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Tuesday, 9 December 2008


This is the UK400 Club Rare Bird Alert issued for Monday 8 December 2008 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.

All records relate to DECEMBER 2008 and involve birds present from 1-8 December unless otherwise stated

GREAT NORTHERN DIVER: inland, on freshwater sites, up to 18 birds (predominantly juveniles) remain - at West Kirby Marine Lake (Cheshire), Welton Water - SE 955 250 (East Yorks), Carsington Water (Derbyshire) (up to four juveniles), Whitwell Creek, Rutland Water (Leics), Draycote Water (Warks) (3), Grafham Water (Cambs) (with two there on 1st), Staines Reservoirs South Basin (Surrey), Queen Mother Reservoir (Berks), Cliffe Pools RSPB Alpha Pool (two juveniles), Bough Beech Reservoir (Kent) and on the lagoon scrape at Cuckmere Haven (East Sussex). There were also singles briefly at Little Marlow GP (Bucks) and King George VI Reservoir (London) on 7th December.

WHITE-BILLED DIVER: the adult, first seen on 1st July 2008, remains on Orkney, showing well often down to 30 yards in Water Sound off of Burray village and the No.4 Churchill Barrier, South Ronaldsay.

SLAVONIAN GREBE: inland, on freshwater locations, just four have been noted in the past week - at Brogborough Lake (Beds) (a wide ranging individual), Hornsea Mere (East Yorks) on 3rd, Swillington Ings (West Yorks) on 5th and at Alton Water (Suffolk).

BLACK-NECKED GREBE: two birds, most probably an adult and juvenile, visited Paxton Pits (Cambs) on 29 November, Priory CP, Bedford (Beds) on 30 November and Furzton Lake, Bletchley (North Bucks) on 1st, with others at Dungeness ARC Pit and environs (Kent) from 1st-6th, Cheddar Reservoir (Somerset) throughout, Lea Marston Balancing Lakes (Warks) on 6th-7th and Cransley Reservoir (Northants) on 7th. Elsewhere, up to 21 remain on William Girling Reservoir (London) and 1-2 on Ibsley Water, Blashford (Hants).

RED-NECKED GREBE: Four inland, with singles at Sprotborough Flash (South Yorks), Draycote Water (Warks), Whitwell Creek, Rutland Water (Leics) and Swithlands Reservoir (Leics) from 6th-8th.

EURASIAN SHAG: inland, juveniles were noted at Fen Drayton Ferry Lagoon (Cambs) on 4th and Ravensthorpe Reservoir (Northants) again on 6th.

EURASIAN BITTERN: an excellent crop of records with singles at Potteric Carr YWT Pipers Pond (South Yorks) on 1st-8th, 2 at Attenborough NR (Notts) on 1st-8th, Hatch Pond LNR (Dorset) on 1st & 6th-8th, Westwood Pool (Worcs) on 1st, Boulltham Mere, Lincoln (Lincs), on 1st, 1-2 at Cresswell Pond NWT (Northumberland) on 2nd, Brandon Marsh NR (Warks) on 2nd-5th, Siddick Ponds NR (Cumbria) on 2nd, Lound Windsurfing Pit (Notts) on 3rd, Upton Warren Moors Pool (Worcs) on 3rd-8th, Venus Pool NR (Shropshire) on 4th-8th, Burton Mill Pond (West Sussex) on 4th-8th, 2 at Moore NR (Cheshire) on 5th-8th, Slimbridge WWT Zeiss Hide (Gloucs) on 3rd-8th, Weston Turville Reservoir (Bucks) on 6th, Abberton Reservoir Layer Breton Causeway Reedbed (Essex) on 6th, Lea Valley CP (Herts) on 6th-8th, Old Moor RSPB (South Yorks) on 7th, Marbury CP (Cheshire) on 7th, Frensham Little Pond (Surrey) on 7th, Seaton GP (Kent) on 7th and at Barnes WWT (London) on 8th.


The first twitchable bird for Buckinghamshire (and the 3rd county record) remains with horses in paddock fields either side of Haversham village (SP 828 429), with its equal counterpart in Staffordshire in fields at the west end of Captain's Lane, Barton-under-Needwood until 2nd.

In Lancashire, one flew in to roost with 16 Little Egrets at Leighton Moss RSPB on 1st, whilst in North Kent, one remains with cattle on Capel Marshes, Sheppey, until at least 6th. One visited Denge Marsh, Dungeness RSPB (Kent) on 8th.

A flock of 6 birds remain SW of the roadbridge at ST 468 380 along the Sharpham Drove, Walton (Somerset), this party including some of this year's offspring.

