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RE: mega news


The Belted Kingfisher showing well in the River Darwen valley just north-east of Roach Bridge, Lancashire

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Long-toed Stint, Astley Lake, St Aidan's RSPB, West Yorkshire, showing well 4pm

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Adult Lammergeier apparently photographed flying over a Norfolk garden today. The finder has put a phone photo on Twitter.

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Hartlepool - Jewish Cemetery (late morning 03/10/20)

A phone call from Tony Armstrong advising of a probable Masked Shrike on this site had me hastily gathering my gear whilst Barb made up a packed lunch for me, though she declined to come with me. Apparently in the rain and gloom, the bird (little more than a silhouette hugging the dark lower branches of a thick pine tree, and giving only jigsaw views) had initially been reported as a Woodchat, - (still sufficient to arouse the year listers) but the possibility of a county first had to be taken seriously.

I set off, feeling confident that the bird was likely to stick in view of the poor weather. On reaching the site there were about 40 observers present and the id was no longer in doubt. After some 15 minutes I hadnt managed a glimpse, though someone had seen its tail, then someone else saw a head. Finally I saw the head side on and noted the slender bill, black eye stripe, and whitish supercilium (both more pronounced than on the Fife bird of 2004). In view of the poor light I was quite pleased to be able to see these features as well as I did.

To get the best views, I knelt on the wet grass, set up the scope and zoomed up focusing on the thick branch from behind which it regularly showed. With patience I was able to get a full back on view as it popped right up clearly showing the extensive white patches at the base of both sets of primaries, (though these rather peppered with blackish) but with only subdued hints of the dirty white scapular patches. The mantle and crown were a frosted scaled greyish lacking any of the brown tones displayed by Woodchat. The long dark tail was often the only feature showing hanging below the thick horizontal branches, and though others glimpsed a blackish rump, I was personally unable to see far enough down its mantle myself. I helped a few newcomers with views through my scope which helped them to get onto the bird positionally then completely happy with the id I left earlier than I normally would as social distancing was becoming less than ideal.
I considered the bird to be still in juvenile plumage.†

Should the weather stay poor any Manky birders considering a twitch have an excellent chance of success, though be prepared to get wet.

Regards,

Mike P



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But back to news, the Royal Tern wasn't seen at all all day yesterday and an increased number of observers were there looking for it. I don't know what the coverage was like today but still no reports at all. Surely it is still around somewhere not too far away just waiting to be found?



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Doc Brewster wrote:

Just to finally put it to bed, he claimed on the N.Wales discussion group that it was almost ceratinly the Royal Tern that he saw & then put out as Sandwich Tern. So no assumptions, it's what the observer actually said smile


That being the case, the mind boggles...confusebiggrin



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Just to finally put it to bed, he claimed on the N.Wales discussion group that it was almost ceratinly the Royal Tern that he saw & then put out as Sandwich Tern. So no assumptions, it's what the observer actually said smile



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Exactly Ian. Even if it was the Royal Tern it's not exactly the most obvious bird to expect, and as we all know from years of the Mystery Bird Competition one view of a bird, especially from certain angles, is a lot different from being able to study it with some degree of leisure. biggrin
If the Royal Tern is an American one, who knows what else my have come over with it.

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Getting off topic a little so my apologies but arenít we making an assumption that the observer misidentified the Royal Tern for a Sandwich Tern which to be fair is perhaps unlikely? Isnít it at least just as possible the observer actually saw a Sandwich Tern, which given the time of year, heíd be well within his rights to be surprised about.

Of course, I donít know the full details of the sighting so am only going off what has been written here but judging his sighting/comment from an assumption seems a tad unfair to him perhaps?†smile



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Having seen it though the jizz was totally unlike a Sandwich Tern too. One observer likened it to the Jizz of a Gannet†doh sounds unlikely but I know what he meant. It was a very large, long winged tern, with dark wing-tips, and in addition had a languid flight action. All different from our usual tern species. Such a shame that it didn't ring alarm bells and alert him to try to ID it further, rather than just pass it off as a Sandwich Tern. Such a shame for him, but I've been there, as a novice birder I missed IDing a Bonaparte's Gull which later was correctly IDed and I'd seen it first!!



