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

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Friday, 29 August 2014

Autumn well and truly underway

East, Southeast winds on Monday and Tuesday of this week have seen a good arrival of drift migrants, with several still being available today, even though the wind has now switched to the west. Seawatching was also highly productive today in Ireland and the South West.
Newly discovered this Friday were a WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER on Scilly (in pines at Content/Telegraph, St Mary's), a SUBALPINE WARBLER at Landguard (Suffolk), a GREENISH WARBLER in Norfolk (at Winterton South Dunes) and another in Suffolk (at Southwold Sewage Works), an ARCTIC WARBLER on Foula (Shetland) at Hametoun, a LESSER YELLOWLEGS in Cornwall at Croft Pascoe Pool and a CATTLE EGRET at Draycote Water (Warks) (commuting between Toft & Biggin Bays).
In Gloucestershire, the county's first-ever MARSH SANDPIPER (a juvenile) remains for its second day with Greenshank and Ruff on the flash north of Splatt Bridge, Frampton-on-Severn, while in Kent, a particularly showy MELODIOUS WARBLER continues for a third day in Denge Marsh Gully at Dungeness.

The best part of 30 GREAT WHITE EGRETS are still to be seen, including at least 9 on the Shapwick Heath NNR (Somerset), with the GLOSSY IBIS still showing well at Saltholme/Dorman's Pool on Teeside (Cleveland). A female FERRUGINOUS DUCK is at Island Mere on the Minsmere RSPB reserve (Suffolk) with the odd SPOTTED CRAKE still being seen, the one at Rutland Water (Leics) affording the best views.

PECTORAL SANDPIPERS remain at Shibdon Pond, Gateshead (Tyne & Wear), Freiston Shore (Lincs) and at Charlton Mires (Northumberland), with a juvenile RED-NECKED PHALAROPE on the ARC Pit at Dungeness (Kent) (3rd day) and a juvenile TEMMINCK'S STINT at Grafham Water (Cambs) (from the Valley Creek hide).

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Bertha is fast approaching.....

With autumn well under way, the remnants of Hurricane Bertha are about to make landfall in the Western Approaches.....
Up to 100 birdwatchers amassed on Porthgwarra (Cornwall) this morning - seawatching by early evening producing 9 Cory's, 5 Greats, 11 Sooty & 5 Balearic Shearwaters off there. A single WILSON'S PETREL was recorded off Scilly, along with good numbers of both Great & Cory's, while seawatching in County Cork resulted in more of the same (eg, 37 Greats, 15 Cory's past Galley Head).
Meanwhile, the moulting adult STILT SANDPIPER continues to show very well at Cresswell Pond (Northumberland), with juvenile CITRINE WAGTAILS at Grindon Lough (Northumberland) briefly and on Bardsey Island (Gwynedd) for a second day.

The long-staying BLACK-WINGED PRATINCOLE remains at Purl's Bridge RSPB Reserve (Cambs) on the Ouse Washes, favouring the area north of Steven's Hide and south of the railway viaduct, the best part of a 3-mile walk from the information centre. Other long-stayers include the adult BONAPARTE'S GULL at Oare Marshes (Kent), PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON at Seeswood Pool, Nuneaton (Warks) but sadly, it seems that South Devon's Ross's Gull has died.

Second-summer Black-crowned Night Heron, Seeswood Pool, Warks, July 2014 (James Packer)

A 'new' PECTORAL SANDPIPER was discovered at Pulborough Brooks RSPB (West Sussex) this morning (viewable from the Jupps Watchpoint) (and where the family party of 5 BLACK-WINGED STILTS remain) while the adult continues at Fishtail Lagoon on Pennington Marshes (Hants). The 2nd/3rd-summer LONG-TAILED SKUA was seen again today in the Selsey area, visiting Medmerry RSPB around midday (West Sussex).

2nd/3rd summer Long-tailed Skua off Church Norton, Pagham Harbour, early August (David Campbell)

SPOTTED CRAKES remain at Titchwell RSPB (Norfolk) and Rainham Marshes RSPB (Essex/London) while the post-breeding influx of French GREAT WHITE EGRETS continues and 8 or more GLOSSY IBISES remain in residence.

