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Tuesday, 4 November 2008


Plates 1-4: AMERICAN GREEN-BACKED HERON at West Hythe, Kent, November 2008 (Lee G R Evans)
Plates 5-7: adult female HOODED MERGANSER at Tayport Pond, Fife, 3 November 2008 (Kris Gibb)
Plates 8-9: Rough-legged Buzzard over Otmoor RSPB, Oxfordshire, 2 November 2008 (Peter Barker) - exceptional inland record
Plates 10-11 & 19: SIBERIAN STONECHAT, Easington, East Yorks, 1 November 2008 (Mark Stirland)
Plates 12 and 18: AMERICAN GREEN-BACKED HERON, West Hythe, Kent, 3 November 2008 (Mark Stirland)
Plates 13-14 - Yellow-browed and Pallas's Leaf Warblers at Spurn Point, East Yorks, 2 November 2008 (Mark Stirland)
Plate 15: first-winter RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL, Ramsgate, Kent, 3 November 2008 (Mark Stirland)
Plates 16-17: first-winter RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL, Muckleburgh Hill, Norfolk, 1-4 November 2008 (Graham Ekins)
Plates 20-21: first-winter EUROPEAN SERINS, Rainham Marsh RSPB, Essex, November 2008 (Jeff Delve)

A DUSKY WARBLER at South Landing, Flamborough Head (East Yorks) was new-in overnight following the continuing brisk NE winds and grey skies, with another briefly at Muckleburgh Hill (Norfolk) midday, and a late RADDE'S WARBLER in scrub at the bait digger's parking area at South Gare (Cleveland). A further arrival involved a RUSTIC BUNTING at Hummersea (Cleveland) late morning, although this bird could not be located subsequently, with the HUME'S LEAF WARBLER present for a third day at Baltasound, Unst (Shetland).

The first-winter RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL remains in the small wood at Muckleburgh Hill (Norfolk), showing well intermittently in Oaks and Sycamores on the east side of the hill, whilst in East Kent, at least one (possibly two) first-winters delighted admirers all weekend at King George VI Memorial Park in Ramsgate (Richard Bonser, Andrew Lawson, et al).

A juvenile MARBLED DUCK was at Wissington Beet Factory (Norfolk) on 25th October (Ashley Banwell) and was relocated mid-morning at Hollowell Reservoir (Northants) on 1st November (Mark Piper). Initially in Guilsborough Bay, the bird was flushed by a rower and flew towards the feeder end of the reservoir. In Scotland, an adult female HOODED MERGANSER of unknown origin remains at Tayport Pond (NO 462 285) by the track to the Caravan Park and Tentsmuir Point (Fife) (see images above).

A BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER visited the wharf along the entrance to Natural Surroundings NR, Glandford (Norfolk), on 1st-2nd, showing incredibly well from the small bridge (see image above).

PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLERS today included singles at Marden Quarry (Durham), Saltfleet Haven (North Lincs), Pye's Hall (Donna Nook, North Lincs), Gibraltar Point (Lincs), Holme NOA (Norfolk), Wells Dell (Norfolk), Bawdsey (Suffolk), Landguard NR (Suffolk), whilst YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS include singles at Fair Isle, Holme NOA (Norfolk), Burnham Deepdale (Norfolk), Holkham Pines (Norfolk), Wells Dell (Norfolk), Chamber's Wall (North Kent), Bockhill Farm Wood, St Margaret's-at-Cliffe (Kent), Sandwich Bay (Kent), Foreness Point (Kent), Porthcurno (Cornwall)(2) and at Newford Duckpond, St Mary's (Scilly) (and 3 at South Landing, Flamborough Head). An OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT remained early morning (2nd day) at Gibraltar Point NNR (Lincs) but flew off north shortly after dawn along the West Dunes, with a RICHARD'S PIPIT for a third day in short grass at the south end of The Leas, South Shields (Durham)

At least two EUROPEAN SERINS remained at Rainham Marsh RSPB (London) until 2nd, showing well on the weed-covered embankment inland of the landfill site 1.2 kms west along the inner sea wall from the RSPB Information Centre (see images above).

A first-winter SIBERIAN STONECHAT continues to show well just north of Easington Gas Terminal (East Yorks) (following a male nearby at Withernsea on 2nd) with a NORDIC JACKDAW and HAWFINCH trapped and ringed at Spurn Point nearby.

