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

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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

GULL-BILLED TERN now in West Dorset

Mexican House Finch, East Prawle village, South Devon, late June 2010 (James Packer) - Perhaps now, with this coastal movement, more likely a ship-assisted vagrant rather than an escape
One of the adult GULL-BILLED TERNS from Bowling Green Marsh on Monday has relocated to Abbotsbury (West Dorset), where all afternoon and evening it has been showing off of the beach and over the Swannery meadow

In North Norfolk, a CAMBERWELL BEAUTY butterfly continues to attract visitors to Titchwell RSPB, where it is present for its third day around the picnic and information centre area. North Norfolk also hosts a party of EURASIAN SPOONBILLS at Cley NWT Pope's Marsh

Meanwhile, in South Devon, the orange-yellow variant MEXICAN HOUSE FINCH remains in East Prawle village, and in Somerset, the barking male LITTLE BITTERN at Loxton Marsh, Ham Walls RSPB. The breeding pair of PURPLE HERONS are busily feeding 2 or 3 young in the reedbed nest at Denge Marsh (East Kent) (the RSPB has kindly organised a special viewing platform and event, £3.00 for non-members)

An early returning migrant adult PECTORAL SANDPIPER is today on Gretchen Loch, North Ronaldsay (Orkney) (with male Green Sandpipers now returning and becoming widespread) but in North Lincolnshire, there has been no further sign of the first-summer BONMAPARTE'S GULL seen amongst roosting gulls at Far Ings Reserve.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Mexican House Finch still present

The orange-yellow variant MEXICAN HOUSE FINCH remains at East Prawle village in picturesque South Devon. It is loosely associating with House Sparrows and is repeatedly returning to the garden and feeders of 'The Old Cider House', as well as frequently perching on the long roof of 'The Shippen' - all adjacent and just behind the cafe (Piglet Stores) on the village green. The bird appears intermittently and goes missing for long periods of time but repeatedly comes back to the same area of gardens, where it performs very well. It now seems likely that this bird is a ship-assisted arrival from North America, considering its easterly coastal movement between Land's End and Prawle Point, although the possibility of it being an escape still cannot be completely ruled out. Categorization of such an individual is still being looked into, as is that of 21 further species of transatlantic ship-assisted arrivals to Britain and Ireland.

ACCESS INSTRUCTIONS: East Prawle is best accessed from Kingsbridge and the A379, along four miles of very minor and hazardous narrow country lanes. Limited parking is available by the village green upon arrival but please respect the privacy of residents when searching for the bird, preferably avoiding early morning visits. The bird is no longer singing regularly but returns to the gardens perhaps once every two hours, less frequently in the afternoons and evenings.

A pair of GULL-BILLED TERNS were an excellent reward for a local patchworker at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB, Topsham (South Devon) yesterday evening, the two birds remaining until dusk in the high tide gathering of waders, Black-headed Gulls and Sandwich Terns. Just under 25 lucky individuals connected.

Monday, 28 June 2010


A CAMBERWELL BEAUTY butterfly has been seen in the vicinity of the Titchwell RSPB Information Centre this morning whilst belated news concerns a female RED-NECKED PHALAROPE at Maxey GP (Cambs) yesterday

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Dungeness Today

The PURPLE HERONS have been showing beautifully all weekend giving excellent views from the Hooker's pits viewpoint and Denge Marsh hide. A BITTERN continued to boom regularly and on Saturday there was plenty of activity with three individuals seen in flight. At least six Hobbies were seen and the first-summer male RED-FOOTED FALCON was spotted early on Saturday morning - this is actually a different bird than the one seen earlier in the month. A family party of Bearded Tits, several Common Cuckoos, Marsh Harriers and three Common Tern chicks were also of note (Christine Hawkins, Visitor Centre Manager, RSPB Dungeness )

Friday, 25 June 2010

The Friday Review

ROSE-COLOURED STARLINGS are specialities of flaming Junes and this year's representative is a fine adult consorting with Common Starlings in the Porthgwarra and St Levan area of West Cornwall. Meanwhile, a WHITE STORK was seen yesterday morning in a recently cut hayfield by the Millpool turning, 4 miles north of Bodmin (at SX 114 710).

The pair of PURPLE HERONS are now actively feeding young at Dungeness RSPB reserve (Kent) and are best observed from the Denge Marsh road overlooking the reserve near Brick Wall Farm, whilst the adult male LITTLE BITTERN present for its second successive season continues to bark from the reedbed at Loxton Marsh, Ham Walls RSPB (Somerset).

