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mega news


JamieDunning wrote:

Anyone been for the Hudsonian Godwit?
I know its been said that its possibly not actually this species but from photos I've seen (& its only photos, haven't heard any news) it looks good... doesn't it?
& I have no experience with Hudwit so wondered if anyone - who dose, could elaborate on what we [were] looking for.


-- Edited by JamieDunning on Tuesday 17th of July 2012 12:27:27 AM





Jamie,

Although news was originally put out as a probable Hudsonian Godwit, white on the underwing was evident yesterday which ruled this out unfortunately.

It has been re-identified now as a Black-tailed Godwit but still a very interesting bird nonetheless though and certainly one which myself, Jason Atkinson and Henry Cook made the dash over to Frodsham for on Sunday night.

-- Edited by Phil Owen on Tuesday 17th of July 2012 07:32:24 AM

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Anyone been for the Hudsonian Godwit?
I know its been said that its possibly not actually this species but from photos I've seen (& its only photos, haven't heard any news) it looks good... doesn't it?
& I have no experience with Hudwit so wondered if anyone - who dose, could elaborate on what we [were] looking for.


-- Edited by JamieDunning on Tuesday 17th of July 2012 12:27:27 AM

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and now over the river in Bootle...

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The Little Swift was still pleasing the crowd when I left at 6.30 - by that time it had moved a couple of 100m down the prom towards Wallasey

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22/06/2012 - A final hurrah for the spring in the form of a wonderful LITTLE SWIFT at New Brighton, round the corner from the floral pavillion this afternoon. At times it flew within a foot of those assembled as it scythed through the air with Common Swifts and House Martins; an incredible experience and lots of smiles all round.

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Who Dares, Wins! -No sign of the beastie today.

Well done Henry and Co. - Yes, the Headland does haves its share of goodies.

How about a Rufous Bushchat for next year's bird (May /June time seems to be a magic period).
Perhaps just down the coast a few miles in more suitable habitat for it, say on Seaton Common?

Regards,
Mike P.

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Myself, Mike Duckham and Phil Owen twitched the 1.s male Western Orphean Warbler yesterday. We were on a Cheshire day race but when the text came through there was simply no choice to but abandon the challenge mere hours into the day.

It took a while to find the warbler on site, but when it did show, although sluggish, it eventually did some fly catching, finally giving better views in the open of it's dusky cap, blackish face mask, plain utc's, buffish underparts and dull eye ring. The most impressive feature for me was it's bill, particularly large.

Another top bird for the headland, anyone taking bets for next spring there?

-- Edited by Henry Cook on Wednesday 30th of May 2012 12:55:14 PM

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With my gardening plans severely disrupted this morning, I set off for Hartlepool, a bit disgruntled that another one of my old blockers was letting me down so soon after the Cream-coloured Courser had pulled the same stunt.

On arrival at 9.45 am, there were only about 40 people there, all looking expectantly towards the bowling green perimeter bushes/trees into which the bird had disappeared on its release an hour previously.
Remarkably this was only a yard or two from the section of turf where the White-throated Robin had been on show some 51 weeks earlier.

I feared that to see this bird would prove more challenging, tucked away in cover; and so it proved.
After some anxious 40 minutes, during which time the gathering was in danger of becoming another of those "social occasions," ( one birder whom I'd not seen for some time told me - "I thought you were dead"), someone picked out the target bird perched in a leafy sycamore through a gap in the foliage.
Soon, via a process of sharing peeps through his 'scope, helpful directions, and pleasingly, good cooperation all round, everyone was relieved and we all focused (literally) on enjoying what views we could.
All that was visible was a front on/ side on head view, (showing the blackish crown and ear coverts of a male bird cleanly contrasting with white below the rest of the face and throat), some upper mantle, and a bit of upper flanks. The bird was notable for its inactivity, and seems not to have flown for some 2 hours at least as I type this.

