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RE: mega news


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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Siberian Accentor still present at Easington this morning showing to 10 yards

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Siberian Accentor at Spurn today! Brilliant views down to about twenty feet or less

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Another first for Britain in this crazy Autumn with a Siberian Accentor on the Shetlands. It's on Mainland for its second day (found yesterday). For anyone with several hundred quid spare there are charter flights heading up there, but lots are full until late tomorrow! Me, I'd rather spend it on a wildlife holidaysmile.... and relaxsmile



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Things have gone a bit ballistic on the East Coast today (& from yesterday a bit!).

At Bempton Cliffs RSPB there is an Eastern Crowned Warbler (luckily I saw the first for Britain in Durham!) that was found yesterday but is still there today. Offshore at Bempton & seen elsewhere there is/was a Black-browed Albatross!!! I have seen the pictures and it showed ridiculously well. Up on Holy Island, Northumberland there is a White's Thrush (I need!!). Also supporting cast of Red-flanked Bluetail at Spurn, Red-breasted Flycatchers, Yellow-browed Warblers, Barred Warbler and even a Pallas's Warbler yesterdaysmile

I'm off tomorrow - anyone fancy a trip over?!



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Doc Brewster wrote:

Of interest: a Red-footed Booby has been taken into care in East Sussex after being found washed up on a beach at St Leonards, info here (if you can access Facebook):

https://www.facebook.com/wildlifeambulance/posts/1241690462542521


The latest news is that this bird is responding to treatment and is feeding well. There has been an announcement that plans are being made to fly it to Florida for release. So a lot of UK Twitchers are disappointed that they won't see a release at a headland in the UK.



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Cliff Swallow on Saint Mary's on the Isles Of Scilly, present from Tuesday 6th September

A very decent find from my birding colleague Graham Flash Gordon

Scilly season might be on!


-- Edited by James Walsh on Friday 9th of September 2016 01:33:43 AM

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Of interest: a Red-footed Booby has been taken into care in East Sussex after being found washed up on a beach at St Leonards, info here (if you can access Facebook):

https://www.facebook.com/wildlifeambulance/posts/1241690462542521



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WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, CHESHIRE


Apologies for double posting but some people just look at certain threads and won't see this in the Woolston Eyes thread.

I had a phonecall from a ringing pal of mine at Woolston Eyes this morning. They have trapped & rung a White-crowned Sparrow this morning. It has been released at the John Morgan Hide (the large hide with feeders at either end). Access has been granted for non-members of this Permit only site. The barriers off Thelwall Lane have been left open. You can drive along the entrance track to the parking area on the left. Walk to the bridge and access is possible for a 2 donation today 10am-4pm. It may be granted tomorow if the bird is still seen. The Grid Reference is SJ649882 and the postcode is WA4 2HZ.



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RE: mega news


Crag Martin present for 3rd day in Chesterfield, mornings seem to be best, around the crooked spire of the St Marys and All Saints church



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Good views of the Citril Finch on Sunday at Holkham Pines, Norfolk.

Moltoni's Subalpine Warbler reported nearby at Blakeney yesterday.

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Sid, sorry to hear that so many had a fruitless journey over cry

I too wonder that if after dark the farmer carried the threat out, I wouldn't be surprised and given the parking all over his verges that he had asked to be kept clear I can understand but not condone his actions if he did flush it. It was cold and blustery on 1st Jan there but I think it got colder & windier overnight, so just as easily it could have left the area. Either case would mean that it may be found again, so there may be another chance to get it smile

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Doc Brewster wrote:

..........The numbers there throughout today must have easily topped the thousand mark and it was really busy, one of the biggest twitches I have ever seen. It was pretty muddy too so wellies are recommended. I think it will stay and the next few days will be quieter so not a bad option. There were postings on another forum that the landowner threatened to go into his field and flush the bird if his requests not to park on his verges were ignored, this is the only threat I can see to it not sticking around. But I feel that this was a heat of the moment threat and hopefully will not be acted upon. biggrin


There was no sign of the bird in the kale field today Paul so perhaps the threat was carried out or maybe it was the extremely strong wind that had swept it away before I got there hmm - didn't realise that there was so much kale in the world !!!


