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

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Thursday, 28 October 2010


A confiding bittern species which has been wandering about the grass and a small pool at Trewey Common for the past four days was photographed today and appears to be an AMERICAN BITTERN. The site is particularly sensitive and prone to disturbance so any visiting birders need to be sensible and give the bird some space.

ACCESS INSTRUCTIONS: the location is 3.5 miles north of Penzance and a mile south of Zennor and east of the minor road inland of the coast road at SW 459 366. Park carefully in Zennor village and follow the B3306 southwest for a quarter of a mile and then turn left and walk uphill for about 0.75 miles to view. PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON THE ROAD AT TREWEY COMMON - THIS IS ESSENTIAL

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Bumper crop of BRAMBLINGS

An incredible 400+ BRAMBLINGS have arrived at Tunstall in East Suffolk and are present for their second day, feeding in cut sunflower fields. They are in two flocks - one containing c250 birds at grid ref TM372545 and the other c150 at TM369557 - a most impressive sight! (contributed by Matt Deans)

Saturday, 23 October 2010



Light NW winds, cold, occasional rain or hail showers and largely cloudy

Well done that man ! Not only did DARIN STANLEY find me and others an excellent BEDFORDSHIRE COUNTY TICK this afternoon but also inadvertently got me a second.

Whilst out on a hike not far from his home, Darin Stanley located a SHORE LARK in a large tilled field bordering Galley Hill, just NE of Luton. It was consorting with a flock of Eurasian Skylarks and was difficult to locate, particularly with just binoculars. Darin immediately contacted me and the information was broadcast via Rare Bird Alert. DS was unsure of his location and certainly so was I, so full apologies for those who got caught out by the initial directions purporting the bird to be at the north end of Galley Hill.

Anyhow, I jumped straight in the car after informing Bedsbirds and Andy Plumb and arrived in Warden Hill Road not long after 1400 hours. Darin had last seen the Shore Lark at 1320 and had lost it. I rendezvoued with him in Luton and hashed out exactly where the bird was situated and made my muddy way out to the site. Steve Blain, Martin Stevens and one other local birder had already managed to locate the SHORE LARK on my arrival and were standing just down from the junction of the Icknield Way and the John Bunnion Trail. SB had even managed to obtain two record images of the bird. The bird had flown briefly just prior to me walking up but within minutes, MS relocated it and I had a brief 'scope view of my first ever Shore Lark in the county. I quickly got my own 'scope on to it and then over the next hour, obtained several more views of it, the closest of which were down to 75 yards. It typically remained very mobile, often flying short distances when the Skylark flock were spooked. All in all, some 15 or so local observers connected in that first hour. We then lost it and did not relocate it again after 1500 hours.


It was a well-marked individual and very easy to separate from the Eurasian Skylarks and was most likely an adult. It had much pale yellow on the face, throat and shoulders which contrasted with the jet-black lores, the black breast-band and the black 'eye drop' (black line of feathers curving down from the eye). The hindneck, mantle and fore-shoulders were a lovely soft 'pinkish' brown, with an even warmer, almost chestnut feel to the flanks. Otherwise, the underparts were a gleaming white. The upperpart feathers had narrow dark shaft-streaks and in flight, had a rufous wash to the rump. The underwing was very pale and whitish but at no point did I hear it call. There was an obvious pale tipping to the wing-coverts, with the scapulars noticeably dark-centred. The bill was quite dark and the legs and feet blackish. It was noticeably smaller and slimmer than the Skylarks and when flying away, had black in the tail but no white..

Shore Lark is a very rare vagrant to Bedfordshire with just 4 previous records - one caught and taken into captivity from Dunstable Downs in the last week of October 1913; one in Houghton Regis Chalk Pit on 10 October 1971; one at Clophill Quarry on 17 October 1992 and one more recently - photographed in a ploughed field with Skylarks near Woburn at Potsgrove on 9 November 2004.