According to the ringers, this was judged to be of the Western form, though from the views in the field, (with no sight of the vent or undertail
coverts available whilst I was there), I could not have formed a view as to "Eastern or Western" from what I saw, other than an obvious smudgier buffier contrast along the upper flanks. I could barely see a hint of a pale eye and speculated that this might be indicative of a first summer bird.

This might be a hard bird to see tomorrow; it's inactivity may be some indication of exhaustion (I should have enquired as to its weight, but I had to get home and the ringers were not to hand when I was leaving). If anyone is tempted to go for this, it may be critical to get there today therefore if possible.

At the time I saw the Scilly bird of 1981, (hard earned, as I went to Scilly that year on crutches with a broken ankle), the species had not then been split. I have heard various comments that the Scilly bird was of the Eastern form and others confidently saying it was judged to be of the Western form.
I myself have no up to date reference source as to which it was and so have no firm view on the matter. I did look at the latest "Collins" of a friend which does show the main distinction as being the duskier underparts of the Western birds, with mention of relative bill dimensions and of course different vocals.

Best Wishes,
Mike P.



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Now reported as Western Orphean Warbler.

Before strapping a bag of frozen peas to my back and heading NE I've studied some checklists.

The BOU 2011 checklist only states Western Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis for Britain. A previous Bubo 2007 list states 'BOU currently accepts records as "race undetermined"'.

The BG's BOURC rarity archive states 4 previous records (none assigned to a particular race), whereas RBA state 5 previous. I assume that all these are now considered as Western Orphean (including my Scilly '81 bird)

Mindboggling considering that most of Bonelli's Warblers are Western and all Olivaceaous are Eastern and Desert Warblers are Asian.

Still present at 09.20.

-- Edited by Pete Hines on Tuesday 29th of May 2012 10:02:58 AM

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Damn Looks like my biggest remaining blocker is about to become unblocked

Hartlepool Headland strikes again with an Eastern Orphean Warbler trapped and ringed this morning due to be released in 10 minutes, so you'd better move fast.

Having suffered a back spasm a couple of days ago I won't me moving anywhere - not even to the doctors garden !, which should be fun if it dissappears in there like the White-throated Robin did and all the mayhem that ensued . That was almost a year ago to the day and was my last UK tick.



-- Edited by Pete Hines on Tuesday 29th of May 2012 10:02:28 AM

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It was seen I believe by just one person this morning at about 5am from a lofty vantage point.

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Doc Brewster wrote:

Thought I'd share this one, as it's not far from Greater Manchester - male BAILLON'S CRAKE singing yesterday S.of Llangefni at Malltraeth Marsh late evening, from A5 W.of Gaerwen turn L.beyond Holland Arms Garden Centre & use car park on R.by minor road beyond bungalow & follow on-site directions SH464725.

-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 23rd of May 2012 05:28:43 PM





Still singing this morning. May never get seen but you can hear it clearly on a video on Youtube....

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Just in case there's folk that haven't heard, the Cream-coloured Courser flew off high west today late morning & hasn't been seen again by late aftrenioon. Nice to bump into fellow forum member Rob Smallwood for the 2nd time in 4 days, although this time we didnt get time to chat other than later on the phone!!

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Thought I'd share this one, as it's not far from Greater Manchester - male BAILLON'S CRAKE singing yesterday S.of Llangefni at Malltraeth Marsh late evening, from A5 W.of Gaerwen turn L.beyond Holland Arms Garden Centre & use car park on R.by minor road beyond bungalow & follow on-site directions SH464725.

-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 23rd of May 2012 05:28:43 PM

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21/05/2012 - An adult Cream-coloured Courser showed well today, down in Herefordshire at Bradnor Hill having been found late yesterday. A real beauty and the first spring record for the UK as far as i'm aware. Considering it's only the second record in the last 30 or so years it was pretty quiet at the twitch this morning with approx 40 people there. Easy parking beyond the golf club and then a short walk up to the top of the hill.


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Several forum members were fortunate enough to connect with the short staying Black-winged Pratincole at Burton Mere Wetlands today, as per the Cheshire and Wirral thread.

