Report on scarce migrant birds in Britain in 2017 Part 1: non-passerines

Published on 08 August 2019 in Main articles

By Steve White and Chris Kehoe

Abstract This report summarises the non-passerine scarce migrant birds recorded in Britain in 2017. Several wetland and seabird species appeared in record, or near-record numbers, though the factors influencing each species appear to differ. Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus makes its first appearance in this report, with a record 59 birds; while Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis, with a staggering 737 birds, has now become too unwieldy to monitor accurately and makes its final appearance here. The total of 174 Wilson’s Storm-petrels Oceanites oceanicus eclipsed the previous high of 103, while that of 3,873 Cory’s Shearwaters Calonectris borealis was the second highest on record. There were good numbers of White-billed Divers Gavia adamsii (total of 38 birds/2nd best year on record), Grey Phalaropes Phalaropus fulicarius (503/4th), Sabine’s Gulls Xema sabini (350/4th), White-winged Black Terns Chlidonias leucopterus (29/4th) and Red-necked Phalaropes Phalaropus lobatus (60/3rd), the last perhaps reflecting the increasing UK breeding population. Faring less well were Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus and Spotted Crake Porzana porzana, while Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis and Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba remain among the rarest species in this section of the report.

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Cattle Egret, Iken, Suffolk, 2017. John Richardson