RARE BIRDS IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND 7-23 SEPTEMBER 2008
The total number of species now recorded in Britain and Ireland this year has now risen to 413
GREAT NORTHERN DIVER
One remained at Chasewater (Staffs) until 10 September.
The breeding plumaged adult, now moulting its head feathers, remained in Burray (Orkney), adjacent to the Churchill Barrier No.4, throughout the period. It fed close in to the ‘barrier’ and could easily be seen from the car as you drive by.
One remained on the pool by the sea bank at Freiston Shore RSPB (Lincs) until at least 13 September.
Two remained at Hanningfield Reservoir (Essex) from 7-9 September, with a juvenile on Conder Green Pool (Lancs) on 7-13th and another on Gailey Reservoirs main sailing lake (Staffs) on 7. Two local birds were on Frodsham Marsh No.6 Tank (Cheshire) on 13h, with an adult on the top slurry pit at Netherfield Lagoons (Notts) on 8-15th. A long-stayer remained on the Nene Barrage at Clifford Hill GP (Northants) from 7-15th, whilst three juveniles remained on Belvide Reservoir (Staffs) from 7-8th, with one remaining until 15th. One also remained on Tophill Low ‘D’ Reservoir (East Yorks) from 7-14th, with another on Frampton 100 Acre reedbed pool (Gloucs) from 10-13th and one on Silverwood Lagoon, Thrybergh CP (South Yorks) on 13th. Further singles included birds at Toft Newton Reservoir (Lincs) on 12th, Scaling Dam Reservoir (North Yorks) on 11th-13th, Hornsea Mere (East Yorks) on 13th, Walton Reservoir (Surrey) on 13th, Kilvington West Lake (Notts) on 13th, Stodmarsh Collards Lake (Kent) on 14th and Eyebrook Reservoir (Leics) on 15th.
The flock at William Girling Reservoir (London) peaked at 24 from 10th-15th, with two birds present on Staines Reservoirs South Basin (Surrey) throughout.
On 7 September, 2 different individuals flew east past Cley Coastguards, Sheringham, Overstrand and Cromer (with 1 of these initially past Titchwell Beach)(all Norfolk), with another that day off Spurn Point (East Yorks).
In the following week, singles flew west past Gwennap Head, Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on 12th & 14th, with another east past Salthouse Beach (Norfolk) on 13th.
The only record concerned one N past Flamborough Head (East Yorks) on 7th.
Noticeably scarce due to the lack of NW winds: singles were noted off Minehead (Somerset) on 7th, Pendeen Watchpoint (Cornwall) on 9th & 11th, Strumble Head (Pembs) on 13th, Cley Beach (Norfolk) on 22nd & 23rd, Shell Ness, Sheppey (Kent) on 22nd, Weybourne (Norfolk) on 23rd and Sheringham (Norfolk) on 23rd. Four were noted off Cley Beach in strong Northerly winds on 23rd.
Inland, single juveniles remained at Clifford Hill GP Trout Lake (Northants) until 7th and at Carsington Water (Derbyshire) until 10th, whilst two flew south over Long Lawford (Warks) on 14th.
In Somerset, the family group of 3 birds (two adults and a juvenile) (see Jeff Hazell’s wonderful photographs below and on following pages) remained at Catcott Lows throughout, with a further adult at Kidwelly (Carmarthenshire) on 14th.
GREAT WHITE EGRET
Once again, a good spread of records. Firstly, a colour-ringed juvenile remained at The Mere, Ellesmere (Shropshire) from at least 7-13th September (see photographs opposite; ring number CA 68873), with another (a regularly returning colour-ringed adult) at Blashford Lakes HWT (Hants) from 8th-25th. One flew SE across the River Thames at Rainham Marshes RSPB (Essex/London) at 1020 on 9th, with another at Goldcliffe Pools (Gwent) on 14th. Another flew N over the Lower Derwent Valley at Bank Island (North Yorks) on 14th (before settling briefly and showing from the viewing platform), with a further bird at Warton Marsh (Lancs) on 14th, another briefly at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB, Topsham (South Devon), on 15th and on the river Dyfi near Marian Mawr Hide at Ynys-Hir RSPB (Ceredigion) from 15th-19th. A further bird was at Minsmere RSPB Levels on 19th, before relocating to North Warren South Marsh on 21st and again on the North Levels and at Island Mere on 21st-23rd. Finally, one flew in to Beddington Sewage Farm (Surrey) at 0845 hours on 21st and remained on the main lake until 0945, when it flew off NE.
