Thursday, 9 July 2015

Forest Optics Best Find - May 2015

May 2015 Best Find

There were no less than 22 bonus point scoring species found by PWC’ers in May with multiples in many cases. There was no outstanding rarity find but some solid stuff with the highlights being a Black Stork for Paul Parsons at Nantyfyllon and a brace of Bonaparte’s Gulls with one each for Sean Foote on Portland and Barry Stewart at Burry Inlet (that’s Burry Barry not Burray Barrie who is totally different!). Whilst none of these finds are going to trouble the Forest Optic Best Find competition when held up against the hudwit, Im sure they made the finder’s plenty happy!

Black Stork - Paul Parsons
Aside from these there were stacks of scarce as expected in May but only limited numbers of typical drift migrants (no Wrynecks, Marsh Warblers, Ortolans, Icterine Warblers Bluethroats etc) with overshoots and wetland birds the order of the day. Wildfowl in May aren’t usually of much interest but a fine drake Ring-necked Duck floating about on campus at University College Dublin was a great find for Des Higgins and was twitched by our Irish correspondent I believe. Later in the month there were some superb passages of skuas in places and a trio of Scottish patches managed to log the most elegant of the bunch with Long-tailed Skuas at Askernish for Ian T, Whiteness Head for Jonathan Clarke and on Tiree for John Bowler.

Ring-necked Duck - Niall Keogh
There were plenty of interesting waterbirds in May with a brace of Night Herons at Loe Pool for Ilya Maclean while three patchers managed to notch Great White Egrets including a first for the Isle of May courtesy of Mark Newell. Three patches scored bonus points for overflying Cranes with two over Grindon Lough for Paul Massey and singles at both Great Yarmouth for Tommy Corcoran and North Duffield Carrs on Andy Walkers only visit in May.

There was a healthy showing for raptors in May with bonus points accrued at Severn Beach for Paul Bowerman as a Montagu’s Harrier drifted past. Down at Hemsby, Ryan Irvine had a late and no doubt departing Rough-legged Buzzard whilst in the Hebrides wandering White-tailed Eagles pitched up on Oronsay and Tiree for Morgan Vaughan and John Bowler respectively.

Pectoral Sandpiper - Neil Duggan
Unless you were after a Temminck’s Stint which were found by six patchers then it was slim pickings on the wader front with two spring Pectoral Sandpipers at Lound (Ian Cowgill) and Salford Priors (Neil Duggan) being the only finds of note. A rather snazzy White-winged Black Tern was Andy Bunting’s reward at Martin Mere and helped him load up on points this month.

White-winged Black Tern - Andy Bunting
The recent run of overshooting Bee-eater which began in late May was reflected with two patchers finding them this month. Joe Stockwell managed to find a bird freshly arrived as it came in off on his Weymouth to Ferrybridge patch while up at Blacksod, Dave Suddaby was recuperating with a Bee-eater in his garden while an Alpine Swift added to the Mediterranean feel (and with a Hoopoe earlier in the year he must be due a Roller and a Wryneck). No less than five patchers got in on the glut of Golden Orioles that arrived in May with birds for Sean Foote (Portland), Jason Moss (Skomer), Mike Pennington (Baltasound), Nigel Lound (Gibraltar Point) and an inland bird that Stuart Reeves found singing at Mutford.

Bee-eater - Joe Stockwell
There were plenty of southern passerines to keep people interested. A Red-backed Shrike at Southwold was the only one of the month and Craig Fulcher doubled up with a Grey-headed Wagtail. More flava-based points were scored by Sean Foote for a Blue-headed Wagtail at Portland. There was a Serin apiece for Andy Johnson at Sandy Point and Nigel Lound at Gibraltar Point. The final bird of note this month was a flyby Red-rumped Swallow for Roger Musgrove on his Wall Common patch. 

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