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

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Friday, 26 February 2010

Today's KENT summary - Adam Whitehouse

Birchington: 7 Tundra Bean Geese, 7 WF Geese, Hen Harrier at Brook's End

Dungeness RSPB: 2 Bittern, 2 BN Grebe, 2 Slav Grebe, 10 Smew, Scaup (fem), Water Pipit

Oare Marshes KWT: Smew (redhead), Spotted Redshank, 2x Hen harrier (m & f).

Iceland Gull (imm), 100m E of Faversham Creek towards Castle Coote yesterday (+ 6 Ruff)

Pegwell Bay: Caspian Gull (1w), 3 Hen Harrier, 4 Twite, Merlin

Reculver: 16 Snow Buntings, 3 Berwick's Swans over

Sandwich Bay: Hen Harrier (f)

Sevenoaks WR: 3 Bitterns

West Malling: BN Grebe, on lake in Manor Park (24/02) (per Ian Hardy)

Friday Review of Week 8 - first PIED-BILLED GREBE since 2002

WAXWINGS are always popular with birders and this latest crop of birds is no different. These gorgeous images were taken in Lincolnshire by Glyn Sellors

A PIED-BILLED GREBE was discovered by Davey Farrar at Lough Gur (County Limerick) on Saturday 20 February and relocated and confirmed by him on Thursday 25 February. It represented the fifth record for Ireland, with the last individual in Britain now as long ago as May 2002 !

Despite exhaustive searching today, the bird has not been seen again.

DIRECTIONS: Lough Gur can be accessed by turning off the N20 at Charleville and continuing through Kilmallock and Bruff. The lake is signposted from Bruff and once at the site, take the woodland walk to your left leading down the east side of the shore, pass Crannog Island and then keep walking until the ''Beware of the Bull'' sign. The bird was keeping to the vegetated edge of the small island but was typically elusive.

In West Yorkshire, a 3rd-winter RING-BILLED GULL remains for a third day at Sands Lane GP (SE 217 196), between Mirfield and Ravensthorpe SE of Shepley Bridge - a rare opportunity to catch up with this species in the county.

The flock of 22 TAIGA BEAN GEESE continue to graze close to the road between Coxwold and Byland (SE 546 776) (North Yorkshire), with 7 still roaming Shetland and 73 still in the Slamannan area (Forth), whilst TUNDRA BEAN GEESE include 7 at Brook's End, Birchington (North Kent), 7 at Keyhaven Marshes (Hants) and a singleton with Greylag Geese at Charlecote GP (Warks).

A very confiding drake AMERICAN WIGEON has been showing all week on the Whooper Pond near the centre at Caerlaverock WWT (Dumfries & Galloway) whilst elsewhere in Scotland, the female RING-NECKED DUCK is still on Ancum Loch, North Ronaldsay (Orkney), an adult drake LESSER SCAUP is on Hogganfield Loch (Clyde), 3 SNOW GEESE are on the Cromarty Firth (Inverness), two KING EIDERS are off Burghead (Moray) and two drake SURF SCOTERS are in Largo Bay (Fife).

The juvenile ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD is still taking advantage of the abundance of Field Voles on Thorpe Marshes, NW of the A143 east of Haddiscoe (Norfolk), with another nearby on Haddiscoe Island (Suffolk), viewed from Waveney Forest.

An elusive LITTLE BUNTING is with Chaffinches at Polbathic (Cornwall), favouring setaside fields opposite Sconner Farm on the A374 at SX 366 564, with another on Lundy Island (North Devon) in recent days and the long-staying garden-feeder at Dunnet (Caithness).

The adult Red-breasted Goose of unknown origin remains with Dark-bellied Brent Geese north of Powderham church (South Devon), the adult female SURF SCOTER nearby off Dawlish Warren (South Devon), adult drake LESSER SCAUP and drake NORTH AMERICAN BLACK DUCK on Colliford Lake (Cornwall) and 2 CATTLE EGRETS at Brew Farm, Sennen (Cornwall).

