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

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Monday, 30 November 2009

GREEN-WINGED TEALS remain at Caerlaverock WWT

A visit to the Caerlaverock area today produced the following highlights. Two WILLOW TITS and a Nuthatch in Castle Wood with an overhead flock of Lapwings containing a single Ruff.

At the WWT reserve itself, the two drake NORTH AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEALS were on the Folly Pond and a Peregrine (with an unidentified kill) was observed at a distance from the Avenue Tower.

Heading back towards Ayrshire, a Barn Owl was noted at the A76 roadside just south of Close burn (Marco McGinty)

SHORE LARKS stage a welcome return

In what was the worst winter for SHORE LARKS in Britain for over 30 years, the 2009 season has been boosted by a return to form with over 30 birds. Flocks include 14-18 at Holkham Gap and 3 at Holme Beach in North Norfolk and up to 7 at Theddlethorpe Dunes in North Lincolnshire (pictured above by Darren Ward).

Draycote Water Update

The GREAT NORTHERN DIVER is still present at Draycote Water (Warks) along with the drake NORTH AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL (pictured above by Dave Hutton). The latter is with Common Teal in Toft Bay.
The Country Park is only accessible on foot. Park in the main car park (£2.00 per day) and walk along the dam to the right of the entrance for about a mile to view.

BAIRD'S SANDPIPER again in East Lothian

The juvenile BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was this afternoon feeding with Dunlin and Sanderling at Whitesands Bay, east of Dunbar. (Colin Davison). This is the first time this bird has been seen in a couple of weeks.

Seawatching from the Kent side of the Thames Estuary in a strong NNW wind

Foreness Point: 3 Balearic Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Leach's Petrel, 2 Pom Skuas, 3 Velvet Scoter, 3 GN Diver, BT Diver, 80 RT Diver, 21 Little Gulls, 3 Arctic Skua, 18 Bonxies, 3 Eider, Med Gull

Reculver Towers (08:20-12:20): Balearic Shearwater, 2 Pom Skuas, 3 GN Divers, 20 Little Gulls, 22 Bonxies, Shag & 504 Kittiwake

Shellness, Sheppey (up to12:30): 4 Balearic Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, 2 Pom Skuas, 22 Bonxies

Amazing that reports tally so well between watchpoints, especially Poms and Bonxies (Adam Whitehouse, Kentbirding)


Although it took three weeks for its true identity to be realised, this well-marked juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPER has been showing very well at the north end of the Exe Estuary at Topsham, on the stretch of river between the M5 bridge and the Recreation Ground. Rob Laughton provided these excellent images.

GREAT NORTHERN DIVER for second day - Brogborough Lake

Paul Anness has just called to say that he FAILED in very strong, freezing NNW winds to locate the 'sub-adult' GREAT NORTHERN DIVER in nearly an hours search early afternoon but Lol and Bob rang to say it certainly was there but difficult late morning. The 7 GREATER SCAUP were still present at the west end and Roy Nye saw a female-type COMMON SCOTER

Willen lake has 10 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS (four drakes) (Rob Hill)
Neil Wright provided the image from yesterday afternoon.

Exceptionally late BLYTH'S REED WARBLER on Shetland

An extremely late BLYTH'S REED WARBLER was present and photographed (by Roger Riddington) at Quendale Burn (Shetland) yesterday (see for three of Roger's superb images)


A SPOTTED SANDPIPER is present for at least its third day in the Clyde Recording Area 1.5 miles west of Killearn on Endrick Water (on a shingle bank along the river) west of the Blane Water confluence. Park in the layby by the B834 bridge and walk 200 yards or more north across the muddy field. It is an adult still retaining a few 'summer' spots.

Frequent updates on the presence or otherwise of this Scottish vagrant can be found by phoning Birdline Scotland on 09068 700234.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Dungeness Long-stayers

A GREAT WHITE EGRET has now been present at Denge Marsh for several months now, along with two first-winter GLOSSY IBISES which have taken to frequenting pools along the main access track to the RSPB reserve. There is also a long-staying CATTLE EGRET in the sheep fields thereabouts and on the opposite side of the road, at the ARC Pit, several PENDULINE TITS have been seen irregularly from the Hanson Hide (best early mornings and of course in good weather)

POMARINE SKUA on the Severn

This impressive beast - a near-adult pale morph POMARINE SKUA is present for at least its fifth day in the Severn Estuary - showing extremely well at Beachley (Gloucs) at Sedbury Cliffs (park at the end of Loop Road and take the muddy footpath to the shore and look to the south of the reedbed at ST 550 918).
There are many more of Dave Pearce's fantastic images on the Gloster Birder website (click link opposite)

FRANKLIN'S GULL report on the Thames

A 2nd-winter FRANKLIN'S GULL flew south across the River Thames at Canvey Point (Essex) at 0930 hours; it was seen by 2 SOG birders, Don Petrie and Mike Bailey


SPOTTED SANDPIPERS are in vogue with three on offer at present: a long-staying first-winter in Peldon Bay, Abberton Reservoir (Essex) (permit access only available from the Birdwatching Centre to Essex Birdwatching Society members) (photographed in flight above by Sean Nixon) and further first-winters at Lower Brook, ENE of Mottisfont (Hants) (feeding on the lawn and drive of the large landscaped garden by the River Test at SU 339 278 (here at and accessed from Stonemarsh car park just north of the pub half a mile north) and at the north end of the Exe Estuary between the M5 bridge and the Recreation Ground at Topsham (South Devon)

Rarities on offer in the LONDON area

Two first-winter or female EUROPEAN SERINS are loosely associating with a wintering flock of up to 63 Goldfinches at Rainham Marsh (Essex) - the RSPB's undoubted flagship reserve. The birds, although difficult to see and locate, are frequenting the weeds in the region of the 1.6 km marker post west along the seawall coastal footpath and may be seen when they perch on the numerous Elder bushes in that area, particularly those visible from the ''Serin Mound''. Simon Knight obtained this latest image of one of the birds yesterday.

Meanwhile, at the opposite side of London, the first-winter BROWN SHRIKE continues its residence at the north end of Staines Moor (Middlesex). It has now acquired a beautiful rich buff wash to its underparts and is slowly moulting out its barred upperpart feathers and has a well developed black mask. The footpath is now particularly sodden and extremely muddy making Wellington Boots an essential aid, especially if walking in from Hithermoor Road in Stanwell Moor. Darren Ward obtained the image above.

Storms continue to drive LEACH'S PETRELS inshore

Wave after wave of storm-tossed LEACH'S PETRELS

This morning, a relatively short stretch of the South Coast has produced a 'wreck' of LEACH'S PETRELS, including 18 or more off Avon Beach at Christchurch (Dorset), at least 10 off Milford-on-Sea (Hants) and at least 6 off Weston Shore (Hants). Up to 35 are 'stranded' between Weymouth Bay, Chesil Cove and Abbotsbury Swannery and all following on from the 'wreck' earlier in the week that saw at least 14 in the Bristol Channel that reached as far east up the Severn Estuary as Slimbridge (and of course harboured Britain's second ever Black or White-bellied Storm Petrel. The Leach's Petrel photographed above was present off Westcliff-on-Sea, Southend (Essex), yesterday by Simon Knight.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Dungeness Today

Visited Dunge at first light this morning and was extremely pleased to see a pair of Penduline Tits feeding on the reedmace to the left of the Hanson Hide, ARC pit between 07:40-07:50. I managed a few poor record shots of both birds that I'll post on my blog later (

Most of the birds on the ARC were huddled up in the reeds as a near gale force wind blew in from the sea, but I did manage a single female Goldeneye. Moving onto the entrance track I got distant views of the 2 Glossy Ibis at the west end of the 1st pit down from Boulderwall Farm. A Marsh harrier seemed to be continually harassing then so they were quite mobile. Despite checking Denge Marsh on arrival and departure I failed to find the GW Egret, but as I could barely stand up in the wind there I wouldn't blame him for sitting it out in the reeds!I had to visit Graveney mid-morning (11:30) and stopped briefly at Seasalter to see if I could see any Snow Buntings. Nine were quickly located on the beach in front of the huts by The Sportsman pub, a nice flock with about 50% being males. (Adam Whitenouse)