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Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Easterly winds hotting things up

This afternoon, an EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER (elaeica) is showing very well in the warm afternoon sunshine in the hedgerow just beyond the Old Fall Plantation on the south side of Flamborough Head (East Yorkshire) - the first twitchable individual to be recorded in that county. Although initially elusive when Craig Thomas and others first found it, it has more recently started to perform well and has been less skulking.

VIEWING INSTRUCTIONS: Park in the specially designated stubble field car park on the north side of the main access road to Flamborough Head (Lighthouse Road) just west of Old Fall Hedge and then follow the footpath south to the plantation and just beyond.

Also in Yorkshire, the apparent first-winter COLLARED FLYCATCHER remains at Spurn Point for a third day, showing occasionally just north of The Warren in bushes between Posts 11 & 12.and a COMMON ROSEFINCH is there at the south end of the sheep field by the Heligoland Trap. Up to 5 BARRED WARBLERS have been seen in the area in recent days.

The other big talking point is the unprecedented August arrival of LAPLAND BUNTINGS in Britain, with birds of unknown origin flooding into the Northern Isles, including an incredible 160+ on Fair Isle, 120 on North Ronaldsay (Orkney), 74 at the Butt of Lewis (Outer Hebrides) and up to 40 on the Brough of Birsay (NW Orkney Mainland).

Elsewhere in the drift migrant camp, we have RED-BACKED SHRIKES at Bamburgh Castle (Northumberland), Waxham Sands Holiday Camp (Norfolk), Cliffe Pools RSPB (North Kent) and at Biggleswade Common (Beds), with BARRED WARBLERS on Blakeney Point (Norfolk), in Kilnsea Churchyard (East Yorks), an ICTERINE WARBLER remaining at Walsey Hills, Cley (Norfolk) and WRYNECKS at Dungeness (Kent), Benacre Sluice (Suffolk), Middlebere Heath (Dorset), Tidmoor Cove, The Fleet (Dorset) and at Wall Common, Steart (Somerset) (now dead). Single GREENISH WARBLERS have recently been at St Mary's Island (Northumberland) and East Hills, Wells (Norfolk) and a GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK on Blakeney Point.

In the West Country, Cornwall has recorded HOOPOE at the south end of The Lizard, 2 DOTTEREL at Porthgwarra, whilst on the Isles of Scilly, a CITRINE WAGTAIL is today on the Big Pool on St Agnes, a MELODIOUS WARBLER on Bryher (with another on St Mary's at Harry's Walls), MONTAGU'S HARRIER on Tresco

The juvenile RED-NECKED PHALAROPE remains at Elmley Marshes RSPB (North Kent), whilst a juvenile WHISKERED TERN that spent nearly 5 weeks in Cleveland and was at Venus Pool in Salop on Sunday is now at Rutland Water (Leics) for its second day (on Lagoon III and visible from Gadwall Hide)

In Scotland, the adult COMMON CRANE remains at Montrose basin (Angus) whilst the juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER continues at John Muir Country Park at Tyninghame Haven (Lothian).

1-2 GREAT WHITE EGRETS continue to be seen at Meare Heath NR, Shapwick (Somerset), with another long-stayer at Denge Marsh (East Kent), whilst the two adult WHITE STORKS that arrived near Sutton Bingham Reservoir (Somerset) yesterday evening remained in the area until 1000 hours this morning before flying high north when the temperature heated up.

The weather conditions have been conducive to both Common and EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARD arrivals, with large numbers of the former and the first few dark morph juveniles of the latter.

In IRELAND, there is a generous crop of Spanish-born juvenile GLOSSY IBISES scattered about, a BARRED WARBLER on Tory Island (Co. Donegal), the rather scruffy first-year AMERICAN HERRING GULL at Blennerville (Co. Kerry), the resident SNOWY OWL and AMERICAN BLACK DUCK in County Mayo and good numbers of arriving LAPLAND BUNTINGS.