The long-staying first-winter GREAT WHITE EGRET was at Peterstone Wentlooge (Gwent) again today, with the adult drake LESSER SCAUP again on the East Lake at Cosmeston Lakes CP (Glamorgan), the juvenile BLACK KITE of unknown origin at Gigrin Farm, Rhayader (Powys) and a first-winter female LESSER SCAUP on Eglwys Nunydd Reservoir (Glamorgan). In North Wales, the lone SHORE LARK remains on the beach by the end of the boardwalk between Point of Ayr and Gronant (Clwyd)

After a dearth of sightings throughout much of January, February has seen an influx of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, with twitchable birds today in Dalton-in-Furness (Cumbria) (3 on King Street), Newcastle-upon-Tyne (7 in the swimming pool car park at Byker), Tamworth (Staffs) (3 in Shelton Street), in Carlton Colville (Suffolk) (2 near the Veterinary Centre), at West Mersea (Essex) (two in the British Legion car park on Barfield Road) and a singleton in Central London by the Total Garage forecourt in Regents Park Road, Finchley. A further singleton was in the back garden of 56 Lower Brook Street, Long Eaton (Derbyshire).

Both the RED-NECKED GREBE and the drake RING-NECKED DUCK remain at Pugney's Country Park (West Yorks), with drake American Green-winged Teals at Tain (Inverness), Druridge Pools (Northumberland) and at Eyebrook Reservoir (Northants), a SLAVONIAN GREBE at Feckenham Wylde Moor (Worcs) (access from Moors Lane) and an adult RED-NECKED GREBE on Langold Lake (Notts).

A NORTHERN GREY SHRIKE is present for a third day close to the A607 at Welbourn (Lincs) (in fields opposite the pond at the road junction).

In North Norfolk, an immature Glaucous Gull has been moving between Cromer and Cley, with a first-winter Black Redstart on West Runton undercliff, 135 Snow Buntings in Salthouse Beach car park, 2 Black Brants at Wells Pitch & Putt course, 16 SHORE LARKS at Holkham Gap and the adult white morph GREATER SNOW GOOSE south of Holme Broadwater. A single TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE can still be found at Welney Refuge (with 3 COMMON CRANES nearby at Lakenheath Fen)

An adult EURASIAN SPOONBILL is at Lodmoor (Dorset) today, with up to 6 at Isley Marsh RSPB, Yelland (North Devon) and 8 at Middlebere, Poole Harbour (Dorset), and a mobile bird in Suffolk. At least five more are wintering in Cornwall. A COMMON CRANE flew north over Stotfold (Beds) at 1416 hours yesterday afternoon and was seen again today east of the A1 just north of Biggleswade.

An EGYPTIAN GOOSE is an exceptional record for Shetland with one still remaining at Seafield, Lerwick, frequenting the rocks brtween Tesco and Wishart House (first record for the archipelago and first located at Oraquoy on 23 February)

Relating back to IRELAND, the drake GARGANEY photographed above remains at Harbour Point, Little Island (Co. Cork), both adult and first-winter RING-BILLED GULLS at Cuskinney Marsh, Great island (Co. Cork), the COMMON CRANE at the west end of Kilcolman Reserve (Co. Cork), an adult EURASIAN SPOONBILL in Cromane Harbour (Co. Kerry) and the adult winter FORSTER'S TERN in Galway Harbour off Mutton Island causeway.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

COMMON CRANE in Bedfordshire today

At 2:15 today while watching the somewhat depleted flock of corn buntings a COMMON CRANE came into view over Stotfold. It spent at least ten minutes soaring and turning to gain height before heading off in a northerly direction towards Biggleswade. Really great views as it was only about a hundred feet high at first. Just wish I had taken my DSLR or digiscope with me! Never mind, it looked absolutely majestic in binocs. (Dave Hawkins)

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

HOOPOE - 251 for the year

Considering the continuing winter weather, it was with great surprise to hear of the first EURASIAN HOOPOES this week, with perhaps two individuals arriving - one in West Cornwall (Cape Cornwall on 21st February) and another on Scilly (on St Mary's today)

The adult drake BAIKAL TEAL remains in County Wexford today, along with the long-staying North American Green-winged Teal and GLOSSY IBIS and the LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER discovered at the weekend

Friday, 19 February 2010

Friday's Rarity Round-up

In SE IRELAND in County Wexford, the drake BAIKAL TEAL has reappeared, showing well for much of the day in 'Forgotten Corner' at Tacumshin. Nearby, the first-winter GLOSSY IBIS is still present, showing between Forgotten Corner and the East End.

In County Galway, the adult winter FORSTER'S TERN and up to 5 Sandwich Terns remain in Galway Bay, adjacent to the Mutton Island causeway, with 1-2 adult RING-BILLED GULLS at Nimmo's Pier slipway.

Much farther north, in County Donegal, the adult drake DRESSER'S or NORTH AMERICAN EIDER remains with 314 Common Eiders in Glassagh Bay, just SW of Fanad Head.

