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Friday, 21 November 2008

21 NOVEMBER 2008

Bang on cue and most likely as a result of strong Northeasterly winds blowing down from the Arctic, an IVORY GULL has been reported on Shetland Mainland, in flight over Seafield in Lerwick. If confirmed, this will represent the first Ivory Gull of the year.

Also in the Northern Isles, a pipit showing some characteristics of a Blyth's Pipit was seen this afternoon (and photographed) briefly on North Ronaldsay (Orkney). Again, this would represent a first 2008 record if confirmed.

The first-winter SAXAUL GREY SHRIKE continues to survive at Grainthorpe Haven (North Lincs), still frequenting the fields adjacent to the small concrete bridge at TA 392 002. It is ridiculously confiding but please, for the welfare of the bird, refrain from baiting it with mealworms. It will come to rely on them and may well affect its ability to migrate.

In North Yorkshire, the male TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL continues to visit the two peanut feeders by the isolated Garfit Farm in Bilsdale (North Yorkshire Moors) at NZ 563 030. Its visits are fairly regular and views afforded are excellent. Please park on the B1257 3 miles SE of Stokesley and walk the uphill track for just under a mile to the farm.

In South Devon, the female SARDINIAN WARBLER remains typically elusively at Berry Head, Brixham, whilst the adult COMMON CRANE remains west of Modbury, favouring stubble fields south of the A379 at SX 638 516. The adult female SURF SCOTER remains off Langstone Rock, Dawlish Warren (South Devon)

A marked influx of ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARDS includes 3 different individuals NE of Pocklington (East Yorks) at Millington Pastures (park sensibly and courteously along the narrow lane at SE 835 535), a 2nd-winter at Reed (Herts) and an adult at Farforth (North Lincs).

The odd YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER is still around, with one still at the Hartlepool Headland (Cleveland) on 20th and another on Lower Moors, St Mary's (Scilly), whilst a single EUROPEAN SERIN continues to be seen at Rainham Marshes RSPB (London).

In Hampshire, the regularly returning adult RED-BREASTED GOOSE has taken to grass-grazing again (as it did on several occasions last winter) and has been feeding with Canada Geese NW of the Balancing Pond on Pennington Marshes, whilst not that far away and to the east, a BLACK-THROATED DIVER is present for a 6th day by the Millenium Bridge in Gosport (Hants).

The wonderfully-plumaged drake HOODED MERGANSER continues to draw admirers to Radipole Lake (Dorset), where this bird is consorting with resident Mallards and wintering wildfowl at the concrete bridge, half a mile north of the visitor centre.

Recent weeks have seen a large influx of RED-CRESTED POCHARDS from Continental Europe, including 25 at Abberton Reservoir (Essex) and up to 25 at various inland localities, including 10 on Foxcote Reservoir (North Bucks) and 5 drakes at Tringford Reservoir, Tring (Herts). A first-winter drake AMERICAN WIGEON was with 45 Eurasian Wigeon at Lower Farm GP (Berks) on 19-20 November, whilst the drake FERRUGINOUS DUCK was again at Cosmeston Lakes CP (Glamorgan).

A GREY PHALAROPE graced Simmonds Scrape, Cley NWT (Norfolk), throughout the day, with another at Covenham Reservoir east bank (North Lincs), but there was no sign of this week's bird on Hampton Park Lakes today.

In Bedfordshire, the 4 TUNDRA BEAN GEESE were seen again at Cainhoe Lakes, Clophill, this morning, with a Dark-bellied Brent Goose for a third day in Kensington Gardens Round Pond (Central London). An adult SNOW GOOSE is with Greylag Geese at Craob Haven (Argyll).

The CATTLE EGRET remains with cattle by the flooded field at Urswick (Cumbria) with the adult WHITE STORK still on floods at Glascoe Dubh (Isle of Man).

There is still very large numbers of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS in the country, with the largest numbers still in Scotland, with 300+ feeding on Rowan berries in Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen (Aberdeenshire), 20 in St Andrews (Fife), 22 in Grangemouth (Forth), 37 in King's Park, Longniddry (Lothian), 120 in Bathgate (Lothian), 37 in Joppa (Lothian), 26 in Gullane (Lothian), 30 in Ayr (Ayrshire), 15 in Dalmellington (Ayrshire), 60 in Dumfries (D & G), 50 at Corby Hill, Warwick Bridge, Carlisle (Cumbria), 19 by Arnside School (Cumbria), 100 in Penrith (Cumbria), 70 in Durham Road, Darwen (Lancs), 350+ in Jackson Way, Jarrow (Durham), 97 in Skipper's Lane Industrial Estate, Middlesbrough (Cleveland), 70 in Billingham (Cleveland), 10 at the Holy Trinity Rosehill School in Stockton-on-Tees (Cleveland), 45 in Halifax (West Yorks), 80 in Marfleet Lane, Hull (East Yorks), 12 at Scathoe Baths, Grimsby (Lincs), 21 in Tentercroft Street, Lincoln (Lincs), 14 in Thorpe St Andrew (Norfolk), 15 at Whitlingham CP, Norwich (Norfolk), 4 in Sutton-in-Ashfield (Notts)

A first-winter LONG-TAILED DUCK remains on the Lancaster Canal, Conder Green (Lancs), favouring the Glasson Branch section 250 yards SE of the A588 (park at the Mill Inn car park at SD 461 554).

The GREAT NORTHERN DIVER remains for its 5th day on Bough Beech Reservoir (Kent), with two juveniles still on Farmoor 2 Reservoir (Oxfordshire) and further singles at Chasewater (Staffs), Westbury (Wilts) and Welton Water (East Yorks), whilst inland RED-NECKED GREBES include singles at Grafham Water (Cambs) (feeding offshore of the Lagoons) and at Draycote Water (Warks).

In IRELAND, 51 GREY PHALAROPES flew south past Kilcummin Head (Co. Mayo) on 20th, along with a single LITTLE AUK. The regular returning adult winter FORSTER'S TERN visited the rocks just east of Mutton Island Causeway, Nimmo's Pier, Galway Harbour (Co. Galway) at high tide today, whilst a very late PECTORAL SANDPIPER was at Loughbrickland (Co. Down). The BOHEMIAN WAXWING influx has reached Ireland, with one in Cabinteely, Dublin (Co. Dublin) and 8 in Moylena Road, Antrim (Co. Antrim). Two BLACK BRANTS remain in Dungarvan Harbour (Co. Waterford)

The report of the Quoile Pondage Barrow's Goldeneye returning has so far been unsubstantiated.