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Friday, 21 December 2012

The Friday Review (21 December 2012)

Well I wasn't expecting to be writing this summary, more expecting some sort of catastrophic incident....


Anyway, the World ending apart, biggest news of this week was the finding of a first-winter male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK on Scilly - species number 445 of the Year. It is visiting a garden feeder in Pilot's Retreat (at The Elms) at the east end of Hugh Town (St Mary's).

In Berkshire, the AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT remains for its 9th day, showing well on the perimeter bank about half a mile west of the Yacht Club at Queen Mother Reservoir. Once again, the Berkshire Bird Club will be opening up the site for this weekend and directing birdwatchers; just under £2,000 has now been raised.

The first-winter ROSE-COLOURED STARLING remains in gardens near the church in Exminster (South Devon), as does the first-year female SUBALPINE WARBLER in St Just (West Cornwall) in private gardens along Princess Street.

Both GLOSSY IBISES are still to be found (at Marloes Mere, Pembs, and on floodwater south of Ringwood, Hants), whilst 15 or so GREAT WHITE EGRETS are to be found, including at least 3 at Dungeness (Kent). In relation to the latter species, an adult has returned to the Chess River Valley, between Little Chalfont and Chenies Bottom (Bucks), where it can be seen from the bend in Latimer Road just 100 yards downhill from Chenies Village (please park sensibly in village and walk).

In North Norfolk, the adult Richardson's Canada Goose remains at Kelling Quags, whilst the adult Ross's Snow Goose of suspect origin remains with Barnacle Geese near Cley village. The drake LESSER SCAUP has now returned to the Dozmary Pool on Bodmin Moor (Cornwall) (with another at Blagdon Lake, Somerset), with the 3 RING-NECKED DUCKS still on Tresco Great Pool (Scilly) and single drakes at Hawkridge Reservoir (Somerset) and Par Beach Pool, St Austell (Cornwall) and the female at Siblyback Reservoir (Cornwall). The drake AMERICAN WIGEON continues at Wintersett Reservoir (West Yorks).

A GREY PHALAROPE was off Golspie Pier (Sutherland) today whilst inland, the first-winter was still at Dunstable Sewage Farm (Beds) (permit access only).

Inland/freshwater Great Northern Divers include singles at Alton Water (Suffolk) and on Queen Mother Reservoir (Berks), with just one Black-throated Diver on the New Diggings Pit at Dungeness (Kent). A juvenile Red-necked Grebe is on the reserve at Titchwell RSPB (Norfolk), whilst the Queen Mother (Berks) first-year was last noted on 14th. The Slavonian Grebe remains at Rutland Water (Leics), in the South Arm between Old Hall and the Lyndon Centre, with the female Long-tailed Duck also still there in the North Arm. Other Long-tailed Ducks include singles at Stithians Reservoir (Cornwall), on Fairhaven Lake (Lancs) and at Queen Mother Reservoir (Berks). Some 40 Smew are now at scattered localities.

Little to report from IRELAND although the AMERICAN COOT is still at Murloch (Co. Galway), the juvenile female NORTHERN HARRIER remains at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) and the CATTLE EGRET is at St Johnston (Co. Donegal).

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Lee G R Evans, Ornithological Consultant, British Birding Association/UK400 Club

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