ROSE-COLOURED STARLING is at East Pier, Howth (Co. Dublin), while the long-staying adult GULL-BILLED TERN continues at Tralee Bay Wetlands (Co. Kerry).

Friday, 13 November 2015

It's Back - The Friday Roundup

In Derbyshire, the EURASIAN CRAG MARTIN first seen on Remembrance Sunday and last seen on Tuesday at dusk reappeared late morning today at the crooked spire of Chesterfield Town Centre's St Mary's Church and showed virtually non-stop in blue skies until 1350, when presumably it flew off to roost in the vicinity. The location is just ten minutes drive from Junction 29 of the M1 and is amply supported by parking facilities - at £1.10 per hour.
Also newly found today was a very obliging first-winter GLOSSY IBIS in Northeast Norfolk, frequenting the rough grazing meadow at the south end of the lake at Felbrigg Hall NT. Another GLOSSY IBIS remains at Pilning Wetland, Northwick Warth (Avon), where nearby, strong winds forced a single LEACH'S PETREL and Pomarine Skua into the upper reaches of the Severn Estuary at Severn Beach. It was a similar story in West Cornwall, where high winds afforded a reasonable seawatch, with Pendeen Watchpoint producing 4 Pomarine Skuas, at least 4 Grey Phalaropes, 40+ Sooty Shearwaters and 28 Balearic Shearwaters, with 2 lingering Grey Phalaropes in St Ives Bay. The Wirral also saw its first LEACH'S PETREL movement of the year with 6 west past Leasowe Embankment.
Elsewhere in the country, winter seems to have arrived with the first snow of the autumn in highland Scotland and temperatures plummeting. A North American Green-winged Teal remains at Caerlaverock WWT (Dumfries & Galloway) as does a drake Ring-necked Duck in Pitlochry (Perth & Kinross), while over in the Edinburgh area (Lothian), a fresh plumaged juvenile WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER continues for a second day at Musselburgh Lagoons (showing well from the Middle Hide) and the adult drake SURF SCOTER lingers off Joppa. A further SURF SCOTER, this time a nondescript juvenile, is off Barra (Outer Hebrides) at Cleat. A handful of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS are being seen, with up to 13 in Edinburgh and 9 in Aberdeen. In Northumberland, a juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER remains at Cresswell Pond NWT, most often feeding on the muddy edge of the west shoreline, viewable distantly from the coast road.
A few BLACK BRANTS are to be found in East Anglia with an adult showing well with Dark-bellied Brent Geese in the Eye Field at Cley NWT (Norfolk) while just a few juvenile ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARDS are now being seen, with long-staying survivors at Titchwell RSPB (Norfolk) and Frinton-on-Sea Golf Course (Essex). A very late first-winter RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was at Hollesley marsh RSPB (Suffolk) until at least 12th. Very small numbers of Shore Lark and Snow Bunting are to be found, with perhaps 18 Twite at Thornham Creek (Norfolk). In Essex, a very late first-winter COMMON REDSTART remains on Two Tree Island, while in Kent, Dungeness RSPB offers up to 9 Great White Egrets, 7 Caspian Gulls and a good number of lingering Firecrests.
At least 7 CATTLE EGRETS are to be found in Southwest Britain, with 2 on the Camel Estuary at Dinham Flats (Cornwall), 2 at Twelve Oaks, Teigngrace (South Devon) and singles at Aveton Gifford (Devon) and Shapwick Heath NNR (Somerset); A storm-blown GREY PHALAROPE is present for a second day at Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch Harbour (Dorset). The drake LESSER SCAUP has been at Chew Valley Lake (Avon) recently while in the Weymouth and Portland Bill area (Dorset) today, upwards of 10,000 Woodpigeons departed the country, part of the species' annual migration from the Baltic States to wintering grounds in Iberia and southern France.

In IRELAND, a very late RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER remains at Brownstown Head (Co. Waterford).