As soon as I saw the size of the field, its layout and the number of birds feeding in it, I just knew that there would be LAPLAND BUNTINGS in it and as MJP arrived on site, I exclaimed to him that if I could not relocate the lark, chances are we would find a Lap Bunt in the search. As it was, not that long in to our scanning of the strips, Steve Blain exclaimed quite casually that he had one - and a fine male it was too. Fortuitously, SB was able to move aside from his 'scope, allowing the first 4 or 5 of us to connect but then the entire flock was spooked by screaming children and a barking dog and the bird flew and was lost.

Trying to relocate both the Shore Lark and the bunting later, I discovered a second LAPLAND BUNTING in the field - a first-winter or female-type this time. This individual was typified by an obvious white greater covert line and striking pale 'tramlines' and was shuffling about the ground like a mouse. I managed to get most of those present on this individual this time, despite the distance it was being observed at. It remained on view on and off for about 15 minutes but then flew.

Two LAPLAND BUNTINGS were then picked up in flight with the Skylark flock shortly later with both landing close to the ridge and being re-sighted and 'scoped on the ground. A well-marked male was seen again then on several occasions but from differences in plumage, it was clear there were at least two female/immature types present - both quite dull and lacking the extensive black gorget of streaks so apparent on the male. At one stage in flight, I believe there were probably at least four birds present - but certainly on the ground, definitely THREE. My first ever in Bedfordshire.

There was also a single female Yellowhammer with the flock, as well as several Meadow Pipits and 25 Linnets, whilst 7 BRAMBLING flew up at one stage and a flock of 200 FIELDFARE flew in. The extensive tilled field also harboured a flock of 38 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVERS and a covey of 4 GREY PARTRIDGES.

The Lapland Bunting is also a mega-rare bird in the county of Bedfordshire with just one previous record - an immature/female at Brickhill, Bedford, on 15 & 22 October 1966 (Beds Naturalist 20: 33).

DIRECTIONS: The closest place to park is in Warden Hill Road in Luton where from here, one can follow the main footpath bordering the golf course. Keep on the footpath until it reaches the northern end of Warden Hill and then bear right on to the bordering footpath between Warden Hill and Galley Hill. The large tilled field is immediately east of Galley Hill and can be 'scoped from the south side and footpath that leads east. The location is situated at TL 092 266.

Friday, 22 October 2010

East Suffolk today

I was lucky to obtain three shots of one of the three juvenile ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARDS at Potter's Bridge this morning; NORTHERN GREY SHRIKE on Westleton Heath, adjacent to the Deer viewpoint track, south of the Westleton to Dunwich road and the Minsmere GREAT WHITE EGRET performed at Island Mere this afternoon (Matthew Deans).

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

29 RED-FLANKED BLUETAILS and counting..........

Since my last update in early October, the total number of species recorded in a combined Britain and Ireland has risen to 424 - with the addition of AMERICAN GREEN HERON, SOLITARY SANDPIPER (a long-staying juvenile at Seaton Black Hole Marsh, South Devon), COMMON NIGHTHAWK (a juvenile present all day at a private site in County Durham), ISABELLINE WHEATEAR (a very fresh first-year at Lowestoft North Denes, Suffolk, for just one day), HERMIT THRUSH (two arrivals simultaneously in the Outer Hebrides), PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLER (a widespread influx), SAXAUL GREY SHRIKE (a typically confiding first-winter with tail damage at Strathbeg RSPB, Aberdeenshire, for a few days), RED-EYED VIREO (at least 5 arrivals) and a YELLOW-BREASTED BUNTING in West Ireland seen briefly.

Back to now and with cold NW winds blasting virtually all of the Recording Area, little in the way of new rarities are now being located.....

RED-FLANKED BLUETAILS are now up to 29 this autumn and the latest of these to appear - a first-winter in Hampshire at Sandy Point Nature Reserve on Hayling Island - performed well prior to 1030 hours but then promptly disappeared (and only reappeared just briefly mid-afternoon). This latter bird is present for its third day but present for its fifth is an even more elusive individual - that at Arnold's Walk in north Lowestoft (Suffolk). Another was also still present today on Scilly.

