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

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Monday, 27 September 2010


The BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT was first seen/heard to the left of the Yesnaby car park towards cliffs less than 100m. Initial views were in flight only. Eventually, I got some distant views of the bird on the deck and suspected Buff-bellied straight away though have no previous experience of the species - so wanted closer views to be sure. However, during the next 15 minutes we could not relocate the bird but eventually found it about 12noon 500m to the north of the car park (walk to the right north to the fence cross over fence - there is a stream and standing stones, the bird was on the cliff edge from this point). Views were excellent as it fed along with Meadow Pipits, Rock Pipit and a few Alba Wags on the cliff top. Watched for ca30mins and my initial thoughts were confirmed and a few photo's were taken by Dafi to assist with the description (see above). We lost the bird around 1300hrs spent 15mins trying to relocate ... then work called (Alan Leitch)

Megas galore......

On Blakeney Point (North Norfolk), the North American empidonax flycatcher remains for its third day this morning, favouring the two short Sycamores in the Plantation not far from the point end. This involves a boat trip from Morston Quay or an hour-plus hike out on hard shingle west from Cley Coastguards. Not for the frail or faint-hearted and certainly not in the conditions as experienced over the weekend - that there were no fatalities was a sheer miracle ! The identification is far from resolved and detailed discussions with experts in this field are ongoing. The bird differs in several respects from the ALDER FLYCATCHER that was present near Porthgwarra in early October 2008, not least in the wing formulae.

At the opposite end of the country, the island of Tiree (Argyll) continues to host a first-winter female NORTHERN PARULA for a third day, commuting between the gardens and the few trees on Carnan Mor, at the SW end of the island. The bird is showing exceptionally well on occasions and is a typically bright gem. Access is best arranged by travelling the thrice-weekly ferry from Oban (0900 hours departure and just £17 foot-passenger), staying overnight and returning midday the following day. Taxi costs £11 per one-way hire from the Tiree ferry terminal or you may prefer to walk the 6-mile distance each way - overnight bed & breakfast accommodation from £30).

Shetland's best offering over the weekend was a dazzling WHITE'S THRUSH - the first of the autumn and year but bang on cue - followed by another PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLER on Fair Isle. Much more to follow in the next four weeks I am confident.....

Meanwhile, with clearing skies and much lighter ENE winds, large numbers of passerine migrants are befalling North Norfolk and elsewhere on the East Coast, particularly of thrushes, finches and warblers. It is only a matter of time before more rarities put their heads out of those Elders, Birches and sueda bushes. Yesterday saw both RADDE'S WARBLER and WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER appear, the latter enjoyed by over 300 enthusiasts

The exciting autumn continues apace.....

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Wendover WRYNECK

Quite unexpectedly, the Bacomb Hill WRYNECK refused to take advantage of last night's calm weather and relatively clear skies and was still present this morning when Mick McQuaid paid homage to this very welcome visitor. It had to brave some very torrential rain and electric storms though but was still present at dusk this evening and once more roosted in its favoured Beech tree. This is its fourth day of residence. Martin Parr obtained another selection of great images today, which are uploaded above.

DIRECTIONS: Leave Wendover town centre westwards on the Ellesborough Road and just after passing the last few cottages on the right, park sensibly and courteously at the first bend in the road (at SP 864 074) (please note that there is only room for five cars to park here, so if full, there is a further parking area 70 yards further east). Take the chalk track towards the Bacombe Hill Nature Reserve and opt for the steeper left hand track which takes you to the tumulus after a hefty 250 yard uphill climb. The Wryneck is favouring the tumuli, where generally it affords viewing at less than 15 yards range (SP 862 072)

Friday, 17 September 2010

GLOSSY IBIS in Northants

There is a single GLOSSY IBIS at Pitsford Reservoir (Northamptonshire) this evening, along with the two remaining juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPERS.....

Monday, 6 September 2010

PEC SAND on Tory Island

This very confiding PECTORAL SANDPIPER was discovered on Tory Island in County Donegal at the weekend and superbly photographed by Derek Charles. For Northern Ireland Bird News. click the following link

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The South Devon HOUSE FINCH

The HOUSE FINCH in South Devon has now fully moulted in to its nice red plumage (see Glyn Hiatt's excellent photos above) and is still present in East Prawle village visiting the gardens within close vicinity of the Village Green and the Piglet Stores.

