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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Midsummer Review

The first twitchable LAUGHING GULL of the year, captured brilliantly on film by Derek Charles, and the bird of the summer - WHITE-TAILED PLOVER - pictured by Andrew Lawson

In East Kent, the WHITE-TAILED PLOVER remains for a third day at Dungeness RSPB ARC Pit, showing very well on occasions when it visits the mud to the SE of the screen hide at the north end of the pit to feed on the rare and endangered Medicinal Leeches that the site partly acquired SSSI status of. Once fed or disturbed by Oystercatchers, it takes to flying out to the well vegetated islands and can remain out of view for long periods. The reserve is easily accessible from the main coast road south out of Lydd.

Nearby, the pair of PURPLE HERONS seem to have abandoned the nest and no longer appear to be feeding young, whilst a long-staying GREAT WHITE EGRET remains as elusive as ever in the extensive reedbed at Denge Marsh.

In Somerset, the pair of LITTLE BITTERNS continue to visit their reedbed vegetation nest and can be encountered flying in and out low over the Phragmites at Shapwick Heath NNR Loxton Marsh site, whilst CATTLE EGRETS remain nearby and EURASIAN BITTERNS have bred in record numbers. A first-summer colour-ringed GREAT WHITE EGRET (from France) is still present on the Noah's Lake, visible from the hide on the east shore.

On the wader front, WOOD SANDPIPERS are now returning southwards, as well as ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWITS, GREEN SANDPIPERS and COMMON SANDPIPERS, with the summer-plumaged adult BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER still gracing the Freshwater Lagoon at Titchwell Marsh RSPB (North Norfolk). A party of 8 EURASIAN SPOONBILLS remains at Cley Marsh NWT (Norfolk).

In IRELAND, the TEREK SANDPIPER is still present at Blennerville (County Kerry), just west of the bridge, with the second-summer LAUGHING GULL still in County Antrim. A single EURASIAN SPOONBILL is at Tacumshin Lagoons (Co. Wexford).