Lee G R Evans

Friday, 29 August 2014

Autumn well and truly underway

East, Southeast winds on Monday and Tuesday of this week have seen a good arrival of drift migrants, with several still being available today, even though the wind has now switched to the west. Seawatching was also highly productive today in Ireland and the South West.
Newly discovered this Friday were a WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER on Scilly (in pines at Content/Telegraph, St Mary's), a SUBALPINE WARBLER at Landguard (Suffolk), a GREENISH WARBLER in Norfolk (at Winterton South Dunes) and another in Suffolk (at Southwold Sewage Works), an ARCTIC WARBLER on Foula (Shetland) at Hametoun, a LESSER YELLOWLEGS in Cornwall at Croft Pascoe Pool and a CATTLE EGRET at Draycote Water (Warks) (commuting between Toft & Biggin Bays).
In Gloucestershire, the county's first-ever MARSH SANDPIPER (a juvenile) remains for its second day with Greenshank and Ruff on the flash north of Splatt Bridge, Frampton-on-Severn, while in Kent, a particularly showy MELODIOUS WARBLER continues for a third day in Denge Marsh Gully at Dungeness.

The best part of 30 GREAT WHITE EGRETS are still to be seen, including at least 9 on the Shapwick Heath NNR (Somerset), with the GLOSSY IBIS still showing well at Saltholme/Dorman's Pool on Teeside (Cleveland). A female FERRUGINOUS DUCK is at Island Mere on the Minsmere RSPB reserve (Suffolk) with the odd SPOTTED CRAKE still being seen, the one at Rutland Water (Leics) affording the best views.

PECTORAL SANDPIPERS remain at Shibdon Pond, Gateshead (Tyne & Wear), Freiston Shore (Lincs) and at Charlton Mires (Northumberland), with a juvenile RED-NECKED PHALAROPE on the ARC Pit at Dungeness (Kent) (3rd day) and a juvenile TEMMINCK'S STINT at Grafham Water (Cambs) (from the Valley Creek hide).

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Bertha is fast approaching.....

With autumn well under way, the remnants of Hurricane Bertha are about to make landfall in the Western Approaches.....
Up to 100 birdwatchers amassed on Porthgwarra (Cornwall) this morning - seawatching by early evening producing 9 Cory's, 5 Greats, 11 Sooty & 5 Balearic Shearwaters off there. A single WILSON'S PETREL was recorded off Scilly, along with good numbers of both Great & Cory's, while seawatching in County Cork resulted in more of the same (eg, 37 Greats, 15 Cory's past Galley Head).
Meanwhile, the moulting adult STILT SANDPIPER continues to show very well at Cresswell Pond (Northumberland), with juvenile CITRINE WAGTAILS at Grindon Lough (Northumberland) briefly and on Bardsey Island (Gwynedd) for a second day.

The long-staying BLACK-WINGED PRATINCOLE remains at Purl's Bridge RSPB Reserve (Cambs) on the Ouse Washes, favouring the area north of Steven's Hide and south of the railway viaduct, the best part of a 3-mile walk from the information centre. Other long-stayers include the adult BONAPARTE'S GULL at Oare Marshes (Kent), PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON at Seeswood Pool, Nuneaton (Warks) but sadly, it seems that South Devon's Ross's Gull has died.

Second-summer Black-crowned Night Heron, Seeswood Pool, Warks, July 2014 (James Packer)

A 'new' PECTORAL SANDPIPER was discovered at Pulborough Brooks RSPB (West Sussex) this morning (viewable from the Jupps Watchpoint) (and where the family party of 5 BLACK-WINGED STILTS remain) while the adult continues at Fishtail Lagoon on Pennington Marshes (Hants). The 2nd/3rd-summer LONG-TAILED SKUA was seen again today in the Selsey area, visiting Medmerry RSPB around midday (West Sussex).

2nd/3rd summer Long-tailed Skua off Church Norton, Pagham Harbour, early August (David Campbell)

SPOTTED CRAKES remain at Titchwell RSPB (Norfolk) and Rainham Marshes RSPB (Essex/London) while the post-breeding influx of French GREAT WHITE EGRETS continues and 8 or more GLOSSY IBISES remain in residence.

