UK Bird Sightings
A comprehensive round-up of birds seen on your patch during December
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AVON HIGHLIGHTS: A Blyth’s Pipit at Blagdon (from 14th) was a county first. PORTISHEAD AND CLEVEDON: An Eider (from 2nd) was unusual, as was a Shoveler on the estuary (3rd). A Lapland Bunting flushed (3rd) was a good record. There were four Common Scoters (2nd-3rd), a Dartford Warbler (3rd) and Black Redstarts (4th, 12th-13th, and two on 18th & 21st). SEVERNSIDE: There was a Brent Goose (1st), a flock of 60 Kittiwakes (23rd) and a Short-eared Owl (from 18th). THE RESERVOIRS: The flock of Great White Egrets commuting between Chew and Blagdon was reduced, but one at Barrow Gurney (10th) was a site first. Blagdon logged 10 Bearded Tits (13th), a Jack Snipe (14th), a wintering Little Stint (from 20th) and a Water Pipit (31st). There were 12 Bewick’s Swans between Blagdon and Chew. Chew held a Ring-necked Duck, two Black-necked Grebes, several Water Pipits, 11 Scaup (31st) and an Oystercatcher (20th). WESTON-SUPER-MARE: There were two Great White Egrets (to 11th), 10 Barnacle Geese (4th-18th) and 16 Common Scoters (5th). A melanistic Snipe, possibly a Sabine’s Snipe, was present (12th-18th). There were three Jack Snipe, three Short-eared Owls and two Black Redstarts. OTHER SITES: There were up to 1,000 Golden Plovers at Pennsylvania. Red Kites were at Nailsea (3rd) and Clevedon (24th). There were Yellow-browed Warblers at Weston Lock, Bath (2nd) and Eastville Park, Bristol (18th-21st) with a Firecrest at the latter (28th). A Siberian Chiffchaff was at Keynsham STW (13th). A late Willow Warbler was at Avonmouth (5th). Oldbury Power Station had two Black Redstarts all month. A Marsh Tit was unusual in Clifton (13th). Richard Mielcarek CHANNEL ISLANDS GUERNSEY: An unprecedented influx of Cattle Egrets saw 18 in the Fauxquets Valley. Black-throated and Great Northern Divers, Great Crested and Slavonian Grebes, Common Scoter and Red-breasted Merganser were noted. A Bittern and Jack Snipe were at Claire Mare. A Long-tailed Duck was at Pembroke Bay. Merlin, Buzzard and Peregrine were at Les Grantez. A Short-eared Owl was offshore at Chouet. There was a Water Pipit at Fort Le Crocq throughout. Black Redstarts were widespread. A Cetti’s Warbler was at Grande Pre. Only single Siskins were reported. Rod Ferbrache CORNWALL HIGHLIGHTS: American Wigeon were on the Gannel Estuary (15th-20th) and on the Tamar (25th-31st). The Green-winged Teal remained on the Hayle Estuary. Two Ring-necked Ducks were at Drift Reservoir (16th-17th). Long-tailed Ducks were at St John’s Lake (16th) and Portscatho (23rd). A few Velvet Scoters were in the Carrick Roads and Mounts Bay. A Pacific Diver was in Mount’s Bay (19th-31st). Bitterns were at Marazion (1st-11th) and Par (3rd). Cattle Egrets were widespread, and included 18 at Penpol Creek (27th-30th) and nine at Looe Pool (29th). Great White Egrets were at Drift (17th-18th) and Marazion (18th), possibly the Drift bird. Four Spoonbills were around the Tamar Estuary and two around Hayle. Black-necked Grebes peaked at 25 in the Carrick Roads (30th). The Hudsonian Whimbrel remained at Perranuthanoe. A Ring-billed Gull was around Long Rock Pool (23rd-31st). Caspian Gulls were at Hayle (5th-7th), Marazion (19th-30th) and Coverack (23rd). An Iceland Gull was at Drift Reservoir, Hayle and Marazion (10th-30th). Glaucous Gulls were at St Eval (1st), Hayle (18th), Crowdy (18th-27th) and Mousehole (22nd). Three Short-eared Owls were at Bartinney (16th-31st), with singles at Zennor (17th) and Rosenannon (21st). A possible Gyrfalcon flew through Morvah (14th). Woodlarks were at Polgigga (2nd) and six at Nanquidno. A late House Martin flew through Polgigga (2nd). A few Yellow-browed Warblers and Black Redstarts were seen across the County. An Eastern Black Redstart was at Mousehole (18th-31st). Water Pipits were at Treraven (3rd), two at Hayle (18th) and two at Walmsley (27th). A Hawfinch was in Truro (19th). Lapland Buntings were at several sites, including 18 at Trevose (30th). Three Little Buntings were around Nanjizal (18th-31st). Sara Mcmahon (01752 242 823) DEVON NORTH DEVON: The Taw Estuary had 19 Eiders, a Great Northern Diver and Long-tailed Duck. Braunton logged a Red Kite, Swallow, two Cetti’s Warblers, a Yellow-browed Warbler and 45 Chiffchaffs. Skern had two Spotted Redshanks, five Common Scoters and 52 Pintails. Hartland Point had a Hen Harrier and four Red-throated Divers. Northam Burrows had three Snow Buntings. Four Purple Sandpipers were at Westward Ho! A Red-throated Pipit was on Lundy. A Merlin was at Bideford. Great White Egrets were at Wistlandpound Reservoir and Arlington. Lower Tamar Lake had two Willow Tits, 35 Goosanders and 50 Snipe. Upper Tamar Lake held a Cattle Egret and Hen Harrier. SOUTH DEVON: Torbay logged a Siberian Chiffchaff, Slavonian Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Black-throated Diver, 12 Red-throated Divers, two Great Northern Divers, a Surf Scoter, 276 Common Scoters, eight Velvet Scoters, two Yellow-browed Warblers, three Water Rails, an Eider, five Cirl Buntings, two Black-necked Grebes, 45 Snipe, 276 Common Scoters, four Mediterranean Gulls, 73 Common Gulls, six Chiffchaffs and 11 Great Crested Grebes. Two Cattle Egrets were at Waddeton. Exmouth had five Purple Sandpipers, a Yellow-browed Warbler, Siberian Chiffchaff, Firecrest, two Velvet Scoters, a Bonaparte’s Gull, Scaup and