Ar­guably the most pop­u­lar bird in June was a Great Knot in Nor­folk, re­ports Lee Evans

Bird Watching (UK) - - UK Bird Sightings -

AFURTHER 10 SPECIES were added to the Year List in June 2016, push­ing for­ward the to­tal num­ber of species recorded in the Bri­tish Isles to 398, just shy of that magic 400. Pride of place went to a sum­mer-plumaged Great Knot at Titch­well’s fresh­wa­ter marsh and beach from 15th-29th, de­light­ing more than 1,000 ad­mir­ers dur­ing the pe­riod. Rep­re­sent­ing only the sec­ond record for Nor­folk (fol­low­ing hard on the heels of the first at Brey­don Wa­ter on 13th-15th July 2014), the bird was part of a 2,500-strong non-breed­ing flock of sum­mer­ing Knot, com­mut­ing be­tween the beach at low tide (to feed) and the fresh­marsh at high tide (to roost). To­wards the end of its stay, the flock re­lo­cated to Gore Point at neigh­bour­ing Holme Dunes, where some im­pres­sive views were to be had on the beach. In Aberdeen­shire, an adult drake Amer­i­can (deg­landi) White-winged Scoter was lo­cated among the 2,200 loaf­ing scot­ers off­shore of Black­dog Beach, Mur­car, on 25th. This was pre­sum­ably the same bird that ap­peared there as a first-year from 11th-23rd June 2011 and as an adult at the River Esk mouth, Mus­sel­burgh (Loth­ian) on 26th De­cem­ber 2013. This moult­ing flock also at­tracted at least two Surf Scot­ers dur­ing the month. The first Sea­side Spar­row for the West­ern Lee Evans is the UK’S most well-known and fa­nat­i­cal ‘twitcher’, hav­ing recorded 585 species in Bri­tain and Ire­land, 863 in the wider West­ern Palearc­tic and 386 in just one cal­en­dar year in the UK. He has writ­ten many or­nitho­log­i­cal pub­li­ca­tions and runs nu­mer­ous bird­ing tours through­out the year, in­clud­ing cus­tom-led trips. Visit bbabird­ and uk400­clu­brarebird alert. Palearc­tic in­volved a va­grant that em­barked on an epic jour­ney aboard the MV Balmoral in mid-may. The ship had toured the east­ern USA and Canada un­til 13th May where this Nearc­tic species had pre­sum­ably hitched a lift. Then it had re­mained on­board as it sailed across the At­lantic to north­west­ern Europe, dock­ing at Rin­gask­iddy (Co. Cork) on 18th May, Southamp­ton Docks (Hants) on 20th, at the Royal Quays, New­cas­tle (Tyne and Wear) on 21st, 26th and 31st and Nor­way in be­tween from 27th-30th be­fore trav­el­ling back north to Ice­land at Ice­land in early June. At least one adult White-billed Diver re­mained in the Bluemull Sound, be­tween Yell and Fet­lar (Shet­land) through­out while Barra (Outer He­brides) mus­tered up its third of the year at Bre­vig on 5th. Mean­while, the male Pied-billed Grebe re­mained in Ar­gyll for its third con­sec­u­tive sum­mer and the first Wil­son’s Pe­trels of the au­tumn sea­son were seen from Scilly pelagic trips on 27th. In Corn­wall, the adult Dal­ma­tian Pel­i­can re­mained through­out. So, th­ese were the main con­tenders for ‘birds of the month’ and here fol­lows a summary of the high­lights of the re­main­ing avian oc­cur­rences dur­ing June. Lit­tle Bit­terns con­tinue to colonise, with no fewer than four bark­ing males at Shap­wick Heath NNR (Som­er­set) through­out, with ad­di­tional

Great Knot, with Knot, Titch­well, Nor­folk 16 June

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