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Friday, 14 September 2012

RED-EYED VIREO still on Shetland - the first record for that archipelago

At the extreme north end of the Shetland Islands, the elusive RED-EYED VIREO remains for its third day in the garden at Valyie, Norwick (Unst). This is an incredibly early arrival for this species but one has previously arrived even earlier - on Cape Clear Island (County Cork) on 5 September 2004. But surely the remnants of Tropical Storm Lesley displaced more than one Nearctic passerine.......

Shetland also has a LESSER GREY SHRIKE today at Aithbank (Fetlar), with 2 BARRED WARBLERS on Unst and a scattering of COMMON ROSEFINCHES; also a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at Esha Ness as usual.

Both juvenile SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS are also still to be found - showing well on the beach by Skirt Island on the SE side of Tresco (Scilly) and at Lodmoor, just east of Weymouth (Dorset). Further Nearctic waders include a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at the Butt of Lewis (Outer Hebrides), 2 AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS at Titchwell RSPB (Norfolk), Sandwich Bay (Kent), Dungeness (Kent), Seaton Common (Cleveland) and Baker's Fen, Wicken (Cambs).

In Greater London, the juvenile BAILLON'S CRAKE is still to be seen but incredibly elusively (perhaps revealing itself for literally seconds at a time, five times a day). It favours the reedy island and back edge just right of the centre of the Rifle Butts Hide - a 20 minute walk from the reserve centre. Special opening times operate again this weekend thanks to Howard Vaughan, the RSPB reserve staff and local volunteers - from 0500 to 1930 hours. The hide can take up to 125 birders at a time and has special access for wheelchair users, although to be in with a chance of seeing the bird, one needs to be at the right hand end of the hide.

At Landguard NR (Suffolk), the male SPANISH SPARROW is still resident with the local House Sparrows, being best located late afternoon as the pre-roost gathering takes place between 1700 and 1800 hours. Not much else on offer in East Anglia though, but seawatching has been reasonable today with the North Norfolk coast yielding its second GREAT SHEARWATER of the autumn, a lingering juvenile SABINE'S GULL and several LONG-TAILED SKUAS in recent days. Two flocks of GREAT SKUAS entered Cambs from the Wash this afternoon, whilst the Ouse Washes RSPB Reserve (Cambs) has an excellent selection of birds on offer from its first three hides north of the centre, including GLOSSY IBIS, GREAT WHITE EGRET, up to 104 Little Egrets, 50+ Garganey and a superb selection and variety of waders (an adult WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER has been present until yesterday at least).

A MELODIOUS WARBLER was seen briefly on the Sandwich Bay Estate (Kent), whilst one still remains on Bardsey Island (Gwynedd), with Lundy Island (Devon) attracting another as well as GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK and ORTOLAN BUNTING this past week. Up to 4 ORTOLANS are on Scilly, where also 1-2 first-winter CITRINE WAGTAILS remain. A MONARCH BUTTERFLY continues to show well in Easton, Portland (Dorset).

Lots of nice birds are now being seen and located in IRELAND with that mecca Tacumshin (County Wexford) attracting GLOSSY IBIS, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER and Pectoral Sandpiper, no less than 4 BUFF-BREASTS together at Carrahane Strand (County Kerry) (and a GREY PHALAROPE), another BUFF-BREAST at Reenroe (County Kerry), a juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPER still in Smerwick Harbour, a juvenile BAIRD'S SANDPIPER at Kilcoole NR on Wevbb's Field (County Wicklow) and a new BLUE-WINGED TEAL at Lough Beg (County Derry).