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

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Tuesday, 26 July 2011


A STILT SANDPIPER in full breeding plumage is present for its fourth day at Lodmoor RSPB. It is frequenting a muddy scrape just inland of the coast road with 4 Green Sandpipers and 4 Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits but can be very elusive, disappearing for up to six hours at a time. It also occasionally commutes to the pools to the west of Breachdown Way.

It is best to park in Overcombe car park in Preston (£1.60 for every two hours) and walk the 300 or so yards along the main road and cycle track to the raised bank to view. Only the muddier section of the scrape can be seen and for much of the time, the Stilt Sand can be out of view feeding in the wetter, closer part of the scrape obscured by tall vegetation.

Melbourn ROSEFINCH still present

I had close views of the first-summer male COMMON ROSEFINCH at Foxfield Farm (TL399458) at 8am this morning (down to 10m by the road), but it wasn’t singing.

The householders at Foxfield Farm and Foxfield House have been very tolerant so far, but I notice that one landowner has dug out the ditches on his verges, presumably in response to the maverick few who have been parking on private verges.

Please park ONLY at Kingsway Golf Centre (8am-9.30pm), not by the road, and walk about 200m along the hedge below the power lines.

Still lots of turtle dove activity at Fowlmere NR, plus barn owl chicks spreading their wings in the evenings, juv water rails, etc.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Doug Radford (Fowlmere RSPB warden)

Monday, 25 July 2011

Recent sightings at Dungeness

Garganey – a female on the ARC pit on 23rd. Wigeon – one on the ARC pit on 20th. Goosander – a female on the ARC pit on 25th. Black-necked grebe – near Makepeace hide on 22nd. Bittern – two nests with young at Hooker’s pits! Look out for the females making feeding flights. Great white egret – one still on Denge Marsh. Hobby – two over Denge Marsh on 23rd. Little-ringed plover – several at the ARC site on 25th. Dunlin – six at the ARC site on 24th. Golden plover – 20 at the ARC site on 25th. Pectoral sandpiper – at south end of ARC from 22nd to 24th. Curlew sandpiper – two on the ARC site on 19th. Common sandpiper – two on Burrowes pit on 22nd. Wood sandpiper – one on the ARC pit on 22nd. Green sandpiper – on the ARC pit on 22nd. Greenshank – on the ARC site on 22nd. Little stint – one on ARC site on 21st. Turnstone – one on Burrowes pit on 23rd. Little gull - one over the ARC site on 25th.

Christine Hawkins

Thursday, 21 July 2011

PADDYFIELD WARBLER trapped in Dorset

Dorset recorded its first-ever PADDYFIELD WARBLER today when an adult was trapped and ringed in a small reedbed on The Fleet just east of Chickerell's Hive Point. This is only the second-ever July occurrence in Britain and does beg the question of what it is doing here so early in the autumn.

Continuing an excellent year for another reed-dwelling warbler - SAVI'S - one was singing this evening for its third consecutive day at Hickling Broad NWT (Norfolk) and audible from the Observation Tower.

Waders still remain the talking point, with the adult MARSH SANDPIPER still at Blacktoft Sands RSPB (East Yorks) and now visible from the Marshland Hide, an adult WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER at West Saltholme Pools (Cleveland) viewable from the main A178 layby and the adult PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Strathbeg (Aberdeenshire). Interestingly, Iceland recorded its first-ever Short-billed Dowitcher a few days ago and two different adult Red-necked Stints have been located on the Continent - in Norway and The Netherlands.

In South Devon today, the CATTLE EGRET remains for a second day on the Otter Estuary at Budleigh Salterton, showing from the hide along the west bank just north of the Lime Kilns car park. The 2nd-summer GLAUCOUS GULL remains there too.

In Cambridgeshire, the first-summer COMMON ROSEFINCH remains in Fowlmere Road in conifers at Foxfield House near Melbourn whilst yesterday, an early migrant MELODIOUS WARBLER was on the shingle ridge the seaward side of Dungeness Power Station (Kent) not far from the Patch seawatching hide.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Returning waders making the headlines

The total number of bird species recorded in combined Britain and Ireland in 2011 now stands at 385........the adult MARSH SANDPIPER at Blacktoft Sands RSPB (East Yorkshire) being the latest addition (see Martin Standley's superb images above). This bird is still present today favouring the mud visible from the Ousefleet Screen

The adult summer SPOTTED SANDPIPER is still present too - showing well on occasions from the Shallow Water Hide on the Lyndon Reserve at Rutland Water (Leics). You can see this bird very distantly from the Manton Bay bridge but under no circumstances climb the gate and walk down. This area is covered by CCTV, is closely monitored and is home to a nesting pair of Ospreys.

A TEREK SANDPIPER roosting with lapwings was a new discovery this afternoon at Holywell Pond (Northumberland), visible from the public hide as it sat on the island. Meanwhile, an adult TEMMINCK'S STINT remains at Gibraltar Point NNR (Lincs) and an adult PECTORAL SANDPIPER is at Loch of Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire).