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 12th of December 2018 10:25:26 PM

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I suppose it would depend on distance Paul. The good old Fr. Ted "small - far away". Given the weather conditions as we were driving over on Sunday morning I doubt the bird was hanging about for a good grilling.

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Saw the Royal Tern today Mike & with a stonking orange/yellow beak and much bigger size that sighting was actually discussed by everyone there. No-one could believe how it could ever be passed off as a Sandwich Tern. Any tern at this time of year would be 'grilled' as possibly being something interesting. This has to be one of the worst 'one that got away' stories of all time



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Presumably the 'Sandwich Tern'reported from a morning sea watch at Point Lynas on Sunday? The observer did seem surprised to see it.

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Tuesday 11th of December 2018 09:36:44 PM

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A Royal Tern has been seen and photographed on Anglesey today. It was oringinally found at Traeth Dulas and then relocated at Traeth Lligwy, both N.of Moelfre. Folk will be searching from dawn tomorrow!



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Greater Sand Plover Yorkshire Easington Beach early morning

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Mega time on the Shetland Islands with Crag Martin and Song Sparrow on Fair Isle today, Black-faced Bunting and Mamora's Warbler on Unst on 14th May

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James Walsh wrote:

The North American Horned Lark was still present at Staines Reservoir in Surrey on 13th April 2018, showing very well along the causeway

For those interested in the taxonomic status of this bird, Martin Collinson tweeted on 14th April 2018 "DNA from moulted feather supplied by Graham Jepson has confirmed Staines Horned Lark is definitely of Nearctic origin, possibly one of the western populations"

This bird was first located in November 2017, and according to Birdguides was still present on 14th April, but no sign 15th April so it might have moved on after a stay of almost 5 months





This bird has gone AWOL before. It was not seen between 30th November 2017 and 22nd January 2018. Alpestris has 30 different sub-species, so I was surprised the DNA wasn't more specific and also the claim of a western origin.

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The North American Horned Lark was still present at Staines Reservoir in Surrey on 13th April 2018, showing very well along the causeway

For those interested in the taxonomic status of this bird, Martin Collinson tweeted on 14th April 2018 "DNA from moulted feather supplied by Graham Jepson has confirmed Staines Horned Lark is definitely of Nearctic origin, possibly one of the western populations"

This bird was first located in November 2017, and according to Birdguides was still present on 14th April, but no sign 15th April so it might have moved on after a stay of almost 5 months

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Sunday 8th October 2017

Male Siberian Blue Robin North Ronaldsay

Photos on Twitter

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I am on hol so only reporting all this second hand! I now know that Sid is spot on, the original message was put as possible on some sites and as 100% on others!!! Oh the politics of birding! The later claim that I heard of after the high tide I now hear has been withdrawn & isn't on info systems any more! There's some pictures floating around somewhere so it would be nice to see them! If it was one it would be nice if it had the decency to turn up again, preferably at Burton Mere RSPB, not for me as I'm away, but for all those who need it!

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The original report was by a reliable observer & looking at Richards's Dee Estuary site I don't think that is questioned at all, it is still 100% There was however a second claim late in the day which my sources tell me was unconfirmed, so I think that one was the doubted one. it was also put as just possible by all the pagers etc. They all still have the original sighting as definite.

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Doc Brewster wrote:

Report on my pager today of a Greater Yellowlegs on Hilbre Island, Cheshire on the incoming tide at midday. No access until late afternoon, gonna be like whacky races!


†Now downgraded to a "possible" on Dee Estuary:-

http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/



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Report on my pager today of a Greater Yellowlegs on Hilbre Island, Cheshire on the incoming tide at midday. No access until late afternoon, gonna be like whacky races!

