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Friday, 1 October 2010

ALDER FLYCATCHER - second record

North American expert Peter Pyle very kindly reviewed the Blakeney Point empidonax flycatcher record for me and the UK400 Club Advisory Committee and came to the conclusion that the bird was a first-winter ALDER FLYCATCHER - and therefore the second record of this species for Britain, following the first-winter female that was present near Porthgwarra (West Cornwall) in early October 2008.
I would also like to thank the large number of North American commentators that helped out with this difficult identification (especially Tony Leukering and Julian Hough) as well as all those photographers that sent me excellent images (including Mike Lawrence who provided the selection above, Penny Clarke, Vincent Le Grand, Alan Lewis and Kevin Du Rose amongst others). Chris Heard also significantly added to the discussions, as well as Chris Batty, Stuart Piner and Andrew Holden. Most importantly however, I would like to congratulate and commend the bird's finder James McCallum. James has always rated extremely highly on my radar and I have always been extremely impressed by his field capabilities, diligence and knowledge - he is a first rate observer of the highest degree and is offered the highest accolade of my organisation. Finding a bird of such quality in such conditions was nothing short of a miracle !