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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Record well and truly smashed !

As of today, with the first HUME'S LEAF WARBLERS of the year appearing, the total of species recorded in Britain and Ireland this year is an incredible 448 - a new record........

It has been another few days filled with Eastern surprises with the pick of the bunch being two different ISABELLINE WHEATEARS (a well-twitched bird on the beach at Spurn Point, East Yorkshire, for a couple of days and the third of the year at Wernffrwwd, on the Gower, frequenting the mound on the saltmarsh at SS 506 939 - still present today). Spurn has also attracted a PIED WHEATEAR - showing well today on the beach adjacent to the Point car park) whilst male DESERT WHEATEARS include singles midway between Boulby mast and Hummersea Farm opposite the Micklow Junction at Loftus (Cleveland) and at and in the bulb field near Mill Bay, 200 yards beyond Faraway Cottage, in Nanjizal Valley (West Cornwall) (3rd day).A female PINE BUNTING remains in the crop at Clibberswick on Unst (Shetland)

Warblers of Siberian origin include the aforementioned HUME'S LEAF WARBLER on Shetland at Kergord Plantation (with putative additional birds in Lothian and Suffolk), with a DUSKY WARBLER still in bushes at the north end of the car park at Balmedie Country Park (Aberdeenshire) and another in Willows south of the central track at North Warren RSPB, Aldeburgh (Suffolk). The only PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLER of the day was in the Point Dunes at Spurn Point (East Yorks).

Of Nearctic origin, the first-winter NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH survives on the Isles of Scilly at Lower Moors, nearly two months after it first arrived, whilst virtually sharing the same bush is an exceptionally late GREAT REED WARBLER. The long-staying WILSON'S SNIPE remains on the main ISBG pool. On neighbouring St Agnes, the CENTRAL ASIATIC LESSRER WHITETHROAT continues, with the RUDDY SHELDUCK nearby on Porth Killier Beach.

A HOOPOE remains popular in West Sussex, favouring lawns by the thatched cottages in Climping, whilst an adult SPECTACLED WARBLER was present at Needs Ore (Hampshire) from 29-30 October.

A GLOSSY IBIS continues to show well on the main pool at Filey Dams Nature Reserve (North Yorks) with another on Carter's Flood at Pett Levels (East Sussex), a first-winter at Fingringhoe Wick EWT (Essex) and the Plymouth Sound (Devon) bird again on Drake's Island, whilst the juvenile SQUACCO HERON was still present in the Attenborough NR (Notts) area this morning.

A first-winter RED-BREASTED GOOSE of unknown origin was still present at Exminster Marshes RSPB (South Devon) today, this individual being formerly seen with Dark-bellied Brent Geese at Christchurch Harbour and on The Fleet in Dorset.

The juvenile female BUFFLEHEAD is now building up strength on the Loe Pool at Helston (Cornwall), favouring the eastern side of the northern end to dive and feed.

The first-winter LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was again in Wigtown Harbour (D & G) today, with one of the two juveniles still at the east end of Blagdon Lake (Somerset) and the other at Chew Valley Lake (Avon). Meanwhile, the long-staying AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER remains in Europie village, by the Atlantic Cottage in Fivepenny at the extreme north end of Lewis (Outer Hebrides) and the LESSER YELLOWLEGS by the bridge at the east end of the Alaw Estuary on Anglesey. A WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER remains for a second day at Black Hole Marsh, Seaton (South Devon), with the adult still at Rutland Water (Leics) and a juvenile on St Agnes (Scilly), whilst SPOTTED SANDPIPERS remain at Chew Valley lake (Avon) and at the north end of the River Plym, Plymouth (South Devon).. A very late juvenile RED-NECKED PHALAROPE continues to survive at Cley Marshes NWT (North Norfolk) (viewable from Avocet Hide), whilst the two juvenile WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER remain on Harris (Outer Hebrides) at the south end on the saltmarsh at Scarasta, north of Northton (at NF 999 928).

GREAT WHITE EGRETS are becoming ever more familiar in the UK with birds today still present at Linford NR (North Bucks), on the Windsurfing Pit at the Idle Valley NR (Notts), on the North Marsh at Minsmere RSPB (Suffolk), at Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB (Cheshire) (two birds), at Old Hall Marshes RSPB (Essex), at Campfield Marsh RSPB (Cumbria), at Capel Fleet Marshes, Isle of Sheppey (North Kent), at Walmsley Sanctuary (Cornwall) and on the Out Skerries on Shetland. A CATTLE EGRET continues on the Camel Estuary feeding opposite the sewage works west of Wadebridge (Cornwall).

The party of 8 COMMON CRANES are still feeding in the field 300 yards from the A47 between Thorney and Guyhirn (Cambs), with another on the north shore of The Fleet at Langton Hive Point, south of Langton Herring (Dorset).

A second-winter RING-BILLED GULL is still present by the Lifeboat Station in Stornoway Harbour, Lewis (Outer Hebrides), with a first-winter at Balivanich on Benbecula.

A party of 6 TUNDRA BEAN GEESE arrived today at Covehithe (Suffolk), favouring a stubble field NE of the church with 6 European White-fronted Geese.


A juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING is present for at least its 5th day at garden feeders at Mumbles Head on the Gower Peninsula, visible from All Saints Church on the Mumbles Road, whilst another was in gardens along Manse Road, Inverkeithing ((Fife) yesterday..

Five SHORELARKS are back for the winter at Holkham Gap saltings (North Norfolk), whilst a juvenile ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD has been showing very well at Nicholl's Quarry, Hythe (East Kent), just one of a major influx of this species into Britain this autumn.

It has been an excellent period inland, with Dark-bellied Brent Geese, Red-breasted Mergansers and Velvet Scoters passing through) whilst highlighting include inland LONG-TAILED DUCKS at Bromley Trout Fishing Lake (London) (accessed along the track between George and Rookery Lanes) and at the west end of the Green Lawn at Blagdon Lake (Somerset), a SLAVONIAN GREBE at Spade Oak Nature Reserve, Little Marlow (South Bucks) and a PURPLE SANDPIPER at Queen Mother Reservoir (Berks). Many SNOW BUNTINGS have been displaced inland, including twitchable individuals in Essex, Bucks and Berks

SHORT-EARED OWLS are plentiful throughout the UK due to an excellent breeding season in northern Scandinavia, whilst HEN HARRIERS are also very evident. It is also a good late autumn for GREAT GREY SHRIKES - those reported recently including singles just north of the Box Car Park at Ashdown Forest (East Sussex) (TQ 463 294), just east of the waterworks and south of the railway line in Cromer (Norfolk), in trees around Kingshill Farm, Elmley RSPB (North Kent), along the coastal path 400 yards west of Morston Quay (North Norfolk), along the track leading to the hides at Swale NNR (North Kent). in the hedgerow along Muspit Lane - SK 759 849 - at South Wheatley (Notts) and by the Cemetery Road junction at Donna Nook (North Lincs).

North Norfolk and elsewhere have seen small numbers of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS arrive in recent days on the easterly winds

In IRELAND, a WATER PIPIT is on the Silver Strand at Ballycotton (Co. Cork), with the same general area boasting an AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT, BARRED WARBLER, AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER and a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER.