Compiled by Barry Nightingale and Harry Hussey

This summary of unchecked reports covers the period from early February to early March 2024.

Headlines With just a few new arrivals of note, it was a case of quality over quantity, with a Myrtle Warbler in Ayrshire, a Rustic Bunting and an Arctic Redpoll in Norfolk, a new Pallid Harrier in Yorkshire, more Lesser Scaups and a Gull-billed Tern and Bufflehead in Ireland being the most eye-catching of the lot. Otherwise, it was the long-stayers – such as Red-breasted Geese, a Baikal Teal, White-winged and Black Scoters and three Lesser Yellowlegs – that continued to attract attention.  

‘Grey-bellied Brant’ Branta bernicla ssp. Raheny (Co. Dublin), four long-stayers to 16th February. Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis Long-stayers in Argyll, to 4th March, Essex, up to two to 7th March, Norfolk, one to 3rd, another to 7th March, and Northumberland, to 18th February; Keyhaven Marshes (Hampshire), 7th–18th February. Cackling Goose Branta hutchinsiiDunfanaghy (Co. Donegal), long-stayer to 23rd February; Islay (Argyll), two, 15th–28th February; Lissadell (Co. Sligo), 18th February to 5th March. Baikal Teal Sibirionetta formosa Greylake (Somerset), long-stayer to 25th February. American Wigeon Mareca americana Records from four English and five Scottish recording areas; Inishbofin (Co. Galway), to 15th February. American Black Duck Anas rubripes Cross Lough (Co. Mayo), long-stayer to 25th February. Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca Records from five English recording areas. Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis Long-staying singles in Co. Armagh, to 8th March, Clyde, to 7th March, Devon, to 20th February, Outer Hebrides, to 27th February, Pembrokeshire, to 2nd March, and Co. Waterford to 7th March; Abberton Reservoir (Essex), five long-stayers to 5th, two to 7th March; new birds in Cheshire & Wirral, 10th February to 5th March; Lancashire & N Merseyside, two, 2nd–7th March; Lough Corrib (Co. Galway), 3rd March. King Eider Somateria spectabilis Records from Lothian and Shetland. White-winged Scoter Melanitta deglandi Long-stayer, Inishmore (Co. Galway), to 15th February; Inch (Co. Kerry), to 26th February. Black Scoter Melanitta americana Long-stayer Holkham Bay (Norfolk), to 24th February. Bufflehead Bucephala albeola Lough Sheelin (Co. Westmeath), 27th–29th February.

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps Inishmore, long-stayer to 15th FebruaryHolboell’s Red-necked Grebe’ Podiceps grisegena holbollii, Quendale (Shetland), 6th–10th February, found dead on 15th February.

RR 001 RNG.jpg

163. ‘Holboell’s Red-necked Grebe’ Podiceps grisegena holbollii, Quendale (Shetland), February 2024. 

Roger Riddington

Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius Ruan Lanihorne (Cornwall), long-stayer to 9th February. Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus Somerset, long-stayer to 7th March. Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus Sussex, long-stayer to 4th March; Breydon Water (Norfolk), 7th–11th February; Carlton Marshes (Suffolk), 14th February to 4th March; Tacumshin (Co. Wexford), to 8th March. Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes Long-stayers in Co. Louth, to 3rd March, Lincolnshire, to 7th March, and Yorkshire, to 5th March.

‘Azorean Yellow-legged Gull’ Larus michahellis atlantis Mousehole (Cornwall), long-stayer to 7th February, again 3rd March. Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica Long-stayer Kilkerran (Co. Cork), to 7th March.

Pacific Diver Gavia pacifica Crookhaven (Co. Cork), 5th March. White-billed Diver Gavia adamsii Records from two English and three Scottish recording areas.

Double-crested Cormorant Nannopterum auritum Long-stayer, Doon Lough (Co. Leitrim), to 5th March.

Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus Long-stayers in Norfolk to 7th March and up to two at various sites in South Wales to 5th March; Easington/Kilnsea/East Newton areas (all Yorkshire), 15th February to 5th March. 

Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus Ronas Hill (Shetland), 14th February.

Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus Treen (Cornwall), long-stayer 29th February; Dorchester (Dorset), 24th February to 7th March. Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus undisclosed site, Isle of Man, 14th February.

Black-throated Thrush Turdus atrogularis Tophill Low (Yorkshire), long-stayer, again, 3rd March.

‘Black-bellied Dipper’ Cinclus c. cinclus Aith (Shetland), long-stayer to 8th February; Cramlington (Northumberland), 11th–19th February.

Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi Awre (Gloucestershire), long-stayer to 10th February; Ulverston (Cumbria), 22nd February to 7th March.

Arctic Redpoll Acanthis hornemanni Fakenham (Norfolk), 7th March.

Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica Fakenham, 7th March. 

Myrtle Warbler Setophaga coronata Kilwinning (Ayrshire), 20th February to 7th March.

Early arrival dates of summer migrants
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius Lymm (Cheshire & Wirral), 16th–25th February (may have overwintered); Grafham Water (Cambridgeshire), 2nd March.

Sand Martin Riparia riparia Brooks End (Kent), 10th February; Fordingbridge (Hampshire), 15th February; Exmouth (Devon), 19th February; King George V Resr (Greater London), two, 23rd February; Otmoor (Oxfordshire), 23rd February.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica Studland (Dorset), 9th February; Keyhaven Marshes (Hampshire), three, 14th February; Radipole Lake (Dorset), 17th February. 

Common House Martin Delichon urbicum West Morden (Dorset), 18th February; Holland Haven (Essex), 19th February; Foreness Point (Kent), 23rd February.

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe Market Drayton (Shropshire), 6th February; Batcombe (Dorset), 18th February. 

Issue 4
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