A couple of summering first-year BONAPARTE'S GULLS remain: the bird on Exmouth Beach (South Devon) (just west of the lifeboat station) and the other on Berneray (Outer Hebrides). Also in South Devon, the 2nd-summer GLAUCOUS GULL remains at the west end of Budleigh Salterton beach, with 3 adult ROSEATE TERNS nearby at Dawlish Warren NNR.

As usual, the build up of LITTLE GULLS at this time of year is spectacular, with no less than 520 gracing Hornsea Mere (East Yorks)

In NW Derbyshire, the male WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER remains at Arnfield Reservoir, favouring the woodland by the bridge at SK 014 976, whilst in Cambridgeshire, the drab first-summer male COMMON ROSEFINCH continues at Foxfield House on Fowlmere Road near Melbourn. A RED-RUMPED SWALLOW was a very unusual mid-July occurrence on Shetland - showing well mid-afternoon over the Loch of Hillwell at the south end of the archipelago.

For at least its third day, a CATTLE EGRET is with Little Egrets in Pagham Harbour (West Sussex), whilst the summering COMMON CRANE can still be found in the set-aside NE of Saxby Bridge at Saxby All Saints (Lincs) (at SE 975 167). GREAT WHITE EGRETS include the long-stayer at Denge Marsh, Dungeness (Kent) and the regularly reappearing adult at Sturminster Marshall GP (Dorset).

The adult drake Ferruginous Duck is to be found at Blagdon Lake (Avon), feeding with other Aythya ducks off of the lodge at 'Tiny's Shallow', whilst in Aberdeenshire, the adult drake NORTH AMERICAN BLACK SCOTER remains with 3 drake SURF SCOTER and over 2,200 moulting Common Scoters off Murcar Beach.

In the west country, small numbers of CORY'S SHEARWATERS flew west past Land's End (West Cornwall) and Deep Point, St Mary's (Scilly) today.

In IRELAND, the two PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVERS remain on the Myroe Levels (Co. Derry), whilst seawatching has begun in earnest off of the Bridges of Ross (County Clare), with Sabine's Gull, Cory's Shearwater and good numbers of Sooty and Balearic Shearwaters recorded in recent days.

Monday, 18 July 2011

ROSEFINCH still singing

In Cambridgeshire, the singing male COMMON ROSEFINCH remains on territory at Foxfield Farm and environs (TL 399 458), along Fowlmere Road, just east of Melbourn town. Park at Fowlmere RSPB car park and walk back along the road to view.

A further passage of CORY'S SHEARWATERS off Cornwall

Following last week's major passage of CORY'S SHEARWATERS, a further passage occurred this morning, involving 32 past Porthgwarra..

MARSH SANDPIPER still present

An adult MARSH SANDPIPER continues at Blacktoft Sands RSPB reserve today, still viewable distantly from the Ousefleet Hide


The two PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVERS are still present in Lough Foyle (County Londonderry), at the mouth of the Roe Estuary at Myroe Levels

Lincolnshire Rares

The long-staying juvenile WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLE remains at Ruckland Ponds, as does the eclipse drake AMERICAN WIGEON at Freiston Shore RSPB


For nearly a week now, an adult summer-plumaged SPOTTED SANDPIPER has been at Rutland Water, favouring Manton Bay on the Lyndon Reserve from where it can be seen from the Shallow Bay Hide. Richard Bayldon obtained the image above

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

LESSER GREY SHRIKE in Pembrokeshire

LESSER GREY SHRIKE, St Justinian's, Pembrokeshire, 3-4 July 2011 - see more of David Astin's outstanding images at the local birding information website at

Since my last update. the total number of species recorded in combined Britain and Ireland has risen to 383.......with the addition of six new birds, namely MARBLED DUCK (a post-breeding disperser in Sussex), PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER (2 individuals in Northern Ireland), WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, CASPIAN TERN (a ringed individual on the East Coast), WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER (a rare inland songster) and LESSER GREY SHRIKE (in Pembrokeshire).

As for the latter species, this first-summer individual was still present last night for its second day west of St David's and just north of St Justinian's car park in gorse and bracken along the coastal footpath - showing well. The singing male WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER continues at Arnfield Reservoir (NW Derbyshire) (directions as previously directed) with the male BLACK-HEADED BUNTING still at Schoolton on Fair Isle (Shetland).

The MARBLED DUCK mentioned previously was still present this morning 4 miles SW of Hailsahm (East Sussex) at Arlington Reservoir but flighty, whilst FERRUGINOUS DUCKS were still present at Island Mere, Minsmere RSPB (Suffolk)

A single GREAT WHITE EGRET has returned to Pitsford Reservoir (Northants), favouring the Walgrave Bay, where also the summer-plumaged SLAVONIAN GREBE remains in the Scaldwell Bay. Meanwhile, the other summering GREAT WHITE EGRET continues on Denge Marsh in East Kent.

