Monday, 27 September 2010

Spanish Glossy Ibis

While we wait for full details of the origins of most of the flock of Glossy Ibis that toured Hants and Kent, here's one we do know. R9T was one of the original 18 on the Otter estuary, then moving to Avonmouth, where it's been very obliging.

So much so that a couple of people have managed to read the bird's metal ring (7113171), proving it to be a Spanish bird. It's a bit hard to read, but you can make out part of what actually says "MINIST. MEDIO AMBIENTE, ICONA MADRID". Most of the birds in last year's influx were also Spanish, ringed in the nest at Doñana in the south of the country. One was from Camargue, France, though (flying round with two Spanish birds) so you can't just assume...

Thanks to Mick Colquhoun for sending on the photos of the ring.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Dancing Leach's Petrels

If you've not seen it already, check out the latest BirdGuides video offering - Leach's Petrels (or Leach's Storm-petrels if you want to be very correct) on the north Wirral coast.

Good effort on Stephen for getting this in such poor conditions.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Rarities from the sofa

When this image was uploaded to Iris earlier, we didn't think much of it. But it was soon apparent that this wasn't quite the "Common" Sandpiper it had been uploaded as, but the much rarer Spotted Sandpiper.

It wasn't in the UK though, but had been photographed in Vilamoura harbour, Algarve, Portugal, on 15th September. We've sent the details off to the Portuguese rarities committee so will update you when we know just how rare it is.

It's not often we get to 'find' and identify something like this, so it does brighten the day! Thanks to Ivan Ellison for posting this and to the News Team for spotting its true identity.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Norwegian wanderer on my patch

I must have spent far too many hours looking for colour-ringed birds (mostly gulls) on the Hayle estuary, Cornwall, but was gazumped the other week.

This juvenile Common Sandpiper was on the estuary on 28 August, sporting a red colour ring and a yellow 'flag', inscribed with AEE. It turns out 8A56124 had been ringed at Makkevika, Møre & Romsdal, in Norway just 16 days earlier. It was presumably well on its way when ringed and in those 16 days had covered an impressive 1,535 km.

It looks like this is only the fifth Norwegian-ringed Common Sand to be found in the UK, so is truly a decent record! Well done to Nick Tomalin for finding it and thanks for the photo.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Shetland Season?

My good friend Brydon Thomason tells me he has two spaces left on his "Shetland Autumn Birding" trip. I didn't believe him at first - it should surely be booked solid already? If you want to experience the very finest birding in Britain in the hands of the best birders then get booking!