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BIRD NOTES With Julian Hughes.

THERE is a special thrill to finding a rare bird, but I can't imagine how this multiplies when you find a "first", a bird never before seen in Britain.

In recent weeks, the British Ornithologists Union, the august body that maintains the British List, has admitted several new species, bringing the total to 610 (out of c.10,000 species in the world).

Purple Swamphen, Eastern Kingbird and Pale-legged Leaf Warbler and Red-footed Booby (stop sniggering at the back) are the latest additions.

Pretty remarkable for a small island, which has the good fortune to be an international crossroads for bird migration.

It's been a long time since a new British bird was found in North Wales, the last being a Gray Catbird at RSPB South Stack in October 2001.

This weekend's fayre was not quite so rare, but nonetheless special for the finders: two Dotterels at The Range, the heathcovered plateau, part of the RSPB's South Stack nature reserve.

They were with two Golden Plovers and a Lapland Bunting, perhaps all having arrived from the same part of the Arctic Circle. Another Lapland Bunting was on Point Lynas, in the north east of the island.

A Roseate Tern was on Pensarn beach near Abergele on Monday, later at Rhos Point, where three Black Terns were seen on Sunday evening.

The Great Orme hosted a Pied Flycatcher over the weekend, with a supporting cast of Short-eared Owl and Firecrest, but a Common Rosefinch earlier in the week wasn't relocated.

Along the coast, the Hooded Crow remains at Morfa Madryn nature reserve, Llanfairfechan, perhaps content to overwinter here.

A Wryneck has stayed on Bardsey for much of the last week. Little Stints fed in the Dulas and Clwyd estuaries, with a Curlew Sandpiper remaining on the latter for several days last week.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Sep 28, 2017
Words:301
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