The best that Britain has to offer this weekend in terms of fresh content is the London/Essex DUSKY WARBLER and a LITTLE BUNTING in Cornwall.

The DUSKY WARBLER is frequenting the scant vegetation at the eastern flank of the Relief Channel to the NE of Lockwood Reservoir as well as the dense scrub at the south end of Tottenham Marshes Common and is best accessed from Ferry Lane in Walthamstow. A permit must be obtained from the Fishermen's Lodge on the south side of the A503 (£1.00 charge) and from opposite the Ferry Boat Inn, cross the road and walk north on the east side of the reservoir to the gate in the NE corner at RQ 356 907 - a 25 minute walk each way.

A LITTLE BUNTING, discovered yesterday, is present in setaside opposite Sconner Farm, off of the A374, east of Polbathic on the River Lynher valley.

And now for a summary of the rest of the news........

At least 5 CATTLE EGRETS remain in Cornwall, with 3 near Truro on the Tresilian River, 1-2 at Brew Farm, near Sennen (SW 371 251) and another on the Camel Estuary at Wadebridge, whilst GREAT WHITE EGRETS continue to be found at Cardiff (Glamorgan) (today at Newport Wetlands NNR, Gwent), on the Harbridge Water Meadows, Ibsley (Hants), at Shapwick Heath NNR (Somerset), on Worth Marshes, Sandwich Bay (East Kent) and at Pitsford Reservoir (Northants).

Three SNOW GEESE are wintering with Pink-footed Geese and Icelandic Greylag Geese in the Cromarty Firth, with the regular adult with Greylag Geese in Argyll and the four adult Lesser Snows with Greylag at Leighton Moss RSPB (Lancs). A further wintering adult Greater Snow is with Pink-footed Geese in the Choseley and Holkham areas of North Norfolk.

Hard packed snow and ice in Scandinavia is forcing many early returning TAIGA BEAN GEESE to make new arrangements, with at least 7 staging in Shetland and 22 in Yorkshire, in fields between Byland and Coxwold. A large number (93+) also remains in the Yare Valley (Norfolk), with 63 still at Slammannan (Forth). TUNDRA BEAN GEESE are also well represented, with several small groups on Shetland, and parties of 19 at Trimley Marshes SWT (Suffolk) and 9 at Keyhaven Marshes along Iley Lane (Hants). The only SMALL CANADA GEESE outside Ireland this winter are 1-2 on Islay (Argyll), with Barnacle Geese in the Loch Gruinart area, with 15 BLACK BRANTS to choose from and the adult RED-BREASTED GOOSE of unknown origin still on the Exe Estuary at Dawlish Warren (South Devon).

The adult drake NORTH AMERICAN BLACK DUCK reappeared this week on Bodmin Moor (Cornwall), showing well with Mallard at the north end on the Loveney Reserve, whilst the drake AMERICAN WIGEON at Caerlaverock WWT has been giving a fine performance on the Whooper Pond (see the excellent images above). A number of drake NORTH AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEALS continue, with performers at Eyebrook Reservoir (Leics) and Budds Farm Sewage Treatment Works (Hants), with the drake LESSER SCAUP at Colliford Lake (Cornwall) and the first-winter female at Eglwys Nunnydd Reservoir (Glamorgan) and RING-NECKED DUCKS at Loch Evelix (Highland), Pugney's CP (West Yorks), Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park (Cleveland), Whitlingham Country Park Great Broad (Norfolk) and Llyn Pencarreg.. Bob Proctor recorded two KING EIDERS in Burghead Bay (Moray) on 18 February, both sub-adults, with SURF SCOTERS including two drakes still in the Sound of Taransay (Harris), two drakes in Largo Bay (Fife), 1-2 drakes in North Wales off Pensarn (Clwyd) and the long-staying adult female off Dawlish Warren (South Devon).

The juvenile BLACK KITE of unknown origin continues to feed with Red Kites at the Gigrin Farm centre, Rhayader (Powys) (photographed above by Gary Thoburn), with 3 wintering juvenile ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARDS still taking advantage of the bumper surplus of Field Voles on the Suffolk/Norfolk border at Thorpe and Gedgrave Marshes. Sadly, the first-winter male GYRFALCON on Islay (Argyll) died of starvation.

A vagrant adult COMMON CRANE favoured sheep fields in the Lewes Brooks area, commuting between either side of the Ouse river SE of Southease, accessed from the A26 (East Sussex), whilst first-winter LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS remain at Burton Marsh (Cheshire) (since 14 February) and at Maer Lake, Bude Marshes (Cornwall).

