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

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Saturday, 24 March 2012

SE winds and temperatures at 72 degrees F

Temperatures reached 72 degrees fahrenheit in southern England today, whilst a SE wind bathed most of the coastline. With exceptionally early migrants in the form of Common Cuckoo, House Martin, Sedge Warbler and Common Whitethroat, the list total for this year surged forward to an incredible 290 species.......

But it was IRELAND that stole the show with a whole host of southern overshoots turning up. Best of all was a very confiding BAILLON'S CRAKE on Great Saltee Island (County Wexford), favouring the ruins to the left of the Rickyard house. Boats to the island leave Kilmore Quay. A WOODCHAT SHRIKE was also discovered, with a twitcahble ALPINE SWIFT at Fanore (County Clare) and a BLACK KITE at Vartry Reservoir, Roundwood (County Wicklow). This follows a PURPLE HERON seen near Kilcoole yesterday.

Incoming migrants here included at least 4 HOOPOES, with two in the vicinity of Higher Bosistow Farm, Polgigga (Cornwall) and further singles on the Garrison, St Mary's (Scilly) and another at Tavistock (Devon). At the extreme NW of Britain, an ALPINE SWIFT flew up and down the gulley just SW of the lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis (Outer Hebrides).

In South Wales, the male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT remains at Rhiwderyn (Gwent), with the adult BONAPARTE'S GULL nearby in Cardiff Bay, the drake LESSER SCAUP at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park and the LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER at Cydweli (Carmarthenshire).

The two first-winter LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS continue to show well on the drained lagoon 500 yards west of the Ashcott Corner car park at Meare Heath (Shapwick Heath NNR, Somerset), with 6 GREAT WHITE EGRETS still in the area and both drake LESSER SCAUP and SPOTTED SANDPIPER still at Chew Valley Lake (Avon).

The LITTLE BUNTING continues at South Milton Ley (South Devon), whilst ROSE-COLOURED STARLINGS are still in residence in Muirhead, Troon (Ayrshire) and in Hordle village (Hants).

A CATTLE EGRET is showing well at Home Farm, Springfield Bottom (Theale, Berkshire), with another at Lydney (Gloucs), whilst GLOSSY IBISES remain at Saltholme Pools (Cleveland), Marloes Mere (Pembs), Minsmere RSPB (Suffolk) and near Chelmsford at Baddow Meads Pond, Great Baddow (Essex). Yesterday, a GLOSSY IBIS made it to Aird an Runair on North Uist (Outer Hebrides), whilst elsewhere in Scotland, 3 adult WHITE-BILLED DIVERS remain offshore of Port Nis, Lewis, and the GREATER YELLOWLEGS continues at Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire).

Both the HUME'S LEAF WARBLER and RICHARD'S PIPIT remain at Wyke Regis (Dorset), whilst in IRELAND, a long-staying RICHARD'S PIPIT continues at Killard Point.

Maldon GLOSSY IBIS relocates

I have just found a GLOSSY IBIS at Baddow Meads flood plains near Chelmsford. The bird was frequenting the pond area near the white pub. I presume this is the bird from maldon as it had a white ring on it. Here is alocation map if it works,206425&st=4&ar=y&mapp=map.srf&searchp=ids.srf&dn=773&ax=572411&ay=206425&lm=0

Hadden Turner

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Today's Highlights - LAUGHING GULL and ALPINE SWIFT

The total number of species now recorded in Britain and Ireland this year has risen to 279 with the addition of a first-winter LAUGHING GULL in Cumbria and an ALPINE SWIFT in Cornwall. Present for its second day, the LAUGHING GULL has been frequenting fields south of the A590 near Dalton-in-Furness, about 400 yards NE of the Dalton roundabout. The mobile ALPINE SWIFT was initially seen over Lizard Village (Cornwall) from 1500-1515 and again at 1605 before relocating to Caerthillian and Church Coves briefly at 1728.

Recent days have seen a big increase in migrants arriving with the first main thrust of Northern Wheatears, Common Chiffchaffs, Black Redstarts and Sand Martins, whilst Garganeys, White Wagtails and the odd Ring Ouzel, Willow Warbler, Barn Swallow and Stone Curlew have also been turning up. Associated with this arrival have been several BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS, including up to four different individuals in a landscaped garden pond in Devon at Woolacombe and a long-stayer at the small pool in Polgigga adjacent to the Porthgwarra turning (West Cornwall)

On the Isles of Scilly, the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH continues to show intermittently in the thick Sallow 'woodland' just beyond the Shooter's Pool viewing screen on Lower Moors, St Mary's. Meanwhile in South Wales, the first-winter male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT continues to infrequent the brambles and scrub at the top of the field just outside of Rhiwderyn, NW of Newport (Gwent) (at ST 259 869).