The singing male beautiful red COMMON ROSEFINCH remains on territory in Kinross, favouring the bushes and scrub in the vicinity of the log cabin in the car park adjacent to the Tormaukin Inn (NN 982 049), whilst on Shetland, the adult summer LONG-TAILED SKUA remains paired up with an Arctic Skua at East Burra. On Orkney, their fourth-ever TAWNY PIPIT remains on North Ronaldsay, showing very well on the road towards the north end (first island record).

A female FERRUGINOUS DUCK remains present at Minsmere RSPB reserve (Suffolk), favouring the Island Mere

Late news concerns yet another WHITE-THROATED SPARROW in 2010 - this time in Lincolnshire and present for two days in a Fulbeck garden (18-19 June).

In County Dublin (IRELAND), the TEREK SANDPIPER continues today, showing well this afternoon from the North Hide on the Rogerstown Estuary.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

TEREK SANDPIPER on the Rogerstown Estuary (County Dublin) for 2nd day - FIRST OF THE YEAR

I saw the TEREK SANDPIPER at Rogerstown today from the South Hide between 3.30 and 4.05pm. It was at the edge of the channel to the right of the hide.It was keeping company with about 20 Common Redshanks. Both the Redshanks and the Terek Sandpiper flew off towards the outer estuary at about 4.05pm . I waited until about 4.30 but I did not connect with it again (John Fox)

Monday, 21 June 2010


The CASPIAN TERN had returned to the Starnafin Farm pools and was there until at least 3pm, although by 3.45pm it was no longer on view. There has been no further sign of it as of yet, but we will be keeping the Visitor Centre open until late this evening if people want to try coming up for it.The two Eurasian Spoonbills are still in front of the Visitor Centre. For additional pictures of the tern, check out the Strathbeg site at (David Parnaby)

Scottish CASPIAN TERN now in Aberdeenshire

The CASPIAN TERN was at Meikle Loch until 0800 hours, at which time it flew north (per Phil Crockett).

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Recent Highlights - new RED-FOOTED FALCONS

Incredulously, yet another TUFTED PUFFIN was seen today in NW Europe - flying past Nesseby in Finnmark (NORWAY). Maybe the UK's birders will get another chance of finding one of these after all.

Newly discovered today was a cracking adult male RED-FOOTED FALCON in the Adur Valley in East Sussex, east of Seaford at Cuckmere Haven. The bird has been showing very well this afternoon and evening on the fenceposts and in the meadow north of the footpath between the Coastguard Cottages and the Golden Galleon pub. Meanwhile, a RED-FOOTED FALCON was recently east of Baston and Langtoft GP at Cradge Farm (Lincs) at TF 161 151.

The drake BLUE-WINGED TEAL (which incidentally bears a metal ring) continues SW of Earith (Cambs) at Berry Fen (see Mike Lawrence's excellent images above). Park carefully by the A1123 east of Bluntisham village and follow the footpath through the metal gate in a southerly direction before walking west for about quarter of a mile to view (TL 373 738)

Incredibly, after such a long period, the male WHITE-SPOTTED BL:UETHROAT continues to sing and show in reeds and vegetation by the Lyle Hide at Welney WWT (Norfolk), whilst over in Derbyshire, their first-ever GREAT REED WARBLER continues to perform and bellow from Phragmites WSW of Ilkeston at Straw's Bridge Reserve, accessed from the A609 High Lane East car park. A male MARSH WARBLER was present at Spurn Point (East Yorks) today, with another still singing NE of Newchurch (Isle of Wight) north of the cycle track and just east of the conifer plantation. The male IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF 3 miles SE of Doncaster (South Yorks) at Potteric Carr YWT in St Catherine's Field.

An adult ROSEATE TERN is present for a second day on Minsmere RSPB scrape (Suffolk), whilst in the Midlands, a female RED-NECKED PHALAROPE arrived at Upton Warren NNR, where it showed well from Avocet Hide on The Flashes.

A COMMON CRANE was today south of Chester (Cheshire) in fields by the A483 by the Pulford roundabout before flying east

On the Isles of Scilly, a singing male EUROPEAN SERIN remains on St Agnes.

On the Isle of Sheppey (North Kent), the 3 summering EURASIAN SPOONBILLS remain, whilst the usual summer build-up of Spotted Redshanks increased to 23 birds.

Yesterday, the first CASPIAN TERN of the year appeared at Loch Lomond (Clyde), where it was seen at the SE end of the Endrick Mouth on a couple of occasions.

