RAR­ITY PREDICTOR

Bird Watching (UK) - - What To See And How To See It -

Once more we look in our birding crys­tal ball and make a (sort of) ed­u­cated guess about which ex­treme rar­i­ties may turn up dur­ing the month. We may be wrong, but then again…

AMER­I­CAN PUR­PLE GALLINULE

There have been only three of these North Amer­i­can rel­a­tives of our Moorhen ever recorded in the UK. One was mori­bund, the other two found al­ready dead. So, it is not a bird which takes to cross­ing the At­lantic with gusto and in good health. The last was in 2011, in Devon at the end of Jan­uary.

HAR­LEQUIN DUCK

The year 2015 was a bumper year for this crack­ing duck from the far north, with two long-stay­ing in­di­vid­u­als in northern Scot­land. The Aberdeen in­di­vid­ual ap­peared in Jan­uary and the Brora, Suther­land, duck in midfe­bru­ary. All re­cent records were from Scot­land, but who knows where the next will turn up.

PIED-BILLED GREBE

With only 44 ac­cepted records, the Pied-billed re­mains a very rare bird. But in re­cent years it has come to be just about an­nual and ex­pected. Most records are from Scot­land, es­pe­cially the He­brides. But there have been re­cent long-stay­ers in Lan­cashire and Som­er­set. Pied-billed Grebes can turn up any­where!

HOW DID WE DO? PA­CIFIC DIVER

What is pre­sum­ably the re­turn­ing adult was once again in the Pen­zance/mount's Bay area of Corn­wall, some­times in the com­pany of Great Northern Divers in the se­cond half of De­cem­ber into Jan­uary.

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