Black Redstart. Exminster Marshes had ten Barnacle Geese, 1,000 Wigeon, a Merlin, two Whitefronts, a Marsh Harrier and 60 Brent Geese. Bowling Green Marsh logged 700 Black-tailed Godwits, 500 Avocets, a Spotted Redshank, 30 Bar-tailed Godwits and an American Wigeon. Slapton had three Black-necked Grebes, ten Little Grebes, a Firecrest, Red-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Duck, Black Redstart, 11 Common Scoters, eight Velvet Scoters, two Great Northern Divers, three Red-throated Divers, a Scaup and Black-throated Diver. Colaton Raleigh, Woodbury Common and Emsworthy, Dartmoor had Great Grey Shrikes. Two Yellow-browed Warblers were in Plymouth, with singles at Stoke Gabriel, Staverton and Cornworthy. Teigngrace had seven Cattle Egrets, 140 Common Scoters and two Cirl Buntings. West Charleton Marsh had a Great Northern Diver, two Slavonian Grebes, a Whimbrel, 16 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Long-tailed Duck, 55 Pintails, two Water Rails and a Green Sandpiper. Start Bay had a Long-tailed Duck, Black-necked Grebe, two Red-throated Divers, two Great Northern Divers, two Velvet Scoters and 800 Guillemots. Thurlestone had a Desert Wheatear and Black Redstart. A Siberian Chiffchaff was at Chillington. Topsham had 780 Golden Plovers, 25 Knot, 500 Avocets, 1,000 Black-tailed Godwits, a Yellow-browed Warbler, Long-tailed Duck, two Goldeneyes and a Marsh Harrier. Soar had a Merlin, 260 Skylarks, 12 Cirl Buntings, a Black Redstart, Firecrest, 235 Linnets and 32 Yellowhammers. An American Wigeon was on the Tamar Estuary. Harvey Kendall DORSET HIGHLIGHTS: The Lesser Yellowlegs remained at Lytchett Fields and was joined by a Green-winged Teal (from 5th). Great White Egrets were at Longham Lakes, Lodmoor and Poole Harbour. A Little Stint was at Longham Lakes (1st and 6th). A Snow Bunting was at Highcliffe and two Cranes over Wareham (3rd). Four Cattle Egrets were at Nottington (6th), with others at Bockhampton, East Holme and Winkton. A Stone Curlew visited Ferrybridge (4th). Black Brants were at Ferrybridge and Middlebere. Great Grey Shrikes were at Canford Heath, Godlingston Heath and Hartland Moor. A Hume’s Leaf Warbler was at Avalanche Road (14th-23rd). Two Richard’s Pipits were at Abbotsbury Swannery (14th-26th). West Bexington had an Iceland Gull (17th and 23rd). A Rose-coloured Starling was in Dorchester (28th and 31st). A Bewick’s Swan was at Avon Causeway (29th). Yellow-browed Warblers were at four sites. Bramblings were at Cold Harbour and Stanpit Marsh. ABBOTSBURY: There were nine Scaup, Long-tailed Ducks and a Ruff. Ferrybridge had pale-bellied Brent Geese, Goosanders and a Great Northern Diver. Rodden Hive held Barnacle Geese. CHRISTCHURCH HARBOUR: Eiders, Goosanders, Red-throated and Great Northern Divers, a Spotted Redshank, Jack Snipe, Sandwich Terns and Firecrests were noted. POOLE HARBOUR: There were Barnacle, Brent and Greylag Geese, Shelducks, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Pintails, Shovelers, Common Scoters, Great Northern Divers, Black-necked Grebes, a Slavonian Grebe, Spoonbills, Avocets, Lapwings, a Whimbrel, Curlews, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits, Knot, a Ruff, Sanderling, Dunlin, Spotted Redshanks, Greenshanks, a Green Sandpiper and Snipe.
Hen Harriers, Marsh Harriers, Merlins, a Water Rail, Short-eared Owl, Water Pipits and Lesser Redpolls were noted. PORTLAND BILL: A Puffin passed (18th). Portland Harbour/weymouth Bay held Eiders, Goosanders, Red-throated and Great Northern Divers, a Black-necked Grebe and Slavonian Grebe. Lodmoor and Radipole held Scaup, Pochards, a Bittern, Jack Snipe, Water Pipits and a Siberian Chiffchaff. OTHER SITES: Maiden Castle recorded 2,000 Golden Plovers. Black Redstarts were at eight sites. Durlston held several Firecrests. Longham Lakes recorded Jack Snipe, Snipe, a Redshank, Water Rail and Water Pipit. Robin Trundle ISLES OF SCILLY HIGHLIGHTS: Four Spoonbills were in the Samson area. The three Black-necked Grebes wintering in St Mary’s harbour reduced to two mid-month. A Cetti’s Warbler was at Porth Hellick all month with a Great Spotted Woodpecker noted occasionally, also seen on St Mary’s. Two Jack Snipe were at Porth Hellick, with one, possibly two, Swallows on St Mary’s (1st). Two Eiders were off Bar Point (2nd). The Wood Sandpiper remained in Lower Moors (to 12th). Firecrests were noted occasionally on the Nature Trails on St Mary’s, with another on Tresco (30th). Yellow-browed Warblers were noted sporadically on St Mary’s from mid-month with two in Lower Moors at the end of the month. Shovelers were at Newford Duck Pond (12th) and at Porth Hellick (28th). Fifteen Common Scoters were between the islands (16th) with six Slavonian Grebes in the Roads (17th). A Glaucous Gull was at Morning Point, St Mary’s (24th). Two Black Redstarts were around Hugh Town at the end of the year. A Willow Warbler was in Little Porth (26th-27th). A Kingfisher was at Porth Hellick (28th). Four Slavonian Grebes were between the islands (29th), when a Brent Goose was off Samson. Six Mediterranean Gulls were in Tresco Channel (30th). Will Wagstaff
Highlights In association with The rarest bird in the region this month was a dully coloured stonechat present at Dungeness, Kent, since early November, which was found by DNA analysis to be a Stejneger’s Stonechat (a subspecies of Siberian Stonechat). The Desert Wheatear in East Sussex (at Norman’s Bay) remained until 9th.