Spotted Crake at Titchwell RSPB (Penny Clarke)

The 3 adult EUROPEAN BEE-EATERS continue to visit the nest on the Isle of Wight, while the summering male RED-BACKED SHRIKE continues at Quainton Hill (Bucks) and an ALPINE SWIFT was seen briefly at St Margaret's-at-Cliffe (Kent).

European Bee-Eater, Wydcombe Estate NT, Niton (Chris Bromley)

Monday, 21 July 2014

Autumn's shaping up nicely

A little bit of seabird movement this evening off West Cornwall with 5 CORY'S SHEARWATERS seen from the return Scillonian crossing. Also a male RED-BACKED SHRIKE in Sutherland - NNE of Ullapool at Strathcanaird east of the A835 (NC 154 021). Also a note to say that 402 species have now been recorded in Britain and Ireland this year.
Otherwise, the adult COLLARED PRATINCOLE still distantly on Minsmere scrape (Suffolk) and the LESSER YELLOWLEGS at Frampton Marsh RSPB (Lincs) but no sign today of the adult BLACK-WINGED PRATINCOLE present recently at the north end of Ouse Washes RSPB reserve (Cambs) (the bird recently at Cley & Titchwell, north Norfolk). A family of BLACK-WINGED STILTS have bred successfully in Suffolk Breckland and can be seen at Cavenham Pits, although the 6 birds spend most of their time on the breeding marsh in the gravel pit complex, not visible from any public rights of way. The family party of 5 also remain in West Sussex at Medmerry RSPB, Bracklesham Bay.

Collared & Black-winged Pratincoles (LGRE)

Black-winged Pratincole in flight (Martin Sidwell)

Still numerous GLOSSY IBISES about, as well as post-breeding GREAT WHITE EGRETS, while the ROSS'S GULL remains at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB (South Devon) and an adult summer BONAPARTE'S GULL remains on the Swale at oare Marshes NR, Faversham (Kent).
The weekend saw the appearance of a few SPOTTED CRAKES as well as a nice adult TEMMINCK'S STINT at Titchwell RSPB.

On the butterfly front, the MONARCH remains in Ruckinge (Hamstreet) and SCARCE TORTOISESHELLS continue to be located but not twitchable.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

BRIDLED TERN moves north

The Inner Farne BRIDLED TERN flew north from the islands and appeared at Port Seton, east of Edinburgh (Lothian), early afternoon of 9th and has spent most of today in the ternery east of North Berwick NE of the A198 at the east end of Seacliff Bay at St Baldred's Boat (accessed from the beach car park at Auldhame at NT 610 850). Meanwhile, one of last summer's SWINHOE'S PETRELS was trapped overnight on Fair Isle in the early hours of 9th.
A breeding-plumaged SPOTTED SANDPIPER continued to show well all day south of Motherwell at Baron's Haugh RSPB (Clyde), with the first adult WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER of the autumn at the mecca that is Tacumshane Pools (County Wexford). PECTORAL SANDPIPERS remain at Haroldswick Pools, Unst (Shetland) and St Peter's Pool, Braebuster Ness, Deerness (Orkney), while Cley's bird was still present on 9th.
The drake LESSER SCAUP reappeared at Tittesworth Reservoir, Leek (Staffs) with Tufted Ducks this afternoon, with that still present on Blagdon Lake (Somerset) too.
Following one reported past Sheringham (Norfolk) at 0755 yesterday morning, another (or same) CORY'S SHEARWATER was sighted off Winterton North Dunes (Norfolk) today. Otherwise, a BLACK KITE circled over Ventnor (Isle of Wight) with 2 Common Buzzards and a calling male CORNCRAKE was heard for its second consecutive morning at Beal (Northumberland). The first-summer ROSS'S GULL remains at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB, Topsham (Devon) while a drake SURF SCOTER remains with Common Scoter off Murcar Golf Course (Aberdeenshire).

