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Fresh hope for Spoon-billed Sandpipers after chicks hatch, news via @RareBirdAlertUK


Fresh hope for Spoon-billed Sandpipers after chicks hatch
The world’s rarest wader has been thrown a lifeline after two Spoon-billed Sandpiper chicks hatched at WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire.
They belong to the only captive flock anywhere in the world, established in 2011 in case time ran out to save the dwindling wild population.
After eight years of trying to coax these little birds to breed, conservationists finally cracked the problem by manipulating artificial light to help recreate conditions along their migratory path. The chick’s arrival has been hailed as a breakthrough for conservation breeding which could potentially be used to save other migratory species.

The @RareBirdAlertUK birding round-up 18


Black-throated Thrush
As I write, looking around the house I’m surrounded by Christmas cards. As usual, there’s a particularly high percentage of
Robins - a Christmas cliché that’s showing no signs of getting old.
Black-throated Thrush, Whipsnade, Bedfordshire, (© Simon King)
Though there’s a decent case for some regular
British winter alternatives, on the basis of the photos coming out of Whipsnade Zoo this week, we can make a strong case for last minute cards this year being adorned by the magnificent adult male
Black-throated Thrush that continued his Bedfordshire residency this week until 23rd.
Black-throated Thrush, Whipsnade, Bedfordshire, (© David Carr)

The @RareBirdAlertUK birding round-up 11


Ruddy Shelducks
A nation held its breath this week, took a deep breath and, like a shaggy dog that’s plunged into a particularly foul, muddy pond, shook itself down.
The ghastliness that’s yet another spasm of British politics behind us, at least for a week or two, going birding had never seemed a more attractive prospect. Better yet, this weekend just gone provided an opportunity to not only twitch a decent inland winter rarity, but to take the kids too.
We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo…
 
Black-throated Thrushes
Like a particularly slick relay team, 2019’s rarities continued to pass the baton from one to another as the weeks clicked over – Scilly’s long-staying

The @RareBirdAlertUK birding round-up 18


And Norfolk birders may wonder if their second
Hooded Merganser fares any better than their first…
While parts of the region basked in summer’s second coming this past week, anticipation was mounting, particularly in the north and on the east coast. Would the forecast south easterlies deliver autumn’s first appreciable fall of rarities? The southerlies that heralded that decent spell of weather had other plans…
 
Blue Rock Thrush
Cast your mind back to 1999 on Scilly. This was the time that the naysayers were beginning to chorus that Scilly was over, that the heyday of the 1980s would never be touched again, that the wise birders were heading north…

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