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This possible Atlas Flycatcher is looking quite good as the days go on.

It was netted and ringed last night apparently as is now showing well beyond the lighthouse.

Apparently also today Spain has seen its first Atlas Pied Flycatcher as well.

If anyones going up in the next few days and has room in the car will you let me know. I feel that this will be one worth seeing!

cheers all
J

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Finally made the trip to Hampshire today for the Spanish Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco. Details under "All other counties and regions".

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A cracking morning, c/o Riggers' Taxis for Karen Foulkes, John Rayner & myself.

The Common Yellowthroat showed moderately to very well along the ditch in the wooded part of the right hand hedge. The bird was fairly mobile, due partly to its' ability to sneak off, mouse-like, through the brambles, as observed by Messers Rigby & Rayner

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A 5.30 start this morning had Mr Barber and myself on the road to Rhiwderin in Gwent in the hope of catching up with the Common Yellowthroat. During the two hours or so we were there we had probably 9 or 10 sightings, mostly fleeting views of this skulker but sufficient to appreciate its characteristic features. The bird spent much time hidden in a large clump of brambles but flitting out occasionally to forage in the underlying vegetation or to fly to another close-by clump of brambles.

A nice trip in cracking weather - even the 6 Severn Bridge toll was soon forgotten

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No Simon didn't see a Goshawk at Rhiwderin, too busy staring at brambles

We left at about 11.30 to go to the Forest of Dean where we saw Gos OK.


-- Edited by sid ashton on Sunday 26th of February 2012 12:34:25 PM

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Sid, did you see the male Goshawk that flew over found by our very own Phil Rhodes, it even did the decent thing and perched up in the conifers, magic! The Forest of Dean didn't dissapoint either with Goshawks, Peregrine, Hawfinch, Crossbills and loads of Bramblings. Glorious day for it.

-- Edited by Simon Warford on Saturday 25th of February 2012 10:46:48 PM

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John Barber and I had terrific views of the long staying Greater Yellowlegs, down to about 15m, from the Tern Hide at Hauxley Nature Reserve, Northumberland this morning. When we first arrived at the hide the bird wasn't actually on view but after a Sparrowhawk went over putting everything up, it appeared on the grass in front of the hide as the birds settled. It was happily taking earthworms and amazingly washing the soil off them in the water before eating them. A really nice bird and a lifetime first for both of us.

-- Edited by sid ashton on Wednesday 30th of November 2011 10:09:38 AM

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Simon Warford wrote:

Phil Owen wrote:

Hot on the heels of the Greater Yellowlegs in Northumberland last week was good views today of the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper in Somerset. Keep them megas coming!!





There like buses Phil, you wait all Autumn then three come at once. Its been 15 years since my dad gripped me off with Greater Legs in Cumbria - nice to get that one back this weekend too. How good is Northumberland birding ? 400+ White-fronts, Bean geese, Green-winged teal, Red-necked Grebe, Slav grebes, Barn Owl just in one afternoon!



Totally agree Simon, some brilliant birding to be had up there!

The Veery is very tempting too , glad you got that one!!



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Phil Owen wrote:

Hot on the heels of the Greater Yellowlegs in Northumberland last week was good views today of the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper in Somerset. Keep them megas coming!!





There like buses Phil, you wait all Autumn then three come at once. Its been 15 years since my dad gripped me off with Greater Legs in Cumbria - nice to get that one back this weekend too. How good is Northumberland birding ? 400+ White-fronts, Bean geese, Green-winged teal, Red-necked Grebe, Slav grebes, Barn Owl just in one afternoon!

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Hot on the heels of the Greater Yellowlegs in Northumberland last week was good views today of the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper in Somerset. Keep them megas coming!!

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Hi Mike,

Me, Phil and Andy (we couldnt fill a car for a Veery! ) visited Muck on Sunday, taking advantage of the charter boats put on by the brilliant Sea.fari. Leaving Mallaig at 8am news came through that it was still present 5 minutes before we landed on this tiny but beautiful island. After a brisk 25 minute walk the Veery was showing straight away on the Slurry pile! Almost constantly on view for 2 hours and often down to around 10 feet, as it shared the slurry heap with a Robin, Blackbird and a Rock Pipit.