BEDFORDSHIRE HIGHLIGHTS: A Grey Phalarope was at Broom GP (2nd-4th). The two Velvet Scoters remained at Broom GP or Arlesey (to 4th). A Great Northern Diver was at Grovebury SP (to 11th). A Scaup was Brogborough Lake (from 18th). Four White-fronted Geese were at Cainhoe (to 9th). A dark-bellied Brent Goose was at Priory CP (29th). Smew were at Marston Vale Millennium CP (12th) and Great Barford (17th). Waxwings were at Everton, Meppershall and Luton. A Siberian Chiffchaff was at Bedford (31st). Robin Chittenden. For the latest bird news please phone 09068 700 245. Calls to 09068 700245 from a landline or mobile phone cost 65p per minute plus your phone company access charge. Service provided by Birdline East Anglia. For enquiries please call 0330 333 6946 or 07941 333 970; www.birdlineeastanglia.co.uk BERKSHIRE HIGHLIGHTS: A Great White Egret was at Moor Green Lakes (1st). Ferruginous Ducks were at Dinton Pastures (4th-24th) and at Moatlands GP (4th). Great Grey Shrikes were at Cow Down (1st) and Wishmoor Bottom, Swinley Forest (11th-16th). DINTON PASTURES CP: Highlights included a Bittern (27th), Shelduck (31st), Scaup (7th-11th), four Water Rails and two Jack Snipe. OTHER SITES: A Brent Goose was at Queen Mother Reservoir (14th), with six at Moor Green Lakes (18th). Pintails were at Lower Farm GP (9th) and Woolhampton GP (27th). A Scaup was at Moatlands GP, Theale (4th-22nd). A Smew was at Searles Lane GP, Burghfield (4th). Jack Snipe were at Padworth Lane GP (28th) and Eton Wick (29th). Two Firecrests were at Whiteknights Park, Reading (4th-5th). Marek Walford (www.berksbirds.co.uk) BUCKINGHAMSHIRE HIGHLIGHTS: A Slavonian Grebe was at Gayhurst Quarry (14th-26th). A Great White Egret was at Addington (1st). The Brent Goose remained at Little Marlow GP (to 4th). A Scaup was at Linford Reserve (to 27th). Two Waxwings were at Beaconsfield (19th). CALVERT LAKES: There were two Bitterns (all month) and a Pintail (10th). LITTLE MARLOW GP: Highlights were a Caspian Gull (1st and 3rd) and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (3rd). OTHER SITES: A Bittern was at Marsworth Reservoir (29th). A Ruff was at Manor Farm Quarry (22nd). A Jack Snipe was at Dorney Lake (6th). The Brambling roost at Penn Wood peaked at 54 (15th). Adam Bassett (www.bucksbirdclub.co.uk) HAMPSHIRE BLASHFORD LAKES/AVON VALLEY: Two Ring-billed Gulls roosted. There were Caspian Gulls (10th and 17th), Yellow-legged Gulls and Mediterranean Gulls. There were two Great White Egrets, regular Water Pipit and Brambling sightings, a White-fronted Goose (8th-11th), also seen in the Avon Valley, the occasional Bittern, Woodcock and Jack Snipe, and a Bewick’s Swan (28th). FARLINGTON MARSHES/LANGSTONE HARBOUR: The Short-eared Owls remained. A Barn Owl was recorded (4th). There were 60 Avocets, a Greenshank and Spotted Redshank. The harbour held a Kittiwake (15th) and Scaup (17th). Overwintering birds included two Long-tailed Ducks, two Common Scoters, a Great Northern Diver, 13 Goldeneyes and 14 Black-necked Grebes. TITCHFIELD HAVEN: There was a Snow Bunting (14th-30th), Caspian Gull (28th), and a probable Siberian Chiffchaff along the canal path. A Black Redstart was seen (14th). Water Pipits were regular. Waders include 85 Golden Plovers (15th), a Little Stint (6th), Bar-tailed Godwit (2nd), Green Sandpiper (6th), Jack Snipe, and the occasional Greenshank. There was a Short-eared Owl (1st), Merlin (4th), and four Marsh Harriers. A Raven was seen (6th). Offshore were 53 Common Scoters (6th), 35 Eiders (20th), three Velvet Scoters (1st-15th), Red-throated Divers (20th & 31st), a Great Northern Diver (31st), Guillemot (18th), Razorbill (27th) and Long-tailed Duck (27th-31st). OTHER SITES: Five Cattle Egrets were at Warblington (15th-31st), with singles at Eling (14th-31st) and Chilling Coastal Area (4th). A Siberian Chiffchaff was at Darby Green (4th). Five Waxwings were at Townhill Way, Southampton (17th). A Ring-necked Parakeet was at Mansbridge, Southampton (2nd-24th). A Long-eared Owl was at Southampton Western Docks (5th). Great Grey Shrikes were at four New Forest locations. There were five Ruff at Pennington Marsh (24th-31st). A Little Gull was at Fareham (22nd-31st). A Bewick’s Swan flew over Old Alresford (25th). A Black Redstart was at Priddy’s Hard. Six Bramblings were at Weston Common (30th). A White Wagtail was at Ranvilles Lane, Stubbington (26th). A Little Grebe at Newlands Farm, Stubbington was a site first (4th-31st). A Black-throated Diver was at Black Point, Hayling Island (31st), with a Great Northern Diver and two Sandwich Terns (6th). Four Slavonian Grebes were at Pennington Marsh (24th), with a Razorbill (28th). Guillemots, Common Scoters and Eiders were at several locations. Amy Robjohns HERTFORDSHIRE HIGHLIGHTS: Five Waxwings were in Hartford (from 19th), with a couple at Panshanger Park and Oxhey (8th), and four at Welwyn Garden City (27th-28th). Smew were at Amwell and Stockers Lake. A Water Pipit was at Rye Meads, where there was a Siberian Chiffchaff (17th). Two Great White Egrets were at Tyttenhanger GP. A Dark-bellied Brent Goose was at Wilstone Reservoir (27th). Robin Chittenden. For the latest bird news please phone 09068 700 245. Calls to 09068 700245 from a landline or mobile phone cost 65p per minute plus your phone company access charge. Service provided by Birdline East Anglia. For enquiries please call 0330 333 6946 or 07941 333 970; www.birdlineeastanglia.co.uk KENT HIGHLIGHTS: A Stejneger’s Stonechat was at Dungeness NNR (from 28th). A Caspian Gull was also there (28th). Dungeness RSPB logged two Bitterns, three Smew, a Long-eared Owl (16th-24th), a Scaup and Kittiwake (18th), three Caspian Gulls (23rd), 29 Bewick’s Swans (29th) and a Ring-necked Duck. Cattle Egrets were at Samphire Hoe CP (3rd), Dungeness RSPB (5th-9th), Chislet (6th-12th), Marshside (13th-21st) and Hareplain (16th-28th). A Richard’s Pipit and two Hen Harriers were at Shell Ness/swale (4th-11th). A Crane was at Capel Fleet, Sheppey (6th-30th). SURREY HIGHLIGHTS: A Cattle Egret over Epsom (2nd) was the second county record. A Long-tailed Duck took up residence at Frensham Great Pond early in the month then transferred to Frensham Little Pond. The identity of a possible Siberian Stonechat at Richmond Park (from 29th) is still being investigated. LONDON WETLAND CENTRE: A Caspian Gull (2nd), Bearded Tit, Bittern, Black-tailed Godwit, Jack Snipe, Pintail and Water Pipit were noted. STAINES RESERVOIRS: A Great Northern Diver was at Staines Reservoir (25th). Other records included Black-necked Grebe and Scaup. OTHER SURREY WATERWAYS: Beddington held a Long-eared Owl (14th), and Jack Snipe, Water Pipits, Caspian, Glaucous and Iceland Gulls (31st). Sixty Golden Plovers were at Tice’s Meadow, Farnham (10th). Holmethorpe SP was visited by a Black Redstart (18th). A Red-crested Pochard was on Bramley Mill Pond. OTHER SITES: A Marsh Harrier was in the Staines area (3rd-4th). Short-eared Owls were at Staines Moor (2nd and 14th). Great Grey Shrikes were seen regularly at Thursley Common and Frensham Common, at Ash Ranges (26th) and Farnham Heath (29th). A Glossy Ibis flew over Busbridge, near Godalming (29th). Peter Bryant SUSSEX EAST SUSSEX: The Desert Wheatear remained at Norman’s Bay (to 9th). There were
11 Velvet Scoters offshore (3rd) and six (4th). A Black Redstart was present (4th and 8th). The Great Grey Shrike remained around Gills Lap, Ashdown Forest. A Serin was at Tide Mills (24th-29th), with 12 Purple Sandpipers there (29th). A Cattle Egret was at Piddinghoe (5th). WEST SUSSEX: The Great Grey Shrike remained around Waltham Brooks. The Rose-coloured Starling was at Crawley throughout. A Stone Curlew was at Selsey Bill (4th). Two Siberian Chiffchaffs were at Coldwaltham STW (11th-24th), with three there (27th). Another was at Waltham Brooks (15th). A Great White Egret was at Pulborough (7th), and at Pulborough Brooks RSPB (9th), when five Bewick’s Swans flew over.
Highlights In association with North Norfolk’s Isabelline Wheatear, at Burnham Overy Dunes, continued its long stay until 10th. A male Dark-eyed Junco was in a garden in West Mersea, Essex on 8th, but not again. A Hume’s Leaf Warbler was at Scratby Hall, Norfolk and a Red-breasted Goose was with Pinkfeet in the same county, at Docking.
