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

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Monday, 30 July 2012

What A Good Year for the ROLLERS.......

As July comes towards a close, we can look back on the summer as being exceptional for EUROPEAN ROLLER occurrences. Not withstanding an extremely popular adult that spent three weeks in East Yorkshire, since 26 July another (or the same) has been frequenting Orkney Mainland in the vicinity of Meddle Hill at Finstown. It was still showing well on fenceposts this evening.

Not that far away, on North Ronaldsay (Orkney), an adult moulting WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER continues in Holland House garden

This past week has also been good for both PURPLE HERON and WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN, with singles of the former involving a juvenile at Coombe Hill Meadows (Gloucs), a long-staying adult at Stodmarsh (Kent) and perhaps the same at Oare Marshes NR, Faversham, and a further bird in Cambridgeshire at Mepal Washes. WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERNS appeared at Staines Reservoirs (Surrey) at dusk on 28 July (departing at dawn next day), Minsmere RSPB (Suffolk) on 28 July (moving south to Orfordness) and further adults at Alton Water Dam (Suffolk) and Saltholme RSPB (Cleveland) on 29-230 July.

An adult SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER was discovered in East Lothian on 29 July and was still showing well today - two miles west of Dunbar on the south side of Tyninghame Bay commuting between Sandy Hurst spit and the mouth of the Hedderwick Burn. Meanwhile in Cheshire, an adult BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER continues to visit Frodsham Marsh No 6 Tank and a summer-plumaged adult LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER continues to grace the South Lake at Slimbridge WWT (Gloucs). PECTORAL SANDPIPERS are to be found at Bishop Middleham Floods (County Durham) and in the NW corner of Normandy Marsh, SE of Lymington (Hants).

On St Kilda, the adult male SNOWY OWL continues its summer sojourn on the barren and windswept Hirta, whilst a GLOSSY IBIS remains at Walton Hall Marshes, The Naze (Essex).

In Somerset, the male IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF continues to sing and call erratically from Silver Birches at the east end of the Porlock Toll Road, just east of the metal bench and log pile on the first bend west of Porlock

Not much to report from IRELAND apart from the male SNOWY OWL on Arranmore and GLOSSY IBIS and MONTAGU'S HARRIER at tacumshin.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Autumn begins as hot weather replaces rain

21 July in the avian world is traditionally the first day of autumn in UK and Irish birding, although the forecast weather for next week suggest that summer has just arrived.......

As such, a FEA'S SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL past Mizen Head (County Cork) on 16th July represents the 387th species of the year

This past week has been fairly quiet as expected but claiming pole position has been a twitchable 2nd-summer CASPIAN TERN traversing the River Bure, east of Norwich from Tuesday to Thursday. It favoured the pool 150 yards east of the derelict windmill at Buckenham Marshes RSPB (Norfwich) but also visited Strumpshaw Fen, Cantley Beet Factory Pools and Breydon Water during its visit, the latter being utilised as a roosting site late in the day; there was no sign of it today however.

Seabirds have been hitting the headlines most of the week with WILSON'S STORM PETRELS now being easily found in the Western Approaches south and SW of Scilly and a small scattering of GREAT and CORY'S SHEARWATERS, the latter including the odd bird off Porthgwarra (Cornwall) and daily now off SW Ireland. ROSEATE TERNS have been moving south with up to 4 individuals being noted at Minsmere South Scrape and at Lowestoft North Beach (Suffolk).

The male RED-BACKED SHRIKE has delighted a stream of visitors to Lake Farm Country Park, Hayes (Middlesex), showing well in Elder and Hawthorn scrub 100 yards NE of the reserve car park - and still present today - with the first of returning passage Whinchats and Common Redstarts turning up at a variety of locations.

A ROLLER at New Pitsligo in Lovie Quarry (Aberdeenshire) from 13th-15th July was a superb record for Scotland.

