UK Bird Sight­ings

Bird Watching (UK) - - Contents -

A com­pre­hen­sive round-up of birds seen on your patch dur­ing Fe­bru­ary


The main rare bird news story for the re­gion was the dis­cov­ery of a ‘new’ Pacific Diver at Broad­sands, Devon, on 16 Fe­bru­ary (and still show­ing in­ter­mit­tently into March) . Un­like the reg­u­larly win­ter­ing bird off the Pen­zance area (Corn­wall), which is now at least ten years old (if it is in­deed the same in­di­vid­ual), the Devon bird was a ju­ve­nile. Favourites such as the Devon Desert Wheatear and Corn­wall Hud­so­nian Whim­brel stayed through­out.


HIGH­LIGHTS: Fif­teen Waxwings re­mained in Bradley Stoke, with others in Bath and Bris­tol. Two Cattle Egrets were at Doyn­ton through­out. PORTISHEAD AND CLEVEDON: There was a Brent Goose (4th), with two (12th) and a Great White Egret (12th). Goosanders on the Blind Yeo at Clevedon peaked at 34. Two Black Red­starts re­mained. SEVERNSIDE: Waders around New Pas­sage/ North­wick Warth in­cluded 122 Oys­ter­catch­ers, 300 Black-tailed God­wits, 1,120 Knot and 3,000 Dun­lin, with sim­i­lar counts at Old­bury. A few Jack Snipe were at each site. The Wa­ter Pipit stayed at Pil­ning Wet­lands (to 4th). Old­bury Power Sta­tion had a Black Red­start through­out. THE RESER­VOIRS: A storm-driven Gan­net was at Chew (5th), where a Great White Egret dropped in (26th). Eight Bewick’s Swans com­muted be­tween Chew and Blag­don (to 16th). Eigh­teen Scaup were at Chew, with a Com­mon Scoter there through­out, a Ring-necked Duck (to 7th), 85 Gold­eneyes and 15 Goosanders. There were four Black-necked Grebes (to 19th), three Jack Snipe (18th-26th), two Ring-billed Gulls, two Yel­low-legged Gulls, six Mediter­ranean Gulls and a Wa­ter Pipit (5th-10th). The Long-tailed Duck re­mained at Bar­row Gur­ney. WESTON-SU­PER-MARE: An Eider re­mained at the Marine Lake. Sea­watch­ing at An­chor Head, Weston (23rd) pro­duced two Ful­mars, four Gan­nets and 25 Kit­ti­wakes. There was a Wood­cock (25th), seven Waxwings (11th-13th) and two Black Red­starts through­out. Up­hill still held four Short-eared Owls. A Dart­ford War­bler was at Sand Bay (4th and 8th). OTHER SITES: A Man­darin was at Salt­ford on five dates. Goosanders at New­ton Park near Bath peaked at 21. Red Kites were seen reg­u­larly around north Avon. A Goshawk was at Marsh­field (8th), where Golden Plovers peaked at 500. A Tree Sparrow at Nailsea Moor (18th) con­sti­tutes a rar­ity these days. Jane Cum­ming CHAN­NEL IS­LANDS JERSEY: Le Pulec held a Com­mon Sand­piper, Grey Wag­tail, Black Red­starts, Rock Pip­its, 20 Curlews, re­turn­ing Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Shags, Cor­morants, Ful­mars and Gan­nets. St He­lier had a Black Red­start and a pair of Pere­grines. Beau­mont Marsh had an Ice­land Gull, 40 pale-bel­lied Brent Geese and 400 dark-bel­lied birds. Pon­tac held 40 Mediter­ranean Gulls, 40 Yel­low-legged Gulls, a Caspian Gull, Shel­ducks and Brent Geese. St Ouen’s Bay held a Glau­cous Gull, a few hun­dred Her­ring Gulls, 50 Great Black-backed Gulls and 50 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. La Rocque logged a Black Brant with pale- and dark-bel­lied Brent Geese, 18 Cattle Egrets, 20 Herons, 200 Lit­tle Egrets, Slavo­nian, Great Crested and Black-necked Grebes, Great North­ern Divers, Com­mon Scot­ers and 50 Red-breasted Mer­gansers. Gorey had ten Com­mon Gulls, ten Mediter­ranean Gulls and a few Sand­wich Terns. A Lit­tle Bunting was at Grou­ville Marsh. The Spoon­bill re­mained on Icho Tower rocks. Petit Port had three Pur­ple Sand­pipers. Ravens were at Crabbe and Choughs at Ronez near Sorel. The Wet­land Cen­tre had 20 Marsh Har­ri­ers, a Bit­tern, Wa­ter Pip­its, 150 Snipe, a Jack Snipe, 20 Lap­wings and four Lit­tle Grebes. Ber­tram Bree


