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

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Friday, 27 November 2015

Week Ending 27 November 2015

Friday Night Roundup Week Ending 27 November 2015
Undoubted bird of the week was a first-winter RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE discovered in a Scalloway garden on Shetland on Wednesday (25th) - the first-ever to be recorded in mainland Shetland. It was frequenting a garden in Ladysmith Way, on the west side of the town, and afforded observer's with outstanding views. It is of the western form meena, of which the majority in the Northern Isles have been, and therefore much smaller in size and whiter in the tail than the long-staying Oriental Turtle Dove (orientalis) that wintered in Oxfordshire several years back.
Also in Scotland, a drake RING-NECKED DUCK is to be found on Loch of Skaill (Orkney), with at least 1 RICHARDSON'S CACKLING GEESE with Barnacle Geese on Islay (Argyll) and a first-winter drake RING-NECKED DUCK and drake Green-winged Teal at Caerlaverock WWT (Dumfries & Galloway). The drake SURF SCOTER remains off Joppa (Edinburgh), with another in Lower Largo Bay (Fife) and a further off Tankerness (Orkney), while in Fife on 25th, a drake LESSER SCAUP was seen on Loch Leven (Tayside). Notable, was a BARRED WARBLER on fatballs at Thorntonloch (Lothian) on 26th-27th.
The juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was still being seen in the Druridge Bay/Cresswell Pool area (Northumberland) until at least Thursday morning (26th), while best bird in the MIDLANDS was a HOOPOE NNW of Kingswinford at Wall Heath (Staffs/West Mids) from 25th (DY6 0BP).
At least 5 ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARDS continue to survive in East Anglia with the most reliable that confiding juvenile at Holland Haven NR (Essex), while newly discovered birds included juveniles at Elmley Marshes (Kent) on 22nd and Therfield Heath, Royston (Herts) on 24th-27th. The juvenile PALLID HARRIER has been present at Snettisham RSPB (Norfolk) all week, pre-roosting in sueda 700 yards south of the southernmost hide during each afternoon, while up to 4 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS have been feeding on the Hawthorn berries just where Beach Road leaves the A149 at Snettisham 24th-27th. At least 3, sometimes 6 SHORELARKS are commuting either side of the Thornham Creek (Norfolk), with up to 18 Twite opposite the brick coal bunker in the harbour.
The LESSER YELLOWLEGS reappeared on Breydon Water (Norfolk) on 23rd, while a flock of up to 23 TAIGA BEAN GEESE arrived in the Yare Valley at Cantley Marshes/Buckenham Marshes (Norfolk) on 26th. A probable female FERRUGINOUS DUCK visited Dagenham Chase LNR (Essex) on 22nd-23rd   A very confiding first-winter GREY PHALAROPE has graced Farmoor 1 Reservoir (Oxfordshire) since 22nd, where a RED-NECKED GREBE continues
Despite being seen by several observers on Saturday 21st, there has been no further sign of the juvenile Surf Scoter off North-east Kent near Reculver, while in Berkshire, the drake RING-NECKED DUCK reappeared at Bray GP, Maidenhead, on 25th. A GLOSSY IBIS spent the afternoon of 26th feeding on roadside pools at Pett Level (East Sussex), where a Red-throated Diver ha sremained on Arlington Reservoir since 25th.
The long-staying adult drake Ferruginous Duck of somewhat suspicious origin has returned to Kingfisher Lake, Blashford Lakes, north of Ringwood (Hants) (viewed only through the wire fence and very difficult to see), while 2 first-winter female RING-NECKED DUCKS have spent the entire week at Rooksbury Mill LNR, Andover (Hants). The adult winter RING-BILLED GULL has been roosting each evening at Ibsley Water, north of Ringwood (Hants), with the first-winter LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER still at Pennington Marshes (Hants) until at least 23rd
The juvenile SURF SCOTER was seen daily off of Blue Anchor, Carhampton (Somerset) until Wednesday (25th) but not since, with 2 masked PENDULINE TITS to the SW of Longham Lakes, Bournemouth (Dorset) until 26th. The 3 CATTLE EGRETS remain at Teigngrace (South Devon) and 1 at Shapwick Heath NNR (Somerset) with the GLOSSY IBIS back again at Ham Wall RSPB (Somerset), with others at Seaton Marshes (South Devon) until at least 24th and at South Huish Marsh (South Devon) until at least 21st. The adult drake LESSER SCAUP remains on Chew Valley Lake (Avon), while in West Cornwall, the adult PACIFIC DIVER reappeared off Marazion Beach on 26th. Several YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS are being found in the far west with singles in Plymouth in Beaumont Park (Devon), at Sandy Cove, Newlyn, and in Cot Valley, St Just (Cornwall).