CAMBRIDGESHIRE HIGHLIGHTS: The Ring-necked Duck remained at Paxton Pits as did the Dipper at Bassingbourne. Glossy Ibises were at Ely (to 4th) and Sedge Fen (12th). Great Grey Shrikes were at Waterbeach (5th), Kingfishers Bridge (12th-16th) and Wicken Fen (29th-30th). A Cattle Egret remained at the Nene Washes, with others at Histon (4th) and Ouse Washes (9th). Three Great Northern Divers were at Grafham Water with a Red-necked Grebe there (from 8th) and two Common Scoters. Fourteen Smew were at Needingworth Pits and 10 at Ouse Fen (23rd). Fen Drayton held a Slavonian Grebe (11th), three Scaup, three Smew and a Siberian Chiffchaff. A Black Redstart was at Cambridge (14th-16th). Two tundra Bean Geese were at March Farmers (22nd) and another at March (27th). An Iceland Gull was at Dogsthorpe Tip (23rd). Fifteen Short-eared Owls were at Burwell Fen. A Lapland Bunting flew over Ouse Washes (3rd). Waxwings were at Somersham, Glinton, Melbourne and 10 at Horningsea (31st). Robin Chittenden. For the latest bird news please phone 09068 700 245. Calls to 09068 700245 from a landline or mobile phone cost 65p per minute plus your phone company access charge. Service provided by Birdline East Anglia. For enquiries please call 0330 333 6946 or 07941 333 970; www.birdlineeastanglia. co.uk NORFOLK HIGHLIGHTS: A Red-breasted Goose was at Docking (19th-30th), with the Todd’s Canada Goose there (to 29th). Titchwell logged a Ferruginous Duck (19th-23rd), 73 Long-tailed Ducks, 57 Velvet Scoters, two Black-throated Divers, three Great Northern Divers, a Black-necked Grebe, six Slavonian Grebes, a Red-necked Grebe, and a Grey Phalarope (2nd). Similar species were also in Holkham Bay. There were 39 Shore Larks at Holkham Gap with a few at Salthouse and Blakeney Point. Tundra Bean Geese were with Pinkfeet in good numbers around the coastal fringe. A Great Northern Diver was at Martham Broad (3rd-11th). The Isabelline Wheatear remained at Burnham Overy Dunes (to 10th). A Hume’s Yellow-browed Warbler was at Scratby (4th-10th). There was a small influx of Waxwings at the end of December. Cattle Egrets were at Surlingham (3rd-24th), Buckenham (24th) and four at Halvergate (from 27th). BREYDON WATER: Maxima were 71 Little Egrets, 12 Great Crested Grebes, 11,410 Pinkfeet, 16 Whitefronts, six Egyptian Geese, three Barnacle Geese, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 70 Shelducks, 16,320 Wigeon, 71 Gadwall, 2,515 Teal, 161 Pintails, 683 Shovelers, eight Oystercatchers, 137 Avocets, 50 Ringed Plovers, 29,400 Golden Plovers, 49 Grey Plovers, 8,100 Lapwings, 74 Knot, 5,560 Dunlin, 20 Snipe, 1,890 Black-tailed Godwits, 61 Bar-tailed Godwits, two Spotted Redshanks, 800 Curlews, 900 Redshanks, single Common and Green Sandpipers and 117 Mediterranean Gulls. A Rough-legged Buzzard, four Buzzards, nine Marsh Harriers, a Hen Harrier and Merlin hunted. There were seven Stonechats, two Snow Buntings, 36 Skylarks and three Rock Pipits. NOA HOLME BIRD OBSERVATORY: Maxima included a Chiffchaff, Shore Lark, Barn Owl, Hen Harrier, Merlin, Woodcock, Kingfisher, Short-eared Owl, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Little Gull, Shag, Gannet, Puffin, 1,000 Teal, two Water Rails, nine Long-tailed Ducks, 14 Red-throated Divers, two Black-throated Divers, two Slavonian Grebes, 150 Common Scoters, two Black-tailed Godwits, five Rock Pipits, 250 Fieldfares, 1,000 Lapwings, 15 Snipe, 11 Eiders, three Velvet Scoters, eight Goldeneyes, two Great Northern Divers, five Fulmars, two Guillemots, 20 Red-breasted Mergansers, five Stonechats, 40 Twite, 1,500 Common Gulls, 30 Great Crested Grebes, four Bearded Tits, eight Bewick’s Swans, two Cetti’s Warblers and six Waxwings. NOA REDWELL MARSH: Highlights of the month were a Woodcock, Buzzard and 749 Pinkfeet. CLEY AREA: Highlights of the month included an Iceland Gull, Long-tailed Duck, Spoonbill, Jack Snipe, Water Pipit, two pale-bellied Brent Geese, seven Bewick’s Swans, two Caspian Gulls, a Snow Bunting, Velvet Scoter, Black Brant, around 500 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 42 Eurasian Whitefronts, two Short-eared Owls and a Water Pipit. Pete Allard, Sophie Barker (Norfolk
Ornithologists’ Association, www.noa.org.uk) and Robin Chittenden. For the latest bird news please phone 09068 700 245. Calls to 09068 700245 from a landline or mobile phone cost 65p per minute plus your phone company access charge. Service provided by Birdline East Anglia. For enquiries please call 0330 333 6946 or 07941 333 970; www.birdlineeastanglia. co.uk SUFFOLK HIGHLIGHTS: A Great Grey Shrike was at Sutton Common intermittently. Tundra Bean Geese were at Hollesley, Trimley, Ramsholt, Falkenham and North Warren. A Smew was at Thorington Street Reservoir. A few Long-tailed Ducks and Velvet Scoters were off Dunwich, with 50 Twite there. A Great Northern Diver was recorded on the River Alde at Slaughden. Slavonian and Black-necked Grebes were at Alton Water Reservoir. Three Slavonian Grebes were off Stutton Ness. The Cattle Egret remained at Iken and two more birds were recorded near Baylham (22nd). A Balearic Shearwater flew past Thorpeness (19th). Glaucous Gulls were recorded at Landguard and Hollesley Marshes. Waxwings weren’t widespread but were seen at Rendlesham and Bungay. Robin Chittenden. For the latest bird news please phone 09068 700 245. Calls to 09068 700245 from a landline or mobile phone cost 65p per minute plus your phone company access charge. Service provided by Birdline East Anglia. For enquiries please call 0330 333 6946 or 07941 333 970; www.birdlineeastanglia. co.uk