There was no sign of the GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH seen just briefly late yesterday afternoon on St Martin's (Scilly) today, although the MELODIOUS WARBLER and RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL on that same island were both performing well and a late ICTERINE WARBLER was still to be seen on Bryher. St Mary's offered a SUBALPINE WARBLER at Mount Todden Farm, a LITTLE BUNTING along the footpath to Content Farm and a few Lapland Buntings and Hawfinches

The very confiding juvenile AMERICAN GREEN HERON continues its stay at the tourist hotspot of the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, favouring the upper pond along the Jungle Trail; access £10 per person from 1000 hours. Meanwhile in South West Wales in Pembrokeshire, the very confiding juvenile SQUACCO HERON remains in Angle Harbour, frequenting the creek downstream of the stone bridge just behind the church. Not that far away at Poyston, a CATTLE EGRET continues to be seen at Withybush Airfield. Another CATTLE EGRET is present in North Lincolnshire, frequenting cattle fields along Marsh lane close to the Stonebridge Car Park at Donna Nook.

A juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was picked out amongst European Golden Plovers in the Eye Field at Cley NWT (Norfolk) early morning before flying west but was then fortuitously relocated between Langham and Morston early afternoon and later by Cockthorpe Airfield in the potato field at TF 988 419..

Cley Reserve still hosts a first-winter GREY PHALAROPE (today on Arnold's Marsh) whilst the shingle ridge between Coastguards and Sea Pool has up to 14 wide-ranging SHORE LARKS. At Holkham Pines, the two ivy-clad tall Pine trees just south of the main track 200 yards west of Lady Anne's Drive continues to harbour a first-winter RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER and two Yellow-browed Warblers (a PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLER was also with them on 18-19 October).

Late PECTORAL SANDPIPERS include singles at Welney WWT (Norfolk) and briefly at Arlington Reservoir (East Sussex) whilst the long-staying juvenile BAIRD'S SANDPIPER continues at Holland Haven scrape in Essex. In Oxford, the long-staying juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS continues to show well on the Port Meadow Flood Meadows, accessed west of the A4414 Woodstock road along Aristotle Lane (please respect resident's parking). Culminating a superb autumn for the species, one BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER remains in West Cornwall frequenting fields opposite Trevedra Farm at Sennen

ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARDS appear to have had an excellent breeding season in Siberia (perhaps due to an over-abundance of Field Voles) with large numbers of juveniles appearing down the East Coast following some exceptional southward migrations off of Falsterbo, SW Sweden. Two were this morning showing well in Suffolk hunting between Potter's Bridge and Easton Broad, whilst others were seen in flight over Pegwell Bay (Kent), over Crathorne, Kirklevington (Cleveland), at Sleddale Moor (Cleveland) and north over Snipe Dales LWT (North Lincs).

There are still large numbers of LAPLAND BUNTINGS scattered about the country, perhaps involving several thousand individuals, with particularly popular birds in Buckinghamshire and Surrey, but the dearth in large pipits continues, with RICHARD'S PIPITS today just singles at Pegwell Bay (Kent), at Telegraph, St Mary's, and at Higher Town Bay, St Martin's (Scilly).

Of excellent local value is a BARRED WARBLER in Elders by the Cop Hole Pool at Shotwick Boating Lake (Clwyd), accessed off of the A548 at the Paper Mill roundabout at SJ 298 722. Meanwhile, a RADDE'S WARBLER was seen and heard in scrub in the vicinity of the last house at the bottom end of Cot Valley (Cornwall).

A few more BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS arrived today, along with several herds of freshly-arrived Whooper Swans. In East Sussex, the single SHORE LARK remains on the west side of the river mouth at Cuckmere Haven, whilst on Fair Isle, a single HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL remains..

A juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING was in conifers and bushes at the west end of the row of houses by the western car park in Lepe (Hants) mid-morning, whilst for the past week or more, a gorgeous adult has been present in hawthorns and scrub at Newhaven Heights (East Sussex).

A few GLOSSY IBISES left over from the Iberian post-breeding dispersal in August and September include singles at Exminster Marshes RSPB (South Devon) and at Valley lakes RSPB (Anglesey) (located a mile SE of Llyn Trafwll at the rear of the damp cattle field on the south side of the minor road at SH 338 753), whilst GREAT WHITE EGRETS include singles at Pitsford Reservoir Walgrave Arm (Northants), Minsmere RSPB Island Mere (Suffolk) and at Grainthorpe Haven (North Lincs)

A drake FERRUGINOUS DUCK remains at Calder Wetlands at Pugney's Country Park (West Yorks), with three more at Chew Valley Lake (Avon). The latter site also plays host to a long-staying drake RING-NECKED DUCK with the regular Foxcote Reservoir individual of North Bucks reappearing today. The first-summer drake KING EIDER is still to be found between Minsmere Sluice and Dunwich Cliffs (Suffolk)

The adult Ross's Snow Goose which summered at Loch Leven RSPB (Tayside) remains with Barnacle Geese at Rockcliffe Marsh (Cumbria) whilst the adult Red-breasted Goose bearing the orange-red plastic ring remains with Dark-bellied Brent Geese on the Exe Estuary (South Devon).

The adult RED-NECKED GREBE remains near the Axbridge Tower at Cheddar Reservoir (Somerset) whilst further south in the county, a late SPOTTED CRAKE can still be seen from the hide at Greylake RSPB Reserve. A first-winter RED-NECKED GREBE is also still to be found at Bawdsey East Lane Lagoons (Suffolk)

In IRELAND, an AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT continues to show very well on the seaweed at Clonea Strand, Ballinclamper, in County Waterford, whilst not that far away, a juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER is at The Cunnigar Pools. A LITTLE BUNTING was on Cape Clear Island (County Cork) this morning, with the BARRED WARBLER and Yellow-browed Warbler still at Mizen Head (County Cork). In Cobh Harbour (County Cork), the adult SABINE'S GULL is along the harbour front again and the 2nd-winter INDIAN HOUSE CROW continues its residency in the town square.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

ROSE-COLOURED STARLING in Newhaven, East Sussex

Thanks to Jacob Everitt, I was able to enjoy fabulous views of the Newhaven ROSE-COLOURED STARLING this morning. The bird is a gorgeous adult and is still in very fine fettle - with much pink on the rump and mantle and on the underparts and pink at the base of the bill - and showing so well, in its favoured hollow of blackberry scrub just SW of the Lighthouse Station and the transmitter. It was busy gorging on Blackberries and Craneflies and kept very much on its own.

DIRECTIONS: Take South Road from the Newhaven one-way system and then at the roundabout, head straight across on to the Fort Road. Just past the sports field, take the right turn and continue to the upper fort car park, from where one can walk uphill for 300 yards and over and continue just past the station complex at the summit.


Adam Hartley discovered a LESSER YELLOWLEGS on his local Port Meadow Floods patch this evening and the bird was present until dusk, roosting in amongst the large numbers of birds present there. Hopefully it will still be there at first light....

Port Meadow is heavily disturbed by day with large numbers of joggers and dog walkers utilising the huge open space so the chances of it remaining may be slim
A trip to Holland Haven with Andrew Thompson today produced the following;