-- Edited by sid ashton on Friday 2nd of January 2015 09:38:28 PM

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News broke yesterday that there was a Little Bustard in a farm field in Yorkshire, sounded too good to be true and being out birding a long way from my car I just didnt fancy the rush over to try to get there before dusk so left it until today. I nervously waited on news as I had alternative plans if it had moved on, but around 8am news came through that the bird was still in the same field, so off we set!

A nervous 2.5 hr journey saw us sail across the Pennines with little traffic about as all the revellers were still in bed leaving the roads for us Jan 1st birders! We rolled up in Fraisthorpe near Bridlington and as directed on the pager and the web, at the request of the landowner, we parked in the village and began our short walk. Many birders had still parked on the verges where the landownder had asked cars not to be parked but at least I did my bit!! As we walked up I was q.glad I'd parked way back as it was single track (due to the parked cars!!) and vehicles were frequently backing up & down the track trying to pass eack other.

On arrival a birder from Durham let me have a quick look through his scope to get my 'tick' and then I got on the bird myself. It showed quite distantly and was frequently hunkered down in the kale (previously mis-reported as a rape field in earlier pager messages!). We had what could best be described as adequate views but then moved round to the top of the field where it was less windy and the bird could be seen along a furrow in all its glory. Excellent scope views were had of the bird feeding, preening and even wing-streching, showing all the features including the stunning wing pattern of a bird which from head views only could look like a female Pheasant!! I even got a few presentable record shots, so came away very happy.

The numbers there throughout today must have easily topped the thousand mark and it was really busy, one of the biggest twitches I have ever seen. It was pretty muddy too so wellies are recommended. I think it will stay and the next few days will be quieter so not a bad option. There were postings on another forum that the landowner threatened to go into his field and flush the bird if his requests not to park on his verges were ignored, this is the only threat I can see to it not sticking around. But I feel that this was a heat of the moment threat and hopefully will not be acted upon.

I ended up with my lowest New Years Day total ever today but with a Little Bustard lifer under my belt I don't care, the yearlist will take care of itself, it's a marathon not a sprint biggrin

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Blyth's Pipit still resent this morning, although the views were brief the bird did fly up into the strand of Willow trees that border the small pool several times, but mainly out of view hunkered down in long grass, Due I guess to the very blustery conditions

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Calder Business Park, close to Pugney's Country Park, Wakefield

A Blyth's Pipit was found on an undeveloped area of the business park on Monday the 8th December. The bird has been mainly on a very wet field with long grass making watching it extremely difficult, so in order to make the bird more viewable to as many folk as possible a series of organised flushes was arranged. At least these gave people a chance to get flight views. There is a whole lot of comment/debate on this exercise on Bird Forum - until this morning I had decided against going over not least of all because I'm not comfortable with deliberate disturbance........... however with the forecast of a sunny day I wondered if the bird would be tempted to show itself without the flushing?

Arriving on site at 09.00ish in brilliant sunshine I had just missed the bird preening in one of the taller trees and then had to wait for an hour and a half for it to reappear. When it came out again it flew into a tree to preen and then onto a clear patch to feed giving great views and finally a couple of closeup flybys to finish. An interesting little bird well worth the icy journey in thick fog in places.

For anyone thinking of going over it is possible to park on the business park providing residents' places aren't taken. I found an empty car park next to what appears to be an unoccupied building at the northern junction of Peel Lane and Thomas Addison Lane (the viewing area). It's handy if you get there early since Pugney's car park doesn't seem to open until 09.00.

-- Edited by sid ashton on Sunday 14th of December 2014 11:03:05 AM

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A "marginal" mega found late this afternoon on the beach at Seaton Snook, R.Tees estuary (N.Cleveland) in the form of an Isabelline Wheatear, a new species for both Cleveland and for Durham.
The bird was watched until dusk and there will be the usual gathering at first light in the morning by the great majority of county listers (including me) for whom this news broke too late today.
For anyone travelling, the access is via the Zinc Road which goes right down to the beach with ample roadside parking before the weighbridge. The Zinc Rd. is accessed from the A178 road north towards Seaton Carew (if travelling from direction of RSPB Saltholme), directly opposite an obvious quite high refuse tip on the landward side of the road.

