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Saturday, 24 March 2012


Temperatures reached 72 degrees fahrenheit in southern England today, whilst a SE wind bathed most of the coastline. With exceptionally early migrants in the form of Common Cuckoo, House Martin, Sedge Warbler and Common Whitethroat, the list total for this year surged forward to an incredible 290 species.......

But it was IRELAND that stole the show with a whole host of southern overshoots turning up. Best of all was a very confiding BAILLON'S CRAKE on Great Saltee Island (County Wexford), favouring the ruins to the left of the Rickyard house. Boats to the island leave Kilmore Quay. A WOODCHAT SHRIKE was also discovered, with a twitcahble ALPINE SWIFT at Fanore (County Clare) and a BLACK KITE at Vartry Reservoir, Roundwood (County Wicklow). This follows a PURPLE HERON seen near Kilcoole yesterday.

Incoming migrants here included at least 4 HOOPOES, with two in the vicinity of Higher Bosistow Farm, Polgigga (Cornwall) and further singles on the Garrison, St Mary's (Scilly) and another at Tavistock (Devon). At the extreme NW of Britain, an ALPINE SWIFT flew up and down the gulley just SW of the lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis (Outer Hebrides).

In South Wales, the male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT remains at Rhiwderyn (Gwent), with the adult BONAPARTE'S GULL nearby in Cardiff Bay, the drake LESSER SCAUP at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park and the LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER at Cydweli (Carmarthenshire).

The two first-winter LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS continue to show well on the drained lagoon 500 yards west of the Ashcott Corner car park at Meare Heath (Shapwick Heath NNR, Somerset), with 6 GREAT WHITE EGRETS still in the area and both drake LESSER SCAUP and SPOTTED SANDPIPER still at Chew Valley Lake (Avon).

The LITTLE BUNTING continues at South Milton Ley (South Devon), whilst ROSE-COLOURED STARLINGS are still in residence in Muirhead, Troon (Ayrshire) and in Hordle village (Hants).

A CATTLE EGRET is showing well at Home Farm, Springfield Bottom (Theale, Berkshire), with another at Lydney (Gloucs), whilst GLOSSY IBISES remain at Saltholme Pools (Cleveland), Marloes Mere (Pembs), Minsmere RSPB (Suffolk) and near Chelmsford at Baddow Meads Pond, Great Baddow (Essex). Yesterday, a GLOSSY IBIS made it to Aird an Runair on North Uist (Outer Hebrides), whilst elsewhere in Scotland, 3 adult WHITE-BILLED DIVERS remain offshore of Port Nis, Lewis, and the GREATER YELLOWLEGS continues at Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire).

Both the HUME'S LEAF WARBLER and RICHARD'S PIPIT remain at Wyke Regis (Dorset), whilst in IRELAND, a long-staying RICHARD'S PIPIT continues at Killard Point.