Saturday, 9 June 2007

Twitchers await news of White-tailed Lapwing

What was shaping up to be the biggest twitch of the year has stalled this morning as fog shrouds the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust reserve at Caerlaverock, Dumfries & Galloway, hampering the search for the White-tailed Lapwing (pictured right by Steve Young) that arrived on Wednesday. No confirmed sightings had been reported by Rare Bird Alert by 9.50 am today.

It wouldn’t be the first time that the bird has thwarted its would-be observers. At times it has proved impossible to see while feeding out of sight of the hides, and most of those who made the journey on Thursday afternoon left disappointed once the bird disappeared from view at about 4.30 pm, not to be seen again until Friday morning.

Since its initial appearance the WWT estimates that some 1,500 birders have passed through the gates of the remote wetland on the shores of the Solway Firth. The largest crowds would have descended on Caerlaverock this weekend, but with positive news currently awaited many will be delaying their departure for the site.

The full story of the find, together with more photos of the bird, will appear shortly in the July issue of Birdwatch (on sale 21 June).

In other rarity news today, Rare Bird Alert reports that a male Black-headed Wagtail was found north-west of Redcar at South Gare at 9.45 am. There are just 12 accepted British records of this south-east European and western Asian form of Yellow Wagtail, which is often tipped to be split as a separate species.