Rare Bird Alert weekly round-up: 27 June - 03 July 2012
Artiklen er tilføjet af MBH onsdag 4. juli 2012 kl. 14.11. Læst 560 gange
The week's highlights:
Little Swift on Wirral becomes longest-staying ever
Arctic Warbler on Whalsay, Shetland
Paddyfield Warbler on Fair Isle, Shetland
Black-browed Albatross reported again from the Channel
Late news of male Pallid Harrier in Norfolk
Late news of Western Black-eared Wheatear in Lincolnshire
After the excitements of last week, this week looked set to be quieter but, yet again, turned out not to be.
Alongside a mouth-watering list of headline birds there was also a Squacco Heron, two Gull-billed Terns, a Western Bonelli’s Warbler and a run of Alpine Swifts! Though some of these birds were late reports or in far-flung locations, this was nevertheless a haul worthy of autumn rather than what is supposed to be the ‘summer lull’.
The weather was, however, more typical of a British summer - blustery winds and torrential downpours, particularly in the Midlands and the North-east, where there was serious flooding and travel disruption. The high temperatures and strong winds also added pollen to the list of hazards.
The delightful Little Swift remained over and around New Brighton, Wirral to 29th, officially the longest-staying ever, but with fewer looking it became ever harder to find.
As well as some unusually late scarce migrants, this week also saw some more spectacular migrants - an Arctic Warbler on Whalsay, Shetland on 27th (reported as singing!) and a Paddyfield Warbler on Fair Isle, also Shetland, on 30th.
Arctic Warbler is a spectacular passerine migrant in every sense, perhaps second only to the Wheatear. Despite its breeding range extending from northern Norway all the way to western Alaska, all Arctic Warblers winter in the southern parts of South-east Asia, the Norwegian birds moving due east into eastern Siberia in autumn before turning south-east into Manchuria and passing through eastern China, a journey of some 13,000 km! Their equally amazing return journey doesn’t begin until late April or early May and the Norwegian birds don’t arrive back on their breeding grounds until the second half of June, tying in nicely of course with the timing of this week’s bird on Shetland.
There have been three previous British records in June, doubtless all referring to overshooting Norwegian breeders – on Fair Isle, Shetland on 27th June 1995, Foula, also Shetland on 21st June 1996 and Fair Isle again on 22nd-23rd June 2005. Another 7 have occurred in July, again all in Shetland apart from a bird at Titchwell, Norfolk on 5th July 1975.
Almost as rare was the Paddyfield Warbler trapped on Fair Isle, Shetland on 30th and still present on 3rd July. This is an increasingly recorded bird in Britain, though mainly in autumn. Spring records have increased, however, with 12 records to 2010, nine of which were on the Northern Isles and another in Fife. In England, only Suffolk and (surprisingly) Cheshire have so far hosted a spring Paddyfield Warbler.
These birds still count as ‘spring migrants’ though the definition is now becoming a little stretched as, after 1st July, we enter the true mid-summer ‘passerine limbo period’. However, for many birds it is already full autumn. Given that the Little Swift and Pacific Golden Plover were both ‘autumn migrants’, this week’s events provide ample proof that in Britain spring well and truly meets, indeed overlaps, with autumn, and that summer doesn’t really exist at all, a notion happily reinforced by the weather!
Much more in the full online round-up
- Black-browed Albatross in the English Channel
- Western Black-eared Wheatear in Lincolnshire
- Pallid Harrier in Norfolk
- Sabine's Gull in Hertfordshire
- Wilson's Petrels and more off the Isles of Scilly
Plus lots of great photos and more...
>>> Read the rest of the round-up here <<<
(illustrated with photos, videos and maps)
Artiklen er senest opdateret: onsdag 4. juli 2012 kl. 14.13
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