In West Sussex, the male PADDYFIELD WARBLER continues to linger at Pagham Harbour, favouring the Phragmites and scrub 90 yards west of the Breaches Pool, most often between the 3rd and 4th benches on the North Wall. Please park sensibly at the end of Church Lane and follow the footpath for 500 yards. Not that far away in Hampshire, the adult male SPANISH SPARROW continues to display to House Sparrows in Calshot village.

The first-year GREATER YELLOWLEGS was once again today at the Starnafin Farm Loch of Strathbeg RSPB reserve (Aberdeenshire), after being absent all day yesterday, whilst present for at least its third day was another Nearctic vagrant - female BLUE-WINGED TEAL - at the Walmsley Sanctuary CBWPS Reserve (Cornwall) (viewable from the Tower Hide).

The adult SPOTTED SANDPIPER is once again feeding along the concrete banking of the Herriott's Pool at Chew Valley Lake (Avon), whilst that same reservoir harbours a drake LESSER SCAUP from the Bernard King Hide and a long-staying LONG-TAILED DUCK at the dam. Not that far away in Somerset, a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was with Common Redshanks at Greylake RSPB until 0930 hours.

Many GLOSSY IBISES are still to be found including four birds at Cantley Marshes RSPB showing well from the gate in Station Road, Cantley (Norfolk), the immature at Island Mere, Minsmere RSPB (Suffolk), two still in the first meadow west of the oxbow lakes at Stodmarsh NNR (Kent), two still in the vicinity of the North Hide at Radipole Lake RSPB (Dorset), that in flooded fields at Saltholme Pools RSPB (Cleveland) and 3 still at Marloes Mere (Pembs).

Numerous GREAT WHITE EGRETS remain, including singles at Campfield Marsh RSPB (Cumbria) (at NY 201 606), on the Harty Marshes, Sheppey (North Kent), at Crossens Outer Marsh (Lancs), at Llanrhidian Marsh, on the Gower (Glamrgan) and up to four in the Somerset Levels area, whilst CATTLE EGRETS today include singles at Redhill House on Watery Lane in Lydney (Gloucs) (at SO 625 030) and that in the cattle field at SY 719 914 at Kingston Maurward, Dorchester (Dorset)

Wintering YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS still to be found include one of the four at Carnon Downs Sewage Works, Truro (Cornwall) and that in the dense evergreen shrubs by the entrance to the Paraxel building on Worthing High Street (West Sussex) as well as the more recent migrant in bushes along the cycleway between Berkeley Way and Skipton Crescent in Warndon, Worcester (Worcs) at SO 884 570. whilst all 3 wintering ROSE-COLOURED STARLINGS are to be found, with that in Holyhead (Anglesey) and singles in Muirhead, Troon (Ayrshire) (most frequently in Bruce Kerr's garden with the Scottish flag opposite the Activity Centre) and in Hordle village (Hants) (generally in the vicinity of the memorial, just down from the village post office). A flock of 4 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS still remains on berries by the roundabout at the south end of Asda's car park in Blyth (Northumberland)

Lots of GREAT GREY SHRIKES are still to be found including popular singles near Fakenham (Norfolk) parallel to the A148, one in the middle-of-nowhere near the Craig Bron-banog aerial mast in Clocaenog Forest (at SJ 018 520), the singing male near the footpath to Doles Farm at Lower Layham (Suffolk), the long-stayer near the sentry box on Prestwick Carrs (Northumberland), one in the clearing opposite the hide in Montreathmont Forest (Angus/Dundee), that present for its third day between Green House Farm and Twelve Acre Farm at South Leigh (Oxfordshire), that long-stayer in the hedgerows near Hinton Organic Farm at Queen Charlton (Somerset), at Ibsley Common and at Pig Bush in the New Forest (Hants), in hedgerows opposite ElyRailway Station in Little Thetford (Cambs), on the slope west of the car park at World's End (Clwyd), in the central clearfell in Cross Inn Forest (Ceredigion), along the Ackling Dyke at Sixpenny Handley (Dorset) still, two still on Thursley Common (Surrey), in the clearfell at Langridge Fell (SD 660 404) (Lancs) a kilometre along the main forestry track off of the old Clitheroe road and still near the loch at Old Kinord (Aberdeenshire).

In North Wales, a build-up in scoter numbers has resulted in the finding of no less than four SURF SCOTERS (3 adult drakes) offshore amongst the estimated 25,000 Common Scoters at Old Colwyn (Conwy), with another drake in Largo Bay off Ruddon's Point (Fife).