Recently, a singing male COMMON ROSEFINCH remained 10 miles west of Kinross (Perthshire) and a mile NW of Glendevon by the A823 in the car park of Tormaukin Inn at NN 982 049.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Flyover CATTLE EGRET in Sussex

On the way home tonight at 20:25 a CATTLE EGRET flew east over the Falmer Road just to the south of Falmer Pond. Nice and low so excellent view (Ian Barnard)

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


A link to youtube featuring some video of heads, sky and bushes with this bird singing a couple of times is below (Paul Moore)

Monday, 14 June 2010

Spring Passage now coming to a close

With mid June rapidly approaching, the annual spring migration of birds is virtually over. Our star performer of the spring - the very confiding and sprightly first-summer male MARMORA'S WARBLER - continues to delight on its chosen moorland territory just south of Blorenge and NE of Blaenavon (Monmouthshire/Gwent border). It is still favouring the area visible from the lower car park at SO 270 109 (more of Chris Thomas's fantastic images displayed above). Not that far away, the singing male IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF is still to be seen in Wentwood Forest, at the edge of the clearing 125 yards south of the Cadira Beeches car park (ST 425 945).

The BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER (superbly photographed above) remains in Cleveland, again frequenting the flood at Port Clarence viewable from the fence just west of the A178, whilst in South Devon, the BLACK STORK is still roaming, flying over Jurston, near Fernworthy Reservoir, yesterda

An excellent record for London - a singing male first-summer COMMON ROSEFINCH - remains present for a second day today. The bird is singing quite frequently but is extremely elusive and difficult-to-see and is present at Tottenham Marsh, immediately west of the Lee River Navigation and Lockwood Reservoir. It is commuting between the scrub just south of the Stonebridge Lock car park and bushes beside the busy A1055 and is primarily seen in flight.

The long-staying GREAT REED WARBLER continues to bellow out from its chosen clump of Phragmites at SK 453 416, in the NW lake at Straw Bridges NR, west of Ilkeston (Derbyshire), with the even longer territorial male WHITE-SPOTTED BLUETHROAT close to the Lyle Hide at Welney WWT (Norfolk). A male RED-BACKED SHRIKE appeared today at Buston Links, south of Alnmouth (Northumberland) following a male at Snettisham (Norfolk) over the weekend, whilst on the Isle of Wight, a male MARSH WARBLER continues to sing east of Newchurch cycle track in the reedbed just east of the plantation.

In Scotland, an adult COMMON CRANE is present for a third day in a bare field inland of Shell Bay at Drumeldrie, to the east of Lower Largo village (Fife) (at NO 453 022), with two Eurasian Spoonbills still present on the pools in front of the Starnafin centre at Loch of Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire). At least 11 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES have returned to Scottish breeding sites including a male visible from the viewing platform at Loch na Muilne, Arnol, on Lewis (Outer Hebrides). A LONG-TAILED SKUA has paired up with an Arctic Skua at a moorland locality.

Eurasian Spoonbills today include a party of 8 on Jackson's Marsh, Gibraltar Point NNR (Lincs) and another at Cley NWT North Scrape (North Norfolk)

A female RED-FOOTED FALCON was an excellent local record at Exminster Marshes RSPB (South Devon) - present from 11-13 June.

No significant news from IRELAND has been received in recent days. On the AZORES, a pair of KILLDEER have apparently nested - the first breeding occurrence of this North American shorebird in the Western Palearctic (per Alan Vittery)

Friday, 11 June 2010

First CORY'S of year

A CORY'S SHEARWATER, the first of the year in Britain, was on the sea off of Goring-on-Sea (Sussex) from 1022-1040 hours this morning before flying off east

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Today's Summary

On the Monmouthshire/Gwent border, the singing first-summer male MARMORA'S WARBLER continues to perform admirably in its chosen moorland habitat, 150 yards either side of the lower car park, 1 mile east of the B 4246 NE of Blaenavon. Park in the car park by the tall radio masts and walk 700 yards east to view from the road and car park at SO 269 107. The bird is constructing a nest by the roadside and shows exceptionally well at times.

At Portland Bill (Dorset), a singing male MARSH WARBLER sang elusively from dense vegetation close to the Observatory Garden today, whilst another present for its fourth day sang from Willows 1 mile west of Long Melford (Suffolk) close to the fence behind the former BBA factory at TL 847 461.

In Derbyshire, the county's first-ever GREAT REED WARBLER continues to bellow out from the small reedbed at Straw Bridges Ponds just WSW of Ilkeston (SK 453 416), whilst a female SUBALPINE WARBLER was discovered this afternoon on Lundy Island (Devon) 500 yards north of the village by the Quarter Wall.

