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Post Info TOPIC: mega news


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RE: mega news


- Sad to say it's tea time and no sightings today of the Sykes's Warbler. There is a thick belt of large bushes on the landward side of the dunes up at Druridge Bay Country Park and we speculated yesterday that if the bird got into that lot there would be little chance of further sightings.
Having said that, it could still be lurking somewhere close by....

Interestingly, another was found yesterday on Shetland.

Cheers,
Mike P

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Thanks Mike

Anyone thinking of going during the week or on Saturday (assuming still around)? Would be happy to car share or organise a car load.

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Sykes's Warbler - Druridge Bay Country Park. 16/08/2010

Directions for anyone interested:

Head north up the A1, exiting east (some 10 kms north of Morpeth) heading to Widdrington, there or just before there head north up the A1068 about 4 kms.

It is best to ignore the brown "Druridge Bay Country Park" sign, instead carry on another 600 metres or so and take the next right (east, directly towards the coast).
The sign here has disappeared but it does take you to Hadson Carrs at the northern end of the bay. Once you hit the coast after barely a minute, the narrow road takes you south. After several hundred metres look for cars parked on the verge.

This morning we arrived to find about 70 N. E birders some 40 metres off the the left seaward (dune) side all focused on an isolated Hawthorn. The bird gave jigsaw views but occasionally popped out into full view, though patience was needed to get it "full scope".
After 20 mins. it flew into a lower more open bush and provided an opportunity to see it almost continuously, though generally against the light and at the back of, or low down, in the bush. I managed about 20 seconds in full view at the front of the bush through the 'scope in a total of 50 mins.

As for the bird itself, its upperparts appeared as a quite uniform "milky tea" (with no contrast discernible in the tertial edgings or tips) and with silky whitish grey underparts. Legs darkish (apparently greyish, but not particularly noted by me as I was more focused on head and plumage during the brief opportunities afforded).
Its face had a mildly surprised look, - rather blank looking, but on a subsequent view possibly due to a change of viewing angle, it had a discernible supercilium, stronger before and to just above the eye. Its bill was slender, and longer than what I recall of Booted Warbler's bill (which also seems to me to generally suggest a hint of "upturn" which really isn't thereonce you check it critically). Also, its forehead was always seemingly flatter than my impressions of Booted warblers with their generally steeper look to the forehead.
Whereas of the Hippolais genus, Booted is often said to slightly recall Chiffchaff rather more than its congeners, there was no similarity at all to any phylloscopus with this bird. I felt it was more like a miniature Acrocephalus if anything.
Its carriage seemed consistently horizontal, with no tail cocking or flicking. At no stage whilst I was there did I hear a call.

My only experience of Sykes's Warbler is virtually worthless, - India in Feb 1996, when it was probably still regarded as "Rama" race of Booted Warbler.

As regards the identification, this should be confirmed with a series of photos, a factor which is becoming increasingly useful (Olive Tree Warbler and Amur Falcon spring to mind!) I suggest that it would still take a "bird in the hand" or much more field experience across the general body of British birders for a lone observer with no camera or previous field experience to get one of these past a rarities committee presently. Nevertheless it is probably one of those species which has been overlooked here in the past, and with 10 or a dozen British records (half of these from the northern isles), its field identification may well evolve in the way it did for Blyth's Reed warbler.
In many ways it is a parallel to Garden Warbler, a species with little by way of distinguishing features, but in this case there are a great many confusion species in several genera to be eliminated to arrive at a safe i/d.

- A good instructive bird, and if you go; -good luck!
Cheers,
Mike P.

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It's on tour like a rock band or a comedian! Let's hope it adds some new dates and does a gig in GM. I was away for its Seaforth appearance and away for the previous bird at Leighton Moss.

-- Edited by Tim Wilcox on Monday 12th of July 2010 04:09:29 PM

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White-tailed Plover

My history with this species is not good - never seen one anywhere in the world.

