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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Total reaches 350 species....

As of today, the total number of species recorded in Britain and Ireland in 2012 has risen to 350......

With the majority of summer migrants now having appeared in one form or another, including European Nightjar, Storm Petrel and Honey Buzzard, it is just some of the more later arrivals such as Marsh Warbler that are still to make an appearance

The star attraction continues to be the first-summer male ATLAS PIED FLYCATCHER at South Landing, Flamborough Head (East Yorkshire). Present for an incredible 12th day this Wednesday, the bird was still showing well this afternoon in the sheltered ravine. Well over a thousand observers have now travelled to see the bird, trapped and ringed on 30th April.

Bank Holiday Weekend saw a flurry of activity, with a CALANDRA LARK briefly at Sandwich Bay (Kent) on Saturday 5th and a CRESTED LARK on view for just over two hours within the confides of Dungeness Power Station (Kent) on Monday 7th.

Near breeding-plumaged WHITE-BILLED DIVERS continue to be seen at Herston, South Ronaldsay (Orkney) and off Burghead Maltings (Moray), whilst GLOSSY IBISES maintain a presence in Pembrokeshire (still 3-4 at Marloes Mere) and West Sussex (2 from the North Wall at Pagham Harbour). A fine SQUACCO HERON has been commuting between Chew Valley lake and Blagdon Lake (Somerset) since 3rd, showing well near the Owl Box at the top end this morning.

In Strathclyde, the drake BLUE-WINGED TEAL remains on the small pool north of the main pool at Bridgend Farm Pool (of Whisling Swan fame), with an adult drake SURF SCOTER distantly off Port Seton (Lothian).

A few PALLID HARRIERS have been picked up on return passage these last few days, with singles in North Norfolk and Lincolnshire on 5th & 8th and a juvenile today north over Waxham (Norfolk).
The first dribs and drabs of TEMMINCK'S STINT passage has been instigated, with singles today at Idle Valley NR (Notts), with 2 at Cley NWT Reserve (Norfolk), whilst trips of DOTTEREL have included 15 at Canon's Farm, Banstead (Surrey) on 4th, 11 in a peafield west of the A928 and south of the entrance to Pluckerston Farm, Kirriemuir (Angus/Dundee) (NO 377 516) and 7 NNW over Guisborough Moor (Cleveland) today (a female also still with Ringed Plovers in the pea field south of Tetney Lock, North Lincs). A PECTORAL SANDPIPER made a fleeting visit to floods by the Exminster Marshes RSPB (South Devon) car park mid morning, with a PIED AVOCET at Vats-Houll, Whalsay (Shetland) particularly interesting, along with 2 at Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire). A female KENTISH PLOVER visited Marazion Beach (Cornwall) today, whilst a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER appeared on the island in front of the hide at Hodbarrow RSPB reserve (Cumbria). It has been a fabulous spring for BLACK-WINGED STILTS with a pair today still present from the Southfleet Hide at Elmley Marshes RSPB (North Kent). Also exceptional was a BLACK-WINGED PRATINCOLE at Burton Mere Wetlands (Cheshire) on 3rd-4th, a very early date for this species considering their late arrival in Turkey and elsewhere in Central Asia.

A cracking adult ROSEATE TERN 'overnighted' at Staines Reservoirs' North Basin (Middlesex), moving briefly west to Queen Mother Reservoir (Berks) just prior to 0900 hours. It is a ringed individual, most likely from Coquet Island.

RED-RUMPED SWALLOWS have appeared in larger numbers than expected with at least 12 so far this May with one still showing well today at the dam and Model Farm end of Grafham Water (Cambs) and another over the sewage works at the end of Dunes Road in Greatstone-on-Sea (Kent), whilst WOODCHAT SHRIKES have been in very poor supply this spring with only the second at the end of Peninnis Head, St Mary's (Scilly), this morning. A HOOPOE appeared briefly at Exmouth (South Devon) last night, whilst 2 EUROPEAN SERINS flew SW over St Mary's Golf Course (Scilly) this morning.

A WRYNECK is present for a third day close to the car park at Brook Chine, Freshwater (Isle of Wight)

It has been a particularly good spring for COMMON NIGHTINGALES (coinciding nicely with a BTO survey year) with vagrant singing males in Cornwall and in Cleveland at Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park. The first ICTERINE WARBLER of the year concerns a bird in bushes on the Straight Lonnen on Holy Island (Northumberland) on 8th. A first-summer male WESTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER was trapped and ringed at Portland Bill Bird Observatory (Dorset) today.

North Ronaldsay (Orkney) had an impressive fall on 8th May involving a male RED-BACKED SHRIKE, 5 WRYNECKS, Wood Warbler, 3 LAPLAND BUNTINGS, 6 Pied Flycatchers, 10 Ring Ouzels, 33 Tree Pipits, 54 Common Redstarts and 291 Wheatears. At Stromness (Orkney Mainland), a cracking male GOLDEN ORIOLE was seen near the primary school. GOLDEN ORIOLES have also been much in evidence in the southwest of England with up to 9 on Scilly and 5 in West Cornwall, and further birds in Pembrokeshire.
Very little news from IRELAND in the past week, but GLOSSY IBISES at Timoleague (Cork), Mullaghmore Lake, Morlaugh (Galway) and Ring Marsh (Wexford), a female DOTTEREL on the Myroe Levels (Derry) (6th) and 3 at Slyne Head, PURPLE HERON at Tacumshin (Wexford) (5th), a female CITRINE WAGTAIL at Ballynamona (5th) and GOLDEN ORIOLE at Cape Clear Island (Cork) (5th).