Other birds seen around Muck included a Golden Eagle (actually over Eigg), Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose, 14 Purple Sandpipers, Rock Doves, Red-throated Diver and 10+ Great Northern Divers.

Cost of the twitch. 80.

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Gallanach Farm, Isle of Muck. - Saturday/Sunday, 19th/20th Nov.

The Veery is still present this weekend, showing really well on Saturday to 23 or so delighted birders who journeyed over from Mallaig on two charter boats, the 23 mile crossing was quite rough (though very enjoyable) and took an hour. Cost was 45 per head.

The bird ( a first winter) is happily feeding around/on a manure heap ( here appropriately called I guess a "muck" heap) enclosed in a stone bay just yards across from the farm garden, often in loose company with a robin , a Dunnock and a Blackbird.

Among other commoner birds noted were Ravens, Hooded Crows, Buzzards (including a really dark individual) Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver.
Although Rhum and Egg dominate the northern and eastern horizons there was no sign of any Sea Eagles, as according to the farmer they are rarely encountered due to the absence of rabbits on the island, which is only 2 miles long and home to some 35 souls.
Worth the money for the trip alone to a beautiful little island with friendly folk, with the bird as a bonus.
For the round trip drive up from Manchester allow 16 hours of night time driving (and preferably a team to share the driving).
For any details of the charter arrangements please feel free to "P M" me.

Regards,
Mike P.


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The Steppe Grey Shrike was still present today at Farm Wall. Details as in my postings yesterday under "All Other Counties/Regions, Shropshire".

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For completion, an extract from my Lancashire & Merseyside, Garstang Area posting from today re the the Solitary Sandpiper :-

John Barber and I arrived at Humblescough farm, Nateby at approximately 07.45 this morning and were taken down to the scrape by the farmer - we were first there. We set up our scopes to within 100m of where the Solitary Sandpiper spent most of its time while we were there. As a result of being so close we were able to note how pale brown the bird looked and when it wing-stretched and turned around and on one occasion made a short flight, the dark central area to the rump was clear - also the prominent white eye ring was easily picked up. A lifetime first for both John and I.



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Took the chance to bob up and get a look at the Solitary Sandpiper at Nateby near Garstang today. Nice bird, but almost impossible to pick up any distinguishing features due to distance, weather, failing light (it was only 3pm), and the bird skulking near the undergrowth. What was noted was the barring just under the shoulder under the wing and eyestripe that was quite strong towards the front of the head. Looked very pale in the light, almost same colour as Common Sand. Had to look through someone elses scope as mine is bobbins so didn't even bother taking it.

Well worth the 4.
MEGA

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Mike Passant wrote:

A Sooty Tern sighting was reported at 9.54 this morning from Colt Crag Reservoir (Northumberland) said to be "showing well."

Cheers,
Mike P.





My RBA Pager had this sighting as an 'Unconfirmed Report' thereby casting doubt on the original sighting...... they seemed to know something!!

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A Sooty Tern sighting was reported at 9.54 this morning from Colt Crag Reservoir (Northumberland) said to be "showing well."

This site being only 31 miles up the A68 from where I live, I shot up there leaving at 10.38 and arrived at 11.15 only to find just a few long faces and of course no bird.

No birders to whom I spoke had seen either the target bird or indeed any birders who had seen it.
With hindsight, - the right decision to have a tilt at this; - just the wrong outcome on this occasion.

For the present, all suitable waters are being searched and there is an excellent chance of this bird being found, the consensus view is that it most likely will appear on the coast or at sites close to the coast, (such as Cresswell, Druridge Bay or East Chevington).

As I'm away for a week tomorrow I'm totally out of the running now, but good luck to any coming up "on spec" for this, though be warned, even if found again, it is fast moving and has shown no tendency to linger, (possibly looking for a good feeding site on which to settle) and one would need a fair bit of luck to catch up with it.

