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Thursday, 5 August 2010

Problematic Peep Showings...

Juvenile Whiskered Terns such as this are a real rarity in the UK - Steve Clifton obtaining these cracking shots

The juvenile Cattle Egret at Eyebrook (Dave Hutton)

The adult Semipalmated Sandpiper at Port Carlisle - record shots - Darren Robson

Moulting adult SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS in early autumn are always a finders nightmare and this August has been no exception. Darren Robson's bird in the North West of England at Port Carlisle (Cumbria) still remains this afternoon whilst another adult, this one present for its third day, was at Lodmoor (Dorset) until mid-morning, when it was flushed and flew strongly east. Martin Cade managed to obtain a selection of images of the bird before it flew off and these can be browsed on the Portland Bird Observatory website. Both individuals are very similar in plumage but note how attenuated this species can look from certain angles. The Dorset bird is a paler individual.

In Cheshire, the adult LESSER YELLOWLEGS remains for a 5th day at Inner Marsh Farm RSPB Pools (intermittently showing well from the main hide), whilst on the opposite coast, the very long-staying juvenile WHISKERED TERN continues to grace Saltholme Pools RSPB (Cleveland).

A CATTLE EGRET spent a couple of days with Little Egrets at Eyebrook Reservoir (Leics) this week (3rd-4th) with another still present in the Dungeness are (Kent). Dungeness RSPB also still harbours the GREAT WHITE EGRET and 3 PURPLE HERONS (the two adults and one of their juvenile offspring), whilst in Somerset, at least 3 LITTLE BITTERNS remain at Ham Walls RSPB on Loxton Marsh.

The moulting male HOUSE FINCH of ship-assisted or captive origin continues in East Prawle village (South Devon), favouring the gardens behind the Shippen and the Piglet Stores

A COMMON CRANE has been intermittently visiting fields by the Railway Pit at Hoveringham GP (Notts) in recent days, with another at Cley NWT Reserve (North Norfolk) today, favouring stubble fields NE of Walsey Hills and south-east of the Serpentine Meadows. Nearby, the adult HOODED CROW remains close to the Eye Field.

It is all set to be a bumper autumn for EURASIAN SPOONBILLS with the Norfolk colony flourishing but for now 14 birds still remain at Cley Marsh.

The passage of WOOD SANDPIPERS is now increasing, whilst OSPREYS are reaching the South Coast in numbers, including four in the Poole Harbour area (Dorset). Return migration too of common warblers, Yellow Wagtails, Tree Pipits, Whinchats, Common Redstarts and Pied & Spotted Flycatchers is now underway, with good numbers at South Coast coastal locations.

In Orkney, a long-staying ALPINE SWIFT continues to linger on South Ronaldsay, flying to and fro over Burn Farm and environs close to the Tomb of the Eagles at Burwick. Much longer staying is the BEARDED SEAL near Bibb's Pier at Finstown.

On Shetland, an adult drake SURF SCOTER remains at Trondra, whilst in the Outer Hebrides, a moulting adult PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER was seen.

After reports of its recapture on Sunday afternoon, it transpires that the adult Grey-headed Swamphen is still in the roadside ditch at Saltney (Clwyd) and was today the victim of children throwing stones at it. The National Media have also shown a great deal of interest in the bird.

In IRELAND, the first-summer NORTH AMERICAN HERRING GULL remains at Blennerville (County Kerry), the LAUGHING GULL at Ballycastle (County Antrim) and the first-year GLOSSY IBIS at Tacumshin (County Wexford).