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Rare Bird Sightings
June 2005
by Steve Botham

Bittern - Photo  Copyright 2005 Tony Margiocchi
Photo: Tony Margiocchi

UK Safari Tip:
Need help identifying birds? One of the best field guides is the "Collins Bird Guide" - available through the Amazon bookshop -  click here

This photo of a Bittern in flight was sent in by Tony Margiocchi who spotted it from the Fen Hide at Titchwell, Norfolk, on the 15th June. The RSPB estimate there are only about twenty breeding male bitterns in the UK. The stronghold of the bittern remains in East Anglia and Lancashire. The bittern is a red listed species.


Black-Tailed Godwit - Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Botham: s.botham@ntlworld.com

This Black tailed Godwit in summer plumage was also spotted at Titchwell on the 5th June 2005.


Little Gull - Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Botham: s.botham@ntlworld.com

Again at Titchwell on 5th June, this is a Little Gull in its first summer plumage. The Little Gull is a scarce migrant in March, April and May, but there were quite a few around in June. Possibly a southern influx from Europe.


Red-Backed Shrike - Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Botham: s.botham@ntlworld.com

This Red-Backed Shrike was spotted at on the 9th June at Rimac, a Lincolnshire Trust reserve on the coast near Mablethorpe. The Red- Backed Shrike winters in Africa, and although it can be found in summer in southern England it's rare to spot one this far north.


Woodchat - Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Botham: s.botham@ntlworld.com

Also spotted at Rimac was this female Woodchat Shrike. The Woodchat Shrike is more at home in northern Africa and central Europe, so it's rare to see one so far north here in the U.K.



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