In Oxfordshire, one reappeared in fields NW of Day's Lock, Dorchester-on-Thames (Oxfordshire), on 7th-8th.

In IRELAND, a long-staying bird remains at Beamish's Pool, Inchydoney Bay (Co. Cork) until at least 5th.

GREAT WHITE EGRET: the colour-ringed adult remains at Blashford Lakes HWT (Hants), ranging with Grey Herons widely in the area but favouring Rockford Lake and Mockbeggar Lake. View from screens.

GLOSSY IBIS: the long-staying adult continues to wander NW Britain visiting Warton Marsh (Lancs) on 1st, Marshside Marsh RSPB (Lancs) from 3rd-7th (from Sandgounders Hide) and Pennington Flash CP (Gtr Manchester) briefly on 7th.

EURASIAN SPOONBILL: a flock of 12 is wintering in Poole Harbour (Dorset), ranging between Brownsea Island lagoon and the Middlebere Creek, whilst 7 are present on the River Taw at Isley Marsh RSPB (North Devon). 1-2 are also wintering on the River Lynher (Cornwall) with a first-winter on the Isles of Scilly, mainly on Tresco.

SNOW GOOSE: an adult white morph was with Pink-footed Geese in fields west of Druridge Pools (Northumberland) again on 2nd-7th, with an adult blue morph at dawn at Loch of Lintrathen (Angus/Dundee).

ROSS'S SNOW GOOSE: a regularly reappearing adult white morph was with 3,500 Pink-footed Geese in the Repps with Bastwick and Martham Ferry area (Norfolk) on at least 4-7.

EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE: the 34 at Doxey Marsh (Staffs) were last noted on 1st.

GREENLAND WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE: an adult was identified amongst 6,000 Pinkfeet at North Creake (Norfolk) on 2nd, with 9 birds at Grindon Lough (Northumberland) this winter and 178 in the Loch Ken area (Dumfries & Galloway).

TAIGA BEAN GOOSE: at the two regular wintering haunts, just 106 is present in the Yare Valley at Cantley Marshes RSPB (Norfolk) and 242 at Fannyside Lochs (Clyde), favouring the grassy fields north of the B803 opposite Luckenburn Farm.

TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE: the family party of 4 remain at Cainhoe Lakes, Clophill (Beds), with 4 at Welney WWT (Norfolk) on 1st-4th, 16 with Pink-footed Geese just north of Langham (Norfolk) on 1st-6th, an adult at North Warren RSPB North Marsh (Suffolk) on 4th-8th, 3 in beet fields at Waterbeach (Cambs) on 6th-7th and 11 briefly on Simmond's Scrape, Cley Marsh NWT (Norfolk) on 7th.

VAGRANT CANADA GEESE: Five different individuals are wintering with Greenland White-fronted and Barnacle Geese on Islay (Argyll) with another regular bird (Richardson's) with Barnacle Geese on Berneray (Outer Hebrides). At Caerlaverock WWT (Dumfries), the regular Taverner's Goose is present, along with a Cackling of unknown origin.

PALE-BELLIED BRENT GOOSE: the third for Notts remains in a grassy field with 30 Canada Geese opposite Barton Island at Attenborough NR (Notts) on 1st-8th.

BLACK BRANT: regular adults include 2 with Dark-bellied Brent Geese at Titchwell Marsh RSPB (Norfolk), 2 at Ferrybridge in Portland Harbour (Dorset) and singles on Nagden Marshes, Faversham (Kent), in Gosport (Hants) and at Wells Pitch & Putt course (Norfolk). In IRELAND, an adult is with Pale-bellied Brent Geese on Dungarvan Pitch & Putt course (Co. Waterford)

RED-BREASTED GOOSE: the regular returning adult is with Dark-bellied Brent Geese on Normandy Marsh, Pennington (Hants).

AMERICAN WIGEON: the adult drake remains with Eurasian Wigeon on the Wick River (Caithness), with another on Loch Bee, North Uist (Outer Hebrides), whilst in IRELAND, a drake is present on Broad Lough (Co. Wicklow).

AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL: single drakes remain at Marshside Marsh RSPB (Lancs), Kinneil Lagoon (Forth), Tain Water Treatment Plant (Inverness) and at Douglas Water (Clyde) with long-staying singles in IRELAND at Bell Harbour (Co. Clare) and Kilcoole Webb's Field (Co. Kilcoole).

GARGANEY: an adult drake of unknown origin is present for its second winter on Blunham Lake (Beds).

LESSER SCAUP: FOUR wintering birds with adult drakes at Hogganfield Loch (Clyde) and the A52 Pit at Holme Pierrpont (Notts), an adult female at The Loe Pool, Helston (Cornwall) and a first-winter drake on Frampton Court Lake (Gloucs).