Easterly winds start to reap rewards big time

Juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper at John Muir Country Park in Lothian (Ian Andrews)

This afternoon, an EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER (elaeica) is showing very well in the warm afternoon sunshine in the hedgerow just beyond the Old Fall Plantation on the south side of Flamborough Head (East Yorkshire) - the first twitchable individual to be recorded in that county. Although initially elusive when Craig Thomas and others first found it, it has more recently started to perform well and has been less skulking.

VIEWING INSTRUCTIONS: Park in the specially designated stubble field car park on the north side of the main access road to Flamborough Head (Lighthouse Road) just west of Old Fall Hedge and then follow the footpath south to the plantation and just beyond.

Also in Yorkshire, the apparent first-winter COLLARED FLYCATCHER remains at Spurn Point for a third day, showing occasionally just north of The Warren in bushes between Posts 11 & 12.and a COMMON ROSEFINCH is there at the south end of the sheep field by the Heligoland Trap. Up to 5 BARRED WARBLERS have been seen in the area in recent days.

The other big talking point is the unprecedented August arrival of LAPLAND BUNTINGS in Britain, with birds of unknown origin flooding into the Northern Isles, including an incredible 160+ on Fair Isle, 120 on North Ronaldsay (Orkney), 74 at the Butt of Lewis (Outer Hebrides) and up to 40 on the Brough of Birsay (NW Orkney Mainland).

Elsewhere in the drift migrant camp, we have RED-BACKED SHRIKES at Bamburgh Castle (Northumberland), Waxham Sands Holiday Camp (Norfolk), Cliffe Pools RSPB (North Kent) and at Biggleswade Common (Beds), with BARRED WARBLERS on Blakeney Point (Norfolk), in Kilnsea Churchyard (East Yorks), an ICTERINE WARBLER remaining at Walsey Hills, Cley (Norfolk) and WRYNECKS at Dungeness (Kent), Benacre Sluice (Suffolk), Middlebere Heath (Dorset), Tidmoor Cove, The Fleet (Dorset) and at Wall Common, Steart (Somerset) (now dead). Single GREENISH WARBLERS have recently been at St Mary's Island (Northumberland) and East Hills, Wells (Norfolk) and a GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK on Blakeney Point.

In the West Country, Cornwall has recorded HOOPOE at the south end of The Lizard, 2 DOTTEREL at Porthgwarra, whilst on the Isles of Scilly, a CITRINE WAGTAIL is today on the Big Pool on St Agnes, a MELODIOUS WARBLER on Bryher (with another on St Mary's at Harry's Walls), MONTAGU'S HARRIER on Tresco

The juvenile RED-NECKED PHALAROPE remains at Elmley Marshes RSPB (North Kent), whilst a juvenile WHISKERED TERN that spent nearly 5 weeks in Cleveland and was at Venus Pool in Salop on Sunday is now at Rutland Water (Leics) for its second day (on Lagoon III and visible from Gadwall Hide)

In Scotland, the adult COMMON CRANE remains at Montrose basin (Angus) whilst the juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER continues at John Muir Country Park at Tyninghame Haven (Lothian).

1-2 GREAT WHITE EGRETS continue to be seen at Meare Heath NR, Shapwick (Somerset), with another long-stayer at Denge Marsh (East Kent), whilst the two adult WHITE STORKS that arrived near Sutton Bingham Reservoir (Somerset) yesterday evening remained in the area until 1000 hours this morning before flying high north when the temperature heated up.

The weather conditions have been conducive to both Common and EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARD arrivals, with large numbers of the former and the first few dark morph juveniles of the latter.

In IRELAND, there is a generous crop of Spanish-born juvenile GLOSSY IBISES scattered about, a BARRED WARBLER on Tory Island (Co. Donegal), the rather scruffy first-year AMERICAN HERRING GULL at Blennerville (Co. Kerry), the resident SNOWY OWL and AMERICAN BLACK DUCK in County Mayo and good numbers of arriving LAPLAND BUNTINGS.