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Friday, 23 July 2010

Petrel bonus in fresh NNW winds off North Norfolk coast

The adult summer FRANKLIN'S GULL remained at Chasewater (Staffs) for just under a week (top image, photographed by Steve Nuttall) but did not fly in to roost last night; up to 12 WOOD SANDPIPERS are present in Britain today (this juvenile photographed by Phil Bishop at Rye Meads RSPB) whilst this first-summer drake KING EIDER is moulting at Filey Brigg, North Yorks (Dave Mansell's superb images)

This is the UK400 Club/British Birding Association Rare Bird Alert for Friday 23 July 2010, issued at 1900 hours, and published in association with Rare Bird Alert Pagers whilst utilising additional information gleaned from BirdGuides, the Regional Birdlines and local email groups.

The WHITE-TAILED PLOVER of recent weeks was last seen on Dungeness ARC PIT (Kent) on Wednesday and has not been seen in Britain since.

Bird of the day was undoubtedly the WILSON'S STORM PETREL that passed west along the North Norfolk coast this morning; initially seen and identified off Sheringham at 0820 hours (Kevin Shepherd), it later flew slowly west at less than half distance past Cley Coastguards from 0905-0911 hours, where it was seen by James McCallum (finder), Richard Millington, Mark Golley, Dave Holman, Christine Stean, Baz Harding and very briefly by Tony Aberdein and Trevor Davies. Reasonable 'scope views were obtained as it flew between the troughs. A fresh NNW wind had blown up overnight, with large numbers of Northern Gannets displaced and a few Manx Shearwaters. It represents the first record for Norfolk.

Much farther north, similar sea and wind conditions produced Sooty Shearwater and 225 Manx Shearwaters off of Whitburn (County Durham)

A first-summer male KING EIDER is summering with Common Eiders in Filey Bay (North Yorks) and can be found at falling or low tide feeding on mussels at the Brigg (see Dave Mansell's excellent images above)

At Dungeness RSPB (Kent), the GREAT WHITE EGRET remains on Denge Marsh, as does the breeding pair of PURPLE HERONS. Two juveniles have apparently now fledged the nest. The female LITTLE BITTERN is still attending to her fledged young at Ham Wall RSPB (Somerset) but remains very elusive and a very confiding GREAT WHITE EGRET has spent the week just downriver of the Ornamental Bridge at Clumber Park (Notts). Up to 15 EURASIAN SPOONBILLS are on Havergate Island (Suffolk) with a further 10 at Cley Marsh NWT (Norfolk).

There is a scattering of WOOD SANDPIPERS around the country including a long-staying juvenile at the RSPB Rye House Marsh Reserve in Hertfordshire (see Phil Bishop's image above) whilst the two Norfolk PECTORAL SANDPIPERS remain, at Titchwell Freshmarsh and Welney WWT respectively.

A few RUDDY SHELDUCK of perhaps continental origin are appearing, including a flock of 9 in Northeast Scotland at Loch of Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire)

There is also a widespread influx of COMMON CROSSBILLS

In IRELAND, a first-summer NORTH AMERICAN HERRING GULL is at Blennerville (County Kerry), whilst the summering immature GLOSSY IBIS remains at Tacumshin Pools (County Wexford).