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Thursday, 6 November 2008


PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLERS photographed in North Lincolnshire this week (Graham Catley) - at least 7 different birds being recorded in the county.
GREY PHALAROPE, Farmoor Reservoirs, Oxfordshire, 3-5 November (Stephen Burch)
BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS in Norfolk (Simon Chidwick) - a huge immigration is taking place
AMERICAN GREEN-BACKED HERON at West Hythe (Kent) (Simon Knight) - one of the most confiding birds of the year.
RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL, Ramsgate Cemetery, Kent, 1-2 November (Michael Southcott)
Adult female HOODED MERGANSER, Tayport Pond, Lothian, November - one of two birds currently present in the country
Drake LESSER SCAUP, Hogganfield Loch, Clyde, November (Ian Fulton)
2nd-winter drake KING EIDER off Appledore, North Devon (Gary Thoburn)

This is the UK400 Club Rare Bird Alert for Thursday 6 November 2008, issued at 1900 hours and published in association with Rare Bird Alert Pagers ( whilst utilising additional information gleaned from BirdGuides (, the regional Birdlines, local email groups and websites and individual observers.

The Siberian theme of recent weeks continues: two more RED-FLANKED BLUETAILS were discovered today with first-winters at Chapel Six Marshes, Chapel St Leonards (Lincs) and in Marrams at The Hood on Blakeney Point (Norfolk) this afternoon. Meanwhile, a superb first-winter male DESERT WHEATEAR remains for a third day at Easton Bavents, Southwold (Suffolk), along the sea wall just north of Southwold Boating Lake (John Geeson, et al). It is frequenting groynes at the south end of Easton Bavents Cliffs, as well as the sheep paddocks just south of the first houses on the foreshore.

PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLERS today include singles on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) and at Sands of Forvie NNR (Aberdeenshire), Roxburgh Terrace, Dunbar (Lothian), Filey Arndale Ravine (North Yorks), Grimston (East Yorks), Kilnsea (East Yorks) (in Sallows in the Crown & Anchor car park), Holme NOA (Norfolk) and on Blakeney Point (Norfolk), whilst YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS include 2 at Holme NOA (Norfolk) and further singles at Hartlepool Headland (Cleveland), South Gare (Cleveland), on Bardsey Island (Gwynedd), Cley village (Norfolk), Porthcurno (Cornwall), Carmarthen National Wetlands Centre, in Maples near Nantyfflon surgery (SS 852 924) (Glamorgan), in Foundry Close, Easton (Portland, Dorset) and at Newford Duckpond, St Mary's (Scilly). A very elusive DUSKY WARBLER remains on Mucklenurgh Hill, Weybourne (Norfolk) with another in Buckthorn near Post 61 at Spurn Point (East Yorks).

Large numbers of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS continue to arrive, with 23 on North Ronaldsay (Orkney), 45 in Kirkwall (Orkney), 9 on Shapinsay (Orkney), 6 in Deerness (Orkney), 98 in Cromarty (Highland), 50 in Sanquhar Road, Forres (Moray), 70 in Allenvale Cemetery, Aberdeen, 18 in Seafield Road, Aberdeen, 100 in Dyce (Aberdeenshire), 100 in Westhill (Aberdeenshire), 8 at Balcomie (Fife), 27 in Longniddry (Lothian), 21 on Whelton Road, Morpeth (Northumberland), 3 on Hartlepool Headland (Cleveland), 55 inland over South Gare (Cleveland), 5 at Saltwick Nab (North Yorks), 5 at Filey NCCP (North Yorks), 24 in Weybourne (Norfolk), 39 in Overstrand (Norfolk), 4 in Silvergate, Blickling (Norfolk), 4 at Norwich UEA (Norfolk), 5 in Haddiscoe (Norfolk), 3 in St Edmund's Churchyard, Southwold (Suffolk), 10 over Church Road, Stansted Mountfichet (Essex), 3 in Shepreth (Cambs) and 2 over Otmoor RSPB (Oxon).

