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Friday, 16 October 2009

Today's Headlines

This is the UK400 Club Rare Bird Alert for Friday 16 October 2009 issued at 2100 hours and published in association with RARE BIRD ALERT PAGERS whilst utilising additional information gleaned from the Regional Birdlines, BirdGuides, the Irish Birdnet and BINS, an array of websites and web-blogs and individual observers.

The first-winter BROWN SHRIKE remains for its 6th day at the north end of Staines Moor (Middlesex) (see separate entries for detailed directions and identification of this educational individual) whilst in Suffolk, the first-winter female RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL remains at Minsmere Sluice Bushes for its third day. Patience and commonsense is required to see this beauty, the bird favouring the second clump of Sallows and scrub 45 yards south of the sluice. It favours the tracks inside the bushes on which to come out to feed and if not harried and cut off at every angle, will show very well at just a few yards range.

In Shetland, the long-staying LANCEOLATED WARBLER remains on Out Skerries, along with an ARCTIC WARBLER, whilst the first-winter TAIGA FLYCATCHER is still showing well around the manure pile at the farm at the north end of the road at Gloup on Yell. On Fair Isle, the BLACKPOLL WARBLER is still present (in the Haa crop), along with single RUSTIC and LITTLE BUNTINGS and a BLUETHROAT, and the WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER in the Ellister garden at Maywick..Two HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLLS remain at Saxa Vord, Unst, with 8 Northwestern Redpolls at nearby Haroldswick.

A juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPER continues to show well at Garths Ness, the burn also being shared by a BLUETHROAT In neighbouring Orkney, an adult ROSE-COLOURED STARLING remains on Shapinsay.

On the Isles of Scilly pride of place goes to RADDE'S WARBLERS, with well-watched individuals by Little Arthur Farm on St Martin's and between Carreg Dhu Gardens and the back of Holy Vale on St Mary's. The St Martin's Radde's is also within short walking distance of an occasionally-showing LITTLE BUNTING, whilst a typically mobile RED-THROATED PIPIT continues to range widely over St Mary's. A WRYNECK is in gorse near the airfield turning circle on St Mary's. A RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER remains in the Parsonage on St Agnes, along with a juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING in the Coastguards Cottages area, with up to 8 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS scattered about the archipelago. Tresco harbours a COMMON ROSEFINCH still, with a further juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING on Bryher. A herd of 10 adult Whooper Swans remains on Porthellick Pool, St Mary's, along with 2 Jack Snipes.

On the Isle of Man, a WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER was trapped and ringed at the Calf of Man Bird Observatory yesterday afternoon, this same locality harbouring 2 Yellow-browed Warblers today.

Two juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS are again at Inner Marsh Farm RSPB (Cheshire) with a further juvenile on the River Lune by Crook Farm near Cockersand Abbey (Lancs) at SD 430 546 (from the A588 take Moss Lane west for 1.5 miles before forking right to the car park beyond Lighthouse Cottage). A juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER is present for a fourth day on the Eden Estuary at Guardbridge (Fife), whilst the long-staying adult LESSER YELLOWLEGS continues to consort with Common Redshanks at Aberlady Bay (Lothian). A LITTLE AUK offshore near Strathbeg RSPB was one of the first this autumn (following a few in Roseisle Bay, Moray, this past week) whilst 23 Bearded Tits were an unusual sight at Newburgh (Aberdeenshire)..

A first-winter RICHARD'S PIPIT remained for a second day in the 'Bombhole' area at South Gare (Cleveland) this morning whilst a small influx of SHORE LARKS include 6 in the Thornham Point/Titchwell area (Norfolk) and a single at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Links (Suffolk). Both the GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK and the RICHARD'S PIPIT remain at West Runton (Norfolk), frequenting the massive stubble field NW of the derelict barns.

In Oxfordshire, Britain's second-ever AZOREAN YELLOW-LEGGED GULL continues to wander between Didcot Landfill and ploughed fields to the north of the neighbouring B4016 (afternoon's are best), with the landfill also harbouring three different Caspian Gulls, 8 Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Baltic Gull.

There are two different drake AMERICAN WIGEONS currently in Dumfries & Galloway - one at Mersehaed RSPB and another in the SW corner of Castle Loch NR - whilst the juvenile GLOSSY IBIS continues to show very well in the damp field east of the B9033 by the Corralhill turning (NK 047 613) near Loch of Strathbeg RSPB (Aberdeenshire).

A GREY PHALAROPE remains on the Freshwater Lagoon at Titchwell Marsh RSPB (Norfolk) for a second day (best viewed from Island Hide) whilst seawatching today in the fresh northerly winds produced 3-4 juvenile LONG-TAILED SKUAS, 170 Great Skuas, 15+ Pomarine Skuas, a LEACH'S PETREL, several SOOTY SHEARWATERS, 50+ Manx Shearwaters, 3 ATLANTIC PUFFINS and 1,200+ Little Gulls at assorted locations from Holme east to Sheringham..

At Slimbridge WWT (Gloucs), the highly mobile juvenile GLOSSY IBIS was on the 100 Acre Pool this morning, along with the 3 'near-resident' CATTLE EGRETS, with two more long-staying CATTLE EGRETS still at Pennington Marshes (Hants). A further CATTLE EGRET is around Denge Marsh (Kent), whilst the juvenile GLOSSY IBIS was again at Maxey GP (Cambs) this afternoon, with 5 again at Catcott Lows NR (Somerset).

A juvenile BLACK-THROATED DIVER is just off the dam at Chasewater (Staffs) with an adult summer RED-THROATED DIVER for a second day showing down to a few yards in Chelmsford Central Park (Essex).

Following the remarkable flock of 8 GREAT WHITE EGRETS that followed the North Norfolk coast on Wednesday, additional long-staying birds include two at Leighton Moss RSPB (Lancs) and singles at Meare Heath (Somerset) and a 'new' bird on the large washland pool close to the car park at Lakenheath Fen RSPB (Suffolk). One was also reported at Brandon Marsh NR (Warks) this morning.

Three juvenile RUDDY SHELDUCKS continue to commute between Lodmoor and Radipole Lake RSPB (Dorset), whilst the drake LESSER SCAUP remains in Toft Bay, Draycote Water (Warks) and the eclipse drake KING EIDER at the River Witham Mouth, 2.2 miles SSE of Fishtoft (Lincs).

A party of 6 EURASIAN SPOONBILLS continue to commute between the Isles of Scilly and Copperhouse Creek, Hayle Estuary (Cornwall).

Good numbers of RING OUZELS are now coming through, along with excellent numbers of inland SCANDINAVIAN ROCK PIPITS, whilst several flocks of COMMON SCOTERS have been displaced inland in recent days.

In IRELAND, a BLACKPOLL WARBLER continues for a third day at Garinish Point (Co. Cork), with a LITTLE BUNTING still in the Beet Field above the West Bog on Cape Clear Island (Co. Cork) and the long-staying ARCTIC WARBLER trapped and ringed yesterday in Nordle Wood.

The long-staying juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER remains at Carrahane Strand (County Kerry), whilst the AMERICAN BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT is still near Liscannor at Clahane Strand (County Clare).