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Monday, 13 October 2008

13 OCTOBER 2008 - PHILADELPHIA VIREO makes landfall in County Clare

Once again, all attention is focussed on the West of Ireland, where today a PHILADELPHIA VIREO was discovered in County Clare. With just two previous records (Galley Head, Cork, 12-17 October 1985 and at Borough Farm, Tresco, Scilly, from 10-13 October 1987), this bird is surely going to draw in large numbers of visitors. It is favouring a line of Willows and hedgerow about 0.6 miles north of Kilbaha adjacent to Bog Road, on Loop Head.

DETAILED DIRECTIONS - Park sensibly and courteously by the Lighthouse Inn and roadway and then continue on foot along Bog Road for half a mile forking right to view the Willows. DO NOT PARK IN BOG ROAD and take care not to obstruct entrances or driveways. Loop Head lies 11 miles SW of Kilkee and is just under two hours drive from Shannon Airport.

On the ISLES OF SCILLY, an adult SOCIABLE PLOVER is an extraordinary arrival, remaining for a second day on the archipelago, and ranging between the Airfield, Lower Moors Stepping Stones Field and the Golf Course, with a BLACKPOLL WARBLER (in Barnaby Lane & environs) and 2 RED-EYED VIREOS on St Agnes (at Covean and in Gugh Plantation) and RED-EYED VIREO and Red-breasted Flycatcher on The Garrison, St Mary's. WRYNECKS remain on St Mary's and on St Martin's

In neighbouring Cornwall, the juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER (previously present on Scilly) is with European Golden Plovers at Higher Tregiffian Farm, just SW of Land's End Aerodrome (follow the footpath from the B3306), with the RED-EYED VIREO in trees around Trevilley Farm, Land's End, and the 2nd-winter AZOREAN YELLOW-LEGGED GULL in fields by Trevorian Pool, with the 2nd-winter drake KING EIDER at Appledore (North Devon) showing offshore of the Royal George Inn.

On the Outer Hebrides, a stunning HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL remains on North Uist at Lochmaddy, consorting with 30+ Icelandic/Greenland Redpolls around Newton House, whilst the 5th Shetland WHITE'S THRUSH of the autumn was discovered at Kergord Plantation, in bushes by Kergord House at 1645. A RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER is on Barra (at North Bay House) (following 3 on Shetland yesterday), with large numbers of Icelandic/Greeland-type Redpolls on the Northern Isles and a scattering of Yellow-browed Warblers.

A juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS was newly discovered at Port Clarence (Cleveland), favouring the small pool by the Calor Gas Pool, whilst the first-winter WILSON'S PHALAROPE continues to commute between the wildfowling ponds, just NE of Walsey Hills NR, and Cley Marsh NWT (Norfolk). A BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was at Qouys of Reiss (Highland) on 12th.

Drake FERRUGINOUS DUCKS remain at Calvert BBOWT Lake (North Bucks) and Amwell NR (Herts), with an adult drake LESSER SCAUP at Queen Mother Reservoir (Berks) (8th-11th) and a CATTLE EGRET at Nanquidno (Cornwall) on 12th.

In Hertfordshire, a juvenile RED-BACKED SHRIKE remains for a tenth day on Therfield Heath, Royston, at Lancaster Hill, showing well by the small plantation just 100 yards east of Briary Lane, whilst a PENDULINE TIT was seen at Sandwich Bay (Kent) in the reeds at North Stream. A RICHARD'S PIPIT is present for a fourth day just SE of Annesley (Notts) at Annesley Pit Top on the grassy plateau just north of the lagoon (access from Newstead village along Tilford road).

A juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER, Wood Sandpiper and Little Stint are all present just NW of Pocklington (North Yorks) north of the A1079 by the minor road north of the caravan site at SE 763 503.

RECENCIES

A first-winter male DESERT WHEATEAR (the first of the autumn) was seen and photographed at Crosby Beach (Merseyside) on 12th, with an OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT on St Mary's (Scilly) on 12th, adult female LESSER GREY SHRIKE at Rettenden (Essex) on 10th-11th, BOBOLINK at Porth Joke, Newquay (Cornwall) on 11th and RADDE'S WARBLERS at Prawle Point and East Soar Farm (South Devon).

In IRELAND, a SWAINSON'S THRUSH performed well at Dirk Bay, Galley Head (Co. Cork) on 11th, with a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and RED-THROATED PIPIT on Cape Clear Island (Co. Cork) (12th) and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER on Inishmore (Co. Galway). Up to 11 Yellow-browed Warblers were on Mizen Head (Co. Cork), with the adult female SNOWY OWL at Termon Hill (Co. Mayo) and BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER on the Myroe Levels.