Highlights Inassociation with Two huge rarities were found in the region during December. Firstly, there was a Dusky Thrush at Beeley, Derbyshire (found on 4th), which was still present into the New Year. Just after Christmas, an even more astonishing find came in the form of a male Blue Rock Thrush, at Stow-on-the-wold, Gloucestershire. DERBYSHIRE HIGHLIGHTS: A Dusky Thrush was at Beeley Village (from 4th). A Great Northern Diver returned to Carsington Water (from 20th), with a dark-bellied Brent Goose there (25th). A Gannet was at Carr Vale (13th). The Shag was found dead at Linacre Reservoir (18th), a stay of just over a year. A Bittern was at Willington GP. The Long-tailed Duck remained at Long Eaton GP. Two Velvet Scoters were at Staunton Harold Reservoir (from 16th). A Smew returned to Aston-on-trent GP (9th), with two more there (15th) and another at Willington GP (15th). An Iceland Gull was at Foremark Reservoir (30th). A Water Pipit was at Ogston Reservoir (12th). Two Siberian Chiffchaffs were at Carr Vale (from 11th), with another at Drakelow (18th) and two at Old Whittington SF from mid-month. A Firecrest was at Willington GP (14th). Great Grey Shrikes were Triangle/harewoodon Bog Moor (4th) Moor and (27th).on Beeley ASTON-ON-TRENTGoldeneyes, two Goosanders,GP: There two were Water 24 Rails and a Green Sandpiper. CARR Swans, VALE:620 Pinkfeet, Highlights11 Goosanders,included two a Bewick’sHen Harrier,Dunlin, Woodcock,three Peregrines,ten Goldensix Water Plovers, Rails, a a CaspianPied WagtailsGull, Kittiwake,and nine Waxwings.four Grey Wagtails, 55 CARSINGTON WATER: There was a Little Egret, two Whitefronts, 250 Pinkfeet, 16 Goldeneyes, 17 Goosanders, a Peregrine, Little Stint, Ruff, Curlew, 280 Golden Plovers, 48 Snipe, four Jack Snipe, three Woodcocks, three Redshanks, three Yellow-legged Gulls, 14 Grey Wagtails, 70 Siskins, a Brambling and Crossbill. CHURCH WILNE RESERVOIR: There were 58 Great Crested Grebes, 180 Cormorants, 15 Goldeneyes, two Common Scoters and a Red-breasted Merganser. DRAKELOW: There were 179 Cormorants, a Little Egret, Shelduck, four Goldeneyes, five Goosanders, four Water Rails, two Peregrines, a Yellow-legged Gull, eight Snipe, three Woodcocks, two Green Sandpipers and seven Waxwings. FOREMARK RESERVOIR: There were six Goldeneyes, 11 Goosanders, a Little Egret, Common Scoter, Barn Owl, 11 Caspian Gulls and four Yellow-legged Gulls. LONG EATON GP: There were 19 Little Grebes, 47 Great Crested Grebes, three Little Egrets, a county record 26 Egyptian Geese, four Pintails, five Red-crested Pochards, four Goldeneyes, 14 Goosanders, four Whitefronts, a Peregrine Falcon and Green Sandpiper. OGSTON RESERVOIR: There was a Pink-footed Goose, six Goldeneyes, a Goosander, 30 Snipe, 20 Golden Plovers, a Caspian Gull, two Yellow-legged Gulls, 540 Stock Doves, 690 Redwings, 20 Redpolls and a Brambling. WILLINGTON GP: There were two Little Egrets, four Pintails, a Scaup, seven Water Rails, two Golden Plovers, four Curlews, a Caspian Gull and Yellow-legged Gull. OTHER SITES: Two Whooper Swans were at Pools Brook Marsh. A Pintail was at Locko Park. A Scaup and ten Pintails were at Highbridge GP. A Red-breasted Merganser, four Little Egrets and 12 Goosanders were at St. Chads Water. Ring-necked Parakeets were at Derby STW, Egginton and two at Derwent Meadows. Waxwings included 27 at Beeley, 13 at Glossop, six at Ilkeston, 16 at Hasland, two at Ladybower Reservoir, one at Whitwell Quarry, 200 at Longshaw Estate, 15 at Wyver Lane and 30 at Belper River Gardens. Rod Key GLOUCESTERSHIRE COTSWOLDS: A Blue Rock Thrush at Stow-on-the- Wold (from 22nd) will be a first for the county if accepted. Two Waxwings were there late in the month. A Great Grey Shrike was at Hawling (26th-28th). The Cotswold Water Park held Bitterns at pit 125 (3rd) and pit 57 (14th). A few Goldeneyes and Goosanders were present, with 101 Red-crested Pochards at pit 44. Merlins were at Hawling and Great Barrington (27th). A Hawfinch flew over Painswick Beacon (28th). Golden Plovers included 1,600 at Ozleworth, 381 at Birdlip 300 at Hawling, 150 at Chapmans Cross and 150 at Winstone. Three Corn Buntings were at Eastleach Downs and four at Hawling. FOREST OF DEAN: A Black Redstart was at Valley Road, Cinderford (from 21st). Three Waxwings were there (25th) with four there (26th). A Great Grey Shrike remained at Crabtree Hill, with another at Staple Edge Wood (29th). A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was at Nagshead. Four Hawfinches were at Parkend and two at Old Staple-edge Wood. Bramblings included 30 at Old Staple-edge Wood and 12 near Soudley Ponds. Fifteen Crossbills were at Crabtree Hill. Two Goosanders were at Woorgreens. LOWER SEVERN VALE: A Richard’s Pipit, no doubt the bird at Rodley earlier in the autumn, was at Arlingham (from 16th). At Frampton Pools, a remarkable 12 Cattle Egrets roosted (30th). A Goldeneye and a Goshawk were also noted, and there was an