Still numerous GLOSSY IBISES about including one today at Newington's Hagg Lane (Notts), as well as regulars at Otmoor RSPB (Oxon), Stanpit Marsh (Dorset), Milnthorpe (Cumbria) and Frampton Marsh (Lancs). A CATTLE EGRET continues at Hillsborough (Co. Down) in Northern Ireland.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Other than a flyover SERIN at Beachy Head (East Sussex) this morning, little to shout about. The adult BLACK-WINGED PRATINCOLE that relocated to Holywell Pond (Northumberland) with Lapwings last night flew off strongly to the north at 1030 hours and was not seen again and the adult summer SPOTTED SANDPIPER that spent yesterday afternoon and evening on the Clyde at Baron's Haugh RSPB, Motherwell (Clyde) was NOT seen today.
The 2nd-summer BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON is again showing reasonably well in Pittville Park, Cheltenham (Gloucs) (GL50 4LB) while an array of GLOSSY IBISES include singles at Stanpit Marsh (Dorset), March Farmers (Cambs), Frampton Marsh (Lincs), Fairburn Ings (West Yorks), Loch Leven (Tayside), Dungeness (Kent) and Ulpha Meadows, Grange-over-Sands (Cumbria) and at Carlton Marshes SWT (Suffolk) (the latter bearing a white darvic ring from Coto Donana, Spain). Numerous GREAT WHITE EGRETS around including one commuting between Otmoor RSPB and Farmoor Reservoir's Pinkhill Scrape in Oxfordshire and another at Kenfig NNR (South Wales), with 20-28 SPOONBILLS still at Cley NWT (Norfolk) and the adult again at Spade Oak GP, Little Marlow (Bucks).


The first-summer COMMON CRANE remains at Arram Carrs (East Yorks) (TA 053 448), as does the PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Cley NWT, whilst on Shetland, the island of Unst continues to host both the LESSER GREY SHRIKE at Baltasound and the PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Haroldswick Pools, this latter site also producing a MARSH WARBLER today

Saturday, 5 July 2014


Bird of the day was undoubtedly the BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS that flew east past Portland Bill (Dorset) at 7am then east past Durlston Country Park (Dorset) at 8.30am. Martin Cade photographed the bird as it glided past the Bill. Also in Dorset, a HOOPOE was seen in the grounds of the Sandford Lane Industrial Estate in Wareham, whilst in neighbouring Hampshire, a male RED-BACKED SHRIKE was at Pig Bush, New Forest.
In County Durham, Chris Bell relocated the BLACK-WINGED PRATINCOLE that had been touring the Northeast since June at Hurworth Burn Reservoir, 2.5 miles east of Trimdon. It was consorting with a small flock of post-breeding Lapwings and was present throughout the day.

Black-winged Pratincole, Hurworth Burn Reservoir, County Durham, 5 July 2014 (Mark Newsome/Whitburn Birds)

The SHORT-TOED SNAKE EAGLE was seen again briefly, drifting over Denny Lodge Inclosure (New Forest) at 10am (Wayne Purcey).
Elsewhere, the first-summer ROSS'S GULL remained in situ at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB, Topsham (South Devon) but there was no sign all day of the Bridled Tern on Inner Farne (Northumberland) - presumably on a fishing trip again. Up to 170 Roseate Terns are now present on Coquet Island. The drake LESSER SCAUP remains at Blagdon Lake (Somerset), as does the ROSE-COLOURED STARLING near Burnley (Lancs) in the parkland opposite 40 Middlesex Avenue. The PECTORAL SANDPIPER was present at Cley NWT Reserve (Norfolk) until mid-afternoon, with 22 EURASIAN SPOONBILLS still feeding. Plenty of GLOSSY IBISES still to be seen (9 in all) with 3 adult BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS and 2+ LITTLE BITTERNS in the Shapwick Heath area (Somerset) and the 2 adult BLACK-WINGED STILTS still at Bracklesham Bay (West Sussex). A couple of singing male MARSH WARBLERS remain on Fair Isle.