The first-winter AMERICAN GREEN-BACKED HERON continues to thrill admirers in West Hythe (East Kent), fishing from the dammed section of the Royal Military Canal 450 yards west of the main car park, whilst the GLOSSY IBIS has returned once more to its favoured wintering site at Warton Bank, Lytham St Annes (Lancs). A COMMON CRANE was showing well this afternoon in fields by the A379, 2 miles west of Modbury (South Devon).

A first-winter drake FERRUGINOUS DUCK is present for a second day at Old Hall Marshes RSPB (Essex), with the regular drake back with Northern Pochards in the NW corner of Heron Green's Bay, Chew Valley Lake (Avon), whilst one adult drake LESSER SCAUP continues on Hogganfield Loch (Clyde). The 2nd-winter drake KING EIDER continues off Appledore (North Devon), between the Lifeboat Station and Church Fields Car Park.

A GREY PHALAROPE was at Howlands Marsh NR (Essex) this morning, with another off Dungeness Outfall (Kent), with leftovers from the Scottish 'wreck' including 30 between Glimps Holm and Burray (Orkney), 50 off Raasay, Skye (Highland) and 100+ near Gedintailor on Skye (Highland). The adult WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER relocated to The Range, South Uist (Outer Hebrides) on 2nd, with a Dotterel still with European Golden Plover on East Harling Heath (Norfolk).

The two BLACK BRANTS remain with Dark-bellied Brent Geese and at least 16 Pale-bellied Brent Geese on The Fleet (Dorset) at Littlesea, Wyke Regis, with a white morph SNOW GOOSE with Greylag Geese at Craobh Haven (Argyll) at NM 805 085 and another by Muckle Myre, South Ronaldsay (Orkney), a female Ruddy Shelduck with Canada Geese at Galston Loch (Ayrshire) and the ROSS'S SNOW GOOSE at Martin Mere WWT (Lancs) (2nd).

A CETTI'S WARBLER remains at the north end of Marton Mere (Lancs) whilst a juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING was with the Common Starling flock over Marazion Marsh (Cornwall) mid-morning. Two Blue Tits at Fladdabister (Shetland) are exceptional on Shetland.

The GREAT WHITE EGRET is present again by Rindle Road (SJ 705 975) at Astley Green (Gtr Manchester) whilst yesterday's bird just north of the border with Buckinghamshire flew east over Summer Leys NR (Northants) mid-morning. Two CATTLE EGRETS remain with 22 Little Egrets with cattle by Cemetery Lane, Street (Somerset).

A RED-NECKED GREBE is inland at Ulley Reservoir CP (South Yorks) (2nd day), with another at Draycote Water (Warks), with a scattering of inland Common Scoter including 8 at Carsington Water (Derbyshire), 7 at Draycote Water (Warks), 6 at Theale Moatlands Pit (Berks) and an immature at Westwood Pool (Worcs). A few GREAT NORTHERN DIVERS remain inland, with a juvenile on Staines Reservoirs (Surrey), on Carsington Water (Derbyshire) and another at Girton Pits (Notts), with a LONG-TAILED DUCK at Blithfield Reservoir (Staffs).

The BOHEMIAN WAXWING invasion continues, with large numbers in Scotland (including several flocks of over 200 birds and one of 400 birds on Skye) and with substantial flocks now penetrating south into East Anglia.

The confiding 2nd-winter RING-BILLED GULL remains at Lamby Lake (East Glamorgan) at ST 217 784, with the very distinctive 2nd-winter AZOREAN YELLOW-LEGGED GULL again in fields by Trevorian Pool, Sennen (West Cornwall).

In IRELAND, the drake NORTH AMERICAN BLACK DUCK remains in Ventry Harbour (Co. Kerry), with an adult drake American Wigeon between Fountain House Guest House and the scrapyard at The Gearagh (Co. Cork) and a drake American Green-winged Teal at Carrowmore Lake (Co. Mayo). A late Red-breasted Flycatcher was in Sycamores at Dirk Bay, Galley Head (Co. Cork).

In Northern Ireland, the adult LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER remains in Dundalk Docks (Co. Louth).