BAIRD'S SANDPIPER - The recently present juvenile flew in at 10.25
JACK SNIPE - 1 on scrape
MARSH HARRIER - 1 juvenile male
SPARROWHAWK - 6 including 4 females possibly of continental origin due to size
PEREGRINE - a massive female came in from south
SHORT-EARED OWL - 1 came in off sea
GREY WAGTAIL - 1 in off sea
SWALLOW - 6 south
GOLDEN PLOVER - 100+ in fields
RUFF - 1

and a few hours at Abberton where we were joined by Andy Field

LAPLAND BUNTING - At least 16 in mowed grass area behind Roy King Hide
MARSH HARRIER - 1 adult male
LITTLE STINT - 1 in hide bay
GOOSANDER - 1 juvenile off Layer Breton causeway
JACK SNIPE - 1 feeding with Common Snipe SW of Layer Breton causeway
SPOTTED REDSHANK - 33 off Layer Breton c/way
GREEN SANDPIPER - 1 off Layer Breton causeway

All the best, Steve
Birdwatching Breaks in the UK and beyond

Thursday, 7 October 2010

YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER in Northamptonshire

One trapped, ringed and released by the Stanford Ringing Group along the disused railway track on the south side of Stanford Reservoir this morning at approximately 09.15. Note the track is private but there are plans to make the landowner aware by the ringers that a small number of observers is likely to be present to see the bird. Access from the Welford Road end of the reservoir (east end), walk along the track to the silver gate opposite Blower's Lodge Bay, taking care to avoid the mist nets in the area, to view the bird, which is in the trackside bushes (Mike Alibone)

OBP in Orkney

An OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT is at Halley, Deerness. I found it yesterday but wanted to be sure of the ID before putting the news out. It is frustratingly wary, flushing at a fair distance, flying away and dropping into cover again. It has only very occasionally shown itself in the open and then very briefly. I did however manage to get a 'record' photo, which I hope to post on Orkbird soon. Continually flushing the bird appears to be counter-productive, so my advice would be to sit quietly at the top of the beach, and wait for it to come to you! (Keith Hague)

More megas keep coming

First seen yesterday morning, the (AMERICAN) GREEN HERON was still present today 4 miles SSW of Mevagissey at Pentewan at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, showing intermittently from the hide in the Hidden Valley, a 15 minute walk from the entrance gate.

The Gardens open at 1000 hours and allow last entry at 1530 hours and tickets for visiting cost £10 per person.

There is also a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER in Cornwall today just NE of Wadebridge at Walmsley Sanctuary CBWPS, visible from the Tower Hide and present for its third day. A long-staying but elusive juvenile BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER also remains on Davidstow Airfield.

On the Isles of Scilly, a BLACK-HEADED BUNTING is new in on St Agnes, showing well this evening at Porth Coose, whilst on St Mary's, the juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER and juvenile BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER remain on the Airfield.

Shetland is once again where all the action is - with a twitchable LANCEOLATED WARBLER brightening up proceedings. Discovered by Rob Brookes and Martin Garner last night, the bird is creeping about in short grass in full view at Skaw, at the northernmost part of Unst. Nearby, a BLYTH'S REED WARBLER is present for a fifth day on Fetlar at Aith and in the south Mainland, the SYKES'S BOOTED WARBLER is still being seen occasionally at Channerwick. A SWAINSON'S THRUSH spent two days at Levenwick at the weekend where it was admired by over 60 observers - the second for Shetland this autumn.

In IRELAND, a first-winter MYRTLE WARBLER is present for a third day on Cape Clear Island (County Cork) with the year's first RED-EYED VIREO further east at Firkeel Glen.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

415 species and counting......

A MYRTLE WARBLER discovered this afternoon by Peter Phillips on Cape Clear Island (County Cork) constitutes the 415th species recorded in Britain and Ireland this year and follows Olive-backed Pipit, RUFOUS-TAILED ROBIN, Siberian Stonechat and LANCEOLATED WARBLER since my last update.

It has been SHETLAND which has been making all of the headlines in the past week and with up to 160 observers scouring every nook and cranny of suitable habitat in search of rarities, an impressive haul has been unearthed. The star of the show still remains that snowball of a first-winter HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL on Unst at Norwick, whilst an AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT remains at Esha Ness and a presumed SYKES'S BOOTED WARBLER is still being fleetingly glimpsed at Channerwick. The Out Skerries continue to host both a BLACK-HEADED BUNTING and a CITRINE WAGTAIL, with the two juvenile BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS still by the lighthouse at Esha Ness machair and at least two LITTLE BUNTINGS remaining on Unst. Elsewhere, a scattering of Yellow-browed Warblers, Barred Warblers, Lapland Buntings and Common Rosefinches.

