Wednesday, 30 December 2009


This splendid DARK-EYED JUNCO was discovered in Karlstad (NORWAY) in recent days and has attracted large numbers of admirers. Christian Tiller obtained this outstanding image (see

First PACIFIC DIVER for Iberia

David Alvarez photographed this juvenile PACIFIC DIVER in Santona Harbour, SPAIN, on 7 December, constituting the first record of this Nearctic species in Iberia

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


This male MOUSSIER'S REDSTART found on Linosa Island was the 6th recorded in Italy.
There are now four records for the pelagic Islands (Linosa and Lampedusa-Sicily) - 3 males and 1 female - as well as a male recorded near Reggio Calabria-Calabria
and another on an island off the Lazio archipelago (the northernmost island)

It is most likely that this species is a regular winter visitor to the Pelagie Islands which are the southernmost European islands, and on Pantelleria Island (60 km off Cap Bon-Tunisia)


Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Three AFRICAN PIED CROWS were frequenting the masts adjacent to the Esso fuel station 360 kms south of Laayoune on Saturday 12 December, with up to 25 CRICKET WARBLERS just NW of Aousswerd (in the Western Sahara) and at least 8 adult AFRICAN KELP GULLS still at Knifiss Lahoon (per Chris Batty, Andy Clifton, Peter Gluth, Stuart Piner and Andy Holden).

These Pied Crows are undoubtedly genuine immigrants and follow recent records of ship-assisted vagrants in Spain and Portugal


To promote Egypt for birding tourism and help build national capacity in birdwatching:

I want to inform the birding community that the "Birding Egypt' team has moved from Traveline and has started a new tourism company Thebes Tours International. This is the only Egyptian tourist agency specialised in birding tourism. Sally Khayatt makes arrangements for tours and Abdulla Ali, the company representative, knows the sites and target species and accompanies birders. I, Mindy Baha El Din is working as a consultant assisting and advising them on birding tourism ie. species, sites, itineraries, marketing, quality control, capacity building, etc...

Thebes Tours can make all local arrangements for birding tours to Egypt for groups and individuals. They can organise day trips for birding in the Cairo area or arrange tours around the country. They can make all arrangements for your visit: hotels, meals, transportation, flights, guides, sightseeing, etc..They cater both to the budget birder as well as to the more well to do. They can design birds and history tours and twitching tours of Egypt or more general nature tours. Thebes can also make arrangements to combine a tour to Egypt with visits to other countries e.g Jordan, Syria, Israel, Libya and Sudan.

Thebes Tours is working on locating and gaining access to sites for Egyptian specialities such as Three-banded Plover, Red-billed Tropic bird, Veaurruax's Eagle, Pharaoh's Eagle Owl, Egyptian Nightjar, Painted Snipe, African Skimmer, Lichenstein's Sandgrouse and more. We are developing a network of local guides and tourism providers for birding tourism. Recently, we resumed boat rides on Lake Nasser which had been prohibited.

Thebes Tours is specialising in birding eco-tourism in the southern Red Sea. We are using a local ground agent that can arrange boats and safari trips to desert sites that were previously inaccessible, such as Wadi Gamal, Wadi Lahmi, Sheikh Shasli and Bir Abraq. We are also exploring organising tours to Wadi Allaqi which was the last place that Ostrich was seen in Egypt. Unfortunately, Gabel Elba is still not open to foreign visitors, but if and when it does be sure we will be the first company to organise birding tours there.

If you want to see birds in Egypt, especially the specialities, Thebes Tours International is the best Egyptian tourist company to assist you. We are ground agents for the top names in birding tourism!

For more information or to arrange your next birding tour to Egypt contact!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

ISRAEL - The Hula

today at the Hula Reserve

1 SOCIABLE PLOVER in a field north of the Agmon
1 female Namaqua Dove - this species is usually more common during spring and Autumn at the Hula
1 very late (the latest i ever had) European Turtle Dove.
12 Stock Doves - very few so far this year.

Also wintering; 4 EASTERN IMPERIALand 10 GREATER SPOTTED EAGLES, at least 3 different Peregrines, 1 female Hen Harrier, few Eastern Stonechats...

