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Rare Bird Sightings
January 2005
by Steve Botham

Lesser Yellowlegs - Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Botham
Photo: Steve Botham

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 Lesser Yellowlegs was spotted in Norfolk in early January. There are rarely more than a few sightings of this species in the UK each year. This one, in it's first winter plumage, stayed for a few days but this was not seen after the 2nd January.
Collins Bird Guide states that they breed in North America, and when seen in Europe they are usually spotted at short-grass marshes, muddy coastal pools or inland marshy lakesides. Size: up to 25cms.

Black Brant Geese - Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Botham

These two Black Brant Geese (normal Brent goose in the centre) were seen at Titchwell on the 16th jan. You can see from the photo how much darker they are compared to the Brent in the middle. They're also bigger, have really white flanks and white neck collar. They are rare visitors, coming to the UK from E. Siberia, Alaska or N.W. Canada.

Spotted Redshank - Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Botham

This Spotted Redshank in adult winter plumage was spotted at Titchwell. It's quite a scarce  species. The RSPB estimate between 80 and 200 birds winter here and the majority are found at less than ten locations. They migrate from northern European to spend the winter in Europe, Africa, China and South-east Asia.

Waxwing - Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Botham

Usually less than 100 Waxwings make it to the UK each year, heading for the berry-bearing trees. They sometimes turn up in busy towns if the food is available. They're usually seen along the eastern side of England and Scotland between October and March. This one was spotted on 23rd January in Louth.

Waxwings - Photo  Copyright 2005 Sue Wright

More waxwings. These were spotted by Sue and Terry Wright at the end of January. What wild and exotic location did they have to trek to in order to find these beautiful birds? The Sainsbury's car park in Taunton!

Black-Tailed Godwit - Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Botham

This Black-tailed Godwit in winter plumage was spotted at Titchwell. These birds from northern Europe spend the winter on UK coasts. Although very few birds breed here quite a few thousand pass through the UK on migration.

Snow Goose - Photo  Copyright 2005 Steve Botham

This juvenile Snow Goose/Lesser Snow Goose was spotted at Holkem Norfolk on the 30th January. It's been around a while and reportedly followed thousands of Pink Feet into the country.

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