Mostly they are 1 day birds in UK, although one was in Warwickshire in 1984 for 2 days, but that was before my twitching days. After that there was a gap of 23 years till 1 appeared in 2007, first at Caerlaverock, then much nearer at Leighton Moss. I was well out of touch being away on holiday. cry.gif

I expected another couple of decades or so till the next one, so it was some surprise when an even more accessible one turned up at Seaforth in May this year. I was on holiday again. cry.gif

Since then what is probably the same bird has done the rounds, being seen for 1 day in Holland, 1 day at Rainham Marshes in Essex then 2 days at Slimbridge, Gloucestershire (where at last, and with some relief, I caught up with it smile.gif) and finally Dungeness today.

It travels so far each day who knows where it will turn up tomorrow. Back to Holland or up to GM?? Keep a special eye out at the GM wader hotspots - you just never know.

Cheers, John


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Thanks Rob. As the Chiffchaff has not been mentioned on Birdguides, either yesterday or today ( so far ), it is probable that it 'disappeared' also as soon as it realised that I was coming! However, manged to get some fairly good photographs of both a Winchat and the Tree Pipit. I was lucky with the Pipit as having spent hours singing, flying and descending to one of two trees, which were fairly distant, it decided to land on a bush right next to the car park before carrying on with its routine. It did, from time to time, fly straight into some bracken, feed on the ground and then ascend at great speed and sing before going back to its favourite tree. I still really enjoyed the trip especially as my parents live in Newport so I stayed the night at my 'home'.

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Sorry Jon - and despite claims on other Websites I did not smuggle it back to Manchester in my boot!

Never seen such accomodating Whinchats, and had fun seperaiting the genuine Tree Pipits from tree perching Meadows!

The Iberian site was odd, you needed to take the path south parallel to the road for about 100 - 150 yeards then left in to the wood for a dozen yards or so.

We only found the spot thanks to someone being on site and even then more by luck than skill.

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Rob


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It's alright for some Rob! Went down yesterday and arrived at 6.30am. Typically, the Warbler had decided to leave during the night. Spent 8 hours there but already knew it was a waste of time because I had met, on my arrival, someone who had been every morning at dawn and it had, up until yesterday morning, been roosting in a holly bush and then singing before doing its circuits. However, the Winchats were lovely to see and watching the Tree Pipit in front of the car park was a delight. Had a look this morning for the Iberian Chiffchaff in Wentwood Forest but although I found the right car park, got completely lost in the woods with nobody else around to guide me.

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Succesfull trip to Gwent, both Marmora's and Iberian Chiffchaff performed well.

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Rob


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Made the trip down to Blorenge for the Marmora's Warbler on Saturday leaving Ashton at 4am yawn.gif Both legs of the journey took about 2 3/4 hours.

Well worth it though as the bird showed brilliantly and has a cracking song, a descending scratchy rattle - quite distinctive.

Also present were Tree Pipit, also displaying at close range, Whinchat and a cuckoo (heard only).

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Macaronesian (Barolo's) Shearwater on Lundy. First heard Saturday night and again last night, but it's extremely unlikely that it will be seen. After the brilliant Petrels Night and Day book, I wonder how many more are going to be found in the future?

You can hear the Lundy bird here:

http://www.lundybirds.org.uk/audio/B00h26m11s07jun2010.mp3

-- Edited by Tom McKinney on Monday 7th of June 2010 08:15:35 PM

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Our longest "twitch" ever. Got the bird eventually when it did a quick tour of the car park! Unfortunately it didn't stay perched long enough to get a photo - but at least Warfy got some pics yesterday. Well done that man.

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Damn ......

cheers
jason

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It's been reported again this morning

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Tom McKinney wrote:

Sure is worth it Jase. Actually I was Norfolk at the time, and it took just under 7 hours to get from Stiffkey to Blaenavon in scorching sun - nice. Though at least the new twitch-mobile has a/c. Home to Glossop was just over three hours.