Saturday, 5 December 2009

BELTED KINGFISHER still in Mediterranean Spain

The BELTED KINGFISHER has been seen again today at 15:00h at the same place of the last days in Murcia and two different PIED-BILLED GREBES in Galicia.

More information at

Ferran López

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


Ran Schols obtained these brilliant images of the 5th or 6th EURASIAN CRAG MARTIN Ptyonoprogne rupestris for Holland in Maastricht. The bird was present for two days and was last reported on 1 December.

DEMOISELLE CRANE still present today in northern ISRAEL

The DEMOISELLE CRANE was still present today with over 5,000 wintering Common Cranes in the Hula Valley, from the Crane Observation Tower at the Reserve, accessed off of the main road 8 kms south of Qiryat Shemona.

There are also excellent numbers of raptors wintering here, including both EASTERN IMPERIAL and GREATER SPOTTED EAGLES and of course, the resident WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLES. There are also up to 100 MARBLED DUCKS on the neighbouring fish pans.


Yesterday (1/12/09) Francis Argyle & Asaf Mayrose trapped a PADDYFIELD WARBLER late in the evening. The bird was released this morning. This is the7th record for Israel (per Yoav Perlman)

Visit my blog:
Visit my gallery:

Massive roost gathering of GREY HYPOCOLIUS

My company sent me to Riyadh for 24 hours on 1st December. I arrived at my hotel - The Intercontinental in Downtown Riyadh - and after checking in at 7.20am I went out to the gardens to look for BLACK BUSH ROBIN which would be a first for me. I was amazed to find the fruit trees, bushes and gardens at the main entrance absolutely full of GREY HYPOCOLIUS, also a life bird for me. They evidentally had roosted there and were leaving, heading basically NW in flocks of twenty or thirty. I saw at least 15 such flocks depart and there were a few individuals around all day in the Golf Course grounds and some hotel bushes. I estimate there were AT LEAST 300 birds present at 07.30.

Sadly I wasn't around to check if they came back at night but i would be surprised if they didn't. I left before dawn today (2nd Dec) so I couldn't see them then either. Incidentally I found at least six of the BLACK BUSH ROBINS in the grounds plus all three bulbuls, a Sparrowhawk (female) a Desert Lesser Whitethroat, two Common Whitethroats and several chiffchaffs (Graham Langley)

Monday, 30 November 2009

News from Eilat, ISRAEL

A flock of up to 171 EUROPEAN WHITE PELICANS is wintering on the saltpans at Km 19, whilst the long-staying immature BROWN BOOBY can still be found off North Beach (Per Amir Ben Dov)

November 2009 DANISH Bird News Summary

Hereby November 2009 Danish Bird News;

Belated news from October was of a Little Bunting at Skagen, Nordjylland on 31st.

Scandinavia's first ever Glaucous-winged Gull, a 4th winter, was video filmed at Århus Harbour, Østjylland on 27th and enjoyed by just 21 birders for 80 minutes before flying high off west inland. The regular juvenile Gyr Falcon was at Bygholm Vejle, Nordjylland during 1st-29th. A late Pacific or American Golden Plover was at Skallingen, Vestjylland on 5th. A female Siberian Stonechat was at Blåvand, Vestjylland on 1st-2nd. Other November records include an unprecedented 10 migrating White-billed Divers including 8 past Skagen, Nordjylland, a record 16 Great Northern Divers, a juvenile European Shag, one Little Egret, a record 27 Great White Egrets including up to five together, two adult Black Brants, one 1st-winter Red-breasted Goose, one returning drake North American Green-winged Teal, up to 35 Red-crested Pochards at Røgbølle Sø, Lolland, one escaped drake Hooded Merganser, eight Grey Phalaropes, two Mediterranian Gulls, two juvenile Baltic Gulls, the only two Crested Larks remaining at Hirtshals, Nordjylland on 5th-27th, six Richard's Pipits including three late birds on 21st at three Jylland sites, one Pallas's Leaf Warbler, just two Nutcrackers, one Two-barred Crossbill and one Coues's Arctic Redpoll.

