RAR­ITY PRE­DIC­TOR

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month -

Each month, we take a left field guess at pre­dict­ing which rad­i­cal rar­i­ties will turn up in the coun­try dur­ing the month. Here are our semi-ed­u­cated stabs in the dark for July.

HUDSONIAN GOD­WIT

In late July 2015, a Hudsonian God­wit was found at Bal­ly­con­neely, Co. Gal­way, Ire­land. The same bird was still in the county in Sep­tem­ber. Who knows, we may have a mid­sum­mer visit from one of these North Amer­i­can megagod­wits in the UK this year. Thats said, there have only been three ac­cepted records of Hudsonian God­wit in the UK, the last be­ing a fe­male which stayed for a week or so at Meare Heath, Som­er­set in spring, 2015 (see inset pho­to­graph).

LIT­TLE SWIFT

There have been just 25 ac­cepted Lit­tle Swifts in the UK. Many of these birds have been in the last week of June or July. Lit­tle Swifts can turn up just about any­where. For in­stance, in 2001, there was one at Nether­field La­goons, Not­ting­hamshire. The last sum­mer records were in late June at New Brighton, Wir­ral, Mersey­side in 2012 and at Spurn, East York­shire, in late June and early July 2008.

LESSER CRESTED TERN

Only nine records of Lesser Crested Tern have been ac­cepted in the UK. Birds have been found lin­ger­ing, es­pe­cially as­so­ci­ated with Sand­wich Tern colonies. Most fa­mously, one turned up on the Farne Is­lands, Northum­ber­land, in 1984, with pre­sum­ably the same bird re­turn­ing un­til 1997; where it even suc­ceeded in pair­ing up with a male Sand­wich Tern and rais­ing hy­brid off­spring. July is as good a month as any to look for them.

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