White-winged gulls remained remarkably scarce, particularly Iceland Gulls, whilst the adult male SNOWY OWL reappeared on Lewis (Outer Hebrides) on 17 February.

Up to 18 SHORE LARKS remain in Holkham Bay (North Norfolk), with 2 more at Snettisham RSPB (Norfolk), with up to 60 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS in the belated influx and larger numbers of BLACK REDSTARTS in winter than usual. The first-winter female BLACK-THROATED THRUSH continues to make frequent visits to the front gardens in Mires Road in Newholm village, just west of Whitby (North Yorks), with a EURASIAN PENDULINE TIT briefly at Rainham Marshes RSPB (London) on 15 February, two days after the ringed female was last reported at Grove Ferry NNR (Kent).

No less than 16 NORTHERN GREY SHRIKES remain on winter territory, including four in Wales, with the first-winter ROSE-COLOURED STARLING still in Kendal (Cumbria) and the wintering LITTLE BUNTING in the private garden in Dunnet (Caithness).

London DUSKY WARBLER still there

Lockwood DUSKY WARBLER still showing very well at top of right side of Relief channel by Lockood Reservoir this morning. Keeping very low down in brambles and grass and walking along top of concrete relief channel bank. View from left side of channel. It was initially 200m N of bridge, but gradually came closer to me until it was directly opposite me by the bridge, calling frequently. Loosely associated with 2/3 'wall-creeping' Wrens

Also SLAVONIAN GREBE - 1, S end of Lockwood, Goosander (3 females), Goldeneye 10+ Shoveler, Shelduck (pair) (Neil Murphy)

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

SNOWY OWL reappears on Lewis

Martin Scott was delighted to see this SNOWY OWL staring him in the face this morning as he looked from his window in Brue, Lewis (Outer Hebrides). One of the resident birds, this was the first time it had shown up this year.

GARGANEY reinstated - species 250

Following my announcement relating to the Dorset drake GARGANEY (now considered to be most likely of captive origin), M.Chase, John McLoughlin, Ross Ahmed and Rare Bird Alert have very kindly provided details of a drake at Brandesburton GP (East Yorks) on 17-19 January 2010 and on Hornsea Mere (East Yorks) on 7 February 2010 and a further drake in Staffordshire at Branston GP on 31 January 2010 - so the total of species for the year has finally reached 250

London@Essex DUSKY WARBLER still present today

An early morning trip up to Lockwood Reservoir this morning with Sean Minns proved highly successful. The DUSKY WARBLER performed intermittently from 07.45 to 09.30 when it appeared to fly across the Flood Relief Channel towards the allotments. It became increasingly vocal as the morning progressed. For most of the time it kept very low down in scrub and grass along the concrete edge of the channel. Ranging c.300m. A scope was essential. Morning light was excellent. At its closest it was c.15m away. This is a new Essex species for both of us. We parked in the Water Company Compound, bought a £1.00 permit and entered via the gate on the N side of the road. The walk due N is about 20 minutes keeping Lockwood on your left. Look on the right hand side of the Flood Relief Channel due NE of the top of the res. COMMON CHIFFCHAFF also present but this bird was more active and hunted at a higher elevation. For some time there appeared to be a loose association. On Lockwood were: SLAVONIAN GREBE (in front of brightly painted block of flats) EGYPTIAN GEESE 2 GREEN SANDPIPER (per Graham Ekins)

Monday, 15 February 2010

Some new shots of the Donegal DRESSER'S EIDER

Cumbrian birder Craig Shaw visited County Donegal this weekend and managed to get these images of the DRESSER'S EIDER (NORTH AMERICAN EIDER) wintering with the 314 Common Eiders in Glassagh Bay, just SW of Fanad Head. Tristan Reid and Craig also saw the BLUE SNOW GOOSE wintering with Greylag Geese on Inch Levels Lake nearby.


The ringed female PENDULINE TIT (photographed above by Marc Heath) was last seen from the David Feast Hide at Grove Ferry early Saturday afternoon, whilst a PENDULINE TIT spent 20 minutes feeding on reedmace in front of the hide at Rainham Marshes RSPB (Essex) late morning today.


Local patchworker Lol Boldini located a DUSKY WARBLER in allotments opposite Lockwood Reservoir (London) on Sunday and the bird was still present and showing intermittently all afternoon today. This is the first Dusky Warbler ever recorded in the London Area and was excellently photographed by Roy Woodward this evening (see above). It is favouring the scrub on the east side of the Flood Relief Channel at Tottenham Marsh.