Source:, Rolf Christensen, Hvidefyrvej 4DK-9990 Skagen, Danmarke-post: rolf.skagen@gmail.comtlf. (+45) 40 41 66 08

DESERT GREY SHRIKE in ITALY and new treatment of the complex

The first DESERT GREY SHRIKE for Italy present at Siracusa, Sicily, since 4 October 2009. The bird is on territory and likely to overwinter (Andrea Corso)
Following the publication of some major scientific work on the 'grey' shrikes of North Africa and Europe, the UK400 Club/BBA proposes to treat DESERT GREY SHRIKE as a full species from 1 January 2009.

Paper Link :

The WESTERN PALEARCTIC list will be affected as such -:

NORTHERN GREY SHRIKE (Lanius excubitor) comprises nominate excubitor, hometeri, leucopterus, sibiricus, and a number of marginal isolated recognised forms occurring in central and eastern Asia.

SOUTHERN/IBERIAN GREY SHRIKE (Lanius meridionalis) restricted to southern France and Iberia.

SAXAUL GREY SHRIKE (Lanius pallidirostris) comprising nominate pallidirostris and lahtora, although latter requires more study and may merit individual status or link with Chinese Great Grey Shrike..

DESERT GREY SHRIKE (Lanius elegans) - now includes North African forms algierensis, aucheri and elegans as well as koenigi found on the Canary Islands. It also includes theresae, which breeds in northern Israel.

As far as the combined British and Irish List is concerned. ONLY Northern Grey and Saxaul Grey Shrikes have been recorded

Sunday, 29 November 2009

The first GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL for Scandinavia

I have frequented Århus Harbour several times a week during the last couple of months.
On Friday, 27/11-2009 for example, I went down to the harbour around noon. Among several hundred Argentatus Herring Gulls on the eastern part of the harbour I refound an adult Caspian Gull (or possibly a hybrid with Herring Gull) that has been around the harbour for a month and was also present in 2007. Satisfied with finally getting some decent flight shots of the possible hybrid, I arrived 1315 hours at the central part of the harbour in search of the 4cy Mediterranean Gull that has been seen in the harbour the last three winters.
One of the first large gulls I saw here was a sleeping bird right in front of me. The washed-out grey colouration on the breast was very pronounced, which had me thinking, that I had never seen a Herring Gull with a breast-colouration that looked so much like a Glaucous-winged Gull !
I decided to take some pictures of, what I considered at the time to be an aberrant Herring Gull, but as I was getting ready to photograph the bird, it turned around and showed its grey primaries with small white tips and a small dark eye. The identification was actually instant, although I was not sure that I could eliminate some hybrid influence from Western Gull at first sight. I took some pictures and phoned around. It was a near adult - perhaps 4th winter - pure GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL - the first record for DENMARK and the first record for Scandinavia. Over the next 80 minutes about 20 local birders arrived and saw the bird, before it flew high west at 1435 - high above the city-centre of Århus - the second largest city in Denmark. When it flew off we got some good flight shots and could see that the wing pattern looked very promising for a pure GWG.
Despite a rather intensive search by about 80 birders on Saturday the bird has so far not been seen again.
For more pictures see our blog on birding in the Århus-area - and Kent Olsens blog on danish gulls -
Rune Sø Neergaard

Friday, 27 November 2009

The remarkable discovery of a BELTED KINGFISHER in Mediterranean Spain

The above link gives full details of a first-year female BELTED KINGFISHER presumably of natural origin which resided on a Murcian river for three days recently and represented the FIRST record for SPAIN of this very rare vagrant from North America.

There have been six records in Britain and Ireland but elsewhere in the Western Palearctic, six have occurred on The Azores, five in Iceland and one from The Netherlands.


Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Changes to the Western Palearctic List

Update to the UK400 Club Western Palearctic List

As a result of a scientific/genetic study in Italy, ASHY-THROATED PARROTBILL is now REMOVED from Category C of the List; the entire population consists of solely VINOUS-THROATED PARROTBILL of different morphs

Furthermore, ALEXANDRINE PARAKEET is now ADDED to the list based on the large numbers of self-sustaining birds now at large in the recording area, particularly those concentrated in the Istanbul area of Western Turkey.

