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Thursday, 5 November 2009

Winter's drawing closer but a few Sibes still appear

Juvenile Sabine's Gull at North Shields Quay (

This is the UK400 Club Rare Bird Alert for Thursday 5 November 2009, issued at 2100 hours and published in association with the premier paging company 'Rare Bird Alert' whilst utilising additional information gleaned from Birdline (09068 700 222), the Regional Birdlines, BirdGuides and a diverse collection of local websites, blogsites and other forums.

In East Kent, what now appears to be the first 'resident' FAN-TAILED WARBLER in Britain and perhaps the first coloniser can now be seen more regularly at Pegwell Bay Country Park, favouring the Salicornia and patches of reed and saltgrass east of the car park and hide. It shows very well on occasions and is still predominantly an 'early morning bird' disappearing into thick cover as each day progresses. It roams the area widely, ranging 250 yards either side of the hide. There is an obvious pay and display car park on the main coast road.

An OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT was discovered early afternoon at Flamborough Head (East Yorks) showing well intermittently in Old Fall Plantation, 450 yards south of the road and accessed along the Old Fall Hedgerow.

A typically elusive DUSKY WARBLER is present for its 5th day at Gunton Cliff, just north of Lowestoft (Suffolk), now favouring the Japanese Knotweed, bracken and Silver Birch scrub just north of Warrenhouse Wood. It is calling frequently but exceptionally difficult to view and occasionally wanders north for up to 400 yards along the heavily vegetated cliff bank. Park at The Links Road public car park on the Gunton Warren and walk north for 125 yards to view.

A further DUSKY WARBLER is on Shetland in Sandwick crop on Whalsay whilst a RED-RUMPED SWALLOW remains for a second day close to the chicken pens SSW of Gosford in Aberlady Bay (Lothian)

The first-winter BROWN SHRIKE is still present and showing very well in scrub just NW of the wooden footbridge on the north side of the river at Staines Moor (Middlesex) (please note that wellingtons are now essential for access from Hithermoor Road and The Anchor pub)

A long-staying adult ROSE-COLOURED STARLING remains in Shapinsay village (Orkney)

A moulting adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER is with 335 European Golden Plovers on Bodmin Moor in fields near Dozmary Pool (Cornwall) whilst the long-staying juvenile EURASIAN SPOONBILL remains on the Hayle Estuary. A late RADDE'S WARBLER was still frequenting scrub alongside the coastal footpath at St Levan (Cornwall) as recently as yesterday.

A GREAT WHITE EGRET was at Lea Farm GP (Berks) this evening, whilst another was viewable from the Wash Viewpoint at Frampton Marsh RSPB (Lincs) this morning with another in Aberdeenshire on the north bank of the River Dee, just downstream of the bridge in Crathes and a further roosting with 12 Little Egrets at Frampton-on-Severn Sailing Lake (Gloucs). Meanwhile, the near resident bird continues at Island Mere, Minsmere RSPB (Suffolk) with other long-stayers at Denge Marsh, Dungeness RSPB (Kent) Two of the three CATTLE EGRETS remain at the 100 Acre Scrape at Frampton (Gloucs) with others at Dungeness RSPB (Kent) (in the sheep field close to the entrance) and at Landulph Marsh (Cornwall) (viewable from the Kingsmill Lake hide at Saltash).

Two first-winter GLOSSY IBIS remain at Dungeness RSPB (Kent) but mobile and elusive, with another three still surviving at Catcott Lows NR (Somerset).

With winter fast approaching, attention is now turning to wintering wildfowl with long-staying drake RING-NECKED DUCKS at Westport Lake (Staffs), Kirkby-on-Bain GP (Lincs) and Foxcote Reservoir, Buckingham (North Bucks), a drake AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL on North Scrape, Cley NWT (Norfolk)
, a drake AMERICAN WIGEON on Kirk Loch, Lochmaben (Dumfries & Galloway)
A TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE is amongst Eurasian White-fronted Geese at Slimbridge WWT (Gloucs), with a single white morph SNOW GOOSE with Pink-feet in Budle Bay (Northumberland) and up to 266 TAIGA BEAN GEESE opposite Luckenburn Farm near Slamannan (Clyde)..

The adult winter LESSER YELLOWLEGS is still consorting with Common Redshanks just downstream of the bridge at Aberlady Bay (Lothian)

The near-adult AZOREAN YELLOW-LEGGED GULL is still to be found at Didcot Landfill and adjoining fields and Wash Pool (Oxfordshire) whilst an extremely confiding juvenile SABINE'S GULL was present for over a week at North Shields Quay (Tyneside).

Two moulting adult GREAT NORTHERN DIVERS are at Carsington Water (Derbyshire), Grafham Water (Cambs) and Hollingworth Lake CP (Gtr Manchester) whilst meanwhile, a RED-THROATED DIVER remains in the NW corner of Chard Reservoir (Somerset). SLAVONIAN GREBES continue at Pennington Flash CP (Greater Manchester), Grafham Water (Cambs) and Castle Loch NR (D & G), with a first-winter RED-NECKED GREBE for its second day at Calvert BBOWT (Bucks) and 2 BLACK-NECKED GREBES on Staines Reservoirs (Surrey).

There has been a surprising influx of GREATER SCAUPS inland, including 7 on Brogborough Lake (Beds), a pair at Tongwell Lake (North Bucks) and immatures at Grafham Water (Cambs) and Wilstone Reservoir, Tring (Herts)

Two returning adult Black Brants are amongst 1,350 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and at least 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese on The Fleet near Weymouth (Dorset), this same area also harbouring 70-120 Mediterranean Gulls, whilst nearby on Portland, Woodpigeon emigration continues to be impressive, several Firecrests are around and a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at Easton.

A NORTHERN GREY SHRIKE is in bushes by the landing strip near Feshiebridge (Speyside) at NH 856 032

In North Wales, the singing CETTI'S WARBLER is still present at Conwy RSPB (Conwy) whilst very large numbers of BLACK REDSTARTS are to be found throughout the country

A very late Curlew Sandpiper is at Belvide Reservoir (Staffs) (where there were also a Red-breasted Merganser and an adult Kittiwake) whilst a number of Whooper Swans appeared inland today.

In IRELAND, impressive numbers of Black Redstarts remain from last weekend including up to 25 around Rosslare Harbour (County Wexford) whilst a blythi Lesser Whitethroat and a Siberian Chiffchaff remain on Sherkin Island (Co. Cork). A LONG-TAILED DUCK remains on Lady's Island Lake (Co. Wexford).