Friday, 4 December 2009

Arctic Auk sweeps by

One of the latest BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS ever in Britain (Jack Brodie)

This is the UK400 Club Rare Bird Alert for Friday 5 December, released at 1800 hours and produced in close association with Rare Bird Alert Pagers, whilst utilising the Regional Birdlines, BirdGuides, Birdcall and local Websites as well as gleaning additional information from individual observers.

A BRUNNICH'S GUILLEMOT flew west with 3 Common Guillemots close inshore past Cley Coastguards (North Norfolk) at 0955 hours (James McCallum), emulating a near identical occurrence at exactly the same spot on 12 November 2007 (Mark Golley, Andy Stoddart). A handful of LITTLE AUKS today included 4 in the Scapa Flow (Orkney). Elsewhere in East Anglia, it is very quiet, with TAIGA BEAN GEESE now numbering 65 at Buckenham Marshes RSPB (Norfolk), the white morph adult GREATER SNOW GOOSE still in the Holkham Freshmarsh area (Norfolk) and the GREAT WHITE EGRET at Holkwold Fen (Suffolk). Up to 23 SHORE LARKS are wintering in Norfolk at three sites, whilst 8 or more LAPLAND BUNTINGS are in a stubble field at Thornham Harbour.

South Devon is shining through on the 'rare bird stakes' today with the adult RED-BREASTED GOOSE that has been in residence at Blackhill Quarry Pool, East Buddleigh Common, since the end of October finally joining up with the Dark-bellied Brent Geese on the River Exe at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB, Topsham. Nearby, the juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPER can still be seen at the top of the Exe between the M5 bridge and the recreation ground, Exeter, and at the extreme south end, the adult female SURF SCOTER has reappeared again off Dawlish Warren. A single LITTLE AUK was also seen on the calm sea there today.

In neighbouring Dorset, an adult drake FERRUGINOUS DUCK arrived with an influx of Northern Pochards at Abbotsbury Swannery this morning, whilst in Hampshire, the juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPER remains on the River Test at Mottisfont. The first-winter GREY PHALAROPE continues to show well on the Jetty Lagoon at Pennington Marsh (Hants).

After reappearing briefly yesterday, the first-winter GLOSSY IBIS was again this morning half a mile south of Holt Fleet in Worcestershire, visiting the flooded marsh on the east bank of the River Severn (Park off of the A4133 in the disused pub car park and walk SE to view from by the Hawthorn hedgerow). Elsewhere, the two GLOSSY IBIS continue at Dungeness RSPB (Kent), along with the GREAT WHITE EGRET, CATTLE EGRET and at least one male PENDULINE TIT (the latter in bulrushes by the Hanson Hide on the ARC Pit).

The South East also offers the wintering BROWN SHRIKE at Staines Moor (Middlesex) (wellingtons essential), a juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING in Forest Hill village, east of Oxford (Oxon) (in gardens along Mickle Way), 1-2 EUROPEAN SERINS at Rainham Marsh RSPB (London), a GREY PHALAROPE at Amberley Wild Brooks (Sussex) (at the south end by the first sluice on left 200 yards along the Wey South Footpath from the village at TQ 030 135) and the SPOTTED SANDPIPER and 2 juvenile EURASIAN SPOONBILLS at Abberton Reservoir (Essex). A RICHARD'S PIPIT was also seen in a private part of Abberton Reservoir.

A GREAT WHITE EGRET flew over Swan Meadow, Cossington Meadows (Leics), at 1605 hours, the adult drake FERRUGINOUS DUCK remains at Pugney's Country Park (West Yorks) and two COMMON CRANES NE of Whittlesey (Cambs) at Thorney Dyke in the beet field by the River Nene at TF 303 003.

SCOTLAND has some nice offerings with the juvenile BAIRD'S SANDPIPER still in White Sands Bay, Barns Ness (Lothian), the LESSER YELLOWLEGS at Aberlady Bay (Lothian), the adult SPOTTED SANDPIPER near Killearn (Clyde) and the drake KING EIDER off Burghead (Moray). In WALES, a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER remains south of Maesteg (Glamorgan) at Llangynwyd Sewage Works at SS 879 881.