Spotted Crake at Titchwell RSPB (Penny Clarke)

The 3 adult EUROPEAN BEE-EATERS continue to visit the nest on the Isle of Wight, while the summering male RED-BACKED SHRIKE continues at Quainton Hill (Bucks) and an ALPINE SWIFT was seen briefly at St Margaret's-at-Cliffe (Kent).

European Bee-Eater, Wydcombe Estate NT, Niton (Chris Bromley)

Monday, 21 July 2014

Autumn's shaping up nicely

A little bit of seabird movement this evening off West Cornwall with 5 CORY'S SHEARWATERS seen from the return Scillonian crossing. Also a male RED-BACKED SHRIKE in Sutherland - NNE of Ullapool at Strathcanaird east of the A835 (NC 154 021). Also a note to say that 402 species have now been recorded in Britain and Ireland this year.
Otherwise, the adult COLLARED PRATINCOLE still distantly on Minsmere scrape (Suffolk) and the LESSER YELLOWLEGS at Frampton Marsh RSPB (Lincs) but no sign today of the adult BLACK-WINGED PRATINCOLE present recently at the north end of Ouse Washes RSPB reserve (Cambs) (the bird recently at Cley & Titchwell, north Norfolk). A family of BLACK-WINGED STILTS have bred successfully in Suffolk Breckland and can be seen at Cavenham Pits, although the 6 birds spend most of their time on the breeding marsh in the gravel pit complex, not visible from any public rights of way. The family party of 5 also remain in West Sussex at Medmerry RSPB, Bracklesham Bay.

Collared & Black-winged Pratincoles (LGRE)

Black-winged Pratincole in flight (Martin Sidwell)

Still numerous GLOSSY IBISES about, as well as post-breeding GREAT WHITE EGRETS, while the ROSS'S GULL remains at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB (South Devon) and an adult summer BONAPARTE'S GULL remains on the Swale at oare Marshes NR, Faversham (Kent).
The weekend saw the appearance of a few SPOTTED CRAKES as well as a nice adult TEMMINCK'S STINT at Titchwell RSPB.

On the butterfly front, the MONARCH remains in Ruckinge (Hamstreet) and SCARCE TORTOISESHELLS continue to be located but not twitchable.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

BRIDLED TERN moves north

The Inner Farne BRIDLED TERN flew north from the islands and appeared at Port Seton, east of Edinburgh (Lothian), early afternoon of 9th and has spent most of today in the ternery east of North Berwick NE of the A198 at the east end of Seacliff Bay at St Baldred's Boat (accessed from the beach car park at Auldhame at NT 610 850). Meanwhile, one of last summer's SWINHOE'S PETRELS was trapped overnight on Fair Isle in the early hours of 9th.
A breeding-plumaged SPOTTED SANDPIPER continued to show well all day south of Motherwell at Baron's Haugh RSPB (Clyde), with the first adult WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER of the autumn at the mecca that is Tacumshane Pools (County Wexford). PECTORAL SANDPIPERS remain at Haroldswick Pools, Unst (Shetland) and St Peter's Pool, Braebuster Ness, Deerness (Orkney), while Cley's bird was still present on 9th.
The drake LESSER SCAUP reappeared at Tittesworth Reservoir, Leek (Staffs) with Tufted Ducks this afternoon, with that still present on Blagdon Lake (Somerset) too.
Following one reported past Sheringham (Norfolk) at 0755 yesterday morning, another (or same) CORY'S SHEARWATER was sighted off Winterton North Dunes (Norfolk) today. Otherwise, a BLACK KITE circled over Ventnor (Isle of Wight) with 2 Common Buzzards and a calling male CORNCRAKE was heard for its second consecutive morning at Beal (Northumberland). The first-summer ROSS'S GULL remains at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB, Topsham (Devon) while a drake SURF SCOTER remains with Common Scoter off Murcar Golf Course (Aberdeenshire).

Still numerous GLOSSY IBISES about including one today at Newington's Hagg Lane (Notts), as well as regulars at Otmoor RSPB (Oxon), Stanpit Marsh (Dorset), Milnthorpe (Cumbria) and Frampton Marsh (Lancs). A CATTLE EGRET continues at Hillsborough (Co. Down) in Northern Ireland.