A WILSON'S STORM PETREL - the first of the year - was seen from a pelagic SW of Galley Head (Co. Cork) on 29th June, while the first-summer LAUGHING GULL has returned to Ballycotton Pier.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

PEC 'PIPER at Cley

The only 'new' bird today was a PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Cley Marsh NWT (Norfolk) on Pat's Pool, while on 2nd July, a drake BLUE-WINGED TEAL was reported from Lound GP (Notts) and a LEACH'S PETREL was trapped and ringed overnight on Fair Isle (Shetland) (no Swinhoe's yet!)..
Otherwise, the hottest day of the year thus far (82 degrees fahrenheit in some areas of SE England) yielded a reasonable list of long-stayers (but minus the Short-toed Snake Eagle, last reported heading north from Pig Bush, New Forest, at 1100 hours on 2nd) -:

TEMMINCK'S STINT (and LONG-TAILED DUCK) still near the Cronkley Inlet at Derwent Water (Northumberland), with the adult BRIDLED TERN again on Inner Farne. Calling CORNCRAKE still just east of Flamborough village (East Yorks), first-summer ROSS'S GULL at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB (Devon) and ROSE-COLOURED STARLING in Burnley (Lancs). Drake LESSER SCAUP remains at Blagdon Lake (Somerset), with a long list of resident GLOSSY IBISES - Vane Farm RSPB (Tayside), by the River Bela near Milnthorpe (Cumbria), Fairburn Ings (West Yorks), Frampton Marsh RSPB (Lincs), March Farmers (Cambs) and Stanpit Marsh (Dorset); 20 Spoonbills still at Cley.

In IRELAND, Ballycotton Marsh (Co. Cork) recorded both first-summer LAUGHING GULL and GLOSSY IBIS today.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

SHORT-TOED SNAKE EAGLE remains in Hampshire

Short-toed Snake Eagle carrying Grass Snake (Matt Eade)

The SHORT-TOED SNAKE EAGLE reappeared over the woodland at Pig Bush, east of Beaulieu Road Station (New Forest, Hampshire), at around 0900 hours this morning, then showed on and off for just over an hour, retreating to a sheltered perch at 1010 after catching an Adder. It then reappeared at 1415, spending 20 minutes circling over the bog, and later at around 1600 hours. The first-summer female RED-FOOTED FALCON was also still present - at Porthgwarra Moor (Cornwall).
The BRIDLED TERN reappeared again on Inner Farne today (as expected) while censusing revealed the presence of 82 pairs of ROSEATE TERN on Coquet Island (Northumberland) - the highest number of breeding pairs since 2009. A pair of ROSEATE TERNS also spent much of the day at Belvide Reservoir (Staffs), flying off eventually at 1850 hours (others were seen at Seaforth NR, Merseyside, and at Cemlyn Lagoon, Anglesey).
In South Devon, the first-summer ROSS'S GULL continued its summer sojourn at Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham, with the ROSE-COLOURED STARLING still NW of Burnley (Lancs) SE of the A671 favouring the rooftops of Surrey Avenue BB12 8AN.
Otherwise, much of a muchness, with the LESSER SCAUP at Blagdon Lake (Somerset), the 2 RUDDY SHELDUCKS at Pitsford Reservoir (Northants), the COMMON CRANE at Leven Carrs (East Yorks), 5 GLOSSY IBISES (including one reappearing at Willow Tree Fen LWT, Lincs) and a female SURF SCOTER at Blackdog (Aberdeenshire).

In IRELAND, Dave Suddaby discovered an adult breeding-plumaged AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER on The Mullet (Co. Mayo) this evening - at Blacksod on Tarmon Hill.

Monday, 30 June 2014

New Forest SHORT-TOED SNAKE EAGLE reappears

In the New Forest (Hampshire), the SHORT-TOED SNAKE EAGLE reappeared again SW of Pig Bush, near Beaulieu, roosting in a pine tree for an hour or more late afternoon, although there was no sign of the bird in Ashdown Forest today (I cannot believe it is one bird going backwards and forwards, even though they look very similar).