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Brilliant find Eugene, well done! No twitch beats my few minutes down the road twitch, but don't think either of us had a very large carbon footprint on this one!

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Very nice Doc!

Even better when you find your own Yellow Warbler though, here's the one my Dad and I found on the Mizen head co.cork a few hours before the dorset bird was reported! It was 5th record for Ireland!

No twitch necessary ;)

Eugene



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My fabulous SW holiday gets even more surreal. I went butterflying on Portland, Dorset today only for a massive national mega to break 5 minutes away from where we were. Soon we were watching a stunning bright, first UK mainland, Yellow Warbler. It is at Culverwell near the ins and given patience shows fabulously well. What a bird, what a holiday, what a 5 minute twitch!!!

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Phil Owen wrote:

Good close up views of the Blue Rock Thrush yesterday afternoon at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire.

The rest is up to the committee but insurance tick in the bag....watch this space!†

Smart bird whatever the outcome.


Martin Collinson has tweeted today to say that the DNA of the Stow-on-the-Wold Blue Rock thrush was consistent with a Southern European/Middle Eastern race of the species, rather than that of far-Eastern/South-East Asian races



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***Black-Browed Albatross***
Currently sat on cliffs near Gannet Colony at Bempton Cliffs and has been giving unprecedented views from Staple Neuk viewpoint as of 2.40pm
Cheers

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Doc Brewster wrote:

A huge Mega has broken today - a singing male Myrtle Warbler on Skokholm Island in Pembrokeshire. The pictures coming out are stunning, with the bird in cracking plumage. A boat departs from Martin's Haven at 2pm tomorrow and is £27.50, so those folk not at work could be in for a real treat............ needless to say I'm working and first day I can get off is Thursday!


†No sign yet today...... and a mate reminds me I had the one in Co.Durham a few years ago!! Phwew, so I can now chill†



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 19th of June 2017 10:02:21 AM

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A huge Mega has broken today - a singing male Myrtle Warbler on Skokholm Island in Pembrokeshire. The pictures coming out are stunning, with the bird in cracking plumage. A boat departs from Martin's Haven at 2pm tomorrow and is £27.50, so those folk not at work could be in for a real treat............ needless to say I'm working and first day I can get off is Thursday!



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Saturday 17th June 2017 Elegant Tern Pagham Harbour

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Blue Rock Thrush Stow-on-the-Wold Gloucestershire still present this afternoon

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Good close up views of the Blue Rock Thrush yesterday afternoon at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire.

The rest is up to the committee but insurance tick in the bag....watch this space!†

Smart bird whatever the outcome.



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Great views of the Dusky Thrush at Beeley this morning. Showing nicely in the orchard feeding on the ground with several Blackbirds before disappearing for about 30 minutes. As we'd all had good views and needed to be elsewhere, Riggers, Karen and I set off (after a cuppa and a sausage butty courtesy of the hospitable locals) and then got even better views from the other side of the orchard as it fed in the branches of one of the apple trees. A nice bird for the tail end of the year, thanks again to Riggers for the invite. If the Eastern Black Redstart gets an upgrade that will be five lifers in a yearbiggrin

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Just in case folk haven't heard, a Dusky Thrush has been found in Beeley, near Matlock, in Derbyshire. It is mobile and only seems to be giving views for a few seconds at a time. It favours the area near the church at DE4 2NT.



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Siberian Rubythroat on Fair Isle today

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The Eyebrowed Thrush has been looked for extensively and the finder is on site, but no sign up to 10.10am at least.

