Follow by Email

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Severe Weather Warning

The earliest heavy snowfall since 1993 befell Aberdeenshire, the Border, Northumberland and the North Yorkshire Moors overnight, bringing severe disruption to road and rail after depositing five inches of lying snow in some areas. Such harsh conditions have seen part of the 6,000 or so BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS move south from their initial arrival in Scotland to most parts of England, including as far south and west to Hampshire. There has also been a westerly movement of BEWICK'S SWANS in recent days, with 3 TUNDRA BEAN GEESE new in at North Warren RSPB, Aldburgh (Suffolk), with GOOSANDERS moving south in large numbers, and a SNOW BUNTING appearing at Carsington Water (Derbyshire)

In North Norfolk, Robin Chittenden photographed the dark-backed, orange-breasted circus species recently at Holme NOA and his images, along with those taken by John Miller and SJMG at Thornham Harbour, certainly suggest that this bird too is a NORTH AMERICAN HEN HARRIER - the third record perhaps of the Nearctic vagrant this winter. Today the bird - a pale-eyed male presumably - appeared in the Titchwell RSPB and Thornham area several times

The juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER continues to show well at Lodmoor (Dorset), generally favouring the extreme SE corner of the main marsh adjacent to Beachdown Way, whilst a LESSER YELLOWLEGS - perhaps the Port Meadow bird relocating - remains on the main lagoon visible from the visitor centre at Rutland Water Egleton Reserve (Leics).

A GREAT WHITE EGRET is present for a fifth day at Hatchet Pond, east of Beaulieu, in the New Forest (Hants), with the wintering bird at Pitsford Reservoir (Northants), whilst the CATTLE EGRET remains at Dart's Farm at Topsham (South Devon) and the wintering AMERICAN GREEN HERON can still be found at the Lost Gardens of Heligan (Cornwall).

A GREY PHALAROPE remains off the East Beach at Dunbar (Lothian) (at NT 681 788) today, whilst the long-staying first-year DOTTEREL remains with the European Golden Plover flock at The Wig Scar at Loch Ryan (Galloway). A much longer-staying GREY PHALAROPE remains that on the roadside pools at Pett Level (East Sussex)

There has been a major arrival of MEALY REDPOLLS, perhaps representing 10% of all redpoll flocks currently, with reasonable numbers of NORTHERN BULLFINCHES at coastal localities. ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARDS continue to survive after arriving in Britain in October, with one hunting over the marsh at Tetney (North Lincs) today and another lingering over Holland Haven (Essex), whilst an old favourite has returned to the Isle of Sheppey (North Kent) to Shellness. A mammoth 43 SHORE LARKS have now amassed in Holkham Bay (North Norfolk).

A TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE is with Greylag Geese at Wat Tyler Country Park (Essex) whilst two different Red-breasted Geese, one bearing an orange-red ring initially seen in Hampshire, consort with the wintering Dark-bellied Brent Geese on the Exe Estuary (South Devon).

Reliable adult RING-BILLED GULLS back for the winter period include singles at Westcliff-on-Sea esplanade, Southend (Essex) and at Walpole Boating Lake, Gosport, and adjacent park fields (Hants)

The COMMON CRANE continues at Castlemartin Corse (Pembs), feeding in the stubble field viewable from the Corseside Nursery entrance, with another at the opposite end of the UK at Nigg Bay (Inverness).

GREAT NORTHERN DIVERS inland include juveniles at Astbury Mere CP (Cheshire) and Park Lake, Angler's Country Park (West Yorkshire), with the BLACK-THROATED DIVER still on St Aidan's Lake, New Swillington Ings (West Yorks), with SLAVONIAN GREBES on Brooklands Lake, New Hythe GP (Kent) and LONG-TAILED DUCKS at Balgray Reservoir (Clyde), Blackborough End Tip southern gravel pit (Norfolk) and Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB (Cambs) and the young drake VELVET SCOTER at Filby Broad (Norfolk).

A YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER remains in West Cornwall in the Cot Valley, whilst the first HUME'S LEAF WARBLER of the year was trapped and ringed at Holme NOA (North Norfolk) on Monday. The latter species and last week's DESERT WHEATEAR secure 2010 as the second best year in history in terms of numbers of species recorded.

In IRELAND, Tacumshane Lake (County Wexford) still harbours the juvenile NORTH AMERICAN HEN HARRIER, along with the now resident GLOSSY IBIS, whilst a female RING-NECKED DUCK is on the River Lee, at Lee Fields, near the football pitch in Cork City (County Cork). Cobh town's resident INDIAN HOUSE CROW was seen again today, as was the drake BLUE-WINGED TEAL at Cabragh Wetlands (County Tipperary), whilst the regularly returning female BLUE-WINGED TEAL is present once again in Dublin at North Bull Island. A drake NORTH AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL is at Belfast Lough RSPB (County Antrim)