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White-crowned Sparrow on Lewis

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BrianR
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White-crowned Sparrow on Lewis

Post by BrianR » 16 May 2016, 21:31

Received from Tony: 'My neighbour Molly Melia stopped me a couple of days ago and described a bird that she had seen feeding with House Sparrows on her lawn, below the bird feeders, at Port of Ness. It was seen on one occasion in the late morning of the 3rd and at a similar time on the following day. Molly takes an interest in birds visiting her garden and has previously identified Waxwing and Rose-coloured Starling among others. This particular bird she could not find in her Readers Digest/AA Book of British Birds and it attracted her attention by its black-and-white striped head. Further description was a broad white stripe down the centre of the crown, black stripes on each side with white ones below that, a pale throat that was not white, buffish underparts and and brown upperparts. I later showed her all the plates from the Collins Bird Guide and Molly immediately pointed to the White-crowned Sparrow picture and exclaimed ‘That’s it’. Unfortunately she has no camera. Perhaps of interest is the occurrence of another North American passerine, a Red-breasted Grosbeak, at a bird feeder in a Shetland garden on exactly the same dates'.

Also Tony mentions that unlike the Uists where quite a few migrants were seen last week, since the ♂ Redstart the only notable birds in Ness have been a handful of Swallows and three ♂ Ruff at Loch Stiapavat (these on the 13th).

Reports from the Uists for last week included four Cranes that flew N over Stinky Bay on the 12th (another was seen on the Range over the weekend), a White-winged Black Tern over Coot Loch and up to six 'leking' Ruff at Loch nam Feithean. Weather conditions meant that virtually no skuas were seen flying N and the forecast for the rest of the week does not look promising for any large-scale movement.

BrianR
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White-crowned Sparrow on Lewis

Post by BrianR » 31 May 2016, 19:33

Remarkably a White-crowned Sparrow turned up in Dods Macfarlane's garden at 28 South Dell today. See attachment! I would think it likely that it is the same bird that Molly saw earlier in the month.
2016-05-31 18.24.00.png
When looking at the Black-billed Cuckoo this evening Chris Griffin received a text to say that the sparrow had been heard singing during the day.

Forgot to mention that this will be another addition to the Outer Hebrides list. There is a very old record of its close relative the White-throated Sparrow - an adult ♂ shot on the Flannan Isles in the third week of May 1909.

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