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Friday, 30 September 2011

Record-breaking late September temperatures

Temperatures in the south of Britain today reached a sweltering 82 degrees f - the hottest end of September temperatures since records began.........

Despite flying south between Whitley Bay (Northumberland) and Whitby (North Yorks) during yesterday, there has been no reports today of Aberdeenshire's adult Sandhill Crane. About 25 observers were lucky to intercept the bird yesterday as it made slow progress, although it did thwart many others by making the wrong turns......

With upwards now of 130 observers on Shetland, rarities being discovered there are increasing on a daily basis. Although the adult Lesser Grey Shrike and an Alpine Swift seen at Laxo have now moved on, and the Great Snipe of last night between North and South Voxter, today still saw the first-winter BLACK-HEADED BUNTING at Belmont House garden on Unst (and Bluethroat at Northdale, Red-backed Shrike at Haroldswick and Barred Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler and Common Rosefinch on the island), 3 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS briefly at Loch of Hixter and a Red-backed Shrike at Sumburgh Head, whilst juvenile PALLID HARRIERS included one on Fetlar near Wick of Gruting and two in the Quendale Burn area. Foula has NORTH AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT and BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, following a three-dayer juvenile YELLOW-BREASTED BUNTING during the week.

Compare this with the 16 or so observers now on Scilly, enjoying 4 juvenile BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS, a juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER and a GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK on the Airfield, the juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS on Porthmellon Beach, a juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER on Lower Moors, a scattering of 4 WRYNECKS and a mobile BLACK KITE on St Mary's. Tresco still has 6 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS.

GLOSSY IBISES are arriving on cue, with singles today on the Ogmore Estuary in Glamorgan on the pond by the Watermill public house and at Priory Marsh, Stanpit, in Christchurch Harbour (Dorset). Two GREAT WHITE EGRETS have also been moving along the South Coast, today flying over Pennington Marshes (Hampshire).

A couple of LITTLE BUNTINGS were trapped and ringed today on Lundy Island (North Devon) and Spurn Point (East Yorks) respectively, with a HOOPOE at Stonebarrow Hill, east of Charmouth (Devon) (SY 384 933) and a RED-BACKED SHRIKE remaining at Lodmoor (Dorset).

A juvenile PALLID HARRIER has been performing well in Somerset for a third day, 3 miles NE of Cheddar at Black Down, west of the trig point at ST 485 572, whilst a BLACK KITE still remains in the Drift Reservoir area (West Cornwall).

Juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS remaining include singles on the Ythan Estuary (Aberdeenshire) (at the north end, near the fishing cabins), Lower Pennington Marshes (Hampshire) (on the Jetty Lagoon) and on the Axe Estuary at Coronation Corner, Seaton (South Devon), with a lingering BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER on the Isle of Sheppey at Elmley Marshes RSPB (North Kent) and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS at Grove Ferry (Kent), Hornsea Mere (East Yorks), Marazion (West Cornwall), Weir Wood Reservoir (Sussex) and Saltholme Pools (Cleveland). Both BUFF-BREAST and PEC are to be found in Cumbria, NE of Arnside on the Kent Estuary at Carr Bank, whilst a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER remains for a second day at Freiston Shore RSPB (Lincs). New in today was a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER on Musselburgh Lagoons (Lothian) and 2 DOTTERELS at Polgigga (West Cornwall)..

The long-staying juvenile AMERICAN BLACK TERN continues to show well for admirers at Covenham Reservoir (North Lincs), with a GREAT WHITE EGRET at Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB (Cheshire), a drake FERRUGINOUS DUCK in the Walgrave Arm of Pitsford Reservoir (Northants) and a flock of 28 SPOONBILLS on Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour (Dorset). In Scotland, the drake AMERICAN BLACK SCOTER remains off Blackdog Beach (Aberdeenshire).

In IRELAND, reports today included that of the juvenile SEMIPALMATED PLOVER in Ventry Bay (Co. Kerry), the juvenile LEAST SANDPIPER at Carrahane Strand (Co. Kerry), two adult WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS on The Mullet at Blacksod (Co. Mayo) on Trawmore Beach and a juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER at Cromane (Co. Kerry) (the latter the latest in over 50 individuals discovered this autumn)