With your driving you could probably do Aberdeen to Blaenavon and back to Aberdeen in just over five hours and still have an hour at the bird smile.gif






Ah well looks like its gone, thank god!! No thinking about planning a raid. I'll settle for the Long-tailed Skua again i think, cant get enough of a good thing.

cheers
jason


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Smashing day with Warfy senior & Riggers today, an early start at Blaenavon where we were treated to excellent & prolonged views of the Marmora's Warbler. Also here Tree Pipits, plenty of Whinchats and 3 Cuckoo's.

Then on to Wentwood Forest where we caught up with the singing Iberian Chiffchaff, also here Wood Warblers, Crossbills, Garden Warblers, Cuckoo's and nearby a male Goshawk was seen hunting and attacking Woodpigeons, stooping at great speed not once but twice. smile.gif

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Sure is worth it Jase. Actually I was Norfolk at the time, and it took just under 7 hours to get from Stiffkey to Blaenavon in scorching sun - nice. Though at least the new twitch-mobile has a/c. Home to Glossop was just over three hours.

With your driving you could probably do Aberdeen to Blaenavon and back to Aberdeen in just over five hours and still have an hour at the bird smile.gif

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Tom McKinney wrote:

Marmora's Warbler in Gwent near Blaenavon since Thursday, still showing well at times today. Saw it yesterday and it's well worth the drive - only took just over 3 hours as well.






Is it worth me making the effort then?

cheers
jason

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Probably go tomorrow for this - got kids today!

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Marmora's Warbler in Gwent near Blaenavon since Thursday, still showing well at times today. Saw it yesterday and it's well worth the drive - only took just over 3 hours as well.

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perhaps just as well I saw the leighton moss bird albeit at distance but at least I didn't have to contend with a steel fence and heat haze biggrin.gif

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Thankfully it did appear again this evening, thankfully for about four or five mins just before the conditions became really dull.



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Tom McKinney wrote:

Mr Hines's PC is currently at the garage, so he won't be able to post to tell you that he spent a couple of hours this afternoon peering through the fence at a distant shimmering blob that was probably the plover. What made things even more frustrating was that the bird was often strolling about at point blank range from one of the hides stuffed full of delighted Seaforthers.

If you don't have a permit then unless the bird moves closer, this is going to be a very disappointing showing from a fantastic bird. Apparently the place where it first turned up would have been great for viewing from Crosby, so let's hope it shifts back to there.

-- Edited by Tom McKinney on Thursday 27th of May 2010 05:03:33 PM






Spent 4 hours peering through the said fence (with Mr Hines for a short while)...the bird appearing periodically from out of the scrape/inlet area and into full view. Saw it about 8 times in total and as the afternoon wore on the heat-haze gradually lessened and the light got better allowing decent views (enough to get all the features at least) in the end.......Beltin smile.gif

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Mr Hines's PC is currently at the garage, so he won't be able to post to tell you that he spent a couple of hours this afternoon peering through the fence at a distant shimmering blob that was probably the plover. What made things even more frustrating was that the bird was often strolling about at point blank range from one of the hides stuffed full of delighted Seaforthers.

If you don't have a permit then unless the bird moves closer, this is going to be a very disappointing showing from a fantastic bird. Apparently the place where it first turned up would have been great for viewing from Crosby, so let's hope it shifts back to there.

-- Edited by Tom McKinney on Thursday 27th of May 2010 05:03:33 PM

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White-tailed Plover at Seaforth (permit only), initially not visible from Crosby Marine Park but apparently flew north towards CMP at 12.30

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ORIENTAL PRATINCOLE FRAMPTON MARSH LINC.

Keep birding

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Take a large step-ladder or scan from the roof of your car in the Lands End car park!

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Don't get too exited about this House Finch (not that you might). I've been informed that it's also a yellow variant which doesn't bode well for it's wild credability apparently, not that I care! Knowing Swingates very well though, unless it's obvious from the perimeter of his frankly hugely envious garden, you've no chance. He's not the most accomodating towards birders (considering he's one himself), clearly proved when he put big fences up to stop anyone from even peeking a view!

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HOUSE FINCH CORNWALL LANDS END.

