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Friday, 28 May 2010

Tonight's Friday Review

This is the UK400 Club Rare Bird Alert, issued at midnight on Friday 28 May 2010 and published in close association of Rare Bird Alert Pagers, whilst utilising additional information gleaned from the Regional Birdlines, Birdcall, BirdGuides and individual websites and blogs.

The outstanding news of course relates to that of the beautiful WHITE-TAILED PLOVER (Vanellus leucurus) which is gracing the lagoon at Seaforth Nature Reserve in Merseyside. The bird is frequently showing down to just a few yards from Hide A and has been exceptionally photographed. Members of Lancashire Wildlife Trust can apply for permits to visit the reserve but for the majority, observation can only be made at great distance through the steel perimeter fence guarding the dock and port area. Access from Cambridge Road and walk along the south side of Crosby Marine Lake to view - early mornings and evenings best to avoid heat glare.

It represents only the 5th White-tailed Plover to be recorded in Britain but occurs fairly hot on the heels of the most recently twitchable bird in June 2007 -:

1) An adult was present at Packington Gravel Workings (Warwickshire) from 12-18 July 1975 ((British Birds 69: 334; 70: 465-471; 71: 128; Ibis 120: 409);

2) One was photographed on The Fleet at Chesil Beach (Dorset) on 3 July 1979 (British Birds 73: 506; 74: 228);

3) A bird that flew in off the sea at Cleadon (Tyne & Wear) on 21 May 1984 was later relocated far inland at gravel pits near Telford (Salop) from 24-25 May 1984 (British Birds 78: 545; 79: 294-295; 91: 473);

4) An adult was present at Caerlaverock WWT (Dumfries & Galloway) from 6-8 June 2007 (British Birds 100: plate 187 & 101: plate 267), and later relocated at Leighton Moss RSPB, Lancashire, from 10-17 June (British Birds 101: 537-538).(Hesketh 2007, Birding World 20: 240-242). It was seen by over 1,800 observers during its stay.

For the second consecutive year, an adult male LITTLE BITTERN has returned to Loxton's Marsh at Ham Walls RSPB (Somerset), half a mile east of the main car park at Ashcott Corner. Like last summer, the bird is 'barking' repeatedly and showed very well high up on the reeds this evening. It arrived on Tuesday.

In South Yorkshire, a reeling male SAVI'S WARBLER is present for a second day in the Dearne Valley at Old Moor RSPB reserve, audible intermittently from the Wath Ings Hide, whilst a BLACK STORK was again seen over Osmond Flatt Farm at Deepdale Wood in County Durham. In Derbyshire, the male GREAT REED WARBLER continues to bellow out of the Phragmites at Straw's Bridge Pools, Ilkeston.

A female BLUE-WINGED TEAL paired with a drake Shoveler moved overnight between Groby Pool (Leics) and Diddington Pit, Little Paxton (Cambs), where it remained for a second day in the SW corner (but was selfishly flushed by two photographers at 1600 hours and not relocated). A WHISKERED TERN was also seen briefly in the county, hawking over the main pit at Ely Beet Factory early morning.

TEMMINCK'S STINTS today included singles at Cley Marshes NWT (Norfolk) and at Hosehill Lake scrape, Theale (Berks) and the two at Frampton Marsh RSPB South Scrape (Lincs) whilst a gorgeous female RED-NECKED PHALAROPE spent a second day on Lagoon III at Rutland Water Egleton Reserve (Leics). A PECTORAL SANDPIPER was found at Summer Leys NR, Earls Barton (Northants) this morning and remained all day visible from Pioneer Hide

At Spurn Point (East Yorks), a GOLDEN ORIOLE flew over the Canal Zone early morning and was later trapped at Kew Villa and a male COMMON ROSEFINCH was seen whilst nearby, 1-2 singing male COMMON ROSEFINCHES were present in the Flamborough Head area, along with a female RED-BACKED SHRIKE.

Up to 12 EUROPEAN BEE-EATERS remain on the Isles of Scilly, moving between St Martin's and St Mary's, along with several migrant GOLDEN ORIOLES, whilst another BEE-EATER flew east over Durlston Head (Dorset) late morning. Another migrant GOLDEN ORIOLE included a first-summer on Bardsey Island (Caernarfonshire) today.

A male RED-BACKED SHRIKE is present for a second day at Gramborough Hill, Salthouse (Norfolk) whilst in the south of the county, the very long-staying singing male WHITE-SPOTTED BLUETHROAT is still to be heard in the vicinity of the Lyle Hide at Welney WWT.

A wave of RED-FOOTED FALCONS has arrived in recent days with two males - an adult and a first-summer - over Wilstone Reservoir, Tring (Herts), a first-summer male in the Gurnard's Head/Sennen area (Cornwall) and two females over the North Wall at Breydon Water (Norfolk) for 20 minutes early afternoon.

In Northern Scotland, the drake KING EIDER and PECTORAL SANDPIPER remain on the Ythan Estuary (Aberdeenshire), with a RUSTIC BUNTING on Fetlar (Shetland), a EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE on Coll (Argyll) and the COMMON CRANE at the Mill Dam of Rango (Orkney). The confiding RED-RUMPED SWALLOW was also again by the Doctor's Surgery at St Margaret's Hop on South Ronaldsay (Orkney) this evening.

A male BEARDED TIT at Conwy RSPB (North Wales) is an excellent record.

A COLLARED PRATINCOLE was apparently seen flying across Swan Pool at Sandwell Valley RSPB (West Midlands) yesterday. Also of interest was a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW on St Agnes (Scilly) yesterday.

In IRELAND, an outstanding four (three males and a female) RED-FOOTED FALCONS are present for a second day in the White Hole and Longtown area of Tacumshin Pools (County Wexford), with a further female in County Kildare at Timahoe West. A migrant GOLDEN ORIOLE is at Inishbofin Island (County Galway), whilst the summering adult FORSTER'S TERN remains at the East End Pool at Tacumshin and two drake Garganey and a female Marsh Harrier at nearby Lingstown.