The total therefore remains unchanged at 1061 species

Monday, 31 August 2009

Danish Rare Bird News for August 2009

Hereby August 2009 Danish Bird News.

A Balearic Shearwater flew past Klitmøller, Nordjylland on July 31st,and one was at Skagen, Nordjylland on 1st. An adult drake FerruginousDuck was at Maribosøerne, Lolland on 4th. Up to two male Pallid Harriers, an adult and a 2nd summer, were summering near Ballum, Sønderjylland in the Waddensea during 2nd-29th. A Lesser Spotted Eagle was migrating at Fanø, Vestjylland on 7th. An adult Blyth's Reed Warbler was ringed at Gedser, Falster on 1st.

Aquatic Warblers were seen in the field at Vestamager, Copenhagen on 6th (a photographed juvenile) and at Rudbøl Sø, Sønderjylland on 7th (responding to sound).

Other August records include 17 Black Storks, a new Danish record 184Spoonbills at Vejlerne, Nordjylland on 15th, three probably escaped adult Red-breasted Geese at Tipperne, Vestjylland during 17th-27th, 10 Red-crested Pochards, a dubious Ruddy Shelduck, a returning, dubious drake Hooded Merganser, two adult Pectoral Sandpipers, four Great Snipes including three at Skagen, Nordjylland, five Long-tailed Skuas, one adult Sabine's Gull, two immature Glaucous Gulls, one adult Gull-billed Tern, one juvenile White-winged Black Tern, one Atlantic Puffin, four Bee-eaters, one Crested Lark remaining at Hirtshals, Nordjylland seen on 15th, 27th and 29th, four Tawny Pipits, one early Red-throated Pipit, one adult male White-spotted Bluethroat far north at Vejlerne, Nordjylland on 24th, a ringed 1st winter Savi's Warbler, four 1st winter Barred Warblers, one adult Rose-colored Starling, 12 Nutcrackers - probably adults from last autumn's invasion - and just four Ortolan Buntings.

Source: and Christensen/Skagen Fuglestation, Hvidefyrvej 4DK-9990 Skagen, Danmarke-post:

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


This beautiful male TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL was photographed by Yann Kolbeinnson at Stoovarfjurdour on 7 August


This adult female MASKED SHRIKE was trapped and ringed at Lista fyr, Farsund, in NORWAY on 10 August (Vegard Bunes)


This juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPER was discovered at Sartana Beach, Ferrol, Galicia (SPAIN) on 2 August and is still present today. The photograph above was taken by Pablo Gutiarrez - see his website at
BLACK-WINGED KITE: One flew east briefly over Groot Schietveld, just north of Antwerp (BELGIUM) on 4 August.
EGYPTIAN VULTURE: a sub-adult was photographed at Smedby (SWEDEN) on 9 August (7th record)
BLACK-WINGED PRATINCOLE: at Ijdoorn, Dungerdam, Noord-Holland (THE NETHERLANDS) briefly on 7 August
LEAST SANDPIPER: an adult at Charca de Maspalomas, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (CANARY ISLANDS) on 8 August
SPOTTED SANDPIPER: a juvenile was present at Sartana Beach (Covas), Ferrol, Galicia (SPAIN) from 2 to at least 11 August - 20th record
HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL: the long-staying bird still present at Baldaio Wetlands, Carballo, Galicia (SPAIN) on at least 4 August.
RIVER WARBLER: a pair nested successfully this June in Luxembourg, with two juveniles trapped and ringed at Marche-en-Farnenne on 5 August.
TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL: the first for ICELAND - an adult male - is with Common Crossbills at Stoovarfjorour on 6-7 August
MASKED SHRIKE: an adult female was trapped and ringed at Lista fyr, Farsund (NORWAY) on 10 August (2nd record)
AFRICAN HOUSE BUNTING: one was in Tarifa (SPAIN) on 6 August

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Satellite-tagged SAKER FALCONS in HUNGARY

