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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

RED-FLANKED BLUETAILS continue to invade

In addition to two first-winters on Shetland and another trapped and ringed in Durham at Whitburn, three further and well-twitched RED-FLANKED BLUETAILS have appeared further south.
Two different birds were trapped at Spurn Point (East Yorkshire) over the past weekend, the first time that two individuals have appeared at the same site in Britain at the same time. The first on Saturday 17 October - a first-winter thought to be a female - was at Kew Villa and seen by many. The second - a second first-winter but most likely a male - was present from Saturday afternoon but only seen by a woman day-visitor. The next day it was elusive and seen on and off in the morning at various places about the Point and then went missing until late on Sunday afternoon when it was found in the Heligoland trap and caught (see two in-hand pictures above). The bird was still present about the Point yesterday 19 October (information and pictures by kind courtesy of Dave Hursthouse).
A first-winter female (fabulously depicted above by Sean Nixon) appeared at Minsmere Sluice Bushes (Suffolk) in the middle of last week and has remained on site ever since, moving about the tracks inside the Sallow clumps 50 yards south of the Sluice gates.
It is assumed that these late-arriving Red-flanked Bluetails are originating from populations much farther east in Siberia rather than from Estonia and Scanadinavia.