The Cliff Swallow on the last report was lingering around the Sand Martin colony area near the Visitor Centre at 11.10am. It has been pretty mobile but also seen perched. It has ranged all the way to the Sluice Gates near the coastal dunes and then returned to the Visitor Centre area. It was seen going to roost at Minsmere last night and so fully expected to be there today, time will tell whether it does the same this evening! (All info courtesy of RBA, thanks )



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Saturday 5th of November 2016 11:15:46 AM

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On Birdguides Cliff Swallow still present at Minsmere 0930

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Reports today suggest there is an Eye-browed Thrush in Northumberland at Bolam Lake Country Park and a Cliff Swallow in East Anglia at Minsmere RSPB

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The Mega Alert has just gone off on the pager again and as expected (at least in the last fortnight!) it is a Siberian Accentor. This time it's on Fair isle, at Troila Geo for those heading up to twitch it†wink

Other news is that so far, by 10.30am at least there has been no sign of the Siberian Accentor at Easington today.



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Holy Island, Northumberland - Siberian Accentor number 5 in the UK biggrin Read yesterday that one birder had seen the first 4, wonder if he'll go for 5?!!



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I noticed that a lot of the pictures of the Sunderland bird were perched in trees, unlike the Easington individual. The Yorkshire one did flush to trees occasionally but spent 95% of the time on the ground. Just an additional bit of information, from pictures and other evidence the Sunderland and Cleveland birds seem to be differerent individuals, so making 4 definite Siberian Accentors in the UK so far this autumn with another 2 possibles reported at least.



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The Sunderland Siberian Accentor was on show again this morning in the same scrubby trees, so we drove over to pay our respects (as it had gone to great lengths of course to get here).

It was more arboreal than the very confiding "point blank" Easington bird, and after a couple of frustrating "flight only" views it perched obligingly on a wood pile for 8 seconds or so. (It did take some 50 mins to obtain a tickable look).

By delaying our visit until today, we avoided a potential madhouse of hundreds jockeying for position within a relatively small viewing area.

Everyone was well behaved, viewing from about 60 feet. It looked well settled in its little circuit when we left at 11.00.

Regards,

Mike P.



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My mates who bird up there & keep lists (like Andrew Kinghorn who found the Bee Eater in Sunderland a few years ago) record Durham as a birding county. Tyne & Wear just doesn't exist as an official recording/Bird Report area as far as they're concerned. I record other taxa & we use Vice Counties & 10km squares across the board. Only birding that is different! But who cares, the showy Easington Siberian Accentor is still showing fabulously well today, so for all the GM Members that is the closest & showiest one still smile



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Doc Brewster wrote:

And now the fourth Siberian Accentor, at South Docks, Sunderland, co.Durham, in Hendon Docks, but no general access (possibly viewable from outside the dock!). Glad I don't need to see that one, sounds a nightmare!!





Always seems a strange one, given that our recording area of GM is purely within the newly (1974) formed county, that Durham and Northumberland birders ignore the existence of Tyne and Wear (no bad thing!). Sunderland is, of course, part of Tyne and Wear.

If my memory serves, that dock is accessible if you know where to look wink

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And now the fourth Siberian Accentor, at South Docks, Sunderland, co.Durham, in Hendon Docks, but no general access (possibly viewable from outside the dock!). Glad I don't need to see that one, sounds a nightmare!!

p.s. just on RBA that seen outside the dock briefly on Town Moor!



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 16th of October 2016 08:56:09 AM

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And now the third Siberian Accentor has turned up in the UK - one at Saltburn-by-the-Sea, E.of the Ship Inn at Huntcliff, this morning, but not seen since earlier on.



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Thought you might have been around Mike - was looking for you but failed miserably!

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The Accentor was too close to focus my bins on it at one point!!

Well organised, good to hear GM was represented in the organising of parking, well done Monsieur Higson. I hope the collection buckets were as well-filled as they ought to be. When you consider what prices are routinely paid for football or rugby matches, theatre/cinema visits, etc, a one-off bird like this should be reciprocated by generous donations to what is after all a good cause.



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Siberian Accentor still showing very well until at least 14.35 when we left; everyone well disciplined and I suspect a lot of money raised for Spurn Obs.- (petrol company sales have probably done extremely well over the last 6 days?).

Nice to bump into the G M gang of 4.

Regards,

Mike and Barb



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