It replaces Garganey as the 249th species of 2010, the former having to be deleted as the recent drake in Dorset is now widely regarded as being a long-term escape from a nearby collection.

NORTH AMERICAN EIDER still wintering in County Donegal

I have just returned from another great days birding in County Donegal where once again excellent views of the DRESSER'S or NORTH AMERICAN EIDER were obtained at Glassagh Bay Fanad Head. Paul Kelly managed some good shots yesterday and these can be viewed at
(contributed by Derek Charles)

Saturday, 13 February 2010

WAXWING reaches Isle of Scilly

With a flurry of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS arriving in Britain this week, being pushed further south from Finland, after berry stocks there started to run dry, one bird has made it all the way down on to Scilly - showing in Hugh Town, St Mary's, this morning

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Wintering male New Forest NORTHERN GREY SHRIKE

Strayed over the border into Hants this morning intending to do the Eyeworth/Homsley/Ibsley circuit. Only got as far as Holmsley as the Goosanders at Eyeworth were great and the time flew past. Had a bit of luck at Holmsley as I managed to locate the wintering NORTHERN GREY SHRIKE in one of his larders. Shrike pics at (Aidan)

CAMBS: TWITES still present

Still 2 TWITE at Paxton 8.20 this morning at SW corner of Pump House Pit. cohorting with a small flock of Goldfinch


1 Green Sandpiper
1 Dunlin
1 pr Smew
1 Little Egret
1 Partial albino Redwing (Head, lesser, median and greater coverts appeared normal, majority of rest of teh bird was white) possibly the most impressive bird I have seen this year! (Mark Peck)

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


A PENDULINE TIT has been seen from the Feast Hide, Grove Ferry on a couple of occasions today (11:25 & 15:15 per BirdGuides) - probably wishing it was in the hide on a day like today (is there much snow in the east of the county? A few showers in the west but nothing settling) (per Adam Whitehouse)

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


The west of IRELAND continues to offer an excellent variety of scarcities, headlining with a juvenile THAYER'S GULL at Ross Beach, 5 kms east of Cleggan (County Galway). This bird is favouring the two sets of fish cages in Ballygakill Harbour, the closest of which is 400 yards offshore of Ross Beach, but also frequently visits the beach adjacent to the inlet stream, where superb views can be afforded.

DIRECTIONS: Leaving the N59 north of Clifden at Moyard, turn right at the T-junction at the extreme east end of Ballynakill Lough. Follow signs marked for the 'Judo Club' and after passing the bay to the right, continue NW along the narrow lane to its end.

In County Donegal, a drake NORTH AMERICAN EIDER is consorting with 314 Common Eiders at the east end of Glassagh Bay, 2.5 kms SW of Fanad Head. The flock also has at least 5 Northern-type Eiders within its ranks, and the flock frequently breaks up into 5 or 6 smaller groups. Calm sea conditions are required, and visits are best coinciding with an incoming tide.

Galway Bay continues to harbour the wintering adult FORSTER'S TERN off Mutton Island causeway, whilst nearby at Nimmo's Pier slipway, 3 adult RING-BILLED GULLS remain, along with a very elusive and intermittent adult NORTH AMERICAN HERRING GULL.

A single RICHARDSON'S CANADA GOOSE remains in the Ballintemple/Lissadell area of County Mayo, but the adult winter Bonaparte's Gull at Baltimore (Co. Cork) seems to have disappeared this week. Two juvenile EURASIAN SPOONBILLS remain at Courtmacsherry (Co. Cork).

A fresh wave of bitter NE winds and snow showers has heralded a belated arrival of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS in Britain, with 4-5 in Orkney at Stromness Primary School, 3 in Northfield Farm Avenue, Edinburgh (Lothian), 2 at Scotstoun Leisure Centre, Glasgow (Clyde) (at NS 537 675), 2 showing well near the Retirement home along Top Street, Stretham (Cambs), 2 at Holme NOA (Norfolk), with singles at Houghton-le-Spring (Durham), on Violet Road, Norwich (Norfolk), Ingoldisthorpe (Norfolk) and at Snape (Suffolk).

A PENDULINE TIT was seen briefly at Grove Ferry NNR (Kent) this morning (in bullrushes by the Feast Hide), with the LITTLE BUNTING still in the private garden at Dunnet (Caithness) and the first-winter female BLACK-THROATED THRUSH still present in Newholm, just west of Whitby (North Yorks), at the weekend.

