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