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Tuesday, 25 August 2009








This is the UK400 Club Rare Bird Alert for Tuesday 25 August 2009 issued at 2200 hours and published in association with Rare Bird Alert Pagers whilst utilising additional information gleaned from the Regional Birdlines, BirdGuides, local email groups, web-sites and web-blogs and individual observers.

An adult SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER continues to delight visitors at Cresswell Pond NWT (Northumberland) (see Stef McElwee's excellent images above) whilst in Cleveland, a juvenile CITRINE WAGTAIL moulting into first-winter plumage showed well for two days (23-24 August) at Saltholme Pools RSPB.

SPOTTED CRAKES have appeared in force over recent days as more and more mud becomes exposed at numerous sites following the recent hot, dry weather including singles at Conwy RSPB (showing well from the reserve Tal-y-fan Hide), Abbotsbury Swannery (Dorset), Grove Ferry NR (Kent), Greylake RSPB (Somerset), Sandwell Valley RSPB (West Midlands) and the long-staying bird in the Dearne Valley at Edderthorpe Flash (South Yorks).

There has also been an upsurge in PECTORAL SANDPIPER appearances with adults at Loch of Houll on Whalsay (Shetland), on the golf course at Point of Ness, Stromness (Orkney Mainland), at Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire), at the north end of Hollowell Reservoir (Northants), whilst the first of this autumn's DOTTERELS appeared at Hatfield Moors (South Yorks) and on Ramsey Island (Pembs) this afternoon.

Recent days have seen a scattering of drift migrants with a very confiding HOOPOE at the base of the cliffs above the beach at the Folkestone end of Samphire Hoe Country Park (East Kent) (access through the tunnel east of the A20), juvenile RED-BACKED SHRIKES at Kelling Water Meadows (Norfolk) and Benacre Sluice (Suffolk) and ICTERINE WARBLERS on Fetlar and at Scatness (Shetland). A very odd-plumaged leucistic-type ORTOLAN BUNTING spent the day at Landguard NR (Suffolk) (perhaps more likely an escape) whilst a drab juvenile yesterday afternoon caused consternation on Inner Farne (Northumberland).

The long-staying adult LESSER YELLOWLEGS is still present with the juvenile Ruff on Porthellick Pool, St Mary's, with a TEMMINCK'S STINT showing well on roadside pools at Pett Levels (East Sussex) and a juvenile RED-NECKED PHALAROPE new in at Keyhaven Marshes Lagoons (Hants).

The two GREAT WHITE EGRETS, one of which is a colour-ringed bird from NW France, both remain at Ouse Fen (Cambs) with another at Chard Reservoir (Somerset) and a returning adult at Mockbeggar Lake (Hamts).

A male MONTAGU'S HARRIER was present for a second day at Rainham Marshes RSPB (Essex/London), showing well from the seawall hunting over Aveley and Wennington Marshes until 1015 hours when it drifted off high to the southeast, with a juvenile in the Burrough Hill CP area (Leics), with other longer stayers at Orford Ness (Suffolk) and at Elmley Marshes RSPB (Kent) (two birds). Meanwhile, a presumed first-summer male RED-FOOTED FALCON continues to range widely between Horsey Mere and Hickling Broad (Norfolk), occasionally resting in dead trees visible distantly from Bittern Hide at Hickling NWT.

An adult SABINE'S GULL has been roosting almost every evening at Upton Warren Flashes Pool (Worcs) since Friday, arriving at 2020 hours and departing shortly before 0540, whilst a hint of east in the wind carried large numbers of Black Terns over the North Sea and into the Midlands. A flock of 40 ROSEATE TERNS were at Beacon Point, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea (Northumberland) this afternoon.

With over 14,500 TREE PIPITS leaving Sweden south over Falsterbo, it is hardly surprising that above average numbers have appeared in central, southern and eastern Britain in recent days. A COMMON NIGHTINGALE on Scilly is a good record, remaining for a second day on the Garrison, St Mary's, with good numbers of Whinchat and Common Redstarts now passing through.

A CORNCRAKE visited North Ronaldsay (Orkney) today, with a BARRED WARBLER on Fair Isle (Shetland).

The adult drake FERRUGINOUS DUCK remains at Heron's Green Bay, Chew Valley Lake (Avon), with another at Loch Gelly (Fife), with drake RING-NECKED DUCKS at Loch Leven (Fife) and at Westport Lake (Staffs) whilst an adult female Hooded Merganser of unknown origin arrived at Scaling Dam Reservoir (Cleveland).

Seawatching continues to cause concern in County Clare (IRELAND) with the 35 or so participants in this week's residency being showered in yet further WILSON'S STORM PETRELS today, as well as 18+ SABINE'S GULLS, 2 LONG-TAILED SKUAS, 7 GREY PHALAROPES and a single GREAT SHEARWATER

Meanwhile, 200 miles west of County Cork aboard the ''Cetaceans on the Frontier'' survey vessel, a WILSON'S STORM PETREL was seen on Sunday (23 August), along with Cory's Shearwater, 20+ Great Shearwaters, Long-tailed Skua, several Sabine's Gulls and a Grey Phalarope, whereas today the same vessel recorded 3 WILSON'S STORM PETRELS, a GREAT SHEARWATER, 2 SABINE'S GULLS and a LEACH'S PETREL 150 miles west of County Mayo (Antony McGeehan et al).

Elsewhere in IRELAND, a juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER was today on Inch Lake, Lough Swilly (Co. Donegal) and an incredible 550+ ROSEATE TERNS in Dublin Bay at Sandymount Strand (Co. Dublin).