Elsewhere, the first-summer ROSS'S GULL was at Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham (South Devon) but the Inner Farne Bridled Tern didn't turn up (presumably out at sea fishing all day). An eclipsed drake LESSER SCAUP was present for a second day at Blagdon Lake (Somerset)

ROSE-COLOURED STARLINGS remain in Carlton Colville (Suffolk), Burnley (Lancs) and Hopeman (Moray), whilst a male RED-BACKED SHRIKE replaced yesterday's female in the Winterton area, SE of the Horsey track to the sea.

Rosy Starling today in Burnley, behind Woodbine Gardens on Lockyer Playing Fields - SD 819 332
 (Austin Morley)

GLOSSY IBISES continue at Loch Leven (Tayside) (at the west end of Vane Farm RSPB viewable distantly from the Heritage Trail viewpoint), Fairburn Ings RSPB (West Yorks), Otmoor RSPB (Oxon), Stanpit Marsh (Dorset) and NE of Grange-over-Sands (Cumbria) at Ulpha Meadows.

Both rares remain on Unst (Shetland), that is the PECTORAL SANDPIPER and LESSER GREY SHRIKE, with at least one singing male MARSH WARBLER on Fair Isle (Shetland).

At Flamborough (East Yorks), the CORNCRAKE remains this evening north of Lighthouse Road, while in Lancashire, the female DOTTEREL continues to show well on Pendle Hill.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

SHORT-TOED SNAKE EAGLE continues its reign in Ashdown Forest

In Sussex, the 2nd-summer SHORT-TOED SNAKE EAGLE remains in Ashdown Forest, still commuting between the ridge to the east of Gill's Lap car park (its favoured feeding area) and the woodland SW of the Long Car Park on the East Grinstead road (A22) (its main roosting area), while in West Cornwall, the first-summer female RED-FOOTED FALCON remains for its third day at Porthgwarra, ranging widely on the moor.

Runner-up in the rarity stakes continues to be the adult BRIDLED TERN on Inner Farne (Northumberland), spending long periods on the island at present. Boats can be arranged from Seahouses Harbour - contact either Serenity Boat Tours on 07984 668093 or Billy Shiel's on 01665 720388.

Several ROSE-COLOURED STARLINGS to be seen including adult-types at Hopeman (Moray) (on the house roofs opposite the golf course entrance), in Burnley at Rose Grove (Lancashire) (on the playing field above Surrey Avenue) and in Suffolk at Carlton Colville, commuting between gardens in Breydon Way and Pinewood Avenue. A female RED-BACKED SHRIKE remains at Winterton North Dunes (Norfolk) while in Shetland, the male LESSER GREY SHRIKE continues on Unst at Baltasound.

In South Devon, the first-summer ROSS'S GULL remains in residence at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB, Topsham, either viewable from the lane or the hide.

At 2125 this evening, the male CORNCRAKE was calling again at Flambrough Head (East Yorkshire), east of the village in the rough grass field just north of the Lighthouse Road opposite the Millenium Wood, while in the Hull area, the first-summer COMMON CRANE is still at Leven Carrs.

and no shortage of GLOSSY IBISES oversummering - the bird at Otmoor RSPB (Oxfordshire) (in the NE corner of The Closes Field this evening), that at Stanpit Marsh in Christchurch Harbour (Dorset), the wandering bird in Yorkshire visiting Fairburn Ings RSPB this afternoon (on the New Flash from Lin Dyke Hide) after being present at St Aidan's Flash, New Swillington Ings for a while earlier, the long-stayer at Frampton Marsh RSPB (Lincs), that at Dungeness RSPB (Kent) (most often in the flooded Hayfield) and the first-summer just south of Milnthorpe (Cumbria) west of the A6 on the River Bela.

The 2 EURASIAN SPOONBILLS are still present in Findhorn Bay (Moray), as are the 4 at Druridge Bay (Northumberland), while Cley NWT Reserve (Norfolk) now boasts over 24 post-breeding birds on the scrapes.

A female DOTTEREL was a surprise late June occurrence at Pendle Hill (Lancs), showing very well 300 yards SW of the trig point, while on Shetland, a PECTORAL SANDPIPER is at Haroldswick Pools on Unst.


In West Sussex, the family group of BLACK-WINGED STILTS are still to be seen on the Medmerry RSPB reserve, west of Selsey