A juvenile on St Mary’s (Scilly) on 12th was followed by a bird at Shapwick Heath NR (Somerset) on 15th.
The long-staying adult remained at Fairburn Ings RSPB (West Yorks) until 10th, moving back to New Swillington Ings, where it showed near the new sluice from 19th-23rd.
Two mobile birds moved between Ouse Fen (TL 380718) and Ouse Fen on 7th September, whilst another flew SW past Bockhill Farm monument, St Margaret’s at Cliffe (Kent) on 7th. A party of 3 birds remained at Titchwell RSPB (North Norfolk) from 7th-14th, with two adults and three juveniles on the Dee Estuary from the B727 at Gibb Hill, Kirkcudbright (Galloway) until at least 20th (these birds are presumed to have bred in the area – the first breeding record for Scotland).
One visited Boyton Marshes (Suffolk) on 8th, with a group of three on Dungeness ARC Pit (Kent) from 9th-11th and an adult on The Fleet in Dorset at Herbury Gore on 10th. An adult was on the Inland Sea (Anglesey) from at least 8th-11th, moving to the neighbouring Alaw Estuary on 12th. What may have been the Anglesey bird visited Inner Marsh Farm RSPB, Frodsham Marsh No.6 Tank and Parkgate Marsh (Cheshire) on 12th, with it visiting Belvide Reservoir (Staffs) on 13th and at the JCB Lakes at Rocester (Staffs).
On the South Coast, one was at Titchfield Haven (Hants) on 13th-14th and again on 18th, with 5 increasing to 10 in Poole Harbour (Dorset) on 13th. One was at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB (South Devon) on 14th, with another flying west over Steart (Somerset) on 15th-16th and a further over Pagham Harbour LNR (West Sussex) on 15th. Two arrived at Farlington Marshes HWT (Hants) on 15th, with a juvenile over Tresco Great Pool (Scilly) on 23rd.
Two very confiding juveniles arrived on the lagoons at Grafham Water (Cambs) on 14th, and performed daily until 21st (see photographs above taken by Mike Lawrence). They then relocated to Paxton Pits Pumphouse Pit (Cambs) on 23rd.
A juvenile arrived on the southernmost pit at Snettisham RSPB (Norfolk) on 18th-19th, with one on the upper marshes of the Gann Estuary (Pembs) on 18th-20th and another at Fairburn Ings RSPB (West Yorks) on 19th. In North Lincolnshire, one was in a dyke near Horseshoe Point, Grainthorpe Haven, on 19th.
On 23rd September, two birds flew north past Holland Haven and Frinton-on-Sea (Essex) early morning and later over Landguard NR (Suffolk).
One flew south with 25 Greylag Geese over North Cave Wetlands (1025) and Blacktoft Sands RSPB (East Yorks) (1615) on 6th, whilst an adult white morph was with Icelandic Greylag Geese for its 5th winter just north of the A816 turn-off to Craobh Haven (Argyll) from 16th.
A single adult of presumably captive origin remained in the Southwold area (Suffolk) throughout.
One remained at Martin Mere WWT (Lancs) from 9th-14th, with another of suspect origin at Hoveringham GP (Notts) on 12th. A flock of eight birds at Frampton Marsh RSPB (Lincs) on 13th-14th, moved to Fiskerton Fen (Lincs) on 14th (where they flew off N at midday) and then flew SE over Swillington Ings (West Yorks) late morning on 15th.
In Perth & Kinross, three moulting adults remained SE of Burleigh Sands at Loch Leven until at least 15th, with two on Read’s Island (North Lincs) on 17th and a bird of suspect origin in Manton Bay, Rutland Water (Leics) on 19th.
In Avon, the long-staying drake remained on Chew Valley Lake until 7th, being relocated at nearby Barrow Gurney Reservoirs on 22nd. Elsewhere, an adult drake arrived with 11 Northern Pochards on Calvert BBOWT Lake (North Bucks) on 23rd.
A drake was at Burleigh Sands, Loch Leven (Perth & Kinross) (at NO 148 038) on 23rd.
Up to 5 recorded with a regular drake off Ruddon’s Point, Largo Bay (Fife) on 11th, a drake N past Fife Ness (Fife) on 13th, the usual drake in the Sound of Taransay (Outer Hebrides) on 15th & 21st and two adult drakes offshore from Lunan Bay dunes (Angus) from 20th-22nd.