At the opposite end of the country, SCILLY has been very poorly represented - and with just 45 observers in town, perhaps not that surprising. Moving in front of the latest depression to be crossing the Atlantic was a freshly-arrived juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER today - moving from Porthcressa Beach to finally settle on the St Mary's Airfield. A RUSTIC BUNTING on St Agnes was also early for that archipelago but it quickly disappeared into cover and was not relocated. Porthellick Pool still hosts the long-staying juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPER and the Pectoral Sandpiper as well as Jack Snipe, whilst a RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER was near Longstone and WRYNECKS were on Bryher and Wingletang Down, St Agnes..

West Cornwall is struggling to provide much of avian interest in this past week but a confiding and easy first-winter male SIBERIAN STONECHAT is the best on offer, sharing a roadside field with 2 Whinchats and a Common Stonechat near Gurland Farm, adjacent to the road to Nanquidno at SW 367 286. Also popular is an adult drake SURF SCOTER in Mount's Bay, Penzance, often scoped from the Jubilee Pool by the quayside, with a juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING nearby roosting with Common Starlings on St Mary's Church in Penzance.

It has been an excellent year for WILSON'S PHALAROPES with the first-winter at Welney Refuge (Norfolk) still showing well today on the main lagoon in front of the Observatory. Late juvenile RED-NECKED PHALAROPES included singles at Cley NWT (Norfolk) and Blagdon Lake (Somerset) with a juvenile GREY PHALAROPE from recent gales still on show at Burnham Overy Dunes (Norfolk) - Norfolk clearly allowing all three species to be netted in one day !

It has also been an exceptional autumn for SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS with the latest - a juvenile with up to 5 Little Stints -arriving on the extensive mud at Abberton Reservoir (Essex) on Sunday. The bird was still to be seen today and showing from the boardwalk vantage point close to the Information Centre.

A juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER remains for a third day with European Golden Plovers at Great Heck (SE 576 200) SE of Eggborough (East Yorks), on the flood just south of the village, whilst PECTORAL SANDPIPERS include juveniles at Rigifa Pool, Cove (Aberdeenshire), Upton Warren (Worcs), Minsmere RSPB East Scrape (Suffolk) and Abberton Reservoir Layer de la Haye causeway (Essex). BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS are also in excellent supply with a confiding juvenile with a damaged lower mandible at Arlington Reservoir dam (East Sussex), two juveniles at the SW end of Scotney GP (East Sussex/Kent border) and another juvenile at Davidstow Airfield (Cornwall).

The long-staying and most incredibly confiding juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPER remains on the Exe Estuary at the Turf Hotel, Exminster (South Devon) where it can be accessed whilst essential road repairs are taking place along the trail from the RSPB car park adjacent to the railway bridge. In Dumfries and Galloway, a late and confiding juvenile DOTTEREL is at The Wig at Loch Ryan, Stranraer.

Whilst the pair of ROSS'S SNOW GEESE have made a sudden disappearance after a two-week sojourn in the Aberlady Bay area (Lothian), another has appeared with the 65,000 or so returning Pink-footed Geese at the Montrose Basin (Angus/Dundee) and the Caerlaverock WWT (D & G) adult of suspect origin relocated with Barnacle Geese to Rockcliffe Marsh (Cumbria). An adult RED-BREASTED GOOSE located with newly-arrived Dark-bellied Brent Geese at Thorney Island (West Sussex) on Saturday was sadly sporting a red plastic ring whilst concern is mounting if the family party of 5 unringed individuals decide to depart Minsmere RSPB Levels for pastures new.

