The ‘Bird of the Week’ award is bestowed upon the adult Pacific Golden Plover at Rye harbour (East Sussex). Although no longer the rarity it once was since the surge of sightings during the 1990s, spring birds are still relatively unusual. Most records tend to occur in the late summer period in July and August. This bird has presumably spent the winter with a Golden Plover flock in Northwest Europe and was detected following scrutiny of the flock. This illustrates the value of carefully sifting through potential carrier species in search of rarities at any time of the year.
Also in the southeast a Penduline Tit was seen briefly at Dungeness RSPB (Kent) on 3rd. This attractive species always proves popular when birds linger, but most tend to be brief. Kent, and Dungeness in particular has accomodated a number of birds over the past 15 years. Elsewhere, a Savi’s Warbler on St Mary’s was an excellent find for the Isles of Scilly, whilst an adult Bonaparte’s Gull at Galway was to be more expected. A Dotterel in Wiltshire was an early upland migrant, and a Black Tern in Norfolk was an early record for this well watched county. A Shore Lark in East Yorkshire was a good inland find. Scarce migrants were again in short supply, with five brief Serins reported along the south coast, Wrynecks on Scilly and Cornwall and several Hoopoes.
The numbers of migrants are still very low, despite the fact that many have been exceptionally early. Inland watchers were treated to a number of Common Scoters on flashes and reservoirs over the weekend, and over 40 Ospreys have been reported during the week. At Loch Garten, “Olive” the Osprey has returned to the famous site for her 10th year, much to the delight of staff and visitors. In addition, the Osprey Centre at Loch Garten currently opens daily at 05.30 until 08.00 until 20th May for Capercaillie viewing with several birds present daily recently.