Up to 3 ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARDS are frequenting the extensive grazing marshes on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, with regular birds at Thorpe Marshes north of the A143 between Haddiscoe and St Olaves and at Gedgrave Marshes nearby, accessed through Waveney Forest. A further wintering male is in the Coveney area (Cambs).

Hampshire has been rewarding birders with some quality birding in recent days, with a party of 9 TUNDRA BEAN GEESE taking top billing, showing distantly with 3 Eurasian White-fronted Geese in grassy fields along Iley Lane, Keyhaven, 800m north of the lower balancing pond, with 19 Black-necked Grebes and a Velvet Scoter off Hayling Oyster Beds,.with 3 Velvet Scoters still off Hill Head, Titchfield Haven, and the redhead Smew still on Rockford Lake, Blashford. The drake NORTH AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL remains at Budds Farm Sewage Works.

NORTH AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEALS have also included single drakes at Graemeshall Loch (Orkney Mainland), Holme NOA (Norfolk) and at Eyebrook Reservoir (Leics), with female RING-NECKED DUCKS on North Tonaldsay (Orkney) and at Pencarreg Lake (Carmarthenshire).

The singing male NORTHERN GREY SHRIKE continues to show well on the wires crossing Holmsley Inclosure, in the New Forest (Hants) (SU 222 018), with just seven others reported in the past week.

Wintering SHORE LARKS include 16 at the east end of Holkham Gap (Norfolk), 4 at Cliffe Marshes RSPB (North Kent), 3 at Coalhouse Fort, East Tilbury (Essex), 2 at Snettisham RSPB (Norfolk) and a single at Kessingland North Beach (Suffolk), whilst 3 TWITE remain inland at Diddington Pit, Paxton Pits NR (Cambs).

In East Kent, a TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE remains by the River Stour at Chilham (viewable from the A28 at TR 087 544, with a party of 6 just west of Rollesby (Norfolk) south of the A149 at TG 435 165.

A drake LESSER SCAUP is the best offering in the West Country, showing well on Dozmary Pool, Bodmin (Cornwall) at SX 194 744, with the three first-winter GLOSSY IBISES still at Catcott Lows NR (Somerset) and 5 CATTLE EGRETS at two sites - Tresemple Pool (SW 852 442) and Brew Pool, Sennen - in Cornwall.

In South Wales, the GREAT WHITE EGRET continues to frequent ditches at Castleton Court, St Mellons, near Cardiff (Glamorgan), with the juvenile BLACK KITE still showing very well from mid-afternoon at the Red Kite Feeding Station at Gigrin Farm, Rhyader (Powys) (see Gary Thoburn's stunning shots above).

Scotland has had a relatively lean period of late, with the BLACK-THROATED DIVER still on Forfar Loch (Dundee) this morning, at least 74 Taiga Bean Geese still at Slamannan (Forth), the white morph SNOW GOOSE in stubble by the River Carron near Skinflats Lagoon (Forth)

The two wintering Sandwich Terns in Chichester Harbour were present off Selsey Bill (West Sussex) this morning, with two more in Galway Bay with the Forster's Tern.

Grafham Water (Cambs) still has 3 wintering GREAT NORTHERN DIVERS and the two young drake VELVET SCOTERS, whilst a SLAVONIAN GREBE remains for a second day on Welton Water watersports pit (East Yorks).

Friday, 5 February 2010

Dungeness today

Today's highlights were provided by four Smew, 15 Goosanders at the eastern end of the ARC pit, two Slavonian Grebes, two Black-necked Grebes, three Bitterns (one at the ARC site, one on New Excavations and one at Hooker's pits) and two Peregrines (Christine Hawkins, Visitor Centre Manager, RSPB Dungeness)


The adult winter BONAPARTE'S GULL was again present by the north pier at Baltimore from 2.30 - 3.00 this afterenoon at least, although there was no sign of it either there or at the fish factory between 10 & 11 this morning. 1st wGlaucous & 4 Meds (ad, 2nd w & 2x1st w) also seen around the pier today (Julian Wylie)

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The Baltimore BONAPARE'S GULL - Ciaran Cronin


The Baltimore Harbour BONAPARTE'S GULL was present again this afternoon, giving point blank views at the north pier in Baltimore between 2 & 3 o'clock at least. It was with nine Black-headed Gulls and two Common Gulls and was generally the closest bird to the pier. However, there was no sign of it between 11 & 11.30 this morning (a first winter Mediterranean Gull was there then though) and I didn't get around to checking the B-h Gull roost this evening (Julian Wylie)

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


For anyone interested, the Baltimore BONAPARTE'S GULL was there again today but, like yesterday, disappeared at around 2.30. I did a pretty thoroughsearch of the Black-headed Gull roost between Sherkin and Baltimore this afternoon but, again as yesterday, no joy. So if anyone was thinking of heading down to Baltimore, I'd suggest getting there late morning - it was giving superb views yesterday lunchtime in the exact same spot as the IvoryGull and by all accounts, today as well (per Ciaran Cronin). I'll be checking again tomorrow morning and will post news as soon as (Julian Wylie)

Irish THAYER'S GULL and Yorkshire BLACK-THROATED THRUSH still share top billing

January 2010 saw a grand total of 248 species recorded in Britain and Ireland, including 5 in Ireland only.