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Some may argue it isn't a mega, but it was Mega-Alerted on my RBA Pager, and it is in the NW region - a Red-eyed Vireo today in the obs garden at South Walney NR on Walney Island, Cumbria.

I decided quite slowly (as it initially went missing after being ringed) to make the relatively short journey up from Northwich to Walney, much better than what I had expected for my life-tick of this species. I had envisaged a trip to Scilly or Cornwall at least for this bird, so Cumbria was a mere hop up the M6 biggrin

The car park was half empty (and it's only small) and after paying the 3 entry fee we joined the small (under 20 folk all afternoon) group of birders in the Obs garden. After a short wait the bird showed in the relatively small amount of cover that the garden provided, luckily there was no real other area for it to move to if it wanted to feed and have some cover. It then showed several times, ofetn in the open and gave great scope views to all present. The twitch was small, good humoured and very well behaved, and all in pleasant sunshine too, perfect smile

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Yellow-billed Cuckoo at Porthgwarra in Cornwall today and a Black-billed Cuckoo on North Ronaldsay smile Time for a Twitchers Tardis to be invented wink

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Fea's Petrel doing a tour of the east coast today. Just about every sea watching point north of Flamborough has seen it pass through I think!

-- Edited by Craig Higson on Sunday 21st of September 2014 03:26:48 PM

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Doc Brewster wrote:

In E.Yorks a juvenile Masked Shrike has turned up today at Kilnsea near Spurn. It is behind Rose Cottage & is viewable from the seawall SE of the Crown & Anchor Pub. Park only in Well Field, not in pub car park or along road. Courtesy of RBA Pagers.

Having seen the one in Scotland several years ago it is not cutting me up that I am stuck in work, but a nice tick for many smile

Still there at 1.45pm smile


Yes Paul a cracking little bird I have put my visit report on the Spurn thread.


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In E.Yorks a juvenile Masked Shrike has turned up today at Kilnsea near Spurn. It is behind Rose Cottage & is viewable from the seawall SE of the Crown & Anchor Pub. Park only in Well Field, not in pub car park or along road. Courtesy of RBA Pagers.

Having seen the one in Scotland several years ago it is not cutting me up that I am stuck in work, but a nice tick for many smile

Still there at 1.45pm smile

p.s Olive-backed Pipit there today too biggrin

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Originally posted by Dave Ousey:

A few days before a family holiday is not the ideal time to go rushing off on a twitch at the other end of the country, now is it? So when a Short Toed Eagle was first seen in Hampshire and later in East Sussex, I thought I will have to miss that one, even after a couple of my fellow A Team birder friends had tried to tempt me to go (try harder next time boys) You cannot believe how I felt upon returning to the UK, late on Friday, to find that the Short Toed Eagle was still present in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex. Whilst unpacking, washing, cleaning house, gardening and shopping a few texts where sent secretly sent and a team assembled for an early dash Sunday morning, after first obtaining permission from my understanding wife. At two am we got into Chris Bs car with Steve B,Steve K & myself, only, bird of prey man Bob was missing from a full A Team trip! Heading along the M62, M6, M40, M25 and finally onto the M23, East Grinstead and into the Ashdown Forest area. At this point we struggled to find the Long car park, but as a few other birders arrived we realised we were in the right place. This area is really beautiful and certainly not like Up North. A few Tree Pipits and Stonechats were seen, but no birds of prey, so after about an hour we decided to go to the Gills Lap car park area were, we were told, quite a few birders were present. A check of the bird news revealed the bird was sat in tree waiting for us, put your foot down driver time. As we arrived a gathering of around 60 birders were watching something! A birder told us the Short Toed Eagle was sat on top of a tree at the other side of the valley, what joy, a bird that was seen by one of our departed birder friends on Scilly a few years ago, could finally be enjoyed by us all now! Truly amazing to be lucky enough to see one of the most charismatic eagles of the Western Palearctic right here in England. As it was a lifer for all our group the customery hand shakes were exchanged. The bird took to the air after about 20 minutes and gave great flight views, especially right over our heads! It gained height and disappeared out of the valley (not to be seen again until Tuesday morning). The people that live or visit this area are truly impressed by its natural beauty, as we were. After the very early start we all began to feel a bit jaded and we decided after a little stop in Crawley to head for home. We all got home around five pm and enjoyed the sunshine that had made the day very special.

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Great views of the Short-toed Eagle for Karen Foulkes, John Rayner, Riggers and I yesterday, once it had been located roosting just north-east of Gills Lap. Perched up for quite a while then effortlessly circled back past the car park to where it had been for much of Saturday afternoon before heading off out of sight for the rest of the morning. As it passed overhead we had good views of it preening and characteristically leg-dangling. Happy memories (for me) of watching flocks of them head towards me over the Bosphorous on Autumn migration. Tree Pipit, Woodlark, Bullfinch, Stonechat, Great Spotted Woodpecker and several species of raptor also seen as curtain-raisers.

We headed just down the road to Old Lodge nature reserve, just missing the eagle as it passed over the car park, where there were a variety of heathland birds as well as at least one family of Redstarts, but the main attraction here are the dragon- and damselflys. Emperor & Golden-ringed Dragonflys, Four-spotted and Broad-bodied Chasers, Large Red, Small Red & Azure Damselflys, Keeled Skimmer, Brilliant Emerald and Beautiful Demoiselle provided a minute but glittering display to match that of the eagle and round off the morning, the latter two particularly living up to their names.

Finished the day at Whitecross Wood on the Oxon/Bucks border ( c 50 Red Kites en route) with more dragonflys and a good selection of butterflies including lots of Marbled Whites, a Silver-washed Fritillary and a Black Hairstreak

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Monday 23rd of June 2014 11:27:53 PM

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With the Short-toed Eagle that appeared first at Morden Bog in Dorset having settled down at Ashdown Forest in East Sussex I finally decided to give it a go!! Setting off at 4.45am was definitely too late as the M25 was hit at the start of rush hour and was stop start for the whole 30-odd miles that I had to be on it for hmm Once this was cleared it was q.a short distance to Ashdown Forest and first to Long car park where it had been roosting nearby until c.9am most mornings, well all except this one. Rumour had it that over-keen birders approached the roost tree and flushed the eagle out at 6.15am, leaving tens of folk arriving a bit later pretty miffed!!

Most of us then relocated to Gills Lap car pak as the daytime feeding circuit favoured this area most days. The overcast conditions didn't help but at 11.30am a raptor was spotted over pines just across the road & I heard folk saying that it looked promising, I got my scope onto it and immediately exclaimed "that's it", at last the 2s Short-toed Eagle was showing to all smile The bird gave excellent views as it circled around just over the road, often hovering & dangling its legs as this species does when scanning the heath for reptiles. After about 15-20mins it drifted off back in the direction of Long car park leaving everyone elated that this Mega had showed again despite the bad feelings of earlier in the day.

As the sky was now cloudless & it was warm & sunny we took the chance to explore the area logging up a few good birds in this part of the world I am totally unfamiliar with but will hopefully go back to. We recorded Woodlarks, Tree Pipits, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Turtle Doves and Red Kites as well as a breeding species that cannot be mentioned as it is too sensitive on open forums (if anyone is planning a visit & knows me & I know you please message me in private for info).

Later in the day we were treated to further views of the Short-toed Eagle both perched up and flying around pretty close to us against a blue, cloudless sky, a fantastic bird in a really nice area. Chatted to lots of NW and Staffs birders that I knew down there, amazed just how many had made the decision to go on the same day as us!!

