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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Nearctic beach plover lay undetected in West Ireland

Dan Brown and other members of the so-called ''Punkbirder'' crew fully clinched the identification of a juvenile SEMIPALMATED PLOVER in west IRELAND today 4.5 miles WSW of Dingle (County Kerry) at the south end of Ventry Harbour on the beach just north of the southern stream mouth. The bird was showing very well and was photographed this afternoon by Michael O'Keefe and was also seen by a number of Kerry birders including Maurice Hanafin and Jill Crosher.(information per Ed Carty).

Rare Nearctic waders continue to dominate the IRISH headlines with a bag of juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS still to be seen, including two at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) and two at Blennerville Marsh (Co. Kerry), as well as numerous BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS (4 at Tacumshin still, another 4 between Newbridge and Kildare amongst European Golden Plovers on Curragh Racecourse, Co. Kildare, and 2 at Truska Marsh, Ballyconneelly, Co. Galway), a juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER (and juvenile Dotterel) at Truska Marsh and the HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL still at Mizen Head (Co. Cork). Other highlights include the continuing juvenile PALLID HARRIER at Tacumshin and a female BLUE-WINGED TEAL at Inch Lake on Lough Swilly (Co. Donegal).

On the Isles of Scilly today, the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH commuted between the St Mary's Dump Clump Project Pool and the main Lower Moors pools in front of the ISBG hide but was always very elusive, whilst the juvenile SOLITARY SANDPIPER remained at the Project Pool, just one BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER on the Airfield, the first-summer WOODCHAT SHRIKE by the Airfield and an ORTOLAN BUNTING there also. The Black-and-White Warbler and Baltimore Oriole departed midweek.

In the far Northwest, on the Outer Hebrides, Barra's RED-EYED VIREO was trapped and ringed today at Brevig.

As well as in Ireland, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS and other Nearctic waders appeared in numbers in Britain today with new juvenile SEMI-P's being discovered in South Devon (on the Axe Estuary north of Seaton at Black Hole Marsh) and in Hampshire (at Pennington Marshes' Shoveler Pond), an adult SPOTTED SANDPIPER on the Herriott's Bridge causeway at Chew Valley Lake (Avon) and a juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS ENE of Glasson (Lancs) on the south side of the Lune Estuary at the mouth of the River Conder (at SO 454 562) (both LESSER YELLOWLEGS remained in West Cornwall, at Drift Reservoir and Tresilian River, Truro, respectively, and the juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPERS at the north end of the Plym Estuary in Plymouth, South Devon, and at Lydney, Gloucs). A sprinkling of BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS included the Thornwick Bay, Flamborough (East Yorks), bird again, whilst an adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was to be seen at Uskmouth Lighthouse (Gwent) and a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER at Llanrhidian Marsh. Both juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS remain at Baron's Haigh RSPB (Clyde) and Stithians Reservoir (Cornwall) respectively

The deluge of juvenile PALLID HARRIERS continues, breaking all previous records, with a new bird at Cliffe Pools RSPN (North Kent) this afternoon joining at least two different birds on Shetland, a confiding bird at The Loons RSPB (Orkney), another on Mull (Argyll) at Fidden, Moss and the most observed of all still just NNE of Burpham (West Sussex) at The Burgh already on the list.

The light SE winds this afternoon bought in a nice ARCTIC WARBLER to the East Coast - showing well in bushes and scrub ENE of the boardwalk at Burnham Overy Dunes (North Norfolk) - whilst on Shetland, the GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH at West manse garden, Fetlar, replaced the attraction of yesterday's South Mainland Swainson's Thrush on the archipelago.

Over 40 twitchers made the long trip north to Aberdeenshire overnight and were rewarded with early morning views of the adult SANDHILL CRANE at Strathbeg RSPB, the bird continuing to show throughout the day until it decided to fly south at 1613 hours. Not that far away to the south, the adult drake NORTH AMERICAN BLACK SCOTER remained with Common Scoter off Murcar Beach.

The juvenile AMERICAN BLACK TERN continues at Covenham Reservoir in North Lincolnshire, with both juvenile SABINE'S GULLS still lingering at Sturt Pond, Milford-on-Sea (Dorset) (the long-staying adult at Grafham Water, Cambs, departed this morning).

Many Yellow-browed Warblers are now moving through Shetland, along with Common Rosefinches and the odd Barred Warbler, whilst at least 1 AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT and 1 CITRINE WAGTAIL remain on North Ronaldsay (Orkney). A GREAT SNIPE is still lingering on Fair Isle. A juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING is at Land's End (West Cornwall), whilst juvenile RED-BACKED SHRIKES are appearing in small numbers (with singles on Tresco, Scilly, and at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, Kings Hall at Herne Bay, East Kent and in Dorset) and WRYNECKS with more frequency than in recent weeks.

Bedfordshire's apparent adult AZOREAN ATLANTIC GULL failed to appear in the Stewartby lake roost this evening, perhaps due to the increase in water ski-ing and speedboat racing today.

Also intriguingly, there was no sign of Cobh's INDIAN HOUSE CROW today; Dave Carter found and photographed the first-ever on Cyprus on Thursday !