The rarest bird of January continues to be the juvenile THAYER'S GULL in County Galway, commuting between Ross Beach and the offshore fish cages. The bird is highly mobile and very erratic in its appearances and is often difficult to locate, this weekend's twitchers only locating it with half an hour of daylight to spare. Galway also boasts its regular wintering adult winter FORSTER'S TERN off Mutton Island causeway, with the erratic adult NORTH AMERICAN HERRING GULL nearby at Nimmo's Pier, and 3 very showy and photogenic adult RING-BILLED GULLS.

In County Cork, an adult BONAPARTE'S GULL has been showing well today between the North pier and the old boatyard in Baltimore Harbour, whilst the first apparent PACIFIC DIVER for Ireland was photographed off the Galway Sailing Club, Oranmore, at Rinville Point (Co. Galway) on Sunday (Michael Davis et al, see images at A female RUDDY SHELDUCK of unknown origin was at Gibraltar Point, Cummeen Strand (Co. Sligo) this morning

In Britain, the first-winter female BLACK-THROATED THRUSH continues to be the star attraction and performer, frequently visiting the front gardens of Mires Road in Newholm, just west of Whitby (North Yorks), for its daily fill of apples and other fruits. It favours mostly the gardens of Danesfield and Glen View (numbers 3 and 5 respectively) and appears perhaps once every hour to feed. PARK ONLY in the village hall car park and do not act in a way to bring birders into disrepute at this highly suburban location.

In Cumbria, the juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING has been relocated in Kendal, showing well on and off in the front garden of 8 Rusland Park (please respect the privacy of residents), whilst the other wintering bird in Forest Hill, just east of Oxford (Oxon), continues to favour the chimney stack and back garden of 21 Mickle Way. The only LITTLE BUNTING this winter remains that in Caithness, still visiting seed in a back garden in Dunnet (please contact LGRE direct for visiting instructions).

The majestic white morph GYRFALCON is still visiting its favoured plucking and roosting perch on Mackenzie Island, Poertnahavern on Islay (Argyll), whilst the only KING EIDER seemingly around is that off Burghead (Moray). In Powys, the juvenile BLACK KITE-type of unknown origin is continuing to visit the Gigrin Farm Red Kite feeding session in the afternoons.

Whitlingham Country Park just south of Norwich (Norfolk) continues to host a female RING-NECKED DUCK on Great Broad, along with a RED-NECKED GREBE, juvenile GREAT NORTHERN DIVER, redhead Smew and first-winter drake Greater Scaup, whilst a scattering of TUNDRA BEAN GEESE include a party of 6 at Lackford Lakes SWT (Suffolk) and 7 with Pink-footed Geese by the A149/B1152 junction at Rollesby (Norfolk). Another is at Welney Refuge (Norfolk). Up to 3 ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARDS have been appearing at Chedgrave Marshes on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, best located from the raised bank west of Forest Lodge inside Waveney Forest at TG 461 012

In Cornwall, the drake LESSER SCAUP has relocated from Dozmary Pool to the Loveney Reserve at Colliford Lake on Bodmin Moor

A Great Bustard from the reintroduction scheme (marked yellow tag 22) remains on Tealham Moor (Somerset) (see Gary Thoburn's image above)

A trio of CATTLE EGRETS continue west of the Tresillian River, Truro (Cornwall), this afternoon, easily viewable from the footpath south of Tresemple Pond (SW 852 442), with two more around Brew Farm near Sennen (West Cornwall)

It has possibly been one of the best ever winters for seeing EURASIAN BITTERNS in Britain, with well over 80 birds recorded in total, and with ice forming again on many inland waters, birds are reappearing at many sites, including 4 at Amwell NR (Herts) and on 70 Acres Lake, Lea Valley CP (Essex) and at least 5 at Marazion Marsh RSPB (Cornwall). The cold weather has also finally spurned on many SMEW to disperse west to Britain, with up to 100 now present.