Cheers,
Mike P.

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I don't have any details of the observers and this is unsubstantiated as yet, but both RBA and Durham Bird Club "Sightings" page report a sighting of a Sooty/Bridled Tern flying across Derwent Reservoir (on the Durham/Northumberland border) at 13.55 today.
Later at 18.45 is a report of the same from Waskerley Reservoir (some 10 kms. to the south and well into Durham), when it was said to be heading back north towards Derwent.

If we have two totally independent sightings there may well be something in this.
I was out briefly late morning checking Tunstall Reservoir (which is 5 kms. SE of Waskerley, and a couple of miles from where I live) looking specifically for storm driven seabirds, but drew a blank.
I'll possibly get over to Derwent tomorrow if I can find the time (as I'm going away on Thursday; itself a good pointer to something big turning up!)

Cheers,
Mike P.

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As of today 21st June 2011 the White-winged Scoter is still present at its usual location off Murcar golfcourse. The plover was a one day bird so that was the one that got away. However, I did manage to catch up with the duck!!

Checking weather forecasts we decided that last Sunday would be a good day to make a long trip north and duly did so travelling overnight from Cheshire to Aberdeen. We set off at 10.45pm on Saturday, and after a few pick up points, 4 of us arrived at Murcar at 6.45am on Sunday. Brief views into the sun were had immediately but were never great. The scoter flock then drifted offshore to loaf on low tide. This gave us the chance to travel a few miles north, to the Ythan Estuary, to get close views of the drake King Eider - a stunning bird. We headed back to Murcar Links on the incoming tide and at 3pm I managed to relocate the White-winged Scoter and duly alerted all around me as to its location. All 30 folk there then got onto the bird and we all had much better views of it amongst Velvet & Common Scoters, along with 2 drake Surf Scoters. The long drive home was one with the lightened hearts of twitchers who had seen their quarry

A trip mileage of around 800 miles and being awake from 7am Saturday until midnite Sunday was all worth it with excellent views of this first for Britain. The supporting cast of King Eider, Surf Scoters, Velvet Scoters, summer plumaged Red-throated Divers, Arctic Skua and oooh-ing Eiders ( ) made this a truly memorable trip and with 4 birders sharing the petrol it cost only 30 each. If anyone is hesitating about this bird then do go if you can, who knows when the next one will turn up.

Cheers
Paul

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Pete Hines wrote:

Now a Lesser SandPlover would prompt a 'speedy' recovery. i'll trade one of my three Greaters for one






Sorry, Pete, only got 1 Lesser Sand Plover on the list so none available for Swoppsies!! Looks like I've got into a car of 4 going from Yorkshire on Saturday, but the way things keep changing that'll probably be altered tomorrow !!!

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Give it a year and this bird will be back somewhere probably on the east coast but in adult plumage and a fair bit easier to pick it up and looking a bit more dapper (I hope).

I have a feeling Velvet's which come close enough to shore will be checked by most a bit more thoroughly from now on. I was always happy just to find a Velvet and pretty much left it at that, school-boy error!

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If it helps anyone to make a decision this weekend, my two pals Doug and Tony zoomed up yesterday and encountered 12 birders already watching the White-winged Scoter, which was closer in than of late and giving pretty good views (better than Durham's recent Surf Scoter, they said).

Speaking for myself, I didn't relish the trip as I have jobs to do, and anyway was rather spoiled by the Robin turning up on the 6th not quite "on the doorstep."

The way rare Scoters are turning up off the NE coast, I shouldn't be at all surprised if a White-winged Scoter also appears off Northumberland/ Durham this winter; - there'll be no shortage of birders searching.

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Now a Lesser SandPlover would prompt a 'speedy' recovery. i'll trade one of my three Greaters for one

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Ah yes Rob, but if one was, perchance in Aberdeenshire already & was now going to stay overnight........