Birds with satellite tags

In the frame of the Hungarian-Slovak SAKER FALCON conservation LIFE project 10 juvenile Sakers have been tagged with satellite transmitters (PTTs). The aim of the action is to learn about dispersal and migration of Sakers and to explore the temporary settling and wintering areas.Int he first year, five-five, 20g, solar-powered PTTs from two manufacturers – Microwave ( and NorthStar ( – help us to follow the falcons. Microwave PTTs have in-built GPS units that enable PTTs to locate the birds more times and more accurately. That is the reason of the differences in maps showing the Sakers’ movements, as well. From 2008, based on our experience, we use the 22g solar Microwave PTTs that include an internal GPS unit. Those PTTs are capable to locate the falcons with a few meters accuracy, several times a day. Results of first year’s satellite tracking have been far beyond expectations. Early summer 2008 four out of ten PTTs mounted in 2007 are still transmitting. It is very likely that two falcons perished just around fledging time. Two others stopped transmitting after a few months for unknown reason and their last signals came from Hungary. Two Sakers disappeared in Lybia.We learnt from the data that some of the juveniles leave the Carpathian basin in the autumn. We learnt also that the two surviving juvenile males roaming considerable distances after returning Hungary in spring, while at the same time both tagged juvenile females stay in the Carpathian basin after arrival.In 2008 we mounted 3 adult males in order to learn about their habitat use in the breeding season. In addition, seventeen juvenile Sakers were mounted in Hungary and three in Slovakia. From now the movements of the tagged falcons can be followed also on the internet. >>

In 2009, a juvenile has been tracked from Hungary to Spain, leaving that country on 25 July, flying over Croatia on 26 July, in Slovenia on 27 July, through both Italy and France on 28-30 July and in Navarra, Olite, in SPAIN on 31 July to 1 August - remarkable



Canada Goose Branta canadensis (1) (1) Lugo The bird seen at Riocaldo lagoons, Begonte, Lugo last May and June was seen again on 6.7 (Toño Salazar).

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps (1) (1) Lugo The bird seen at Riocaldo lagoons, Begonte, Lugo from 23.8.2007 then again in Spring and Autumn 2008 and from January 2009 to June 2009 was seen again at the lagoon on 6.7 (Toño Salazar).

Red-billed Tropicbird Phaeton aethereus (1-2) (1-2) Lanzarote Two adults were seen at Costa Teguise coast on 7.7 (Jose Antonio Matesanz).

Lesser Flamingo Phoenicopterus minor (1,2-3) (1) Ciudad Real There was a bird carrying a yellow ring at Laguna de la Veguilla, Alcazar de San Juan, Ciudad Real on 21.7 (Tomas Velasco, Pedro Bustamante, Xurxo Piñeiro y Maria José Valencia). It has been seen in the area intermittently since last April and it was seen on 20.7 at nearby Laguna del Camino de Villafranca, Alcazar de San Juan (same observers). Seen again on 22.7 (Mª José Valencia).
(2-3) Ciudad Real There were 3 altogether on Camino de Villafranca lagoon on 22.7: one unringed, another presumably was bird (1) and a third bird carrying a red ring with white letters (Maria José Valencia). This might be an escaped bird which is lingering around S Spain for some time (read more in this post from Rarebirdspain blog). One of them (the unringed) seen again on 24.7 at the same area (Carmen Rivero y Javier Gómez).

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus (1,2,3)(1) Gibraltar On 9.7 an adult arrived at Gibraltar (Mario Mosquera).(2) Cádiz. On 16.7 there was an adult around Tarifa, Cádiz (Javier Elorriaga).

American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica (1) (1) Asturies There was one at ría de Avilés from 1-3.7 (César A. Laó) to 6.7 (Ángeles Pastur Torres). The bird was seen again on 11.7 (Gabriel Martín).

Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius hudsonicus (1) FIRST FOR SPAIN (Cat.A)(1) A Coruña The bird found on 20.1 and seen again on 20-26.3 at Baldaio, Carballo, A Coruña was relocated at the same area on 5.7 (Xabier Varela). The bird was relocated on 12.7 (Xabier Varela)and it was still there on 17 and 18.7 ( Antonio Ceballos, Ana Narciso, Xabier Varela).

