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Rare Bird Sightings
September 2005
by Steve Botham 

Red-Necked Grebe - Photo  Copyright 2005 Graeme Silburn
Photo: Graeme Silburn

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 Red-Necked Grebe was spotted by Graeme Silburn in early September near his home on the east coast near Clacton-on-Sea. The bird was in the area for about three days before moving on.

Red-necked grebes are amber listed, and like all grebes they are expert swimmers and divers.

According to the RSPB fewer than 20 individuals spend the summer in the UK each year. Numbers increase in winter months as more birds arrive from northern Europe.

Sites to see this bird include Rutland Water in Leicestershire, Staines Reservoir in Midlesex and Gosford Bay in Lothian.

Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Botham:

This Red Necked Phalarope was spotted on September 18th by Steve Botham at Toft Newton Reservoir Lincolnshire. The Red Necked Phalarope is a red listed bird. A few pairs breed on the west and northern islands of Scotland, and some birds are seen along the east coast on passage in the autumn.

Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Botham:

Steve also spotted this Baird's Sandpiper on 20th September at Kirkby On Bain Gravel Pits Lincolnshire. This is a North American bird, so an extremely rare visitor. The Baird's Sandpiper has long wings, a pale brown, divided breast pattern, and the upperparts have a feather pattern which resembles fish scales.

Photo  Copyright 2005 Dean Stables

This little beauty is a Village Weaver, sometimes called a Spotted-Backed Weaver Bird (Ploceus cucullatus). It's an African species which is common and widespread south of 15N, in open bushland and wooded areas, but not so common in Barnsley, which is where Dean Stables spotted it on his back garden bird table.

It's unlikely it flew to the UK without the help of an airliner. Dean thinks it may have escaped from a local aviary, pet shop or garden centre, but it's not every day you see one of those flying round South Yorkshire.

Track Down More Info

Top 50 Garden Birds ID Chart
Wetland Birds Identification Chart
UK Safari Rare Bird Section
UK Safari Bird Section

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved