Monday, 1 October 2012

Report on rare birds in Great Britain in 2011: How many did you see?

The new, October volume of 'British Birds' is now out:

Saw this beauty last year on Scillies

This 54th annual report of the British Birds Rarities Committee presents details of rare birds recorded in Britain in 2011.  How many did you manage to tick off?

A number of potential 'firsts' from 2011 are still under consideration, including White-winged Scoter Melanitta deglandi, Slaty-backed Gull Larus schistisagus, Asian Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica daurica/japonica and Eastern Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros phoenicuroides...  The report includes the following highlights:

  • 2nd Madeiran Petrel Oceanodroma castro, Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus and Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus: I didn't see any of these birds but I did see the first Eastern Crowned Warbler so can't complain too much!.
  • 3rd Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinicus, Siberian Blue Robin Lavivora cyane, Rufous-tailed Robin Lavivora sibilans and White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis: I was lucky and got great views of the White-throated Robin:
White-throated Robin: Taken on my phone!
  • 4th Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis and American Black Tern Chlidonias niger surinamensis: Didn't get this Sandhill Crane but I did get the last one! I did see the American Black Tern
American Black Tern by Robert Hardy
  • 5th Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla: This is my bogey bird, big style!!!
  • 5th and 6th Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea: Sometimes you get lucky... and I did! No photos though unfortunately.
  • 6th Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii and Pacific Swift Apus pacificus: Again a couple of bogey birds for me!
  • 6th and 7th Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata: Nope!
  • 7th Wilson's Snipe Gallinago delicata and Northern Waterthrush Parkesia noveboracensis: Nailed both of these bad boys!!!
Northern Waterthrush by Andrew Vinson 

Wilsons Snipe: Taken on my phone!
  • 8th Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri, Siberian Rubythroat Calliope calliope and Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis: Did get two of these, but not really the ones I wanted!
Spanish Sparrow: Phone shot - too cold to press the buttons!
  • 10th Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis and Veery Catharus fuscescens: I saw the dove, and had the pleasure of tipping-off the UK twitching scene about the Veery (which I didn't go for) as it was a mates mate who found the bird and allowed me to publish the record here first!
Veery by Stephen MacDonald

Some great memories above! Get your copy now from the British Birds Website

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