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Monday, 11 June 2012

Wettest June since records began forecast

Rain, rain, rain.....and more rain - and gale force winds too - and all set to make June 2012 the wettest since records began. All proving disastrous for breeding birds too - both resident and migrant. Despite all of this doom and gloom, birders have still managed to find a combined total of 377 species in Britain and Ireland this year, no less than five species added in the past week.....

The Yorkshire EUROPEAN ROLLER of course remains top-billing, performing admirably for over 2,000 visitors now and favouring the large tilled field east of the B1242 about half a mile north of Aldbrough village (East Yorks). Check out Rebecca Nason's fantastic flight shots of this bird on my UK400 Club blog......Although, not to be outshone, the gorgeous adult male SNOWY OWL continues its summer sojourn at Grenitote on North Uist (Outer Hebrides). The Outer Hebrides' also hosted a female GREATER SANDPLOVER at Stinky Bay on Benbecula from 8th-10th, showing well with Ringed Plovers on the sandy beach

Also today, male IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFFS continue to sing in Somerset (Porlock) and in West Cornwall (at the top end of Kenidjack Valley) although doubts are now being raised over the identification of the Somerset male, whilst a marked arrival of ROSE-COLOURED STARLINGS seems to have taken place with singles at Severn Beach (Avon), in an Edwinstowe garden (Notts) and at Langney Point, Eastbourne (East Sussex) and the impressive spring for 'twitchable' MARSH WARBLERS continues with one still at Hadston Carrs (Northumberland) and another at Big Waters NR (Northumberland).

As usual, the Northern Isles at the end of June continue to attract scarcities, with Fair Isle hosting Common Crane, Grey-headed Wagtail, Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler and Golden Oriole in recent days, as well as the first RIVER WARBLER of the year, North Ronaldsay (Orkney) a female Red-backed Shrike, two Marsh Warblers and a PADDYFIELD WARBLER and further singing male Marsh Warblers at Sumburgh Head (Shetland) and by the doctor's surgery at St Margaret's Hope, South Ronaldsay (Orkney).

A single GLOSSY IBIS remains at Marloes Mere (Pembs) whilst the two adults that were with it all winter and year moved south in the storms to Somerset, where they appeared at Steart on the weekend and flew north over Combwich today. Two more remain at Minsmere RSPB (Suffolk), frequenting the flooded levels to the south of the reserve, with that roaming the South Coast currently favouring Farlington Marsh (Hants).

Whilst at least two pairs build scrapes, a single female BLACK-WINGED STILT visited Cley Marshes NWT (Norfolk) from 6th to 9th

Two new WOODCHAT SHRIKES appeared yesterday, with a first-summer male on the edge of Walberswick Common (Suffolk) and a first-summer female on the limestone pavement at Great Orme (Conwy), whilst the long-staying first-summer female remained at the north end of Winterton North Dunes (Norfolk). A male RED-BACKED SHRIKE remained for a second day at Landguard NR (Suffolk) whilst an ICTERINE WARBLER was discovered in marrams at Long Hills, Blakeney Point (Norfolk).

A first-summer male RED-FOOTED FALCON survives at Tealham Moor (Somerset) today but sadly the young male at Willington GP (Derbyshire) succumbed to the appalling weather conditions and died overnight.

A LONG-TAILED DUCK remains on Neatholme Scrape, Idle Valley NR (Notts)



An incredibly deep and wet low pressure system hit the West Coast on 7th resulting in a NORTH ATLANTIC LITTLE SHEARWATER being seen off Berry Head, Brixham (South Devon) and unusual numbers of STORM PETRELS along the South Coast. Up to 20 Pomarine Skuas were 'plucked' out of the Atlantic and displaced (including 16 in Chesil Bay, Dorset) and an adult SABINE'S GULL at Severn Beach (Avon) on 9th.

A 2nd-summer BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON was at Lower Pennington (Hants) from 2nd-7th, with a first-summer PURPLE HERON moving from the Severalls Reedbed, Church Norton (West Sussex) on 4th to Denge Marsh Reedbeds, Dungeness RSPB (Kent) from 5th-10th. Meanwhile, the surviving party of 4 WHITE STORKS continue to travel widely, from flying west over Redmires Reservoir (Yorks) on 2nd, over Titchwell RSPB (North Norfolk) on 4th before settling down during the inclement weather near Dingestow (Gwent) on 7th-8th. Then, on 10 June, they toured the North Welsh coastline again, last being reported flying north over Colwyn Bay.