Other rare wildfowl lingering include drake AMERICAN WIGEONS on the central lagoon at Exminster Marshes RSPB (South Devon) and at Angler's Country Park, WakefIeld (South Yorks), the drake RING-NECKED DUCK still on the Par Beach Pool, St Austell (Cornwall) with another at Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park (Lancs), and the drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL on the River Chelmer in Maldon (Essex) and that on Dorman's Pool, Teesmouth (Cleveland). Two 'new' drake RING-NECKED DUCKS were discovered on Loch Davan (Aberdeenshire) this evening.

Meanwhile, a white morph SNOW GOOSE remains with Greylag Geese in fields left of the Douglas Water junction in Clyde and the RED-BREASTED GOOSE with Dark-bellied Brent Geese at Old Hall Marshes (Essex)..

Nottinghamshire had an interesting overland wader passage today, involving both Red Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit but more interestingly a PURPLE SANDPIPER at Kilvington West Lake; also at least 6 Black-legged Kittiwakes through..

One of the two LITTLE AUKS remained in Scapa Flow off of Scapa Pier (Orkney) today.

Not much news from IRELAND today but the female RING-NECKED DUCK remains at Cross Lough, Killadoon (County Mayo), the female SIBERIAN STONECHAT continues on the South Slob NR (County Wexford), a GLOSSY IBIS for its second day at Mullaghmore Lake (County Galway), both first-winter LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS at The Cull (County Wexford), drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL at Tacumshin (County Wexford) and the first Swallows and Willow Warblers of the year

Rare Bird Alerts

The daily bird news feed has now reverted to the Members Area of the UK400 Club website at where members can benefit from all of the latest and breaking news on Rare Birds in Britain and Ireland

Thursday, 15 March 2012

HAMPSHIRE'S finest all still there

The male SPANISH SPARROW at Calshot is now singing away for 3 hours or so at a time, obviously trying to attract a mate, close to Calshot Close. Excellent for photography, has no qualms about showing itself on the ground or on top of the bushes just a few feet away from photographers, posing for the pictures. Amongst the other charities, Viv and Bruce have contributed to HOS as they were so pleased with the way Simon, Keith and others handled everything. The money will go to something special (hic).

The Hawkhill Inclosure DARK-EYED JUNCO is still showing in the New Forest, but the inevitable 'discussions' arise between the photographers and the others, as to how close to go to the seeds. It has been no more than friendly banter, but it did seem that when those closest left, the birds came down to feed. The Junco seems to remain quite timid, although others dispute this.

The ROSE-COLURED STARLING in Hordle village continues to show well. It is easy to distinguish when with other starlings. It can be anywhere in the vicinity during the day. The best time to be sure of seeing and hearing it is about 3.30 onwards. It arrives at Holes Close to roost well before dusk (the first house on the right hand side as you enter, the bird roosts at the far end every night inside this thorny bush), and can be heard trying to attract other starlings to join its roost, always unsuccessfully. It will show itself on and off; t is well used to people, and also fly around the close before returning to the bush, trying to get the other starlings to join it. The residents of the house, Eileen and Tony, are thrilled to have the bird here (they have named it Reggie), and also thrilled to have the birdwatchers who have been 'exemplary and brilliant'. They are considering following the example of Calshot and having a collection bucket, money going towards a charity and something for the close. They said they are so pleased they are willing to invite birdwatchers into their garden.

Ian Julian

Sunday, 11 March 2012

SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER arrives as the temperature increase to 61 degrees F

Following on from a few early OSPREYS and the first wave of GARGANEYS, temperatures of up to 64 degrees fahrenheit today induced a vagrant SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER into East Kent at Samphire Hoe Country Park - the 275th species of the year in combined Britain and Ireland. Found shortly after midday, the bird remained on view until late afternoon, generally favouring the Birches and small plantations alongside the railway, up to 300 yards away from the Information Centre. Simon Knight managed a few record shots, published above.

Otherwise, it was very much the same as it has been - the showstoppers all still in situ

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT still moving about the hedgerows adjacent to Rhiwderyn village in Gwent (South Wales) (but much more difficult now to locate due to the small number of people now visiting the site), the male SPANISH SPARROW in Calshot village (Hants) (Bruce Gwynn still putting in a sterling effort and allowing access to his girlfriend's house to view the feeders - please note though that Bruce will soon be away for 6 weeks), the male DARK-EYED JUNCO in the clearing NW of the car park at Hawkhill Inclosure, New Forest, west of Beaulieu and the singing male PADDYFIELD WARBLER in phragmites in the vicinity of the third bench west of the Breaches Pool at Pagham harbour's North Wall.

And now for the rest.......