unusually high count of 1,000 Teal. Sharpness had three Black Redstarts. Berkeley Shore had a Water Pipit, Knot, nine Turnstones and two Jack Snipe. UPPER SEVERN VALE: The County’s first Eastern Black Redstart was at Tewkesbury Abbey (11th). A Black Redstart was also present (to 15th). At Coombe Hill Meadows, a Dusky Warbler (20th-22nd) was only the second record for the county. A Great White Egret was by the River Avon near Tewkesbury (from 11th). A Black Redstart was on Gloucester Hospital (1st). Waxwings were at Brockeridge Common (28th) and Prestbury (30th). Andy Jayne (01452 506 502) and The Gloster Birder (www.theglosterbirder.co.uk) LEICESTERSHIRE HIGHLIGHTS: The Glossy Ibis was seen three times at Cossington and Watermead CP. A Great White Egret was at Willoughby Waterleys (28th). Small flocks of Waxwings were widespread late in the month, including 17 in Loughborough (31st) and ten in Oadby (29th). Siberian Chiffchaffs were at the sewage works at Ibstock (14th-18th) and Wigston (27th-28th). CHARNWOOD: Swithland Reservoir had a Pink-footed Goose (29th), 14 Mandarins (5th), 101 Gadwall (31st) and 53 Shovelers (31st). EYEBROOK RESERVOIR: There were probably two Glaucous Gulls (2nd and 29th-31st), four Smew, a Scaup (4th), Little Gull (3rd), Mediterranean Gull (30th), Hen Harrier (21st), six Jack Snipe (4th) and 38 Dunlin (9th). NORTH-WEST LEICESTERSHIRE: A Hen Harrier was at Kelham Bridge and Longmoor Lake (4th). Five Whooper Swans were near Sence Valley Forest Park (from 17th). A Jack Snipe was at Hicks Lodge (5th-7th). OTHER SITES: Short-eared Owls were at Cossington Meadows and Burton Flats. A Hen Harrier flew over Wymondham (7th). A Long-tailed Duck was at Stanford Reservoir (27th) where the Firecrest was seen again (10th). A Merlin was near North Kilworth (6th). Steve Lister (01509 829 495, www.lros.org.uk ) NORTHAMPTONSHIRE HIGHLIGHTS: Two Slavonian Grebes remained at Clifford Hill GP (to 3rd). Others
were at Thrapston GP (11th) and Pitsford Reservoir (from 19th). A Whooper Swan was at Sywell CP (from 3rd). A Bearded Tit was at Stanwick GP (1st-24th). Two Bitterns were there, with another at Thrapston GP (27th-30th). Hen Harriers were at Stanford Reservoir (6th and 14th), and near Kelmarsh (21st). A Siberian Chiffchaff was at Pitsford Reservoir (11th). There were 24 White-fronted Geese near White Mills Marina (19th-31st). A Long-tailed Duck was at Stanford Reservoir (27th). A Waxwing visited Woodford Halse (26th), with ten in Roade (from 29th) and others at Hanging Houghton. Great White Egrets included four at Pitsford, three at Ravensthorpe Reservoir and singles at Ditchford and Earls Barton GP. DAVENTRY CP: Four Mediterranean Gulls, a Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, five Golden Plovers and two Green Sandpipers were noted. HOLLOWELL RESERVOIR: There was a Mediterranean Gull, two Caspian Gulls, 20 Golden Plovers and six Stonechats. A Scaup and Green Sandpiper were at nearby Ravensthorpe. PITSFORD: Two Smew, two Red-crested Pochards, a Scaup, 18 Pintails, two Dunlin, 37 Snipe, a Redshank, Green Sandpiper and two Caspian Gulls were noted. STANFORD: There was a Scaup, Smew, 40 Goosanders, a Merlin (9th) and 28 Golden Plovers. STANWICK: A Turnstone stayed for four days. There were 200 Golden Plovers, a Redshank and Peregrine. OTHER SITES: Neville’s Lodge near Finedon hosted four Short-eared Owls, with another at Blueberry Farm, Maidwell. Chacombe logged three Caspian Gulls. Four Crossbills were at Fineshade Wood. A Merlin flew over Scaldwell (27th). A ‘Nordic’ Jackdaw was near Raunds. A Caspian Gull was at Boddington Reservoir. Peregrines were at Ditchford, Earls Barton and White Mills Marina, where a Short-eared Owl was seen. Bob Bullock (01604 627 262) NOTTINGHAMSHIRE HIGHLIGHTS: A Green-winged Teal was at Lound (11th). A Red-breasted Merganser spent the entire month at Attenborough. A Great Northern Diver arrived at Hoveringham (14th) and was still present at the end of the month. Up to seven Bearded Tits were regularly noted at Langford, having bred there earlier in the year LOUND: Up to two Great White Egrets were noted throughout, and a Bittern was seen once. Whooper Swan numbers peaked at 33, while a group of 10 White-fronted Geese were regular and up to four Pintail were seen. Up to five Ruff were noted, as well as a Dunlin and 13 Golden Plover. Mediterranean and Caspian Gulls were noted. Short-eared Owls were regularly seen, peaking at four birds, and Hen and Marsh Harriers were also recorded. A Brambling and a Siberian Chiffchaff were the only passerines of note. ATTENBOROUGH: Bitterns were noted early in the month. Up to 58 Goosander were noted around the site and up to four Pintail. A Firecrest was seen on several occasions from the 27th. A Stonechat was noted by the sailing club. Marsh Tits were noted from around the Delta. LANGFORD LOWFIELDS: A skein of 500-600 Pinkfeet flew over the site, while a group of 16 Whooper Swans were also noted flying overhead. Two Bittern were noted throughout. Two Redshank were seen. Up to five Stonechat were recorded from around the site. HOVERINGHAM: Several waders were noted throughout, including Green Sandpiper, Redshank, Jack Snipe and Curlew. Up to seven Pintail were noted, as well as two Smew. Six Whooper