The following reports arrived just too late for publication in the January issue of Bird Watching…
Highlights: Best birds for November were a Lesser Yellowlegs on private land in Maxstoke, a Richard’s Pipit at Hartshill Quarry and a Dartford Warbler at Bubbenhall. Hawfinches were spotted at numerous sites around the county including Brandon Marsh, Draycote, Earlswood, Morton Bagot, Napton, Hartshill and Ladywalk NR. Brandon Marsh highlights were a female Smew and Caspian Gull. Also present were Yellow-legged and Great Black-backed Gull, Willow and Marsh Tit, Green Sandpiper, Red-crested Pochard, Great White Egret and Hawfinch. A Long-tailed Duck was at Draycote for most of November, as was a juvenile Shag. Also seen were Common Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser, six Whooper Swans, Black-necked Grebe, three Pintails, Knot, Sanderling, Mediterranean, three Caspian Gulls and a Little Gull, Brambling, Rock Pipit and Hawfinch. Ladywalk NR had 18 Egyptian Geese, Great White Egret, Pintail, Bittern, Hawfinch, Willow and Marsh Tit. Other sightings included a Merlin at Morton Bagot, Yellow-legged Gull and Pintail at Salford Priors, Scaup at Bedworth, Great White Egret at Middleton RSPB, where a record 62 Little Egrets were seen in the roost, Pintail and Bearded Tit at Napton, and Great White Egret and two Whooper Swans at Alvecote.
Highlights: Ten Slavonian Grebes were reported off Greyabbey Bay, Co.Down (19th). A male American Wigeon was seen at Dundrum Inner Bay, Co.Down (15th), probably the same bird that was seen last year at the same location. A Ring-necked Duck was at Quoile Pondage (5th). Last year’s Green-winged Teal had returned to the Ecos Centre, Ballymena (12th), and another was seen at Faughanvale, Lough Foyle (27th). Three Goosanders were seen on the River Slaght, Co.Antrim (29th). A Red-necked Grebe was on Lough Foyle (11th) and another was seen at Oxford Island (18th). The long-staying Spoonbill was seen again on Strangford Lough (11th). A Glossy Ibis was seen at Lough Beg (3rd). A Great White Egret was seen at Lough Beg (11th). A White-rumped Sandpiper was at Lough Beg (3rd), and another (11th). Three Little Stints were seen at Lough Beg (3rd) and another single bird was at the same location (23rd). A Green Sandpiper was at Lough Beg (20th). Highest Ruff count of the month was 15 from Lough Beg (20th). A Marsh Harrier was at Portmore Lough RSPB (20th). A Glaucous Gull was seen on Rathlin Island (7th). A Black Tern was seen on Rathlin Island (2nd). A Black Redstart was at Groomsport, Co.Down (26th). A Hawfinch was seen briefly at Inch Abbey, Co.Down (19th). A Siberian Chiffchaff sang at Killough, Co.Down (1st). The highlight of the month and possibly the year was a Nuthatch seen by a single observer coming to a feeder in Belvoir Park Forest, Belfast (1st) and again two weeks later – if accepted this would be a first for Ireland.
Some of the records below have yet to be assessed by the NIBRC.Any sightings/records can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter@nibirds.
Dumfries & Galloway
Highlights: There was a single Snow Goose, and two Snow x Greenland White-fronted Goose hybrids at Ken-Dee Marshes (18th). Two Barnacle x Snow Goose hybrids, and c.18,000 Barnacle Geese were at Caerlaverock (27th), when Threave Estate had 129 Greenland White-fronted Geese. A single American Golden Plover was at New England Bay. Long-tailed Duck, Greenshank and Purple Sandpiper were at Fleet Bay. Scaup, Common Scoter and Little Egret were on the south coast. A wintering Whimbrel and one other, two Purple Sandpipers, and an adult Mediterranean Gull were at Carsethorn. Three Purple Sandpipers and a Velvet Scoter were at Southerness. Two Green Sandpipers and 19 Gadwall were at Cally Loch. Redwings and Fieldfares were across the region. A Ring-necked Duck, 200 Tufted Ducks and Pochard were at Milton Loch. A Cattle egret was at West Freugh. A Great White Egret and 20 Little Egrets were at Wigtown. Whooper Swans were across the region. Pink-footed Geese, Merlin and Hen Harrier were at West Freugh, Bullfinch, Goldeneye, Pinkfeet and Canada Geese were at Threave Estate and Ken-Dee, Coal Tit, Jay, Buzzard and Mallard were at Threave Estate, and Lapwing and Siskin at Ken-Dee. Great Northern Diver and Slavonian Grebe were at Loch Ryan, and Yellowhammer at Kirkmichael. Red-breasted Merganser, Great Crested Grebe, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Teal, Shelduck, Red-throated Diver, Grey Plover, Curlew and Oystercatcher were on the south coast. Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Teal, Goldeneye, Mute and Whooper Swans, Mallards, 20 Little Grebes and 30 Moorhens were at various Gatehouse lochs. Goosander and Ringed Plover were at Mossyard. Twenty Whooper Swans were on the River Dee at Dildawn.
By Pam Woods on behalf of DumfriesandGallowaybirding@yahoogroups.com