A HOOPOE was present for a second day in Surrey, at the Abbeyfield Mobile Home Park near Chertsey, whilst EUROPEAN BEE-EATERS today included one briefly on wires at Trewellard (West Cornwall) and another 2 miles WSW of Aberdaron (Gwynedd) just west of Uwchmynydd at Mynydd Mawr (at SH 143 256) and later over South Stack RSPB (Anglesey). A singing male GOLDEN ORIOLE was at the Calf of Man Bird Observatory (Isle of man) early morning.

A CATTLE EGRET made a surprise brief appearance at Slimbridge WWT (Gloucs) this afternoon, whilst a calling male CORNCRAKE was an unexpected visitor to Pont Crosor, the RSPB Osprey Project Centre at Porthmadog (Gwynedd).

In the north of Britain, a BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER continues to show very well at Port Clarence (Cleveland), on the flood viewable from the fence west of the A178, whilst not far away, a male RED-BACKED SHRIKE remains for a second day just west of Sunderland South Dock (Durham) on waste ground behind Hendon Town Moor (at NZ 408 574). On the Farne Islands (Northumberland), RED-BACKED SHRIKE and COMMON ROSEFINCH were present.

Meanwhile, late news concerns a GULL-BILLED TERN which flew SW past Flat Holm and the Heliport in Cardiff Bay (Glamorgan) yesterday evening, with a WOODCHAT SHRIKE in South Devon in Ivy Cove, west of Lannacombe Beach at Start Point.

In County Wicklow in IRELAND, a TAWNY PIPIT showed well today in Newcastle, near Six Mile Point on the beach 300 yards north of the railway station, whilst the long-staying first-year GLOSSY IBIS was still to be seen in the marsh south of the East End Pool at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford).

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

MARMORA'S WARBLER still on territory

Another superb set of prints taken of the Welsh MARMORA'S WARBLER by Richard Stonier -
For these and more of Richard's excellent work, click on

MARMORA'S continues to draw in the crowds

The male NORTH ATLANTIC (MADEIRAN) LITTLE SHEARWATER advertised from its chosen cavern location on Lundy Island (North Devon) from midnight until 0115 hours last night but could not be seen. Overnight excursions via boat charters can be arranged, costing approximately £70 per person.

On the Monmouthshire/Gwent border, the first-summer male MARMORA'S WARBLER continues to build its nest in the isolated gorse bush by the road and advertise by song-flighting from its territory, up to 150 yards either side of the lower car park. The bird affords exceptional views and chooses prominent perches from where to sing - please view ONLY from the road or car park. DIRECTIONS: once in Blaenavon, continue north on the B 4246 for about one mile and then turn right on the minor road leading out on to the moor. It is best to park in the car park by the masts and walk the 700 yards east to the lower car park at SO 269 107.

Likewise, the long-staying male IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF continues to sing from by the tall conifer 120 yards south of the Cadira Beeches car park in Wentwood Forest. Leave the A48 north and continue through village, past Wentwood Reservoir on the left to the car park after 350 yards.

A BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER continues for a second day at Port Clarence Floods (Cleveland), viewable from the fence west of the A178, whilst nearby, a male RED-BACKED SHRIKE is at Hendon Town Moor, just west of Sunderland West Dock (County Durham). A PECTORAL SANDPIPER also remains for a second day at Frampton Marsh RSPB (Lincs), showing intermittently from the 360 Hide.

Being the peak time for spring passage birds, male MARSH WARBLERS are in song at Druridge Pools NR (Northumberland) (in reeds in the SE corner close to the entrance to the Bill Oddie Hide) and just west of Long Melford (Suffolk) in Willows along the fence behind the former BBA factory at TL 847 461. Meanwhile, a male GOLDEN ORIOLE remains in the plantation at Gibraltar Point NNR (Lincs).

There is no sign this morning of the summer-plumaged adult WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN that graced Belvide Reservoir (Staffs) all day yesterday and a Salop site the day before, nor of the drake BLUE-WINGED TEAL that visited Billy's Wash, Cley NWT Reserve (North Norfolk) yesterday evening..

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Aberdeenshire highlights from today

A drake Surf Scoter was in the main scoter flock off the south end of Murcar today, just north of Donmouth.

Also today, at Loch of Strathbeg a Honey Buzzard flew south over Starnafin at 9.45. Also there Spoonbill, Little Egret, Osprey and 3 Little Gulls. On the Ythan there was another Spoonbill just upstream of the road bridge and an Osprey was in the same area (per Alan Whitehead).