Swans were seen. Up to eight Pink-footed Geese and five White-fronts were noted throughout the month. The Gull roost provided several sightings of up to three Caspian Gulls, as well as six Yellow-legged Gulls and a Med Gull. OTHER SIGHTINGS: Pink-footed Geese were noted throughout, but a big movement on the 22nd saw thousands pass over the county. A count of 2000 over Ranby was also notable. Four White-fronts were seen in fields near Barton-in-fabis. Whoopers were scattered, with small numbers at Besthorpe, Annesley and Newark. Kilvington hosted up to four Scaup, while singles were also at Girton and Stoke Bardolph. Holme Pierrepont had up to seven Smew, and others were seen at Girton and Collingham. The wintering Garganey continued at Eakring. A Black-necked Grebe was seen at Kilvington. Yellow Legged Gulls and Caspians were at Cotham Tip, and Med Gulls were noted at Kilvington and Collingham. Woodcock were recorded at several sites, as were Jack Snipe, while a decent 22 Snipe were noted at Hodsock. Dunlin were at Kilvington, Holme Pierrepont and Idle Washlands, while Holme Pierrepont also hosted a wintering Common Sandpiper and several Redshank. Eighteen Redshank were also noted at Idle Washlands, where a Black-tailed Godwit was also seen. Ravens were noted from a number of locations throughout. A Red Kite was at Serlby. Gringley Carr hosted Hen and Marsh Harriers, as well as up to three Short-eared Owls. These were also seen at Hucknall, Scrooby and Gedling Country Park. A Siberian Chiffchaff was noted at Holme Pierrepont on several occasions, as well as a Black Redstart. Stonechats were noted from Gedling, Wollaton Park and Barton-in-fabis. A Water Pipit was seen at Annesley. Only small numbers of Waxwings reached Notts, with seven at Clifton, eight at Welbeck, and singles in Calverton and Kirklington. Four Hawfinches were noted at Clumber and up to five at Rufford. An excellent 500-plus Bramblings were seen at Budby. Gringley Carr hosted up to 13 Corn Buntings. Tom Shields OXFORDSHIRE OTMOOR RSPB: A probable Brent Goose was seen over the reserve (8th), and six Egyptian Geese (14th) represented the first of this species since 2013. An unseasonal Shelduck spent a couple of days on the reserve (15th-16th). The two ringtail Hen Harriers and the family party of four White-fronted Geese continued their stays while other overwintering birds included at least two Short-eared Owls and up to four Pintail. Sixty-plus Barnacle Geese of unknown origin spent the day (31st). Merlin reports were sporadic but they seem to be using the reserve frequently and the three Marsh Harriers continued throughout. Other regulars included Woodcock, Kingfisher, Stonechat, Bittern, Peregrine and Snipe. Fergus Mosey RUTLAND HIGHLIGHTS: Rutland Water held the County’s first Surf Scoter (from 27th), a Green-winged Teal (from 17th) and five Great White Egrets (18th). RUTLAND WATER: Maxima were 3,629 Wigeon, 1,037 Teal, 192 Pintails, 1,958 Tufted Ducks, 246 Goldeneyes, six Smew, a Long-tailed Duck, Ruddy Duck, Great Northern Diver and seven Red-crested Pochards. A Red-necked, two Slavonian and three Black-necked Grebes were logged. Two Bitterns were seen (5th) and a Common Scoter from (14th). A Peregrine was regular. Waders included 5,470 Lapwings, two Knot, a Black-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper, 68 Dunlin and 16 Redshanks. A Yellow-legged Gull, four Stonechats, two Chiffchaffs and 70 Siskins wee noted. OTHER SITES: Two Mandarins were in Exton Park (11th). There were 192 Wigeon and 82 Gadwall at Fort Henry/exton Park (15th). Water Rails were at Fort Henry and Leighfield Fishponds. Eight Woodcocks were in Westland Wood (9th) with singles at six other sites. There were 120 Golden Plovers at Leighfield (7th) and 87 at Pickworth (27th). Ravens were at five sites. A Willow Tit was near Ridlington (27th). Chiffchaffs were at Leighfield (1st and 7th). Terry Mitcham SHROPSHIRE HIGHLIGHTS: The Green-winged Teal remained at Venus Pool (to 10th). A Ring-billed Gull roosted at Chelmarsh (3rd), with the six tundra Bean Geese remaining there (to 9th). The Velvet Scoter remained at Trench Pool (to 7th). MERES AND MOSSES: The Long-tailed Duck at The Mere, Ellesmere was joined by a second (4th-31st), with the birds also visiting Cole Mere (3rd) and White Mere (11th). A Scaup was at White Mere (2nd), with three present (3rd), and another at The Mere (26th). A Great Grey Shrike and Hen Harrier were at Whixall Moss (5th). OTHER SITES: A Long-tailed Duck at Trench Pool (14th) was probably the same as one that appeared at Chetwynd Park (18th-31st). A Black Redstart was at Titterstone Clee Hill (26th). Waxwings appeared at Oswestry (42 on 29th), Gobowen (20 on 31st) and several flocks around Shrewsbury (30th-31st). A Black-tailed Godwit was at Wood Lane (24th) and a Green Sandpiper at Buildwas (28th). A Jack Snipe was at Benthall fishing pools (14th). Richard Moores and Martyn Owen
Blyth’s Pipit , Blagdon Lake, Somerset, 24 December
Rose-coloured Starling, Broadfield, Crawley, West Sussex, 11 December
Spoonbill, East Bank, Cley, Norfolk, 15 December Waxwings, New Costessey, Norfolk, 12 December
Blue Rock Thrush, Stow-on-the-wold, Gloucestershire, 26 November Green-winged Teal, Venus Pool, Shropshire, 26 November