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