The M25 was predictably a pain going back too and all in all 490miles were logged and 9.25 hours were spent in the car, that bit wasn't fun but the day out was, a Mega bird watched, a species that I never thought that I would see in the UK and a new area birded to which I plan to return to for a holiday/short break sometime. Added to that a quick explore of the Pooh Trail - Ashdown Forest is where A.A.Milne based Winnie the Pooh (!!!) to see landmarks such as the Enchanted Place, Eeyore's Gloomy Place, Hundred Acre Wood (actually Five-hundred Acre Wood in the forest!), the Lone Pine, The Heffalump Trap & of course the Pooh Sticks Bridge, and it all added up to a brilliant day out biggrin

If anyone does plan on going & needs extra info please private message me, but give a few days notice as I may not be on here every day!!

-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Friday 20th of June 2014 11:26:27 AM

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On birdguides, Hampshire Short-toed Snake Eagle showing well Bishops Dyke at 7:30am

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Went on Tuesday & I know it was newer news then, but it was a weekday, and parking was pretty bad. If you park in Burnham Overy Staithe village it is a longer walk, my mate I met there said easily an hour. I parked at the crossroads on the A149 half a mile E.of the village but parking is limited & it got a little chaotic. I ended up down the minor road opp the track towards the dunes that you need to take, parking is possible on the verge of this road intermittently so you should get a spot here. The track is good underfoot and leads to a boardwalk which tracks you round to the dunes where the bird is favouring. This route is between 30-45mins long, long enough to et the nerves jangling!! I reckon you should be absolutely fine regarding it being there as I had scoped views of it twice collecting nesting material!!

Good luck and have a safe journey, Phil smile

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Nice to see the Spectacled Warbler is still holding territory at Burnham Overy, therefore this weekend could finally present an opportunity to go.

If anyone fancies a petrol share, let me know.

Cheers

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Cretzschmar's Bunting, Fair Isle, Shetland

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On birdguides, Eurasian Crag Martin @ Flamborough, Yorkshire

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Great Spotted Cuckoo reportedly in Pembrokeshire - a sign of the madness to come over the next few months??? smile

Source: RBA

-- Edited by John Doherty on Wednesday 12th of March 2014 07:08:09 AM

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Jon Bowen wrote:

Great views of Brunnich's Guillemot at Portland Harbour and Hooded Merganser at Radipole in Dorset today plus White Billed Diver in Brixham Harbour today





Let us not forget that White-billed Diver, despite how superb they are, is not a mega anymore; it's not even a BBRC rarity! disbelief
As for the long staying drake Hooded Merganser...wink

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Great views of Brunnich's Guillemot at Portland Harbour and Hooded Merganser at Radipole in Dorset today plus White Billed Diver in Brixham Harbour today

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Todays megas

Brunnich's Guillemot (& long-staying Hooded Merganser) in Dorset


-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 28th of December 2013 06:42:26 PM

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Todays Megas

Buff-bellied Pipit on the Wirral

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


Ivory Gull still at Patrington Haven, Yorkshire


Falcated Duck in Oxfordshire

http://oxonbirding.blogspot.co.uk/

-- Edited by James Walsh on Saturday 21st of December 2013 08:41:25 PM

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And just to add, as you do, Ivory Gull, North Uist to the mix today ... wow!

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Tim Wilcox wrote:

Dropped by casually to have a look at the Baikal Teal yesterday after Tony Darby and myself had been at Martin Mere all morning (where there's a wonderfully visible roosting Tawny Owl between Janet Kear and UU hides btw). Many convinced of its wild credentials. Possibly the report earlier of it being a hybrid may have resulted from its incomplete drake plumage - it only has a droop below the eye not a full chinstrap and is still slightly muted in colouration. Apparently they have bounced back in China and Korea and have increased rapidly in numbers in the last 10 years and are now designated as of 'least concern'. Whatever the origins here the probability of genuine vagrants has clearly increased and Baikal Teal was added to the BOU list in 2009. I still don't get this wild/plastic decision-making process. How come all these Blue-winged Teal knocking about seem to be 'wild'?