House finch carpodacus mexicanus North and middle America apparently Generally sedentary but dispersal takes place in winter.

All info from Finches and Sparrows Clement Harris and Davis.


Keep Birding

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Black Bellied (or White Bellied)Storm Petrel reported this am off Severn Beach.Having seen both birds in the southern Atlantic I can definitely recommend a trip to see it.

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a brilliant record! what a shame the finder sat on the news till dark?!

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report on birdguides of a frigatebird sp flew southwest of huddersfield this morning, which means it probably flew into gm!

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On second thoughts, it's late November so forget that...
The mild weather's confusing my internal calendar

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Rob Thorpe wrote:

Paul Heaton wrote:

Excellent point Tony, I too feel this weather will blow something into GM this weekend.

Keep Birding





I can tell you something it is going to blow in... RAIN, and lots of it! no.gif





Should make for lots of shiny wet roads for Manx Shearwaters to try to land on....

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Paul Heaton wrote:

Rob one has to keep a sense of anticipation about life, anything can turn up anywhere in all types of weather, you need a night out young man, get yourself down to Bolton on 11th December.

Stay positive and keep adding to that mega wigan list.
biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif






You are right Mr Heaton, anything can turn up anywhere... But if it turns up in Greater Manchester we'll probably never know about it, many Manky Birders seem to have somewhat abandoned this fine county of late no.gif

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Rob one has to keep a sense of anticipation about life, anything can turn up anywhere in all types of weather, you need a night out young man, get yourself down to Bolton on 11th December.

Stay positive and keep adding to that mega wigan list.
biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif




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Paul Heaton wrote:

Excellent point Tony, I too feel this weather will blow something into GM this weekend.

Keep Birding





I can tell you something it is going to blow in... RAIN, and lots of it! no.gif

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Excellent point Tony, I too feel this weather will blow something into GM this weekend.

Keep Birding

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Check out all the lakes - there seem to be Pacific Divers popping up in the south-west - hopefully they'll get blown this way by the weekend

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Pesky little blighters those warblers, have no fear Warfybiggrin.gif me buddy mate pal, it will stay around, and we will get it at a later date.

keep the Self found Elton Firecrest and points as a prize well earnt.

keep birding

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Simon Warford wrote:

Mr Riggers, my feet are getting itchy, when are we goin to Pegwell Bay?? Zitting Cisticola awaits, its been there 3 months so im sure it wont have been mis- identifiedbleh.gif Dont be sneaking off mid-week you know you wont see it without mewink.gif






cry.gif Sorry Mr.Warfy, are you sure?hmm.gif

Happen you are not as lucky as I thought!blankstare.gif

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Nice one Petebiggrin.gif Ive sent you a pm.

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Pete 499 that is mega news, I am sure you remember Chris Heyworth my twitching buddy he is chasing the 500 club as well, he is about 12 off it, he left me behind at the 430ish club,

I wish you all the best with the 500, hope it is a big biggy!

Keep twitching

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Having earlier refered to Zitting Cisticola in an earlier post/thread as an annoying little s*it, based on observations abroad (how could a bird with ZIT and CIST in it's name be pleasing to the eye no.gif), I now take it all back. The Pegwell Bay bird was showing it's socks off (a figure of speech) this morning and is a little beauty wink.gif, showing off to immense crowds of 5-10 people max (like twitching Irelandwink.gif). Made up for dipping the Hengistbury Head, Dorset bird (20-30/5/00) by a day doh.gif. Now that puts me on 499 BOU/IRBC. BRING IT ON biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

What Birdguides dosn't mention is the on site butty shack. Egg & bacon barm & mug of coffee = 2.50, with Ring-necked Parakeets flying about and the sun shining, excellent value biggrin.gif.

PS: Personally I still prefere the name Fan-tailed Warbler.

-- Edited by Pete Hines on Thursday 5th of November 2009 05:31:19 PM

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Make certain they have got the ID right Warfy, bit of a slip up today in Scotland with a Barred Warbler, that was something else for a while!

