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Friday, 13 August 2010

Lean Times

An exceptional long-stayer - the juvenile WHISKERED TERN at Saltholme Pools RSPB, Cleveland (Tristan Reid)

LESSER YELLOWLEGS on the Big Pool, St Agnes, Scilly (Robin Mawer)

The long-staying LAUGHING GULL in Northern Ireland at Ballycastle, Antrim (Chris Baines)

The COMMON CRANE that spent several days at Hoveringham Railway Pit, Notts (Mark Stirland)

The juvenile CATTLE EGRET now present near Earith (Cambs) (David Hutton)

Last weeks Alpine Swift on Orkney, photographed by Paul Higson

This is the UK400 Club Rare Bird Alert for Friday 13 August 2010 issued at 2100 hours and published in close association with Rare Bird Alert Pagers, whilst utilising additional information gleaned from the Regional Birdlines, BirdGuides, Birdnet, local email groups and websites and individual observers.

A touch of North-easterly wind this afternoon saw both a WRYNECK and an ICTERINE WARBLER appear on the East Coast - at Hartlepool Headland (Cleveland) and Blakeney Point (North Norfolk) respectively.

A sub-adult GLOSSY BIS first discovered in Christchurch Harbour (Dorset) yesterday left its roost-site with Little Egrets at dawn and visited Parky Mead Rail Marshes early morning at Stanpit. It remained until mid-morning but then disappeared.

The first 'twitchable' SPOTTED CRAKE of the year continues to show well at Grove Ferry NNR (Kent), favouring the narrow muddy reedbed margin to the far left of the David Feast Hide, with 10 or more GARGANEY in the area and a long-staying WOOD SANDPIPER.

An adult BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was seen at Snettisham RSPB (Norfolk) today, on the beach just south of the beach huts (Titchwell individual perhaps?)

In Cleveland, the long-staying juvenile WHISKERED TERN continues to show well at Saltholme Pools RSPB, gracing the causeway and pools either side of the main coast road, with the adult Black-necked Grebe still there and large numbers of ROSEATE TERNS along the coast, best observed either at South Shields and Whitburn Steel (both County Durham sites) or on Bran Sands, South Gare.

In Cambridgeshire, a juvenile CATTLE EGRET continues, by day feeding NE of Earith on the Ouse Washes NE of the Industrial Estate in one of the cattle fields at TL 393 755 (please park carefully and courteously on Short Drive). A different juvenile CATTLE EGRET also remains at Dungeness (Kent), still commuting between the north end of ARC Pit and the sheep field at Boulderwall Farm, whilst the ever-present GREAT WHITE EGRET continues at Denge Marsh. The nesting Purple Herons seem to have moved on.

There are still quite a few passage WOOD SANDPIPERS lingering on, whilst ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWITS inland include a healthy number of juveniles.

A BLACK GUILLEMOT flew west past Sheringham and Blakeney Point (Norfolk) this morning, whilst an impressive watch off Flamborough Head (East Yorks) yielded two adult SABINE'S GULLS and a Long-tailed Skua amongst an excellent selection

Scotland continues its quiet run although the moulting adult PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER remains on South Uist at Loch Bornish, Ormiclate. The eclipse drake RING-NECKED DUCK continues at Angle Park GP in Fife (NO 293 113) whilst up to 4 adult drake SURF SCOTERS are loafing off Blackdog Beach (Aberdeenshire).

In IRELAND, a EURASIAN SPOONBILL is still present on the Shannon Airport Lagoons (County Clare), whilst a GREAT WHITE EGRET was showing well on Lady's Island Lake (County Wexford) (first seen at Ring Marsh on 11 August). The LAUGHING GULL continues to show very well at Ballycastle Marina (County Antrim) as does the first-summer NORTH AMERICAN HERRING GULL at Blennerville (County Kerry). The first-summer GLOSSY IBIS remains at Tacumshin (County Wexford).

Looking back over Week 32 (9-12 August), the adult BAIRD'S SANDPIPER remained at Lound Chainbridge Scrape (Notts) until 10th, an adult WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was at Bran Sands, South Gare (Cleveland), on 9-10, a juvenile KENTISH PLOVER was seen at Seaslater (Kent) on 9th and an adult LESSER YELLOWLEGS spent four days on the Big Pool, St Agnes (Scilly) from 9th (see Robin Mawer's images above). The Inner Marsh Farm RSPB (Cheshire) LESSER YELLOWLEGS remained present all week but was typically elusive visiting the new reserve scrapes far from view.

The 9 August saw a GREAT SHEARWATER fly west past Porthgwarra (West Cornwall) (scarce so far this autumn with no more than singles seen) and the most recent WILSON'S STORM PETREL seen around Scilly, with a GREAT WHITE EGRET at Drift Reservoir (Cornwall) (to 10th) and a MELODIOUS WARBLER trapped and ringed at Portland Bill Bird Observatory (Dorset). ICTERINE WARBLERS appeared on Out Skerries (Shetland) on 11th and Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory (Kent) on 12th, whilst a GREENISH WARBLER was at Queenamidda (Orkney) for a few days and another was at Sumburgh Hotel (Shetland) on 11th.

A couple of adult PECTORAL SANDPIPERS appeared on 11 August (at Cley NWT and East Chevington Pools, Northumberland, respectively), with an adult DOTTEREL with European Golden Plovers in the Aldbrough area (East Yorks).