IRELAND has had a cracking week, highlighted by the first twitchable AMERICAN BITTERN to grace the green isle, attracting & delighting upwards of 85 Irish birders as it fed out in the open in the reedbed edge on the lake below Castlefreke House, just east of Owenahincha (County Cork). It was first seen on 25th, showed most of the day on 26th but just showed during this morning today. Also in County Cork, a juvenile Spotted Sandpiper has been showing well at Pilmore Strand, near Youghal, since 23rd, while in County Kerry, the long-staying adult GULL-BILLED TERN remains in Blennerville. A drake NORTH AMERICAN BLACK SCOTER identified amongst 300 Common Scoter off Waterville Golf Course (Kerry) on 26th was seen again today, as were two LESSER SCAUPS, an adult and first-winter drake, on Lough Gill. A long-staying GLOSSY IBIS remains at Tramore Back Strand (County Waterford), whilst the regular adult FORSTER'S TERN continues in County Galway off Nimmo's Pier and neighbouring Mutton Island Causeway.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Friday Highlights

A blast of polar air is set to arrive for the weekend bringing with it strong northerly winds and some light snow showers. Little Auks may well fall victim of these conditions with a handful recorded today in the North Sea.
In fact, it is to Scotland where most activity currently falls, with 3 different SNOW GEESE being seen, with singles at Loch of Skene (Aberdeenshire), just SW of Beauly by the A862 (Moray) and with Barnacle Geese at Anthorn (Cumbria) and the border with England at Skinburness. The drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL remains at Caerlaverock WWT (Dumfries & Galloway) where also a drake RING-NECKED DUCK is showing well on the Whooper Pond. A COMMON CRANE remains for a third day in Highland in a field by the A99 south of the Loch of Wester, while near Forss, a juvenile GREENLAND GYRFALCON was picked up dead on Wednesday. A single BOHEMIAN WAXWING has reached South Uist (Outer Hebrides) at South Glendale while on Orkney, the adult male NORTHERN HARRIER remains on North Ronaldsay, with a ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD still at Lochindorb (Badenoch & Strathspey). The long-staying adult drake SURF SCOTER remains off Joppa (Lothian) while on Shetland, a first-winter LESSER SCAUP remains on Shetland.
Further south, a male DESERT WHEATEAR was on Eskmeals Beach (Cumbria) from 16th-18th, with strong NW winds producing a daily passage of LEACH'S PETRELS since Wednesday, culminating in 6 today past Leasowe Embankment (Wirral) with the odd one elsewhere and GREY PHALAROPE.
In Norfolk, a juvenile GLOSSY IBIS spent much of the week in a ditch south of the lake at Felbrigg Hall, with a late HOOPOE in horse paddocks NNE of the Hall Lane junction, west of the B1150 NE of Spixworth at Crostwick (TG 259 167) (since 14th). A juvenile PALLID HARRIER, initially roosting at East Hills, Wells-next-the-Sea, relocated to Snettisham RSPB on Wednesday, where it remained today. Three SHORELARKS about at Holme Dunes, a few Snow Buntings and 12 Twite at Thornham Harbour Creek. A BLACK BRANT remains at Cley NWT in the Eye Field.
Not much in the Midlands now that the EURASIAN CRAG MARTIN has departed Chesterfield (Derbyshire) (last seen on 19th), although a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at Russell's Hall Estate, Dudley (West Midlands) continues to show (park at the south end of Merryfield Road and follow gravel track SE towards the hospital to view - DY1 2PB).
A male EUROPEAN SERIN continues at Beddington Sewage Farm (Surrey) (permit access only)
In Avon, the GLOSSY IBIS remains at Pilning Wetland, Northwick Warth, with a first-year SURF SCOTER offshore of Blue Anchor, NE of Carhampton (Somerset). An adult RING-BILLED GULL continues to roost on Ibsley Water (Hampshire).
Along the South Coast, single GLOSSY IBISES are at Seaton Marshes and South Huish Marsh (South Devon), with an elusive DUSKY WARBLER at Dungeness RSPB (Kent).