The first-summer drake remained at Radipole Lake RSPB (Dorset) until at least 22nd September, but visited Abbotsbury Swannery on The Fleet on 16th-17th. It has now moulted largely into 2nd-winter plumage (see Alan Stewart’s images below),
On 7th September, a juvenile was at Ogston Reservoir (Derbyshire), whilst on 10th, a male flew over Bawdsey (Suffolk), followed by a juvenile at Axmouth (Devon) on 12th and another at Fillingham Lake (Lincs) on 14th. On 18th, an immature male flew over Horsey (Norfolk).
An adult female was at Bransdale (North Yorks) on 19th.
EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARD
A large influx took place involving at least 200 migrants.
An unseasonal male remained at Tophill Low Reservoir (East Yorks) from 14th until at least 23rd September, ranging widely over the South Marsh.
A first-year male flew over Russell Neave’s house in Maldon (Essex) at 1600 hours on 13th September and was photographed.
Single migrants were noted at Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on 8th, Abbot’s Cliff, Folkestone (Kent) on 13th, Bardsey Island (Gwynedd) on 13th, Flamborough Head (East Yorks) on 14th, Beacon Lane, Kilnsea (East Yorks) on 14th, Nanjizal (Cornwall) on 15th and Portland Top Fields (Dorset) on 16th.
A very lean autumn thus far for this skulking reed-dweller with singles at Gibraltar Point NR (Lincs) on 8th, Oare Marshes West Flood (Kent) from 8th-23rd, Porthloo, St Mary’s (Scilly) on 15th, Dunstable Sewage Farm (Beds) from 15th-21st and at Farlington Marsh Lagoon (Hants) from 17th-23rd.
Two adults remained at Dungeness ARC and environs (Kent) from 8th-17th, with another at Ouse Washes RSPB (Cambs) on 9th and at Welney WWT (Norfolk) on 11th-14th. At least 23 remain in Norfolk Breckland.
GREATER SAND PLOVER
A moulting adult remained on the Ythan Estuary (Aberdeenshire) from 12th-19th September, where it was often to be found in the large ploughed field on the east side south of the A975 roadbridge at cNK 005 265 (David Cooper et al). It was last seen on the Ythan early afternoon on 19th but by 1900 hours, it had relocated over 100 miles to the south at Dunbar (Lothian). It favoured the shoreline adjacent to the 4th fairway at the Dunbar Golf Club and remained on East Beach until mid-afternoon on 20th.
A very confiding juvenile remained at Landguard NR (Suffolk) from 7th-18th (where it was joined by a second bird on 13th), with two at Shipman Head Down, Bryher (Scilly) on 7th and another with European Golden Plovers at Ouse Washes RSPB (Cambs) on 7th. Further north, a juvenile showed well on Newbiggin Golf Course (Northumberland) from 7th-8th, with another at Paull Holme Strays (East Yorks) on 7th. A trip of 3 juveniles fed in ploughed fields along the Military Road halfway between Rame Head and Penlee (Cornwall) on 7th, with a juvenile on the Dumbles at Slimbridge WWT (Gloucs) again on 8th. Singles flew over Nanjizal (Cornwall) and Haven Cliffs, Axmouth (South Devon) on 8th, the former being relocated in a ploughed field by the minor road NE of the school, between the A30 and Trevorian Pool (West Cornwall) on 8th-10th. On the Isles of Scilly, one flew east over New Grimsby, Tresco, at 1030 and was later located on St Mary’s Airfield in the afternoon on 8th-9th (and over The Garrison and Golf Course on 10th), whilst on the South Downs, a juvenile was viewed from Harveys Cross War Memorial at TQ 387 057 at Rottingdean (East Sussex).
A juvenile roosted in an arable field at Barton Bottom (TL 362 678), Fornham St Martin (Suffolk), with one (perhaps the Trevorian Pool bird above) in fields between Higher Boisistow Farm and Ardensawah farm on 8th-9th, whilst a confiding juvenile remained on Dunkery Beacon (Somerset) at SS 893 415 on 8th-9th. Well inland, a juvenile arrived at the summit of North Hill (Worcs) on 11th, whilst on the South Coast, a juvenile frequented a ploughed field north of the cottages at White Nothe (Dorset) at SY 772 814 from 11th-17th. A second bird joined the original bird on St Mary’s Golf Course (Scilly) on 11th, whilst one flew over West Pastures Lane, West Boldon (County Durham) on 11th. Great Orme (Conwy) is a regular haunt of this species in autumn so it was with little surprise to find one there on the limestone pavement on 12th, whilst a juvenile frequented the seawall west of Pett Level Pool (East Sussex) on 13th. The latter may have been the juvenile seen earlier at Rye Harbour NR (East Sussex) on 13th, whilst a moulting adult showed well 100 metres west of the trig point on Pendle Hill (Lancs) on 14th-15th.
