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Monday, 4 May 2009

UK400 Club Rare Bird Alert for Monday 4 May

This is the UK400 Club Rare Bird Alert for Monday 4 May 2009, issued at 2300 hours and published in association with Rare Bird Alert Pagers whilst utilising additional information gleaned from the Regional Birdlines, BirdGuides, local email groups and websites and individual observers.

The Dungeness CRESTED LARK was still present very early morning, ranging widely across the 'Desert' and seen again first thing fairly close to 'Sleepers Cottage'. However, despite further extensive searching, it was not seen again after 0630 hours. The Southwell COLLARED FLYCATCHER was last seen on Saturday (3 May). An EASTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER was at Avalanche Road Hump, Southwell (Portland, Dorset), on Friday 2 May, affording good views for 275 observers during the afternoon.

In cloudy and often wet conditions today, the PALLID SWIFT first seen last Wednesday continued to perform very well throughout, commuting between the Seaforth Nature Reserve (permit access only) and Crosby Marine Lake adjacent. It is consorting with just a small group of Common Swifts and can be easily picked out by its much paler (brown) plumage, translucent secondaries, two-tone upper wing pattern, more rounded silhouette and slower more labouring flight. Steve Seal amongst others has obtained some excellent portraits of the bird. Pallid Swifts are often at their palest in spring and this individual is a typical example. When over the Marine Lake and car park, the bird affords superb views. Use the northernmost car park off of Cambridge Road and A565 Crosby Road South at SJ 317 976. Seaforth NR and its freshwater pool may be viewed through the steel fence.

A small 'peep' in full winter/first-summer-type plumage, initially seen on 8 April, visited Bowling Green Marsh RSPB, Topsham (South Devon) at high tide mid-afternoon and was later relocated on the River Exe upstream of the Turf Hotel at Exminster. It is possibly a WESTERN SANDPIPER.

At Lakenheath Fen RSPB Reserve (Suffolk), two calling male GOLDEN ORIOLES have returned to the Black Poplar Plantations, whilst closeby, a first-summer PURPLE HERON spent the day in a ditch just north of the Little Ouse River at Hockwold Fen. An adult of the latter was reported briefly from Fen Drayton Elney Lake (Cambs).

The male SAVI'S WARBLER remains for its 5th day at 70 Acres Lake, Cheshunt GP (Herts/Essex border), reeling intermittently from 0400-1800 hours in the main reedbed overlooked by Post 24 and the canal towpath on the west side of the pit. The gates to the car parks are locked at 1930 hours prompt and open at 0915.

On the Isles of Scilly, a LITTLE BUNTING was present in fields along Pool Road close to Rowesfield Crossroads

A female KENTISH PLOVER was a good find at Black Point, Hayling Island (Hants), whilst in Norfolk, 2 DOTTEREL were present in a peafield near Waxham Pipe Dump until mid-morning (a female was also still present at The Range, South Uist). Two CURLEW SANDPIPERS at Rutland Water this afternoon were early.

A CATTLE EGRET arrived at Rutland Water's Egleton Reserve (Leics) this morning, showing near the church until late morning, whilst the two EURASIAN SPOONBILLS that were previously on the Isle of Wight at Newtown NNR visited Titchfield Haven NNR (Hants) early morning. The long-staying GREAT WHITE EGRET was still present at Dolydd Hafren MWT Reserve (Powys).

A drake North American Green-winged Teal was present on the second lagoon west of Shapwick Heath NNR car park (Somerset) with another still present at Loch of Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire) and a new arrival at Marloes Mere (Pembs)

It was a good day for passage WOOD SANDPIPERS inland, with a few Whimbrels, whilst fresh SW winds saw impressive numbers of POMARINE SKUAS migrating up the West Coast with 22 past Bowness-on-Solway viaduct (Cumbria) and an impressive 228 north past Aird an Runair on North Uist (Outer Hebrides).

A female MONTAGU'S HARRIER is present for a second day at Woodbury Common (South Devon), viewable from just south of the Warren car park, whilst a first-summer male RED-FOOTED FALCON flew SW over Holkham Pines (Norfolk).

It has been an excellent spring for RED-RUMPED SWALLOWS with another this morning at Dawlish Warren NNR (South Devon), this location also attracting the first 2 adult ROSEATE TERNS of the year. In North Devon, a WRYNECK was on Lundy Island.

In Northern Scotland, a superb summer-plumaged adult WHITE-BILLED DIVER remains offshore of the Burghead Maltings building (Moray & Nairn), presumably the bird present last spring (and incidentally rejected by BBRC!) and a first-year drake KING EIDER was offshore at the northern end of Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire) early afternoon.

There are reports of up to 2 BLACK KITES in Essex in recent days, with both over Braxted Park at 1800 hours on 4th and 1 north over Weald Bridge this morning.

A very confiding TAWNY PIPIT (the first of 2009) was excellently photographed in short grass at Sutton Heath Sewage Works (Suffolk) yesterday evening, where a suppressed BLACK-WINGED STILT graced the Walberswick Bailey Bridge Pools recently for four days.

Still relatively quiet in IRELAND with a drake AMERICAN WIGEON on the Whitehead side of the bridge at Ballycarry Creek, Larne Lough (Co. Antrim) and the party of 8 CATTLE EGRETS on the Tourig Estuary (Co. Waterford). The adult FORSTER'S TERN is still at Tacumshin's East End Pool (Co. Wexford), with a PECTORAL SANDPIPER and 4 GARGANEY nearby in the main channel, and an early first-summer CURLEW SANDPIPER. A male SNOW BUNTING was in Glasagh Bay (Co. Donegal).