In IRELAND, a ROSE-COLOURED STARLING is at East Pier, Howth (Co. Dublin), while the long-staying adult GULL-BILLED TERN continues at Tralee Bay Wetlands (Co. Kerry).

Friday, 13 November 2015

It's Back - The Friday Roundup

In Derbyshire, the EURASIAN CRAG MARTIN first seen on Remembrance Sunday and last seen on Tuesday at dusk reappeared late morning today at the crooked spire of Chesterfield Town Centre's St Mary's Church and showed virtually non-stop in blue skies until 1350, when presumably it flew off to roost in the vicinity. The location is just ten minutes drive from Junction 29 of the M1 and is amply supported by parking facilities - at £1.10 per hour.
Also newly found today was a very obliging first-winter GLOSSY IBIS in Northeast Norfolk, frequenting the rough grazing meadow at the south end of the lake at Felbrigg Hall NT. Another GLOSSY IBIS remains at Pilning Wetland, Northwick Warth (Avon), where nearby, strong winds forced a single LEACH'S PETREL and Pomarine Skua into the upper reaches of the Severn Estuary at Severn Beach. It was a similar story in West Cornwall, where high winds afforded a reasonable seawatch, with Pendeen Watchpoint producing 4 Pomarine Skuas, at least 4 Grey Phalaropes, 40+ Sooty Shearwaters and 28 Balearic Shearwaters, with 2 lingering Grey Phalaropes in St Ives Bay. The Wirral also saw its first LEACH'S PETREL movement of the year with 6 west past Leasowe Embankment.
Elsewhere in the country, winter seems to have arrived with the first snow of the autumn in highland Scotland and temperatures plummeting. A North American Green-winged Teal remains at Caerlaverock WWT (Dumfries & Galloway) as does a drake Ring-necked Duck in Pitlochry (Perth & Kinross), while over in the Edinburgh area (Lothian), a fresh plumaged juvenile WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER continues for a second day at Musselburgh Lagoons (showing well from the Middle Hide) and the adult drake SURF SCOTER lingers off Joppa. A further SURF SCOTER, this time a nondescript juvenile, is off Barra (Outer Hebrides) at Cleat. A handful of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS are being seen, with up to 13 in Edinburgh and 9 in Aberdeen. In Northumberland, a juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER remains at Cresswell Pond NWT, most often feeding on the muddy edge of the west shoreline, viewable distantly from the coast road.
A few BLACK BRANTS are to be found in East Anglia with an adult showing well with Dark-bellied Brent Geese in the Eye Field at Cley NWT (Norfolk) while just a few juvenile ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARDS are now being seen, with long-staying survivors at Titchwell RSPB (Norfolk) and Frinton-on-Sea Golf Course (Essex). A very late first-winter RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was at Hollesley marsh RSPB (Suffolk) until at least 12th. Very small numbers of Shore Lark and Snow Bunting are to be found, with perhaps 18 Twite at Thornham Creek (Norfolk). In Essex, a very late first-winter COMMON REDSTART remains on Two Tree Island, while in Kent, Dungeness RSPB offers up to 9 Great White Egrets, 7 Caspian Gulls and a good number of lingering Firecrests.
At least 7 CATTLE EGRETS are to be found in Southwest Britain, with 2 on the Camel Estuary at Dinham Flats (Cornwall), 2 at Twelve Oaks, Teigngrace (South Devon) and singles at Aveton Gifford (Devon) and Shapwick Heath NNR (Somerset); A storm-blown GREY PHALAROPE is present for a second day at Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch Harbour (Dorset). The drake LESSER SCAUP has been at Chew Valley Lake (Avon) recently while in the Weymouth and Portland Bill area (Dorset) today, upwards of 10,000 Woodpigeons departed the country, part of the species' annual migration from the Baltic States to wintering grounds in Iberia and southern France.

In IRELAND, a very late RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER remains at Brownstown Head (Co. Waterford).

Lee G R Evans