Follow by Email

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Spring surges forward with LAUGHING GULL and ALPINE SWIFT new in

The total number of species now recorded in Britain and Ireland this year has risen to 279 with the addition of a first-winter LAUGHING GULL in Cumbria and an ALPINE SWIFT in Cornwall. Present for its second day, the LAUGHING GULL has been frequenting fields south of the A590 near Dalton-in-Furness, about 400 yards NE of the Dalton roundabout. The mobile ALPINE SWIFT was initially seen over Lizard Village (Cornwall) from 1500-1515 and again at 1605 before relocating to Caerthillian and Church Coves briefly at 1728.

Recent days have seen a big increase in migrants arriving with the first main thrust of Northern Wheatears, Common Chiffchaffs, Black Redstarts and Sand Martins, whilst Garganeys, White Wagtails and the odd Ring Ouzel, Willow Warbler, Barn Swallow and Stone Curlew have also been turning up. Associated with this arrival have been several BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS, including up to four different individuals in a landscaped garden pond in Devon at Woolacombe and a long-stayer at the small pool in Polgigga adjacent to the Porthgwarra turning (West Cornwall)

On the Isles of Scilly, the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH continues to show intermittently in the thick Sallow 'woodland' just beyond the Shooter's Pool viewing screen on Lower Moors, St Mary's. Meanwhile in South Wales, the first-winter male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT continues to infrequent the brambles and scrub at the top of the field just outside of Rhiwderyn, NW of Newport (Gwent) (at ST 259 869).

In West Sussex, the male PADDYFIELD WARBLER continues to linger at Pagham Harbour, favouring the Phragmites and scrub 90 yards west of the Breaches Pool, most often between the 3rd and 4th benches on the North Wall. Please park sensibly at the end of Church Lane and follow the footpath for 500 yards. Not that far away in Hampshire, the adult male SPANISH SPARROW continues to display to House Sparrows in Calshot village.

The first-year GREATER YELLOWLEGS was once again today at the Starnafin Farm Loch of Strathbeg RSPB reserve (Aberdeenshire), after being absent all day yesterday, whilst present for at least its third day was another Nearctic vagrant - female BLUE-WINGED TEAL - at the Walmsley Sanctuary CBWPS Reserve (Cornwall) (viewable from the Tower Hide).

The adult SPOTTED SANDPIPER is once again feeding along the concrete banking of the Herriott's Pool at Chew Valley Lake (Avon), whilst that same reservoir harbours a drake LESSER SCAUP from the Bernard King Hide and a long-staying LONG-TAILED DUCK at the dam. Not that far away in Somerset, a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was with Common Redshanks at Greylake RSPB until 0930 hours.

Many GLOSSY IBISES are still to be found including four birds at Cantley Marshes RSPB showing well from the gate in Station Road, Cantley (Norfolk), the immature at Island Mere, Minsmere RSPB (Suffolk), two still in the first meadow west of the oxbow lakes at Stodmarsh NNR (Kent), two still in the vicinity of the North Hide at Radipole Lake RSPB (Dorset), that in flooded fields at Saltholme Pools RSPB (Cleveland) and 3 still at Marloes Mere (Pembs).

Numerous GREAT WHITE EGRETS remain, including singles at Campfield Marsh RSPB (Cumbria) (at NY 201 606), on the Harty Marshes, Sheppey (North Kent), at Crossens Outer Marsh (Lancs), at Llanrhidian Marsh, on the Gower (Glamrgan) and up to four in the Somerset Levels area, whilst CATTLE EGRETS today include singles at Redhill House on Watery Lane in Lydney (Gloucs) (at SO 625 030) and that in the cattle field at SY 719 914 at Kingston Maurward, Dorchester (Dorset)

Wintering YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS still to be found include one of the four at Carnon Downs Sewage Works, Truro (Cornwall) and that in the dense evergreen shrubs by the entrance to the Paraxel building on Worthing High Street (West Sussex) as well as the more recent migrant in bushes along the cycleway between Berkeley Way and Skipton Crescent in Warndon, Worcester (Worcs) at SO 884 570. whilst all 3 wintering ROSE-COLOURED STARLINGS are to be found, with that in Holyhead (Anglesey) and singles in Muirhead, Troon (Ayrshire) (most frequently in Bruce Kerr's garden with the Scottish flag opposite the Activity Centre) and in Hordle village (Hants) (generally in the vicinity of the memorial, just down from the village post office). A flock of 4 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS still remains on berries by the roundabout at the south end of Asda's car park in Blyth (Northumberland)

Lots of GREAT GREY SHRIKES are still to be found including popular singles near Fakenham (Norfolk) parallel to the A148, one in the middle-of-nowhere near the Craig Bron-banog aerial mast in Clocaenog Forest (at SJ 018 520), the singing male near the footpath to Doles Farm at Lower Layham (Suffolk), the long-stayer near the sentry box on Prestwick Carrs (Northumberland), one in the clearing opposite the hide in Montreathmont Forest (Angus/Dundee), that present for its third day between Green House Farm and Twelve Acre Farm at South Leigh (Oxfordshire), that long-stayer in the hedgerows near Hinton Organic Farm at Queen Charlton (Somerset), at Ibsley Common and at Pig Bush in the New Forest (Hants), in hedgerows opposite ElyRailway Station in Little Thetford (Cambs), on the slope west of the car park at World's End (Clwyd), in the central clearfell in Cross Inn Forest (Ceredigion), along the Ackling Dyke at Sixpenny Handley (Dorset) still, two still on Thursley Common (Surrey), in the clearfell at Langridge Fell (SD 660 404) (Lancs) a kilometre along the main forestry track off of the old Clitheroe road and still near the loch at Old Kinord (Aberdeenshire).

In North Wales, a build-up in scoter numbers has resulted in the finding of no less than four SURF SCOTERS (3 adult drakes) offshore amongst the estimated 25,000 Common Scoters at Old Colwyn (Conwy), with another drake in Largo Bay off Ruddon's Point (Fife).

Other rare wildfowl lingering include drake AMERICAN WIGEONS on the central lagoon at Exminster Marshes RSPB (South Devon) and at Angler's Country Park, WakefIeld (South Yorks), the drake RING-NECKED DUCK still on the Par Beach Pool, St Austell (Cornwall) with another at Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park (Lancs), and the drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL on the River Chelmer in Maldon (Essex) and that on Dorman's Pool, Teesmouth (Cleveland). Two 'new' drake RING-NECKED DUCKS were discovered on Loch Davan (Aberdeenshire) this evening.

Meanwhile, a white morph SNOW GOOSE remains with Greylag Geese in fields left of the Douglas Water junction in Clyde and the RED-BREASTED GOOSE with Dark-bellied Brent Geese at Old Hall Marshes (Essex)..

Nottinghamshire had an interesting overland wader passage today, involving both Red Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit but more interestingly a PURPLE SANDPIPER at Kilvington West Lake; also at least 6 Black-legged Kittiwakes through..

One of the two LITTLE AUKS remained in Scapa Flow off of Scapa Pier (Orkney) today.

Not much news from IRELAND today but the female RING-NECKED DUCK remains at Cross Lough, Killadoon (County Mayo), the female SIBERIAN STONECHAT continues on the South Slob NR (County Wexford), a GLOSSY IBIS for its second day at Mullaghmore Lake (County Galway), both first-winter LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS at The Cull (County Wexford), drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL at Tacumshin (County Wexford) and the first Swallows and Willow Warblers of the year