Had a look at the Baikal Teal this morning and had good views in excellent light. Whatever its pedigree it was a really interesting bird to see and worth the trip.

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Brunnichs guillemot seen briefly in Filey bay (north yorks) this afternoon, if it stays around would be first confirmed modern day record for Yorkshire and a very rare twitchable british bird. Forecast not great for end of week for it to be easy to see though with gale force winds coming!


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Dropped by casually to have a look at the Baikal Teal yesterday after Tony Darby and myself had been at Martin Mere all morning (where there's a wonderfully visible roosting Tawny Owl between Janet Kear and UU hides btw). Many convinced of its wild credentials. Possibly the report earlier of it being a hybrid may have resulted from its incomplete drake plumage - it only has a droop below the eye not a full chinstrap and is still slightly muted in colouration. Apparently they have bounced back in China and Korea and have increased rapidly in numbers in the last 10 years and are now designated as of 'least concern'. Whatever the origins here the probability of genuine vagrants has clearly increased and Baikal Teal was added to the BOU list in 2009. I still don't get this wild/plastic decision-making process. How come all these Blue-winged Teal knocking about seem to be 'wild'?

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The Baikal Teal was an excellent find by Craig Bell on Saturday 30th Nov GM and Lancs ringer

-- Edited by rob archer on Monday 2nd of December 2013 06:03:50 PM

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Drake Baikal Teal Banks on the creek viewable from the seawall, park @ Banks Road near the Environment Agency building & walk 700 yards

Also the first-winter Ross's Goose @ Marshside RSPB Reserve, viewable from Marine Drive

The Southport Marshes are the mega wildfowl capital of Britain at the moment biggrin

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The first-winter Ross's Goose still present on the Southport Marshes, Wednesday 13th November, 4:30pm, viewable from Marine Drive near the Marshside RSPB Sandgrounders Hide

I'm posting this here in mega news as, although Ross's Goose is abundant in captivity and is not on the official British List, this bird is un-ringed, has appeared at a time appropriate for trans-Atlantic vagrancy, and it would appear that this bird is only the second sighting of a first-year Ross' Goose in the UK (the other was a bird in Norfolk in the early noughties)

Research points to a large increase in the North American population of Ross's Goose in recent years and it is mooted as a potential vagrant to the UK

It would seem that the first sighting was 6th November, and debate has taken place during the last 7 days as to the bird's identity, with suggestions of possible Snow Goose influence

Several birders have requested opinions from North American birders as to whether the Southport bird is a pure Ross's Goose and I have just been informed of communication from Guy McCaskie, secretary of California Rare Birds Committee: To me, this is a typical looking hatch-year Ross's Goose I see lots of Ross's Geese that look just like this at the Salton Sea every winter





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All eyes point North - Unst in Shetland has weighed in with Cape May Warbler, the second for Britain another mega American to drool over - incidentally the first accepted record was sunny Paisley in '77

-- Edited by John Doherty on Wednesday 23rd of October 2013 09:15:00 PM

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Sora on Scilly, reminds me of the good ol days biggrin

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Thick-billed Warbler still on Shetland, also Eastern Olivaceous Warbler

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Thick-billed Warbler on Shetland

Late news for Sunday, Cedar Waxwing, Tiree

(Also Isabelline Wheatear South Wales & Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler Spurn)

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No, didn't catch it, I didn't go, the area's not urban enough biggrin

Like the sound of that programme, I'll have to see if the producers at the Beeb are up for it biggrin

Anyway, let's get back on the subject of megas

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Info via Dumfries & Galloway Birders

The Marbled Duck went missing last night and wasn't around all day today

People are still searching the area

No feathers around

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You been and caught it mate? - watch out for it turning up on the quays in the next few days just in time for 'Urban Wildlife The Mega Years' winkwink

James Walsh wrote:

Info via Dumfries & Galloway Birders

The Marbled Duck went missing last night and wasn't around all day today

People are still searching the area

No feathers around







-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 4th of August 2013 09:18:27 PM

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http://www.birdguides.com/iris/pictures.asp?v=1&f=405888

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