RING-NECKED DUCK: a very poor winter, particularly after the large influx in autumn, with a regular drake at Foxcote Reservoir (North Bucks) and newly found females at Martnaham Loch (Ayrshire) from 4th-8th and a female on the largest lake at Swineham GP (Dorset) on 7th.

In IRELAND, a drake was seen at Lough Gash Turlough (Co. Clare) on 3rd, with a drake and two females at The Gearagh (Co. Cork) on at least 2nd-8th.

SURF SCOTER: in Scotland, a single adult drake remains with Common Scoters in the Sound of Taransay, Harris (Outer Hebrides) with another with Velvet Scoters off the east end of Lower Largo Bay (Fife). An adult female remains off Dawlish Warren NR (South Devon).

LONG-TAILED DUCK: freshwater records include single juveniles on Covenham Reservoir (North Lincs), Helston Loe Pool (Cornwall), Drayton Road Pit, Dorchester-on-Thames (Oxfordshire) (SU 582 952), Gouthwaite Reservoir (North Yorks) (on 3rd), Garnqueen Loch (Clyde) (on 6th), Hanningfield Reservoir (Essex) (on 7th) and at Hurworth Burn Reservoir (Durham) (on 7th).

SMEW: after a slow start, recent cold weather has seen numbers build, with a first-winter drake at Lower Bittell Reservoir (Worcs) on 1st-3rd, a redhead at Alvecote Pools (Staffs) on 1st-6th, an adult drake on Lagoon 3 at Rutland Water (Leics) on 1st-3rd, an adult drake at Vane Farm RSPB (Kinross) on 1st-8th, a redhead on Carlingwark Loch (Dumfries & Galloway) on 1st, two redheads on Moore Lake, Fen Drayton GP (Cambs) on 2nd, a redhead at Amwell NR (Herts) on 2nd-5th, a drake on the Motel Pit at far Ings NR (North Lincs) on 1st-8th, a drake on Tottenhill GP (Norfolk) on 3rd-6th, a drake at Abberton Reservoir (Essex) on 3rd, a drake at Amwell NR (Herts) on 5th, a redhead on the Conservation Pool at Long Eaton GP (Derbyshire) on 6th, two redheads on Chimney Corner North Pit (Beds) on 7th, a drake on Eyebrook Reservoir (Leics) on 7th, a drake on Ferry Lagoon at Fen Drayton GP (Cambs) on 7th, a redhead at Bedfont Lakes CP (London) on 7th, a drake on Longside Lake (Surrey) on 7th and a redhead on Tophill Low NR (East Yorks) on 7th.

HOODED MERGANSER: the long-staying drake remains at Radipole Lake RSPB (Dorset), whilst an escaped female remains at Alvecote Pools (Warks).

ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD: the regular adult remains on Eastchurch Marshes, Capel Fleet (North Kent) whilst elsewhere, an adult remains south of Thorganby village (North Yorks), two juveniles at Millington Pastures, Pocklington (East Yorks) and an adult still between Farforth and Scramblesby (TF 296 785) (North Lincs). The very popular second-winter male remained just north of Reed village, south of Royston (Herts) until 6th, whilst a new juvenile arrived in Hickling village (Norfolk) on 4th & 6th being seen at Stalham on 7th, with the Leighton Moss RSPB juvenile seen again on 6th-7th. What may have been the Hertfordshire bird relocating was seen north of the A142 west of the minor road between Coveney and Wentworth (Cambs) on 7th-8th.

A juvenile female white morph Greenland Falcon landed exhausted on a trawler well west of IRELAND at the beginning of December and after being rehabilitated in care, was released at Castlemaine Harbour (Co. Kerry) on 7th. Unfortunately, the release failed and the bird had to be re-taken into care.

Another white morph Greenland individual appeared on St Martin's (Scilly) on 7th (incidentally the first time a Gyrfalcon and Snowy Owl have graced the same island together), with it appearing over St Mary's on 8th, being seen at numerous locations over the island.

The Norfolk Broadland population currently numbers just 29 birds, these roosting each evening at Brayden Reedbed viewable from Hickling Stubb Mill. Elsewhere, the long-staying pair of unknown origin remain at Lakenheath Fen RSPB (Suffolk), with one in fields opposite the power station near Fengate, Peterborough (Cambs) on 4th and two adults at Eldernell (Cambs) from 6th-8th.

The regular returning adult visited Southwold Town Marshes (Suffolk) on 6th-7th.

A first-winter remains by the dam at Tittesworth Reservoir (Staffs). Please note that this is a long walk of at least 1.5 miles.

In IRELAND, a long-staying adult remains in Dundalk Docks (Co. Louth).