HIGH­LIGHTS: Last month’s Amer­i­can Wi­geon re­mained on the Ta­mar Es­tu­ary (to 11th). The Green-winged Teal re­mained on the Hayle Es­tu­ary (to 19th). The Lesser Scaup was on Doz­mary all month. Two Long-tailed Ducks were at St John’s Lake for most of the month, with an­other off Portscatho (1st-15th). A few Vel­vet Scot­ers were in the Car­rick Roads and Mounts Bay. The Pacific Diver was last re­ported (22nd). A Bit­tern was at Marazion (1st-15th). Cattle Egrets were wide­spread and in­cluded 16 at Looe Pool (19th-21st). A Great White Egret was at Bude (8th). Four Spoon­bills were around the Ta­mar Es­tu­ary (1st-28th). Two were on the Camel and at Walm­s­ley (4th-16th), and the Hayle bird re­mained all month. The Hud­so­nian Whim­brel was present all month at Per­ranuth­noe. Lit­tle Gulls were at Porth­pean (2nd) and Marazion (28th). Ring-billed Gulls were on the Gan­nel (3rd-23rd) and Hayle (4th-18th). Caspian Gulls were at Hayle (10th-13th) and Mouse­hole (12th). Ice­land Gulls were noted coun­ty­wide, with four at Pol­gigga (18th-19th). A Kum­lien’s Gull was at Mouse­hole (3rd and 12th). A few Glau­cous Gulls were on both coasts. Waxwings were at Devo­ran (9th), Bod­min (11th) and Goss Moor (11th). A few Yel­low-browed War­blers, Wa­ter Pip­its and Black Red­starts were present through­out the County. The Eastern Black Red­start was at Mouse­hole (1st-4th). La­p­land Buntings were at sev­eral sites, in­clud­ing 84 at Trevose (4th). A Lit­tle Bunting was at Nan­jizal (1st-18th). Sara Mcma­hon (01752 242 823)