Keep Birdingbiggrin.gif

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Mr Riggers, my feet are getting itchy, when are we goin to Pegwell Bay?? Zitting Cisticola awaits, its been there 3 months so im sure it wont have been mis- identifiedbleh.gif Dont be sneaking off mid-week you know you wont see it without mewink.gif

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Henry Cook wrote:

EASTERN CROWNED WARBLER at Trow Quarry, South Shields, Co.Durham - identified from photos on the net. On the cards for a while with that Netherlands record recently but now it's here, oh my gosh!!
First for the UK.
Anyone going?






Great views of it at 8.15am this morning, viewed from the top of the quarry, magic!biggrin.gif

Simon, I can see you on the photo, can also see Dave Lowesmile.gif.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1222487/Rare-bird-sends-thousands-twitchers-flocking-gaping-quarry-hole.html

Also,

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tyne/8322447.stm

-- Edited by Simon Warford on Friday 23rd of October 2009 11:00:54 PM

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Eastern Crowned Warbler - Trow Quarry, Whitburn Co Durham - still present at least to 14:45 on Friday.

I answered the phone slightly irritated last night at 22:10 (just as I had been debating whether to stay up for Question Time, or to creep off to bed).
The news was pretty rivetting; - a British "first" actually in my adopted county at Trow Quarry!
Needless to say, in spite of having an important appointment in Newcastle scheduled for 10:30, I was at the quarry at dawn with about 100 birders already present, lined up in a shallow crescentic arc scanning all the sycamores in rather poor light. A Robin, a couple of Blackcaps, in company with a phyllosc; - sporting a supercilium a mile long, with a dark crown and white underparts, - the boy!!
At least it was here still, though better views required in view of the still poor light.
Although it was easy to see through bins, every few minutes popping up, it was so easy to lose between bins and 'scope, and for a while I contented myself just trying to get bins onto it rather than keep losing it, even though through x8 the finer details and even the wing bar, still eluded me; --patience!!
It took the best part of an hour to really nail it in the 'scope, bearing in mind time was not on my side. Eventually in good light (about 8:20) I had it for 7/8 seconds, and got the field marks that mattered, - bill size/pattern (ochre lower mandible, upper darker, and bill quite heavy for a phyllosc.), central crown stripe, centred on nape and rear crown, crown itself grey and darkest plumage part, olive grey/green mantle, greater covert wing bar, underparts white. I myself didn't get the yellow undertail coverts, but Ross Ahmed managed a photo which showed the undertail coverts well, - rather yellower than I expected.
This was my only British tick of 2009 so far and in spite of many trips east a real "life" bird, so I was especially thrilled with it. It really is a very distinctive phylloscopus.
The crowd was very well behaved and had built up to about 250 when I left, and at 13:00 when some of my Manchester pals (messrs Rayner and Gabb) saw it, they estimated about 350 people, so with turnover through the day, probably 500 min. will have left happy.
If any of you are contemplating the trip tomorrow (Saturday), it may be prudent to see what the weather does tonight, as these are not noted as long stayers.
For directions:
The site is south of South Shields and north of Whitburn, the key is to get onto the COAST ROAD (it's where the Great North run ends up each year).
Trow Quarry is between the coast road and the sea, some 200 yards directly seaward of the Bamburgh Hotel, (the quarry itself within 100 yards of the sea).
The Bambrough Hotel is among houses on the landward side of the coast rd and is easily missed, but it is the key for first time visitors to find the site.
Conveniently, opposite the hotel is a long layby big enough to accommodate some 40 cars, and one can park here (free) and just stroll the 200 yards to the quarry, which is not visible from the road.
I do hope it stays for any of you making the journey.
Regards,
Mike P.





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EASTERN CROWNED WARBLER at Trow Quarry, South Shields, Co.Durham - identified from photos on the net. On the cards for a while with that Netherlands record recently but now it's here, oh my gosh!!
First for the UK.
Anyone going?

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Agreed, awesome but no longer worthy of true mega status in the UK I'm afraid . Now one at Pennington on the other hand...

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