The drake FERRUGINOUS DUCK remains at Wintersett Reservoir west bank (West Yorks) with up to 3 in residence at Chew Valley Lake (Avon) whilst perhaps of natural origin was a juvenile BAIKAL TEAL at Chigborough Lakes EWT (Essex) on Saturday morning; the bird had arrived with a noticeable increase in Wigeon numbers (see Adrian Kettle's images above). A drake LESSER SCAUP continues to be seen off of the Hensborough Bank at Draycote Water (Warks), whilst the first-summer drake KING EIDER continues to range between Dunwich Cliffs and Minsmere Sluice (Suffolk).

Remnants from last week's fall on the East Coast of Britain include a very confiding, pale and white-winged juvenile WOODCHAT SHRIKE at the Croft Terrace Park on Hartlepool Headland (Cleveland), an adult NORTHERN GREY SHRIKE at the Sands of Forvie NNR (Aberdeenshire) and a female/first-winter RUSTIC BUNTING at North Landing, Flamborough Head (East Yorks). Newly discovered though was a juvenile RED-BACKED SHRIKE by Meadow Road Children's Play Area in Cromer (Norfolk).

Tiree (Argyll) birder John Bowler continues to reap rewards after his outstanding NORTHERN PARULA find of recent times and today located a BLUETHROAT at Balemartin. Another BLUETHROAT was seen at St Margaret's at Cliffe (East Kent) yesterday morning, with another trapped and ringed at Romsey Water Meadows (Hampshire) at the weekend. Tiree today also hosted a GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK at Sandaig, 2 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS and a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER with European Golden Plover at Heylipol and 2 GREY PHALAROPES off Hynish.

The LAPLAND BUNTING invasion continues unabated with very large numbers still present on the Northern Isles, with more notably two at the Sence Valley Forest Park in Leicestershire and at least one at Abberton Reservoir (Essex).

There has also been large numbers of RING OUZELS on the move, with a RED-RUMPED SWALLOW south over Donna Nook (North Lincs) this morning.

Other long-stayers include the WHITE STORK on the Wareham Bypass Water Meadows (Dorset) and the exceptionally confiding juvenile GLOSSY IBIS on the West Marsh at Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch Harbour (Dorset).

In addition to the aforementioned Dendroica in Cork, which incidentally moved towards the Cotter's Garden late on, IRELAND today also played host to a possible CHIMNEY SWIFT at Farranfore Airport (County Kerry) and the first-winter WILSON'S PHALAROPE reappeared at the Webb's Field at Kilcoole (County Wicklow). Interestingly, two WILSON'S PHALAROPES had been seen near the Wellington Bridge at Barrystown (County Wexford) on 28 September.

Tacumshin Lake continues to harbour a host of vagrants, including a WILSON'S PHALAROPE and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, with 3 GLOSSY IBISES at Ring Marsh (Wexford), BLUE-WINGED TEAL at Rahasane Turlough and ROSE-COLOURED STARLING at Garinish (Cork). An impressive find was an AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT at Truska, Slyne Head (County Galway) on Sunday.

Friday, 1 October 2010

GREAT SNIPE in Suffolk

A GREAT SNIPE was discovered by Carl Buttle mid morning in the coastal strip of grassy vegetation just south of Covehithe cliff. He was fairly confident of the id when he first saw it and after a second view, he invited Ali Riseborough and Dick Walden over, all three observers enjoying two further flight views of the bird. It then flew north and landed in a field on the opposite side of the road but this was private, and despite further searching by up to 20 observers later, it was not relocated. It represents only the third modern Suffolk record, the last being at Corton.


Andy Whitcombe's BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was still present and showing well at Arlington Reservoir this evening in the heavy rain whilst earlier in the day, the two were still present on the Kent border at Scotney Gravel Pits


Just in case there is anyone remotely interested in Ireland, the ship-assisted INDIAN HOUSE CROW is still present today, showing well as usual on the drainpipe cover above Papa John's restaurant in Cobh town centre (per Chris Holt)