NORTH DEVON: Il­fra­combe logged an Ice­land Gull, eight Pur­ple Sand­pipers, two Great Skuas and 200 Ful­mars. Burs­don Moor had two Goshawks, a Hen Har­rier and Mer­lin. The Bucks Mills area held 3,500 Lap­wings and 800 Golden Plovers. A Firecrest, Wa­ter Pipit and two Mediter­ranean Gulls were at Braun­ton. Five Spoon­bills were on the Taw Es­tu­ary, with six at Wrafton. Hart­land Point had a Hen Har­rier. A Black Red­start was at In­stow. Northam had two Siberian Chif­fchaffs and two Firecrests. A kayak­ing trip on the Taw logged 30 Dip­pers, 26 Goosanders, 16 King­fish­ers, five Green Sand­pipers and two Com­mon Sand­pipers. West­ward Ho! had a Great Skua and seven Lit­tle Auks. A Long-tailed Duck was at Ash­ford. Four Pur­ple Sand­pipers were at Cap­stone. Road­ford Reser­voir had a Great North­ern Diver, Glau­cous Gull and Ice­land Gull. SOUTH DEVON: Slap­ton had two Great North­ern Divers, seven Gold­eneyes, three Scaup, two Firecrests, a Marsh Har­rier, Black-necked Grebe, Yel­low-legged Gull, Lit­tle Gull, Mediter­ranean Gull and Ice­land Gull. Twelve Waxwings were at both New­ton Ab­bot and Heath­field. Teign­grace had five Cattle Egrets. Star­cross had a Mediter­ranean Gull. South Ef­ford Marsh had two Wa­ter Pip­its and a Yel­low-browed War­bler. A Kum­lien’s Gull was at Prawle Point. Tor­bay had five Vel­vet Scot­ers, six Black-necked Grebes, six Long-tailed Ducks, ten Eiders, two Black-throated Divers, five Great North­ern Divers, a Mediter­ranean Gull, Red-throated Diver, Red-necked Grebe, Slavo­nian Grebe, Pacific Diver, 140 Great Crested Grebes, 12 Cirl Buntings, six Pur­ple Sand­pipers, 1,000 Guillemots, 29 Com­mon Scot­ers and two Firecrests. The Plym Es­tu­ary had 21 Turn­stones, a Com­mon Sand­piper, three Jack Snipe, four Man­darins and five Green­shanks. West Charleton Marsh had a Siberian Chif­fchaff and Bit­tern. Bowl­ing Green Marsh logged a Scaup, 400 Avo­cets, a Kit­ti­wake, Yel­low-browed War­bler and Spot­ted Sand­piper. Six Long-tailed Ducks were in Labrador Bay. Sal­tram had a Glau­cous Gull, Com­mon Sand­piper and Mediter­ranean Gull. Staver­ton had three Yel­low-browed War­blers, a Firecrest and Siberian Chif­fchaff. East Soar held a White Wag­tail. Teign­mouth and es­tu­ary had 12 Eiders, five Great North­ern Divers, 15 Red-breasted Mer­gansers, five Avo­cets and 80 Great Crested Grebes. Yarner Wood logged 40 Red­polls and a Lesser Spot­ted Wood­pecker. The Exe Es­tu­ary had a Bon­a­parte’s Gull, two Slavo­nian Grebes, 500 Avo­cets, 50 Knot, a Spot­ted Red­shank, a Yel­low-browed War­bler, 130 Pin­tails, six Gold­eneyes, 30 Red-breasted Mer­gansers, 100 Grey Plovers, 400 Golden Plovers, 15 San­der­ling, two Green­shanks, two Long-tailed Ducks and an Amer­i­can Wi­geon. Top­sham had a Mediter­ranean Gull. Ex­mouth had a Black Red­start and Green­shank. Dawlish had an Ice­land Gull and Black Red­start. Dawlish War­ren had 200 Grey Plovers, 200 Dun­lin and 28 Knot. Kings­bridge had a Siberian Chif­fchaff and Slavo­nian Grebe. Three Great North­ern Divers were off Ply­mouth. Tamer­ton Fo­liot held 12 Cattle Egrets, three Com­mon Sand­pipers, a Firecrest, two Mediter­ranean Gulls and six Avo­cets. Exmin­ster had a Red-throated Diver and Amer­i­can Wi­geon. The Axe Es­tu­ary had a Red Kite and Ice­land Gull. Trin­ity Hill, Axmin­ster had a Lit­tle Bunting and five Cattle Egrets. The Great Grey Shrike re­mained at Sous­sons, Dart­moor. A Snow Bunting was at Hold­stone Down. Seven Pur­ple Sand­pipers were at Brix­ham. Totnes had six Cattle Egrets. Lud­well had a Green Sand­piper. Buck­fastleigh had 15 Man­darins. The Ot­ter Es­tu­ary had two Red-throated Divers. THURLE­STONE BAY: The Desert Wheatear con­tin­ued to show very well to the in­creas­ing num­ber of vis­i­tors to Leas­foot Beach – hav­ing been recorded on the 3rd March it be­came the long­est UK stayer at 116 days. Two White­fronted Geese of the Rus­sian species were present (3rd-28th at least). A Bar­na­cle Goose was with Canadas at Ave­ton Gif­ford (5th-28th at least). An Egyp­tian Goose was on the Avon from 2nd. Four dark-bel­lied Brent Geese landed on the sea (15th). Wild­fowl max­ima in­cluded four Shel­ducks on South Huish Marsh all month, 160 Wi­geon on South Huish Marsh (16th), a male Gad­wall on South Huish Marsh (from 8th), 70 Teal on South Ef­ford Marsh (14th), a pair of Shov­el­ers on South Huish Marsh (from 7th), and 25 Com­mon Scot­ers heading east (9th). There were two Red-throated Divers (12th) and one (15th), one Black-throated Diver (10th) and two (15th), and one Great North­ern Diver (12th) and three (15th & 19th). Gan­nets showed daily, with 145-plus heading east (15th), and four Ful­mars flew east (15th). Up to eight Lit­tle Egrets were on the marshes, and a bar­ren kale field with cattle near Hor­swell House saw Cattle Egret num­bers build up from two (5th), to five (26th), a site record. Four Wa­ter Rails were at South Mil­ton Ley (9th). A fe­male Marsh Har­rier was at South Mil­ton Ley (23rd), there were two Pere­grines, Spar­rowhawks at four sites, and Barn Owls at Ave­ton Gif­ford and South Mil­ton Ley. Waders in­cluded 26 Oys­ter­catch­ers (27th), eight Ringed Plovers (7th), 200-plus Golden Plovers at South Huish Marsh (7th), 150 Lap­wings at South Huish Marsh (7th), a Dun­lin there (26th), three Black-tailed God­wits there and two at South Ef­ford Marsh all month, two Jack Snipe at South Huish Marsh (10th), 100-plus Snipe there (12th) and 76 at North Marsh (7th), two Com­mon Sand­pipers on the Avon all month, 30 Curlew on the Avon all month, a Green Sand­piper on North Marsh (12th), three Green­shanks on the Avon all month, five Red­shanks at South Ef­ford Marsh (15th), and 19 Turn­stones (27th). Fourteen Kit­ti­wakes flew east (15th), a first-win­ter Lit­tle Gull flew close in­shore (15th), there were four adult Med Gulls (7th), with three (15th) and two (23rd), and a sec­ond-win­ter Ice­land Gull briefly on South Huish Marsh (7th) and a first-win­ter (20th & 26th). A Grey Par­tridge walked along the road at South Mil­ton Ley (10th). King­fish­ers were at South Huish Marsh and South Mil­ton Ley, Gold­crests were at four sites at least, a Firecrest was at South Mil­ton Ley, and a first-win­ter male Black Red­start was on the rocks through­out. There were at least 50 Chif­fchaffs at South Mil­ton Ley (9th), plus three Siberian Chif­fchaffs. A Yel­low-browed War­bler was at South Ef­ford Marsh, and a Cetti’s War­bler sang on North Marsh. A Wa­ter Pipit was on South Huish Marsh all month. Through­out the month a flock in stub­ble fields at Hux­ton Cross in­cluded 300 Lin­nets, 200 Chaffinches, four Cirl Buntings, 30-plus Goldfinches, Reed Bunting, Green­finch, at least one Bram­bling, and 20-plus Sky Larks. Har­vey Ken­dall, Mike Pass­man, thurle­stonebay­


