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Saturday, 14 November 2009

EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE confusion

A juvenile EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE was discovered this morning in Collieston village, just north of the Ythan Estuary (Aberdeenshire). It was frequenting the lawn of the last garden along the minor road to Sand Loch before moving early afternoon to stubble fields nearby. At 1440 hours, it flew towards the village and was not seen again despite searching. Collieston is accessed off of the A975 via the B9003. To avoid upsetting local residents, please park sensibly just beyond the harbour. The bird was initially confused with Oriental Turtle Dove of the 'meena' form

Farther south, in Perth & Kinross, an elusive first-winter BLUETHROAT remains near Errol in the cabbage field at NO 257 224 (park by the barrier and walk 500 yards to the bridge to view)

A LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was present for a second day at Port Carlisle (Cunbria), showing well SE of the main harbour with Common Redshanks, whilst a WILSON'S PHALAROPE was new in on Musselburgh Lagoons (Lothian), showing very well from the Middle Hide (a first-winter of this species also spent much of the last week at the Zeiss Scrape at Slimbridge WWT, Gloucs). The wintering LESSER YELLOWLEGS remains with Common Redshanks on the river by the bridge at Aberlady Bay (Lothian).

The first-winter BROWN SHRIKE sets forth to start its 6th week in residency at the north end of Staines Moor (Middlesex) although there was no sign of yesterday's juvenile RED-RUMPED SWALLOW at Holy Island (Northumberland) today.

In what has been a resurgence in winter status in SHORE LARK - up to 13 remain in Holkham Gap (Norfolk) with 3 nearby at Holme Dunes (Norfolk) and 4 at Theddlerhorpe Dunes (Lincs) whilst most unusual is a singleton by the 4th red flag north of the Weld Road car park along Southport Promenade (Lancs).

Inland, a first-winter LONG-TAILED DUCK remains on Theale Moatlands Pit (Berks) whilst the juvenile GREAT NORTHERN DIVER continues at Hollingworth Lake (Gtr Manchester) with up to four at Grafham Water (Cambs) andRED-THROATED DIVERS at Chard Reservoir (Somerset) and on Rutland Water (Leics)

Two drake North American Green-winged Teals include singles at Draycote Water (Warks) (in Toft Bay) and on North Scrape at Cley NWT (Norfolk) with the drake Ring-necked Duck still at Foxcote Reservoir (North Bucks).

Storm-driven birds today included a juvenile GREAT NORTHERN DIVER at Calvert BBOWT Lake (North Bucks), 9 Common Scoter at Chew Valley Lake (Avon), two GREY PHALAROPES on the Mere at West Bexington (Dorset) and further singles at Portland and off Hurst Castle (Hants), 3 LITTLE AUKS and 250+ Kittiwakes off Severn Beach (Avon) and juvenile SABINE'S GULLS in Old Town Bay, St Mary's (Scilly) and off Chesil Cove, Portland (Dorset) and far inland briefly at Slimbridge WWT. Up to 7 LEACH'S PETRELS were forced close inshore in the near gale force winds, including 3 off Hengistbury Head (Dorset).

GREAT WHITE EGRETS include the long-staying adult at Mockbeggar Lake, Ringwood (Hants), up to 3 at Leighton Moss RSPB (Lancs) and one at Dungeness RSPB (Kent), the latter site still hosting the 2 first-winter GLOSSY IBISES near Boulderwall Farm with three more still surviving at Catcott Lows NR (Somerset).

Eleven Water Pipits from the Singleton Hide at Blacktoft Sands RSPB (East Yotks) is an impressive record, whilst a couple of late autumn RICHARD'S PIPITS included singles on St Mary's (Scilly) and another at New Passage (Gloucs) (with two more still in the private fields at Slimbridge WWT).

The very late colour-ringed juvenile OSPREY of Scottish origin still survives in the Chess Valley, NE of Little Chalfont (Bucks).

In IRELAND, the male BLUETHROAT continues to perform very well on the margin of the main lake at Ballycotton (Co. Cork) whilst the juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER remains with European Golden Plover in the field opposite the race track at Kirkistown (Co. Down).

Two RUDDY SHELDUCK remain in a field opposite the quarry 1.4 miles north of Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) whilst the regularly wintering SMALL CANADA GOOSE (form hutchinsii) remains with Barnacle Geese at Ballygilgan NR, Lissadell (Co. Sligo).