A first-winter remains at Covenham Reservoir (North Lincs) throughout.

A winter-plumaged adult was present on the estuary at Rosscarberry (Co. Cork) on 1st.


1) The regular adult at Westcliff-on-Sea, Southend (Essex), best seen at high tide or on the ebbing tide on the slipway and lamp standards opposite Rossi's Ice Cream Parlour on the foreshore.

2) The regular adult at Walpole Park Boating lake, Gosport (Hants), often roosting at low tide on the Haslar Creek adjacent.

3) A first-winter on the Boating Lake at Helston (West Cornwall).

4) A regular returning adult on the Isle of Dogs (London) generally 100 yards NW of the Glen Affric Avenue slipway at low tide.

5) A regular adult in Oban Harbour (Argyll) favouring the George Street foreshore.

6) A 2nd-winter present for second season at Lamby Lake (Glamorgan) at ST 217 784.

In addition, an adult was in West Angle Bay (Pembs) again on 1st & 6th December, whilst a very confiding adult was present by the A65 in Dundee, favouring the snackbar on Riverside Drive, 250 yards west of the railway bridge at NO 386 292, from 2nd-8th.

In IRELAND, a 2nd-winter roosted on Whitehouse Lagoon (Co. Antrim) on 2nd, with 2-3 adults in Galway Harbour at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway), a first-winter at Six Mile Water in Antrim on 4th and further adults at Cuskinney Marsh (Co. Cork) and Sandymount Strand (Co. Dublin) on 6th. A first-winter was in Bantry Harbour (Co. Cork) on 8th.

A 3rd-winter remains at Potteric Carr YWT (South Yorks), with an adult on East Scrape at Minsmere RSPB (Suffolk) on 1st, a 4th-year at Linford NR and Haversham (North Bucks) on 3rd-6th, a first-winter at Beddington Sewage Farm (Surrey) on 4th-6th, an adult at Appleford GP (Oxon) on 3rd, an adult at Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir (Surrey) on 5th, an adult on Dungeness ARC Pit (Kent) on 5th, an adult at Holland Haven NR (Essex) on 6th, a first-winter at Blackborough End Tip (Norfolk) on 6th, an adult at Hollowell Reservoir (Northants) on 6th, an adult on Farmoor Reservoir (Oxon) on 6th, an adult at Stubber's Green (West Midlands) again on 6th, an adult at Chasewater (Staffs) on 7th, an adult on Ibsley Water (Hants) on 6th-7th, an adult and 2nd-winter at Calvert Lake BBOWT (Bucks) on 7th and an adult at Ditchford GP (Northants) on 8th.

EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE: the individual present in a Berkeley garden (Gloucs) since October was still present on 7th December.

SNOWY OWL: the juvenile remains on St Martin's (Scilly).

WOODLARK: wintering flocks include 4 near Ludgvan (Cornwall) and 9 in stubble opposite the pumping station at the end of Riverside Road in Sidcup (Kent) (1st-8th).

BARN SWALLOW: Five remain in Pembroke Docks Refinery (Pembs) until at least 3rd, with 2-3 at Marazion Marsh and by Penzance Railway Station (West Cornwall) until 8th.

RICHARD'S PIPIT: late singles were noted at Sandwich Bay (Kent) on 2nd and at Higher Bosistow Farm, Polgigga (Cornwall) and The Hythe, Colchester (Essex), on 7th.

BOHEMIAN WAXWING: an influx of at least 1,300 birds remains, still mainly in Scotland and NW Britain.

LESSER WHITETHROAT: one was at 70 Acre Lake (London) on 7-8 December.

SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF: wintering singles include those at Countess Wear Sewage Works (South Devon), Broadsands (Devon) and Helston Sewage Works (Cornwall).

PENDULINE TIT: following a single at Greylake RSPB (Somerset) on 25 November, two were at Rainham Marshes RSPB (Essex) briefly on 6th December.


Wintering individuals: 1) Wishmoor Bottom in Berkshire; 2) Lakenheath Fen, Suffolk; a first-winter in the car park area; 3) Leash Fen/Ramsley Reservoir, Derbyshire; 4) Thornseat Delf, South Yorkshire and 5) Chamerlayne Heath, Oakerswood SSSI, Dorset. Four more are on territory in the New Forest.

ROSE-COLOURED STARLING: a first-winter remains in Newquay (Cornwall) at 27 Penhallow Road.

EUROPEAN SERIN: a single remains at Rainham Marshes RSPB.

LAPLAND BUNTING: at least 2 remain at Grainthorpoe Haven (North Lincs) with singles at Titchwell RSPB and Kelling Quags (Norfolk) on 3rd.