HIGH­LIGHTS: Cattle Egrets were at sev­eral sites, in­clud­ing 11 (4th) and nine (7th) roost­ing at Radipole Lake. Great White Egrets in­cluded three at Long­ham Lakes. The Lesser Yel­lowlegs and Green-winged Teal re­mained at Lytch­ett Fields. An­other Green-winged Teal was seen twice at Ab­bots­bury, with a Red-crested Pochard there (16th) and two Richard’s Pip­its (11th-28th). Holes Bay held a Smew. A Hume’s Leaf War­bler was on Port­land (5th-26th). A Rose-coloured Star­ling was in Dorch­ester. Lesser Spot­ted Wood­peck­ers were at Up­ton CP (6th) and Corfe River Val­ley (8th). Great Grey Shrikes were at three sites and Waxwings at five. Snow Buntings were seen three times. Can­ford Heath had a Long-eared Owl (6th). Ice­land Gulls were at Ab­bots­bury Swan­nery (21st), Sher­borne (27th), Lod­moor and Radipole Lake. A Kum­lien’s Gull was at Cul­ver­well (23rd). Lytch­ett Bay pro­duced a Ring-billed Gull (26th-27th). Two Sand Martins were at Radipole Lake (26th). Two Grey Par­tridges were at Clan­don Farm (28th).

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