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca (1) (1) Cádiz On 10.7 an individual was seen at playa de Montijo, Chipiona, Cádiz (Paco Chiclana, Fabio di Pietro).

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes (1,2) (1) Asturies On 27.7 one was seen at charcas del Cierrón, Ría de la Villa, Villaviciosa, Asturies (Adolfo Villaverde).(2) Ciudad Real. On 31.7 a bird was seen at Laguna de la Veguilla, Alcazar de San Juan, Ciudad Real (Xurxo Piñeiro, María José Valencia)

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus (1) (1) Murcia An adult summer plumaged bird was at Salinas of San Pedro del Pinatar, Murcia, on 20.7 (Richard Howard).

Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus (1) (1) A Coruña On 27.7 one was seen from Estaca de Bares, A Coruña (Antonio Sandoval, Ricardo Hevia)

African Royal Tern Sterna maxima (1)(1) Huelva There was an adult at Doñana National Park, Huelva on 16.7 (Carlos Gutiérrez Expósito).

Lesser-Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis (1,2)(1) Cádiz There was an adult at Playa de los Lances, Tarifa, Cádiz on 20.7 (Blanca Pérez /Fundación Migres; Javier Elorriaga /Fundación Migres).
(2) Huelva On 29.7 an adult was found at a Salinas Aragoneas roost, Huelva (Xurxo Piñeiro).

Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii (1-3,4,5) (1-3) Cádiz. On 12.7 three individuals were recorded at La Jara beach, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Cádiz (Paco Chiclana, Fabio di Pietro). (4) Cádiz On 31.7 an adult was found at Salinas de la Tapa, Cádiz (Rafael García Costales). (5) Huelva On 28.7 an adult was found at Salinas Aragoneas roost, Huelva (Xurxo Piñeiro).

Little Swift Apus affinis (1-6,7-18) (1-6) Cádiz There were five or six at Bolonia cave, Sierra de la Plata, Cádiz on 1.7 (Javier Gómez Aoiz). At least three were present on 14.7 at the same area (Pablo Fernández García).(7-18) Cádiz. There were 12 at Chipiona beach, Cádiz on 13.7 (Paco Chiclana, Fabio di Pietro)

Sunday, 2 August 2009


Hereby July 2009 Danish Bird News, July records include a late calling Ballion's Crake at Sneum Sluse,Vestjylland during 5th-15th. A Terek Sandpiper was at Margrethe Kog,Sønderjylland on 12th. A Whiskered Tern flew past Kongelunden, Copenhagen on 4th. A probably escaped, singing adult male Indigo xLazuli Bunting hybrid was ringed at Stenbjerg, Nordjylland during 4th-8th and found at nearby Gjersbøl on 14th. Other July reports include three Balearic Shearwaters during 20th-31st, two Black Storks, three drake Red-crested Pochards, one drake Ruddy Duck, four Pectoral Sandpipers, three adult Long-tailed Skuas, one Gull-billed Tern, five White-winged Black Terns, one Bee-eater, one Crested Lark remaining at Hirtshals, Nordjylland on 11th, one Tawny Pipit, one breeding pair of Stonechats at Melby near Copenhagen during 13th-15th, two River Warblers, four Savi's Warblers, one Greenish Warbler and 14 Nutcrackers including one Nordsjælland breeding. Source:,

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


This gorgeous summer-plumaged WILSON'S PHALAROPE was observed and photographed by Gil Caboz on Paúl da Serra, on a water reservoir that feeds Calheta power station, on 15 May 2009. This represents only the second record for Madeira.
For all birding information on Madeira browse Hugo Romano's excellent and very informative website at

Tuesday, 28 July 2009


This heavily moulting first-summer male LESSER KESTREL represents only the second for Norway (Vegard Bunes, top; Gunnar Gundersen, lower two)

Recent Sightings in the Western Palearctic - 18-27 July 2009

LITTLE EGRET: In ICELAND, the adult first seen on 13 May remains at Amanes.

