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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Winds swing Southeasterly..........

Light Southeasterly winds and intermittent drizzle saw a mass arrival of birds from the Continent today including large numbers of Short-eared and Long-eared Owls, Great Grey Shrikes, Yellow-browed Warblers, Bramblings, Siskins and Fieldfares and Redwings. Amongst them were no less than 5 RED-FLANKED BLUETAILS........

The first was trapped and ringed mid-morning at North Landing, Flamborough Head (East Yorks), followed by another early afternoon at Whitburn Coastal Park (County Durham) and then another on Orfordness Island in Suffolk. There was then another discovered in the Sluice Bushes at Minsmere Beach (Suffolk), with a second (unringed) individual in Whitburn - in the tall trees along Church Lane.

The easterly element to the weather also produced an ISABELLINE WHEATEAR late afternoon - at the caravan park at Lowestoft North Denes (Suffolk), where nearby, a juvenile WOODCHAT SHRIKE remains showing well in bushes on the west side of Links Road car park at Lowestoft North Denes

A RED-THROATED PIPIT flew south over Pegwell Bay Country Park (East Kent) at 0950 hours, whilst the first PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLER of the autumn was at Brook Lane in Reculver (Kent).

With most holidaying birders now either on Scilly or Shetland, the former shrouded in dense fog offers the following.....

The first-winter NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (the longest-staying ever) continues to be the show-stopper. This fabulous and very enchanting lost Nearctic waif is very much in a routine now, regularly appearing at Higginson's Pool on Lower Moors and giving itself up bigtime. Take the footpath alongside the allotments and rubbish tip on the outskirts of Hugh Town and at the Dump Clump, take the well-worn track through the clump and out for 150 yards into the reedbed. The pool can be overlooked from a raised mound.

A first-winter UPLAND SANDPIPER is also present on St Mary's, commuting between two fields in the Maypole junction and Borough Farm area, with a juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS on Lower Moors, a first-winter WILSON'S SNIPE on Porthellick Pool, a RED-THROATED PIPIT with Meadow Pipits on the Golf Course, a first-winter male BLUETHROAT on Porthellick Pool and Beach, a juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING just above Sallyport on the Garrison, a female-type SUBALPINE WARBLER in the pine belt behind the tennis courts on the Garrison, a GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK on the Airfield, a COMMON ROSEFINCH near the tip and at least 5 different WRYNECKS about the island.

On Tresco, both the LESSER YELLOWLEGS and LEAST SANDPIPER remain in their respective opposite ends of the Great Pool, with the juvenile RED-BACKED SHRIKE nearby on the Abbey Pool crossroads and a confiding SPOTTED CRAKE on the Abbey Pool, whilst on St Martin's, the juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER and 3 Eurasian Golden Plovers continues by the Daymark and an unidentified large pipit is by the Beady Pool on Wingletang Down, St Agnes.

Fair Isle saw the first LANCEOLATED WARBLER of the year arrive, whilst Shetland South Mainland still housed the AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT in the kale field above the dam at Quendale Burn and the adult female ISABELLINE SHRIKE at Brake, Hillwell; the juvenile PALLID HARRIER remained too at Wester Quarff.

A first-winter male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was reported from Orkney on the weekend, with an OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT on North Ronaldsay today and two PECTORAL SANDPIPERS at Herston on South Ronaldsay. Yesterday also saw an ELEONORA'S FALCON photographed between Kilspindle and Gosford (Lothian) - this following a very convincing description of an adult SOOTY FALCON at Birling Gap, Beachy Head (East Sussex).

An AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT was an excellent find in East Sussex on Sunday, the bird being photographed again yesterday afternoon along the tidewrack consorting with 4 Rock Pipits at Newhaven Harbour, just west of the West Arm (no sign today however, despite exhaustive searching). Meanwhile, a first-winter YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO died today after being taken into care from a Liverpool garden yesterday.

A juvenile LESSER SCAUP continues to show well at Marden Quarry Pool (Northumberland) whilst offshore in the same county at Goswick, a drake NORTH AMERICAN BLACK SCOTER, an adult drake SURF SCOTER and 3 Velvet Scoters are amongst Common Scoters off of Beachcomber House. A first-winter drake FERRUGINOUS DUCK remains on the pit right of the visitor centre along the approach road to Far Ings NR in North Lincolnshire

There are still at least two BLACK KITES present in West Cornwall and showing intermittently SW of Catchall between Drift and the B3283 junction at Bojewans Carn, viewed south from the A30 layby a mile west of Drift.

GLOSSY IBISES remaining from last week's influx include the 3 juveniles at Priory Marsh, Stanpit (Dorset) and the single juvenile at the southern causeway of Stithians Reservoir (Cornwall), whilst a new arrival today included a bird off Kirkholme Point at Hornsea Mere (East Yorks).

A first-winter GREY PHALAROPE remains for a second day at Daventry Reservoir (Northants) (with another on Noah's Lake at Shapwick Heath NNR, Somerset) whilst in what has been an exceptional autumn for LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS sees two juveniles still together at Chew Valley Lake (Avon) (viewable from the Stratford Hide) and singles on the Folly Pond at Caerlaverock WWT (Dumfries & Galloway) and at Lochlea Farm Pool (NS 457 303) in Ayrshire. The long-staying juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPER continues to be seen at the north end of the Plym Estuary by Marsh Mills roundabout, Plymouth (South Devon), as well as the moulting adult on Herriott's Pool, Chew Valley Lake, with the juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS at Truro along the Tresilian River (Cornwall). A WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was newly discovered at St Serf's Island, Loch Leven (Perth & Kinross) today.

A PECTORAL SANDPIPER remains at Dungeness ARC Pit (Kent) (where a fall of over 10 Ring Ouzels took place in the Moat and Trapping Area) as well as the Denge Marsh GREAT WHITE EGRET, whilst the CATTLE EGRET is still to be found on the marsh viewable from the footpath between the end of Thornham Lane and Chichester Harbour on Thorney Island (West Sussex).

Stornoway Harbour on Lewis (Outer Hebrides) is yielding a 2nd-winter RING-BILLED GULL, whilst the Uists have an outstanding array of Nearctic waders including a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER at Balgarva, BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at Loch Sandary, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER and 8 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS at The Range, West Gerenish and 4 GREY PHALAROPES at Ardivachar Point.

A GREAT NORTHERN DIVER is inland at Ringstone Edge Reservoir (West Yorks), with a confiding SLAVONIAN GREBE on Fairhaven Lake (Lancs)

In IRELAND, most excitement surrounds an UPLAND SANDPIPER in the Termoncarragh Lough area in County Mayo. The bird is typically vocal and flighty but favouring the wet grassy fields at F 650 357 - the fields to the west of the graveyard along the single track road to Glebe. Found by Dave Suddaby.

Although the recent RED-EYED VIREO was not seen today on Cape Clear Island (Co. Cork), the GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK remains and at Galley Head (Co. Cork), the WOODCHAT SHRIKE is still in residence.

An adult FORSTER'S TERN is at Cruisetown Strand (Co. Louth) with the juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPER still by the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarberry (Co. Cork) and at least 17 GLOSSY IBISES at Courtmacsherry (Co. Cork).

In County Down, a juvenile male PALLID HARRIER was seen at St John's Point yesterday.