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Early June is notoriously good for mega vagrants and so far, it is meeting expectations. This morning, a singing male MARMORA'S WARBLER (Sylvia sarda) was discovered in GWENT, 1.5 miles NE of Blaenavon and just south of Blorenge and about 700 yards ENE of the radio masts at SO 270 109. The bird is a first-summer male and appears to have a territory.

DIRECTIONS: From Blaenavon, take the B4246 north for a mile and turn right. Please view from the car park or road and do not wander out on to the moor where birds are breeding. Also, please refrain from tape-luring this particular vagrant, as such activity could unsettle it prematurely.

Although the majority of Marmora's Warblers are sedentary and remain within their breeding range all year, a population winters in North Africa (from Algeria to Libya) and migrates north in spring to the Mediterranean Basin. Vagrants have reached Spain, Gibraltar, mainland France, mainland Italy and even Greece and this latest Welsh male is the FIFTH to reach Britain (the previous records involving singing males at Midhope Moor, South Yorkshire, from 15 May to 24 July 1982, Spurn Point, East Yorkshire, on 8-9 June 1992 and at St Abb's Head, Borders, from 23-27 May 1993 and what was probably the same individual at Scolt Head Island, Norfolk, from 12-18 May 2001 and at Sizewell Power Station bushes, Suffolk, on 29 May 2001).

Aside from these British records, the only other records in northern Europe are of vagrants in Belgium from 3-12 May 1997 and in Denmark on 12 June 2005.

Also today, a dark morph BOOTED EAGLE flew SE over the Gipping Valley over warehouses in Stowmarket (Suffolk) from 1235-1238 hours (John Walshe) and was then intercepted as it flew low SSE over the same valley at Baylham Pits at 1259 hours (Lee Woods). At this latter site, it was being chased by an army of corvids and was being hounded by noisy Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The same bird had initially been seen over Pipps Ford GP, Needham Market, briefly early morning on 13 May (Phil Whittaker) and had previously been reported in Essex.

As far north as one can go in Britain, the wandering BLACK STORK has now reached Unst (Shetland) where this evening it is feeding along the shoreline at Burrafirth and showing well. Shetland also yielded an adult drake SURF SCOTER today - in Weisdale Voe

RED-FOOTED FALCONS today included the first-summer male near Over at Ouse Fen (Cambs) and another for its fourth day along Denge Marsh Road (Kent).

The Cley Trumpeter Finch was NOT seen today, nor was the male Red-backed Shrike, but in the Fenland, the long-staying singing male WHITE-SPOTTED BLUETHROAT is still present by Lyle Hide at Welney WWT.

Spurn Point (East Yorks) produced both GOLDEN ORIOLE and female RED-BACKED SHRIKE today, whilst in Derbyshire, the singing male GREAT REED WARBLER remains at Straw Bridges Ponds, Ilkeston.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010


This very elusive first-summer male WHITE-COLLARED FLYCATCHER was found by chance yesterday, as it sallied out close to the road junction in a small conifer plantation near Stornoway, Lewis (Outer Hebrides). It was seen by just four people - including Ben Steel (the finder) and Martin Scott, who obtained these record shots above. There is just one previous spring record from the region - a male on St Kilda on 24 May 1992 (Tim Dix).

TRUMPETER FINCH still present

The exceptionally bright male TRUMPETER FINCH is still present today, feeding on weeds on the seaward side of the shingle bank, between 200 yards and half a mile east of the north end of Cley NWT East Bank. The bird shows very well indeed and is best observed from the beach itself, looking up towards the ridge.

Nearby, the long-staying male RED-BACKED SHRIKE is still feeding from the isolated bushes and gorse clumps immediately SSW of Cley Coastguards car park but there has been no sign today of either the singing male THRUSH NIGHTINGALE at Walsey Hills or the male MARSH WARBLER at the east end of Gramborough Hill, Salthouse.

In East Kent, the first-summer male RED-FOOTED FALCON remains at Dungeness RSPB (in the vicinity of Christmas Dell hide), whilst the Tring Reservoirs (Herts) young male can still be found hawking for insects at Wilstone Reservoir. A new arrival - another first-summer male - is at Ouse Fen near Over (Cambs), accessed from Fen Road.

A singing male MARSH WARBLER is at Minsmere RSPB reserve today, singing from the Sluice Bushes

In Northern Scotland, the GREAT WHITE EGRET is again on the Savoch Low Grounds at the Loch of Strathbeg RSPB reserve (Aberdeenshire) (with the drake KING EIDER nearby on the Ythan Estuary), whilst on Orkney last night, the long-staying RED-RUMPED SWALLOW was still around and a cracking male RUSTIC BUNTING was on Papa Westray for its second day (at Backiskaill)