Sunday, 13 March 2011

rarity watch

nothing of my own to report, but a HOOPOE turned up at Portland Bill yesterday, showing what can be found in early march. Also rather intriguing is a (to my mind) fairly reliable report of a possible RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL at Arundel, West Sussex. (click here then here). From the description, (Robin-sized, steel blue tail that was constantly flicked, brownish grey back, yellowy-ornage flanks and whitish belly) Nothing else really fits the bill does it? Am I right in believing this would be the first record of a Bluetail overwintering, if it was confirmed? It certainly seems possible, at least to me, Yellow-browed Warblers do this tolerably frequently (there was a March Yellow-browed in sussex only a few years ago). And what about the european Blackcaps that have colonised our country as a winter visitor in the last 30 years? Surely these started the same way as many of the sibes we get each autumn, migrating in the wrong direction. But they managed to inadvertently find a better wintering ground that allowed them to have a small ecological advantage over their african-bound cousins. Why couldn't a Bluetail do this too? Is it possible that in 30 years time they will be a garden bird in this country in the winter? 

anyway, sorry for my tangent. But I hope any Sussex birders living nearby (I'd be tempted to go myself but Dad's car is out of action) might be able to confirm this sighting, it's been eight days since it was reported and so far no news from Arundel, not even of the negative kind.

1 comment:

  1. sounds interesting, Liam. There are no accepted spring records of R-f.Bluetail according the Previous Records on RBA. If it is one perhaps, as you say, it's stayed on from last year.


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