The juvenile WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLE is still roosting regularly in a favoured tree by Ruckland Ponds (Lincs), SW of the A16 near Burwell

In Northern Ireland, the two PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVERS remain at Lough Foyle (County Derry) at the mouth of the Roe Estuary at the north end of the Turf Fields at the Myroe Levels.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Weekend Highlights - Singing male WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER in NW Derbyshire

When Paul Greenall contacted me yesterday with a singing male WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER at his local patch on the Derbyshire/Greater Manchester border, my first thoughts were of some very odd Wood Warblers or hybrids I had seen in South Wales and the Midlands some years ago. Paul was very sensibly cautious but before releasing the news nationally, he waited before I could get others at the scene to help confirm the identification and weigh up the access possibilities for the site.

Paul confirmed early this morning that the bird was still present, singing continuously but showing only occasionally, flitting high up in the canopy. By mid-morning, some 20 or so observers had arrived on the scene, the call-note heard and recorded (by Tom McKinney) confirming its identification as the western form bonelli (WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER). Singing males on territory in Britain are exceptionally rare and this record not surprisingly constituting the first for Derbyshire.

DIRECTIONS: the bird is just west of Tintwistle at Arnfield Reservoir. Kindly park ONLY at Rossington Park Industrial Estate and take the footpath alongside the river over the bridge. Turn right on the A628 and walk to Cross Gates Lane before taking the footpath behind the fishery and into the small nature reserve. The bird can be seen and heard from within the vicinity of the first footbridge.

Another good find today was of an adult male AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER in North Lancashire on the Wyre Estuary half a mile north of Skipool Creek at 'Ramper Pot'. The bird was with 5 European Golden Plovers and was still present this evening. From the A585 roundabout take the B5412 north before turning right on to Wyre Road. Use the car park at the end of the road and walk north beyond the yacht centre but DO NOT walk out on to the jetties.

A BLACK-WINGED STILT was an unexpected surprise at Home Creek on the Hazelwood Marshes SWT reserve west of Aldeburgh in Suffolk, but flew upriver as the tide came in. It was not relocated.

On Fair Isle (Shetland), a male BLACK-HEADED BUNTING arrived today, along with a COMMON ROSEFINCH and unseasonal LAPLAND BUNTING. whilst John Bell stumbled upon an adult ROSE-COLOURED STARLING on Islay (Argyll) just west of the Laphroaig turning at NR 384 453. Another ROSE-COLOURED STARLING was mobile with Common Starlings in the Aberdaron area in Gwynedd, whilst the long-staying EUROPEAN BEE-EATER remained highly mobile about the Isles of Scilly.

At Murcar Beach, north of Aberdeen, the scoter flock is becoming more and more mobile, but still contains the adult drake (NORTH AMERICAN) BLACK SCOTER and up to 3 drake SURF SCOTERS. Over in West Highland, the drake BLACK DUCK-type was still consorting with Mallards on the north shore of Loch Sunart, west of Strontian.

Two juvenile BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS remain at Stodmarsh (Kent), being visible occasionally from the Tower Hide roosting in the 'Cormorant trees' west of the Lampen Wall. A male SAVI'S WARBLER is also singing again at the reserve in the main reedbed between the Wall and Marsh Hide and a male MONTAGU'S HARRIER drifted through.

In Lincolnshire, the juvenile WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLE refuses to move back to the continent, preferring to summer at Ruckland Ponds 6.5 miles south of Louth, where also the first-year COMMON CRANE continues at Bonby Carrs, visible from by the river. In North Yorkshire, the similarly aged COMMON CRANE continues at Nosterfield, again on the east side of Lingham Lake.

A surprising number of adult WOOD SANDPIPERS returning early, including singles in recent days at Blacktoft Sands RSPB (East Yorks), Rookery Pit, Stewartby (Beds), College Lake BBOWT (Bucks). and Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham (South Devon). Meanwhile, large numbers of irrupting COMMON CROSSBILLS continue to move through.

At Dungeness (Kent), both the summering GREAT WHITE EGRET and GLAUCOUS GULL are still present, whilst in South Devon, the first-summer BONAPARTE'S GULL is still to be found on the Exe Estuary. The latter site also hosts three juvenile BEARDED TITS at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB.

A CATTLE EGRET spent yesterday at Swillington Ings (West Yorkshire), whilst the gaudy summer-plumaged adult RED-NECKED GREBE continues its summer residency at Ten Acre Lake on Hatfield Moors (South Yorks).

In IRELAND, 11 BEARDED TITS was a nice record for Tacumshin Lake (County Wexford), seen in flight over The Patches this morning, (where both Spoonbill and female MONTAGU'S HARRIER remain), whilst in County Londonderry, first one then two PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVERS were located on the at the north end of the turf fields at Myroe Levels at Lough Foyle at the mouth of the Roe Estuary.