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Saturday, 30 May 2009

STILT SANDPIPER drops in briefly

This is the UK400 Club Rare Bird Alert for Saturday 30 May 2009, issued at 2000 hours and published in association with Rare Bird Alert Pagers whilst utilising additional information gleaned from the Regional Birdlines, BirdGuides, local email groups and individual observers.

Bird of the day was a STILT SANDPIPER which visited the main pool overviewed by the ramp at Grove Ferry (East Kent) early morning but sadly this bird flew SE with 9 Ringed Plovers at 0828 hours and was not seen again. Meanwhile the pratincole gracing the Breaches Pool at Pagham Harbour North Wall (West Sussex) on 28-29 May was reidentified as an ORIENTAL PRATINCOLE, only the sixth record for Britain.

The first-summer SQUACCO HERON remains on Baker's Fen at Wicken Fen NT (Cambs), best viewed from the tarmac track that runs alongside the west side of the fen (permits £5.50 per day), whilst in North Norfolk, a GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK remained for a second day at The Marrams on Blakeney Point, 600 yards west of Coastguards car park. A typically elusive singing male COMMON ROSEFINCH was in the North Bushes at Minsmere RSPB Reserve (Suffolk) this morning

An ALPINE SWIFT was at the south end of Loch Barvas and over the Primary School on Lewis (Outer Hebrides) early morning (Martin Scott) whilst on Shetland, the drake NORTH AMERICAN WOOD DUCK remains on Spiggie, the LESSER SCAUP at Loch of Houlland, GREAT REED WARBLER on Out Skerries, ICTERINE WARBLER at Quendale and a GOLDEN ORIOLE is at Halligarth Plantation, Unst.

A first-summer PURPLE HERON flew into Haverton Reedbed, Saltholme (Cleveland) at 2030 yesterday evening and was seen again briefly today, whilst another landed in the reedbed near White Slea Lodge, Hickling Broad (Norfolk) late morning.

The long-staying reeling male SAVI'S WARBLER was still present today at 70 Acres Lake, Lee Valley Park (Herts/Essex) whilst EUROPEAN BEE-EATERS today included one at Troy Town, St Agnes (Scilly) and another for its third day on the Land's End peninsula. A very elusive singing male MELODIOUS WARBLER was in bushes south of Land's End car park (Cornwall) early morning, with a GOLDEN ORIOLE in flight over Trinity Cottages (following one at Cot Valley yesterday).

A good scattering of RED-NECKED PHALAROPES this week (including two at Belvide Reservoir, Staffs, and a female at Frampton Marsh RSPB, Lincs) was followed today by a female on Eyebrook Reservoir (Leics), favouring the north end.

A return to easterlies and high temperatures saw a scattering of Black Terns in SE England, several incoming EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARDS, a new 'wave' of Garganey, a male MONTAGU'S HARRIER over Flamborough Head (East Yorks) and an adult female RED-FOOTED FALCON west over Gosforth Tennis Club (Northumberland). A male GREY-HEADED WAGTAIL was unusual inland at Queen Mother Reservoir (Berkshire).

Calling COMMON QUAIL include 3 at Aberlady Bay (Lothian), 1 at Longniddry (Lothian), 1 at Auchie Glen (Dumfries & Galloway), 2 on Bardsey Island (Gwynedd) and 1 at Kilton Thorpe (Cleveland).

A late drake AMERICAN WIGEON is at Martin Mere WWT (Lancs).

A crop of WOODCHAT SHRIKES present during the week, including singles at Brandon Marsh NR (Warks) on 29th and at Trough of Bowland (Lancs), failed to show up today. In Staffordshire, the singing male COMMON NIGHTINGALE continues along the Trent and Mersey Canal in Branston Water Park, just north of Tatenhill Loch (at SK 212 205)

With the neap tides failing, there was no sign of the first-summer or adult winter male WESTERN SANDPIPER that had shown seven days on the trot at Dawlish Warren NNR (South Devon)

In IRELAND, an adult FORSTER'S TERN continues to show well on the East End Pool at Tacumshin (County Wexford), with two COMMON QUAIL on Great Saltee (Wexford) and a HOBBY south over Five Mile Point (Wicklow).