Returning adult waders this week have included an adult PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Holland Haven (16th) and Old Hall Marshes (both Essex) on 18th, with another at Cresswell Bay (Northumberland) from 16th-19th and an adult WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER at Wagon Wheel Pits, Grimley (Worcs) (14th only) and at Frmapton Marsh RSPB (North Lincs). A splendid summer-plumaged GREY PHALAROPE graced Martin Mere WWT (Lancs) on 17th, with an adult in near winter plumage at Old Moor RSPB, Barnsley (South Yorks) today (20th), whilst an adult TEMMINCK'S STINT was at Greatham Creek, Teesmouth (Cleveland) throughout the week.
Three WHITE STORKS were on the floodmeadows at Templecombe (Dorset) until Wednesday whilst GLOSSY IBISES continue at Marloes Mere (Pembs), Pagham Harbour (West Sussex) and wandering birds at Holland Haven (Essex) and Grove Ferry NR (Kent) on 17th.

GLOSSY IBISES continue in IRELAND with singles at Timoleague (County Cork), Tacumshin (County Wexford) and Tralee Bay (County Kerry) whilst the female SNOWY OWL on The Mullet (County Mayo) reappeared at Termon Hill and a male was on Arranmore Islands (County Donegal). An adult ROSE-COLOURED STARLING remained in Dungarvan (County Waterford) at Abbeyside, Seapark.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Midsummer doldrums

Little going on it seems, although the weather remains unsettled with continuous localised flash flooding....

In Greater London, a gorgeous adult male RED-BACKED SHRIKE continues for a fourth day north of Heathrow Airport at Lake Farm Country Park just south of Hayes. It is frequenting a small patch of bushes 100 yards NE of the car park in Dawley Road.

Returning rare waders include an adult WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER at Frampton Marsh RSPB (North Lincs) and an adult PECTORAL SANDPIPER at the north end of Cresswell Pond (Northumberland)

In North Norfolk, a GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK remains on Blakeney Point, frequenting the base of the Yankee Ridge area, a 50 minute walk west from Cley Coastguards, whilst in Suffolk, the female EUROPEAN SERIN continues to tease vsitors at Landgaurd Nature Reserve (but generally disappears after 0700 hours).

A great local bird, a male MONTAGU'S HARRIER, is still being regularly seen in Lancashire, where it remains ESE of Slaidburn at Champion Moor.

Minsmere RSPB has a GLOSSY IBIS still present on the South Levels

BALEARIC SHEARWATERS are currently a daily event at Portland Bill (Dorset), whilst at least 3 WILSON'S STORM PETRELS were seen from a Scilly pelagic yesterday evening.
In Ireland, the only recent reports are of at least 1 GLOSSY IBIS still at Tacumshin (County Wexford) and another at Timoleague (County Cork) and a BLACK STORK that flew over Ballyvaughan towards Black Head (County Clare)

Sunday, 8 July 2012


There is an adult SP LonLONG-BILLED DOWITCHER at Ouse Fen. I found the bird yesterday morning in an area with no public access, and with the warden away, there was no way to arrange access to broadcast the news.

However, the bird has been seen from the public bridalway that runs along the north side of the site, paralleling the river Ouse.

It was last seen flying off high southwest at ca. 13.00 pm this afternoon, with Redshanks. It may well still be in the area, however.

It favours Phase 5 of the site, and has also been associating with the Black-tailed Godwit flock. View FROM BEHIND BARBED WIRE FROM ca. TL378740

To access this, EITHER park at Earith bridge TL392745 and walk west along the public bridalway to where Phase 5 is beyond the barbed wire fence on the left OR approach along Overcote Road on the track that leads to Brownshill Staunch (the bridalway starts under the conveyor belt just before the Staunch, ca. TL370726. From there it's about 20 mins walk to view third pool on right.

ON NO ACCOUNT OR UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES MUST ANYONE APPROACH BY WALKING ALONG THE CONVEYOR BELT FROM THE FEN END ROAD of the site - this is a very important requirement that EVERYONE must adhere to. The conveyor belt is part of a working quarry, even if men are not currently at work.

Richard P