A female RED-FOOTED FALCON was near Aberfeldy (Perth & Kinross) until 2nd

A calling male CORNCRAKE was noteworthy at Scarf Dike, Tophill Low Reservoir (East Yorks) from 1-9 June whilst the male BAILLON'S CRAKE at Malltraeth Marsh RSPB (Anglesey) remained calling until at least 3rd.

An AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) on 3rd, with the first BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER of the year in Tyninghame Bay, Dunbar (East Lothian) on 5th and a GREAT SNIPE discovered by a survey worker at West Sedgemoor RSPB (Somerset) on 25 May.. A PECTORAL SANDPIPER was at Dawlish Warren NNR (South Devon) on 1st, with two together at Beacon Ponds, Kilnsea (East Yorks) on 2nd and another at Snab Point, Walney NR (Cumbria) on 5th whilst a summering female RED-NECKED PHALAROPE in the Midlands was seen at Slimbridge WWT (Gloucs) on 1st & 5th-7th and at Coombe Hill Meadows (Gloucs) on 2nd-3rd. A migrant male of the latter species dropped in at Brockholes Quarry (Lancs) on 9thA LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER reappeared at Saltholme Pools RSPB (Cleveland) until 3rd

A HOOPOE visited a Tincleton (Devon) garden on 2nd, whilst a single EUROPEAN BEE-EATER toured the East Coast, visiting Winterton Dunes (Norfolk) on 6th, St Osyth (Essex) on 9th and Walberswick NNR (Suffolk) on 10th with 2 over Filsham Reedbeds (East Sussex) on 9th. A THRUSH NIGHTINGALE remained on the Isle of May (Fife) until 1st, with a RED-SPOTTED BLUETHROAT there too, with 2 GREATER SHORT-TOED LARKS on Lundy Island (Devon) on 2nd-5th.

GREAT REED WARBLERS bellowed out from respective reedbeds at Weston Sewage Works (Avon) until 7th, Gunwalloe Fishing Cove, The Lizard (Cornwall) from 3rd-6th and at Cley Marsh (Norfolk) whilst a real bonanza of MARSH WARBLERS have been discovered this June with singing males at Rainham Marsh RSPB (London) from 1-8, Cleethorpes (North Lincs) until 3rd, Blacktoft Sands RSPB (East Yorks) until 7th, Harbridge Water Meadows (Hants) from 5th-9th, on Fair Isle on 5th, at Collieston (Aberdeenshire) on 9th, and at Balmedie Country Park (Aberdeenshire) on 9th. SUBALPINE WARBLERS including a female at Quendale Burn (Shetland) and up to 2 on Lundy (Devon) until 3rd, whilst an elusive singing male BLYTH'S REED WARBLER was at Warham Greens (Norfolk) on 9th June.

Singing male ICTERINE WARBLERS included a new male by the Old Fall Steps, Flamborough Head (East Yorks) on 1st and up to 3 on the Isle of May (Fife) from 5th, whilst MELODIOUS WARBLERS included singles on Bardsey Island (Caernarvon) on 3rd-4th and on the Isle of May (Fife) on 7th. A minor influx of GREENISH WARBLERS included singles on Walney Island (Cumbria) on 4th, on Bardsey Island on 4th-5th and up to 2 on the Isle of May (Fife) on 6th-8th.

An excellent scattering of RED-BACKED SHRIKES occurred with two males at Horsey Gap (Norfolk) on 1 June, a male at Sennen (West Cornwall) on 1st, a singing male by the lighthouse at Flamborough Head (East Yorks) from 3rd-6th, a female at Westleton Heath (Suffolk) on 5th, a male on Out Skerries (Shetland) on 7-8, a male at Woodhall Dene (Northumberland) on 8th, on Fetlar (Shetland) on 9th and a female at East Holm (Orkney) on 9th whilst WOODCHAT SHRIKES arrived on Bardsey Island on 3rd

A cracking male RUSTIC BUNTING was on Inner Farne (Northumberland) on 1 June, the same day a male BLACK-HEADED BUNTING remained on Yell (Shetland) at Gloup.



A SABINE'S GULL flew past Cape Clear Island (Co. Cork) yesterday, following at least two records from Britain during the gale force westerly winds and an adult off Galley Head (Co. Cork) on 9th. Tacumshin Pools (Co. Wexford) continue to host the adult summer FORSTER'S TERN and a MONTAGU'S HARRIER