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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Those Megas just keep coming - SANDHILL CRANE on ORKNEY

For those of you without an ear to the ground, an adult or 1st summer SANDHILL CRANE is currently present on South Ronaldsay, Orkney at the south end in a field just north of Middle Loch, constituting the 3rd record for Ireland and Britain after singles in:

1991 Shetland Exnaboe, Mainland, first-summer to second-winter, 17th to 25th September; same, Sumburgh, 26th September, photo.
1981 Shetland Fair Isle, first-summer, 26th to 27th April, photo.
1905 Cork Galley Head, 12th to 14th September when shot, now at National Museum, Dublin.

This birds arrived in the wake of a deep transatlantic depression that brushed the Northern half of the UK and Ireland last night and also apparently dumped a SOLITARY SANDPIPER at Annagh Head in Mayo, where incredibly a BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS was also seen this morning! Coupled with an as yet unconfirmed Booted Eagle in Kent (best credentials for a genuine vagrant to date if it is one) this will no doubt leave pro-twitchers reaching for their wallets and asprin in equal measure. Stick or twist? Notwithstanding the fact that an arrival of three Buff-bellied Pipits (if not from Greenland) could signify the arrival of more mega Nearctic vagrants and there are several more depressions on the same track due to arrive over the course of the next couple of days. Lewis anyone? Good luck to one and all....Alex Lees