The adult female SURF SCOTER is still to be found off Dawlish Warren (South Devon), whilst two adult drakes discovered this weekend have been showing distantly offshore 100 yards west of the cafe on Pensarn Promenade (Clwyd). Drake RING-NECKED DUCKS remain at Pugney's Country Park, Wakefield (West Yorks) and Foxcote Reservoir, Buckingham (North Bucks), with a female for a second day on the South Lake at Slimbridge WWT (Gloucs)

Freshwater BLACK-THROATED DIVERS include singles on Lake Lothing, Lowestoft (Suffolk), Swanton Morley GP (Norfolk) (on Holkham lake at TG 015 193), with BLACK-NECKED GREBES on Crosby Marine Lake (Lancs), Levington Marina Lake (Suffolk), Broom GP (Beds), Staines Reservoirs (Middlesex), Wraysbury Reservoir (Berks), Walton Reservoir (Surrey) and Cheddar Reservoir (Somerset) and SLAVONIAN GREBES at Rutland Water (Leics) and Wraysbury Reservoir (Berks) and GREAT NORTHERN DIVERS including 7 juveniles on King George VI Reservoir (Surrey), 2 on William Girling Reservoir (London) and singles on Carsington Water (Derbyshire), Draycote Water (Warks), Pitsford Reservoir (Northants), Brogborough Lake & Stewartby Lake (Beds). The only other freshwater RED-NECKED GREBE is on the Railway Pit at Hoveringham GP (Notts).

Up to 16 NORTHERN GREY SHRIKES are on winter territories in Britain, including a bird with a larder in the hedgerow lying parallel with the B4015 just west of Chislehampton village (Oxfordshire) (at SU 582 988; please be very careful when parking on this road at the blind bend)

Three TWITE remain for a 6th day at Diddington Pit, Paxton Pits LNR (Cambs), whilst wintering SHORE LARK can still be found at Saltfleetby NNR (North Lincs) (6), the Point of Ayr (Clwyd), Snettisham RSPB (Norfolk) (2), Kessingland North Beach (Suffolk) and at Cliffe Pools RSPB (North Kent) (3). Well inland, one continues on the spoil heap at Middle Hulton (Greater Manchester) but all access has now been denied after birder's activities upset the site owners.

Inland RED KNOT include 5-7 still on Port Meadow Floods, Oxford, and a single at Belvide Reservoir (Staffs)

Monday, 1 February 2010

LOTHIAN Highlights - January 2010

January 2010 Sightings from Birding Lothian - January 2010 was a better than average start to the year, with several notable birds remaining from 2009.

Highlight of the month was the continued presence of the juv / 1st winter Baird's Sandpiper in White Sands Bay, first found in November at Belhaven before moving here, which stayed through most of the bad weather until finally departing soon after the 11th. A Firecrest in Gosford Estate was a really good find on the 17th, and despite being generally elusive provided many with a far from certain year tick staying to at least the months end.Also staying into the new year were the adult female Smew on Linlithgow Loch which with the very cold weather was left on a tiny patch of unfrozen water resulting in some fantastic close views, Black-necked Grebe off Ferny Ness again from the 19th and 2 Water Pipits on the beach at Barns Ness south of the Lighthouse throughout the month.Other notable birds included a 1st winter Glaucous Gull at Broxmouth (Dunbar) on the 9th & 31st, 14 Bean Geese briefly at Musselburgh on the 9th, a Green Sandpiper at Tyninghame from the 17th, and a high count of 30+ Brent Geese past Dunbar on the 24th with 7 also past there on the 14th, 10 over Musselburgh on the 27th and singles at Yellow Craig on the 24th & 28th. A Lapland Bunting near the seawall at Musselburgh from the 23rd - 28th was very popular and showed really well during it's stay pleasing both visiting birders and the counties photographers. In a really poor winter for the species, 4 Waxwings in Edinburgh on the 7th were the only ones reported during the month.

A possible Audouin's Gull west past Musselburgh on the 26th couldn't be ignored, but despite a following search there was no further sign of the bird or any reported candidates.

link for pictures from January -

Kris Gibb

ICELAND GULLS in Peterhead

Three different ICELAND GULLS were at Peterhead Harbour over the weekend, although two of them were present only briefly. I have put some pictures of each bird at: (Chris Gibbins)


The juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING has been showing on and off in Kendal (shows well and close when on view) in the front garden of 8 Rusland Park. and has been present for at least a week. (please respect resident's privacy and park sensibly and courteously).