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On the 6th November:


A visit to Chew Valley Lake seeing 27 Dunlin, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Green Sandpipers, 17 Snipe, 4 Golden Plovers, 5 Pintail, 5 Goldeneyes, a Great Northern Diver, a Black Tern and a Merlin. Then a drive onto the Mendips, to Stock Hill where in the woodland we saw 25 Redpolls, 18 Goldcrests, 16 Coal Tits, 4 Willow Tits, a Raven and we found a Great Grey Shrike.


An overnight drive to Felixstowe to see a reported Western Sandpiper, we watched the bird for a long time and couldn't make up our minds on its identification, at first happy with it being a Western on reflection we decided it was a Semipalmated Sandpiper. There were points for and against and this bird caused a lot of argument amongst birdwatchers, which probably still continues, see note here.

It became known as the Felixstowe Stint and remained all winter, with us seeing it again on 19th March 1983

Semipalmated Sandpiper, LAT 01, Felixsto
Semipalmated Sandpiper, LAT 02, Felixsto

Drawings by Laurel Tucker.

Semipalmated Sandpiper 1, LAT.jpg
Semipalmated Sandpiper 2, LAT.jpg

Above, left and right drawings of known Semipalmated Sandpipers.

Also seen at Felixstowe were c15 Dunlin, 4 Grey Plovers, 100+ Brent Geese, 12 Goldeneyes and 10 Twite. Later, we drove inland to Potter's Bridge where there was a White Stork. Then back to the east coast, to Dunwich where we saw lots of duck, a few waders, 120 Brent Geese, 2 Jack Snipe, c45 Snow Buntings and 5 more Twite.


In Ithaca, New York State, 1 new bird seen today.


In Madagascar on a BBC sound recording trip, no new birds seen today.

Verreaux Sifaka. 

Verreaux's Sifaka 30a, Berenty, Madagasc


A male Brambling with a couple of Chaffinches in the tree in my garden in Portishead.



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