In East Kent, the first-winter AMERICAN GREEN-BACKED HERON continues to show very well at the dammed section of the Royal Military Canal at West Hythe, whilst in West Cornwall, the 2nd-winter AZOREAN YELLOW-LEGGED GULL remains in fields by Skewjack Farm.

In Cheshire, a juvenile ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD was seen for a second day on Hilbre Island this morning, being later flushed from Cubbin's Green, West Kirby, where it flew SW across the Dee Estuary. It then reappeared over Hoylake Golf Course mid-afternoon, where it roosted in a tree until dusk. Another good local bird, a NORTHERN GREY SHRIKE, reappeared for a second day in trees along the service road behind the sludge pits at Farmoor Reservoirs (Oxon) this afternoon.

In Essex, a first-winter GREY PHALAROPE remains for its 4th day at Howlands Marsh NR (Essex) (from Wigeon Hide) whilst in Gwent, a late PECTORAL SANDPIPER was again on Goldcliff Lagoons.

On Fair Isle, 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs remain, as well as a Shore Lark (5th) and a light Bohemian Waxwing passage, with a female BLUETHROAT a late migrant at Girdle Ness (Aberdeenshire).

The long-staying GREAT WHITE EGRET remains by Rindle Road, Astley Green (Gtr Manchester), best viewed from a vehicle at SJ 705 975 to avoid disturbance, whilst in Cambridgeshire, 2 CATTLE EGRETS remained with cattle in fields north of Buckden Marina until 2nd. A further CATTLE EGRET remains in the cattle field above the chapel in Sandy Haven (Pembs). An adult COMMON CRANE remains for its 5th day 2 miles west of Modbury (South Devon) in the stubble field south of the A379 (view from the gate at SX 638 516).

An adult Red-breasted Goose (of unknown origin) was with Canada Geese at Pennington Marshes (Hants) today, whilst 2 TUNDRA BEAN GEESE were an excellent record for Belvide Reservoir (Staffs) mid-afternoon (on the North Shore viewed from West Hide but flew off west at 1512). Two more were with Greylag Geese at Humberstone Fitties (North Lincs).

Adult drake LESSER SCAUPS remain on Hogganfield Loch (Clyde) and the A52 Pit at Holme Pierrpont (Notts), whilst the juvenile SURF SCOTER remains with Common Scoters off Pendower Beach (SW 905 380) (Cornwall). The female SURF SCOTER remains in Tor Bay, Preston (Torquay, South Devon) (view from Marine Drive), the same bay holding 3 Black-necked Grebes, whilst in North Devon, the 2nd-winter KING EIDER can still be easily located in Appledore between the Lifeboat Station and the Church Fields Car Park. The adult female HOODED MERGANSER is again this afternoon on Tayport Pond (Fife) at NO 462 285 with a drake still showing well at Radipole Lake RSPB (Dorset).

The juvenile Great Northern Diver remains at Grafham Water (Cambs), with a Red-necked Grebe on Draycote Water (Warks), with further Great Northerns at Girton Sailing Lake (Notts) and on Staines Reservoirs South Basin (Surrey). Inland Red-breasted Mergansers displaced inland include 2 juveniles on Coate Water CP (Wilts) and another on Grovebury Sand Pit (Beds)

A late juvenile Osprey is still present in the Stoke-by-Nayland area (Suffolk), fishing for its 10th day in a row on the Golf Club lake, whilst a late Common Swift was at Hills Green Farm, Hackness (North Yorks), late morning.

A LAPLAND BUNTING is consorting with Skylarks on the Holden Tower scrape at Slimbridge WWT (Gloucs) whilst in London, a SNOW BUNTING remains for its 4th day at Rainham Marsh RSPB. A single TWITE (an excellent London tick these days) is also still with Linnets near the Landfill Site, 1.2 kms west of the Information Centre.

On the Isles of Scilly, a Eurasian Bittern was seen twice on Porthellick Pool, St Mary's (Scilly) - an excellent Scilly tick (the juvenile SNOWY OWL was last seen on St Martin's on 2nd November)