One flew east over Marazion village (Cornwall) at 0845 hours on 15th, with a juvenile briefly in Selsey West Fields (West Sussex) prior to 0830 on 15th. A juvenile landed briefly on Tinkler’s Hill, St Martin’s (Scilly) on 15th, with another on the Great Orme on 17th. One was with Golden Plovers on Titchwell Freshmarsh (Norfolk) on 17th, with two at The Range RSPB, South Stack (Anglesey) the same day. Two juveniles showed well on the clifftop at Soap Cove, Kynance (Lizard, Cornwall) on 17th, with another just to the west of the East Bank, Cley Marshes NWT (Norfolk) on 19th-21st. One flew over Pegwell Bay (Kent) early morning on 19th, with an exceptionally confiding juvenile at Gunner’s Park, Shoeburyness (Essex) on 20th-21st. Two, possibly those seen on 7th, were on Shipman Head Down, Bryher (Scilly), on 21st.
PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER
An adult was last seen on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) on 7th September, with last month’s Cumbrian adult relocated on Dornock Beach (Dumfries & Galloway) on 7th-8th & 12th.
A long-staying bird was at Guineaport, Wadebridge (Cornwall) from 13th-15th (favouring the Upper Treravon Meadows of the Camel Trail), with a juvenile at Belvide Reservoir (Staffs) on 15th.
A mobile juvenile remained on St Mary’s (Scilly) from 7th-24th September, where it was mainly seen early mornings roosting on Porthloo Beach.
It has been an excellent autumn for this species, with one frequenting wasteground opposite the South Gare steelworks on 7th, one seen twice in flight in Quendale Dunes (Shetland) on 12th and another seen by numerous observers at Speeton (East Yorks) on 17th-18th.
The juvenile at Paxton Pits Pumphouse Pit (Cambs) was last seen on 7th, whilst further juveniles were discovered on the Add Estuary at Bellanoch and at Loch Crinan (both Argyll) on 15th.
On the Isles of Scilly, one remained on St Agnes from 7th-11th, with another on St Mary’s Airfield/Golf Course on 10th & 17th-20th and another on Tresco then Salakee, St Mary’s, on 13th. A juvenile that flew over Land’s End (Cornwall) on 8th was relocated at Higher Bosistow Farm, Polgigga, on 9th, where it remained until at least 19th. Up to two juveniles remained on Davidstow Airfield (Cornwall) from 9th-20th, with an equally confiding juvenile at Cresswell Pond NWT (Northumberland) from 10th-20th. A further bird arrived on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) on 11th-12th, with a juvenile at Drimsdale and Rubha Ardvule, South Uist (Outer Hebrides) on 12th-21st and another juvenile at Ardivachar Point (The Range) on 15th. In Argyll, one was at the SW end of Loch a’Phuill, Tiree, on 17th, whilst on Scilly, a juvenile was on Wingletang Down, St Agnes, on 18th-19th, with a further juvenile on Fair Isle (Shetland) on 23rd.
