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Sunday, 31 August 2008

27-31 AUGUST 2008

From 27-30 August, Cape Clear Island (County Cork) hosted three gross North American rares - the juvenile SOLITARY SANDPIPER above (photographed by Josh Jones (top) and Sean Cronin, a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Sean Cronin) and a first-winter male YELLOW WARBLER (photographed by Ronan MacLaughlan). The island was 'swamped' by ardent twitchers, primarily from Ireland, but also included at least 44 visitors from Britain, including Stuart Piner, Lee Gregory, Dan Pointon, Pete Hutchins, Bob Watts, Mike Shurmer and Josh Jones. As winds fell overnight on 30th prior to an incoming Atlantic depression, all three birds took advantage of a lull in the weather and moved on. They had arrived in association with a hurricane that had entered the Gulf of Mexico just a few days prior.
WHITE-BILLED DIVER - the adult, still retaining its full breeding attire, remains in Water Sound, South Ronaldsay (Orkney).
CATTLE EGRET - the family party (adult pair and juvenile) remained at Catcott Lows (Somerset) until 30th.
GREAT WHITE EGRET - the colour-ringed adult from Northern France returned to Mockbeggar Lake and Ibsley Water, Blashford Lakes HWT (Hants) on 16-25, with another at The Mere, Ellesmere (Salop) from 27-31.
BLACK STORK - a juvenile frequented the Wharfe/Ouse confluence at Wharfe Ings, Cawood (North Yorks) from 24-29, where it elusively spent most of its time feeding in a ditch with Grey Herons and only appeared intermittently.
GLOSSY IBIS - an adult in summer finery continued to grace New Swillington Ings St Aidan Flashes (South Yorks) until 30. It frequented the ''Western Reedbed'' area of this extensive wetland but was very elusive throughout its stay.
EURASIAN SPOONBILL - a pair successfully nested in Kirkcudbright (Galloway) this summer, constituting the first breeding record for Scotland. All five birds (including the three juveniles) remained on the River Dee until at least 31st. This follows the successful nesting of the species in Lancashire in recent years.
**BOOTED EAGLE - a pale morph adult visited Guernsey (Pleinmont and the Fauxquets Valley) in the CHANNEL ISLANDS on 30 further proving the migrational mobility of this large raptor.
SPOTTED CRAKE - A poor autumn thus far with a single at Wallsend Swallow Pond NR (Newcastle) on 31st being the only bird recorded in this period.
COMMON CRANE - two birds remain at Welney WWT (Norfolk) and at Dungeness RSPB ARC Pit (Kent).
DOTTEREL - two birds were present on Dale Airfield (Pembs) on 30th.
PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER - the long-staying adult remained on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) until at least 29th.
MARSH SANDPIPER - single juveniles remained at Hickling Rush Hills Scrape (Norfolk) and Heybridge Basin GP (Essex) until 30th, with another at Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham (South Devon) on 31st.
GREY PHALAROPE - a juvenile graced Pennington Marshes Fishtail Lagoon (Hants) until 26 before moving to Titchfield Haven from 27-31.
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER - the juvenile remained on Pumphouse Pit, Stirtloe (Cambs) from 27-31.
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER - a very confiding juvenile frequented The Bight at Dawlish Warren (South Devon) from 26-31.
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER - a juvenile remained on Shipman Head Down, Bryher (Scilly), from 28-31.
SABINE'S GULL - a juvenile was inland at Westport Lake (Staffs) on 31.
WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN - two different juveniles visited Wilstone Reservoir, Tring (Herts) on 30, with further juveniles at Crosby Marine Lake (Merseyside) and at Dungeness ARC Pit (Kent).
SNOWY OWL - the female remains on North Uist at Balranald RSPB and Aird an Runair headland (Outer Hebrides).
WRYNECK - some 20 or so were discovered during 27-31, including two at Holland Haven (Essex).
GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK - the long-staying bird remains on Tiree (Argyll).
SHORE LARK - the long-staying bird remains at Spurn Point (East Yorks)
CITRINE WAGTAIL - an unusually plumaged adult visited Landguard NR (Suffolk) on 29.
BARRED WARBLER - one at Cley NWT (Norfolk) on 30
MELODIOUS WARBLER - 2 at Porthgwarra 60 Foot Cover (Cornwall) on 27-31, and another at Southwell, Portland (Dorset) on 30.
ORTOLAN BUNTING - one briefly at Rainham Marsh RSPB (London) on 30, with two immatures at Portland Bill Top Fields (Dorset) on 29-31.
A total of 394 species have now been recorded in Britain and Ireland in 2008