Still numerous GREAT WHITE EGRETS to see, including up to 5 in the Shapwick Heath NNR area (Somerset) but no recent reports of the Kirkby-on-Bain Landfill Site (Lincs) White Stork of unknown origin.

GLOSSY IBISES continue to make headlines and one must now ponder on why several flocks are migrating/dispersing even further north in spring; up to 5 remain on the island of Eigg (Highland) with 3 in the Gibraltar Point area (Lincs), the long-stayer at Leighton Moss RSPB (Lancs), 4 together at Reedham (Norfolk Yare Valley), the singleton at Minsmere RSPB (Suffolk), 8J9 in Essex at Lofts Farm GP, Maldon, 2 at Stodmarsh/Grove Ferry NNR (Kent) and the 3 still at Marloes Mere (Pembs).

Rare wildfowl include a SNOW GOOSE with Greylag Geese at Douglas Water (Clyde) (most wintering Ross's Snow Geese have now departed NNW with Pinkfeet), up to 10 singleton vagrant GREENLAND WHITE-FRONTED GEESE remain at various sites from Hampshire to Suffolk, several TUNDRA BEAN GEESE flocks including 15 at Maidens Hall Lake, Red Row and 3 RED-BREASTED GEESE of probably genuine origin: a first-winter with Barnacles in Dumfries at Southerness Point, a first-winter with Brents at Needs Ore Point (Hants) and an adult with Brents at Kirton Creek, north of Felixstowe (Suffolk).

The drake AMERICAN WIGEON remains at Angler's Country Park (West Yorks), as does the drake at Exminster Marshes RSPB (South Devon) but there was no sign today of the drake at Marlingford Mill, Norwich (Norfolk) that has been present the past week. No less than 12 NORTH AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEALS are to be found, with the first-year drake BLUE-WINGED TEAL on Lower Moors, St Mary's (Scilly), drake LESSER SCAUPS at Cosmeston Lakes CP, Cardiff (Glamorgan) and St John's Loch (Caithness), drake RING-NECKED DUCKS at both Par Beach Pool and College Reservoir in Cornwall and SURF SCOTERS at several sites, including the long-stayers at Penzance (Cornwall) and in West Wales. The juvenile female BUFFLEHEAD from Helston Loe Pool (Cornwall) seems to have moved on, whilst there ha sbeen no further sign of the adult female Hooded Merganser of unknown origin in Kent since 5th March.

Several ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARDS remain on winter territories, the easiest to see being the juvenile at Burpham (West Sussex), whilst 2 COMMON CRANES on Worth Marshes, Sandwich (East Kent) are likely continental migrants.

On the wader front, Scotland's first-year GREATER YELLOWLEGS is now at Starnafin Farm, Loch of Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire) (since 7th) with the long-staying LESSER YELLOWLEGS in West Cornwall near Saltash. Avon's adult SPOTTED SANDPIPER is now showing again at Chew Valley Lake, with sporadic appearances of both the LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS in Wigtown Bay (Galloway) and Lodmoor CP (Dorset). The wintering PECTORAL SANDPIPER also remains in Ayrshire.

The adult BONAPARTE'S GULL continues to be seen in Cardiff Bay (Glamorgan) with further birds at Stornoway, Lewis (Outer Hebrides) and Dunnet Bay (Caithness), with up to 6 different CASPIAN GULLS gracing Minsmere RSPB East Scrape (Suffolk). Martin Scott's record flock of ICELAND GULLS in Stornoway Harbour (Lewis) reached a staggering 88 birds on 9th.

Surprisingly, despite the temperatures, no Hoopoes have yet been found on the South Coast of Britain, but Sand Martins are now starting to arrive in numbers as well as the odd Barn Swallow. An incredible 37 WATER PIPITS are gathered at the water meadows beside the Stour river at Stodmarsh (Kent) with Black Redstarts arriving in good numbers and dribs and drabs of Northern Wheatears. I expect the first White-spotted Bluethroat any day now.

At least 6 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS remain from the winter with perhaps a migratory bird at the Paraxel buildings in Worthing (West Sussex) for two weeks now. Three different ROSE-COLOURED STARLINGS have proved popular with singles in Holyhead, Muirtown (Ayrshire) and Hordle village (Hampshire)

Friday, 2 March 2012

ROSY STARLING in Hampshire (belated report)

I have just been contacted by a member of the public with photos of an adult ROSE-COLURED STARLING that has visited a garden several times each day for about three weeks - but not since 29 February. The bird was visiting a back garden (not viewable from the road) towards the north end of Everton Road, Hordle (not far from the Post Office), so it would be worth checking any Starling flocks around there (Keith Betton).