One at Hickling Broad Rush Hills Scrape (Norfolk) from at least 1st September was joined by a second bird on 9th, both remaining until 18th, with a juvenile in Christchurch Harbour (Dorset) on 7th-11th, one at Minsmere RSPB East Scrape (Suffolk) on 8th-9th, on a puddle at Tinkler’s Hill, St Martin’s (Scilly) on 10th & 22nd-23rd, a juvenile on a pool just south of Halfway Wall on Lundy Island (Devon) on 10th, two juveniles on Cresswell Pool NWT (Northumberland) on 11th-18th, a juvenile briefly in Lincombe Bay, Kingsbridge Estuary (South Devon) on 11th, a juvenile with a Curlew Sandpiper at Prestwick Carr (Northumberland) on 12th-19th, a juvenile on Titchwell Freshmarsh (Norfolk) from 12th-22nd, a juvenile on Wagonway Flash, Earsdon (Northumberland) on 12th, an adult at Porth Coose, St Agnes (Scilly) on 13th-22nd, a juvenile on Latham Pools (NO 314 140) (Fife) on 13th-15th, a juvenile at Walmsley Sanctuary (Cornwall) on 13th-16th (with 2 present there on 15th), on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) on 17th-19th, at Loch of Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire) on 17th-19th, two on the drained lagoon at Meare Heath (Somerset) on 17th, at Hatfield Moor (South Yorks) on 18th (with two there on 19th-21st), a juvenile on Davidstow Airfield (Cornwall) on 18th, a juvenile at Northwick Warth (Gloucs) from 18th-21st, briefly at Greenabella Marsh (Cleveland) on 19th, two juveniles at Lower Moor Flash (Worcs) on 19th and a juvenile in the SW corner of Loch Bee, South Uist (Outer Hebrides) on 19th-21st.
A juvenile remained at Barrow Gurney Reservoirs (Avon) from 20th-24th, with further singles at Farlington Marshes Deeps (Hants) on 20th-21st, Freiston Shore RSPB (Lincs) on 20th, Minsmere RSPB East Scrape (Suffolk) on 20th & 23rd, at Loch of Tankerness (Orkney) on 20th & 22nd, at Pulborough Brooks RSPB (West Sussex) on 20th-23rd, on the South Lake at Slimbridge WWT (Gloucs) on 21st and at Venus Pool (Salop) on 21st.
At the Loch of Strathbeg RSPB, a second bird arrived on 21st, increasing to 4 on 22nd-24th, with a juvenile on Foula (at Hametoun) (Shetland) on 22nd and another at Wath Ings (South Yorks) on 23rd. Three arrived at Swine Moor (East Yorks) on 23rd.
A juvenile was present on the Eden Estuary, Guardbridge (Fife), from 10th-14th September.
A juvenile was present in the bay on the north side of Rubha Ardvule, South Uist (Outer Hebrides), from 14th-15th September, with what was presumably the same bird being relocated at Campfield Marsh RSPB, 2 miles WSW of Bowness-on-Solway (Cumbria) on 22nd-24th.
A severe Atlantic storm displaced well over 500 Grey Phalaropes in September 2008, including flocks of up to 100 birds in Sennen Cove (West Cornwall). Large numbers were also displaced inland, with up to 60 individuals (predominantly juveniles) being found on reservoirs and gravel pits.
Following a juvenile at Sunk Island (East Yorks) on 3rd, a juvenile appeared in front of the Ron Barker Hide at Martin Mere WWT (Lancs) on 5th and another very confiding juvenile at Cooper’s Beach, Mersea Island (Essex), from 6th-13th. A further juvenile appeared at Titchwell RSPB (Norfolk) on 14th-23rd, with a second bird at Burnham Overy and Holme scrape (Norfolk) on 14th-15th and a juvenile on the main lagoon at Farlington Marshes (Hants) on 16th. A further juvenile visited saltmarsh pools at Pye’s Hall, Donna Nook (North Lincs) on 17th, most likely the bird also seen at Humberstone Fitties (North Lincs) that day, whilst it or another was at Freiston Shore RSPB (Lincs) on 19th-23rd.
An adult in winter plumage graced the pools at Starnafin Farm, Loch of Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire) on 1st September, with a similarly plumaged bird at Alkborough Flats and Blacktoft Sands RSPB (North Lincs/East Yorks) from 16th-21st. A further bird (first-winter) was present at Baile Gharbhaidh, Balgarva, South Uist (Outer Hebrides) on 21st.
There was a distinct lack of twitchable individuals with none being stranded inland. Offshore, some 50 or so birds were reported.
The regular adult was again present at Westcliff-on-Sea (Essex) from 9th, with an adult at Kinneil Lagoon (Forth) on 13th.
A juvenile roosted at Farmoor Reservoirs (Oxfordshire) on 7th & 11th September.
An excellent month with well over 100 individuals recorded, including an exceptionally confiding juvenile on Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis (Dorset) on 7th-8th (see images).
A winter-plumaged adult was off Swalecliff on 13th September.
WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN
A juvenile remained at Blithfield Reservoir (Staffs) until 12th September, with another at Shotwick Boating Lake (Clwyd) until 13th and up to two on Dungeness RSPB Reserve (Kent) until 15th.