STELLER'S EIDER: the long-staying adult female was at Brunir, Meirakkesletta, SE ICELAND, on 24 July

LESSER KESTREL: the second for NORWAY, a very worn first-summer male, is present at Farsund, Vest-Agder, on 26-27 July (see images above)

BLACK-WINGED PRATINCOLE: one was present at Vombs angar (SWEDEN) from 19-24 July, with another at Grunen Brink, Fehmarn (GERMANY) on 26-27 July

WHITE-TAILED PLOVER: the summering bird at Mezieres en Brenne (FRANCE) was still present on 20 July

SOCIABLE PLOVER: the adult at Etang Plegu at Brenne (FRANCE) remained until at least 17 July

GREATER SAND PLOVER: The first for ESTONIA was at Haversi, Noarootsi, on 20 July, with a male at Norrvik, Oland, SWEDEN, on 27 July.

LESSER SAND PLOVER: the first for FINLAND was at Kristinankaupunki, Domarkobben, on 22-23 July

BAIRD'S SANDPIPER: the 5th for FINLAND was at Outokumpu, Vuonos, on 26 July

LEAST SANDPIPER: the first for DENMARK was at Kammerslusen, Ribe, on 27 July

HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL: the long-staying bird in Galicia (SPAIN) was still present at Baldaio Wetland, Carballo, on 18 July. It represents the first record for Spain.

Thursday, 16 July 2009


This second-summer FRANKLIN'S GULL was present in Gent from 10-12 July, representing the third record for BELGIUM.

There are two previous records:

1) A 1st summer bird in Wuustwezel in 1987 (from August until November)
2) A 1st winter bird in Nazareth in 2000 (4-5 February)

Best regards,
Johan Buckens

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Rare Plover double-bill

Wow, what a double bill! At one site in France - Mezieres-en-Brenne and Ste Marie-en-Brenne -both SOCIABLE PLOVER and WHITE-TAILED PLOVER are summering.
Both Christian Mercier and Christian Kerihuel obtained excellent images (see above)

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A 'Find' of a Lifetime - SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL in Arctic Norway

I say find but as with any of the best rare bird discoveries this was in fact just a mix of being in the right place at the right time, in affect luck! For everyone who has not seen the article in Birding World a quick summary of this amazing record. Mark Bannister and myself were birding at Nesseby Church, Varanger, in Arctic Norway, on the evening of June 6th 2009 when I tracked a passing Arctic Skua with my camera only to see it attack a seabird in front of us which quickly proved to be a pterodroma petrel; the bird was only in view for a few minutes before flying off down the fjord towards Vadso but I managed to get a set of small images of the bird with a 500mm lens and these proved on inspection to show what most people agree is a SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL - only the second for the Western Palearctic and the first for the North Atlantic; in fact there has been only one other record in the Western P and that was off Eilat North Beach. The full significance of this record will take a while to register but in effect it means that claims of pterodromas in the North Sea will now need to exclude this southern species rather than just being assumed to be Fea's or Zino's.

To get decent photos of any rare seabird is a real challenge but getting shots of a pterodroma from the shore is staggering and I am still in shock after 5 weeks!
For even more mouthwatering shots, browse
Graham Catley


Monday, 13 July 2009

Another midsummer vagrant MARBLED DUCK - this one in The Netherlands

The second MARBLED DUCK for The Netherlands, present now for three days.
Exact location and coordinates can be found here:

The first accepted MARBLED DUCK for the Netherlands was a juvenile near Pannerden, Gelderland, from 14-16 August 2004.

Thomas Luiten


This adult RUPPELL'S GRIFFON VULTURE has been visiting a Eurasian Griffon Vulture colony in EAST PORTUGAL now for at least seven years.
Lee Gregory obtained these excellent images on a recent visit in June.
The bird is rather erratic in its presence at the site, often roosting overnight and present during the morning and then at other times, visiting just briefly in the afternoons. It seems that dull days are best, when rain or overcast conditions prevent the vultures from soaring.
The Griffon colony is on the side of the Castelo Branco River, Portalegro, just south of Vila Velha de Rodao village, just SE of the IP2, 25 kms from Castelo Branco town. There is an observation platform from where one can view.
Lee G R Evans