....... can answer myself here.. still another 140 miles!!!

-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Thursday 16th of June 2011 04:43:22 PM

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Dornoch. 415 miles, 7.25 hours without stops. Probably easier to get to the breeding grounds!

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Cheers Pete

Will PM you my mobile too. Yeah I sort of knew that BOU were treating it as seperate, but I think it's the case that a record needed acceptance before the split was actually on the British List. This should get that situation sorted. I've been following the thread in 'the other place' & yeah it doesn't sound straightforward & between the lines there's accusations flying around that folk have ticked the wrong bird!! Oh the politics of listing, don't ya just love them

There's extra news today, that a Greater Sand Plover has turned up at Dornoch Point, a fair bit higher up the east coast of Scotland..... but I need it, oh decisions, decisions!! I saw the Lesser Sand Plover in Lincs but was in South Africa for the last twitchable Greater.

Decisions about when to travel will be made tonight or later so if we defer I'll let you know, Pete, you may be well enough if we travel next week

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I thought BOU already treated White-winged Scoter as a separate species from Velvet ?. The question for British & Irish listers is will the two races American White-winged and Stejneger's be a future split ?. Either way if accepted it would be a British first.

Reading comments on BF (who?) this bird looks like a bit of a nightmare to locate. It took me 4 1/2 hours to locate the Stejneger's in Co Kerry earlier this year and I didn't see another birder until the following day (one other, Dave Gibbs ! - the beauty of Irish twitching ) and that bird stood out like a sore thumb!.

I've no doubt that this bird will stick around for a while. You wouldn't want me in your car for long period at the moment as I've had a stinking virus all week. My sister lives near Aberdeen so maybe I'll combine the trip with a family visit in the near future.

I'll PM you my number for future reference. I had thought of starting a car sharing thread since I became out of work, though sometimes when you get the news, if you can go, just GO !

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There's an American White-winged Scoter up in Aberdeenshire at the moment. It's showing daily and has been around for a few days now. The word is that when accepted the BOU will treat it as a split, i.e. a full species, so effectively this is the first available one for Britain (another has been reported but I think it was never submitted as a record). It's a long, long way from the NW (of England!!) but severeal folk have travelled already. If anyone is interested in going & car sharing please send me a Private Message, I have myself & 1 other interested for the weekend, preferably Saturday.

Cheers
Paul

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Must have ust missed you, we had it this morning but left around 13:00.

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Having shared Pete Welch's disappointed at Hartlepool yesterday my day out today with the Manx Birder changed from a half day's birding locally to another visit to the North East - having seen early on that the White-throated Robin had been refound.

In contrast to yesterday we were badly delayed by a traffic accident on the way, consequently we didn't find the bird when we arrived late lunch time. After a good look around we decided to go over to RSPB Saltholme but kept in touch with events at the Headland. When we got the call from John Barber we went back immediately and had smashing views of the bird down to a few metres, on the inner bowling green until it went off back into the doctor's garden.

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After seeing the Robin on Monday went back this morning and was treated to cracking views, firstly on the seaward side of the outer bowling green then it flew onto the inner bowling green, then into the doctors. Good luck anybody going over the weekend. Pics here.

cheers
jason

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The bird was seen at Olive Street yesterday morning but then wasn't seen all afternoon right through until dusk. This morning it has been seen at the outer bowling green, back at Olive Street (inner bowling green) and then late morning flew back over the wall into the Doctors Garden (ladders at the ready!!). I think the summary of all this - today & yesterday - is that the bird is getting a lot more mobile and it may require a wider search to locate it.

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Friday morning June 10th.

The Robin has been refound this morning just over the fence (seaward) of the original bowling green, and apparently showing well now after going missing all yesterday afternoon.

Cheers,
Mike P.

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Good luck to anyone who's going today - I can visualise exactly where its showing today having spent two hours walking round the area yesterday to no avail At least we had more luck at Wykeham - see other post.



-- Edited by Pete Welch on Friday 10th of June 2011 09:21:23 AM

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