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    I've had a Firecrest visiting my back garden on and off for the last month and also up to two Goldcrests, which are fairly uncommon visitors too. Early this morning I was pleased to see a Goldcrest again, but amazed when it was followed shortly afterwards by not one, but two Firecrests. I was...
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    How do you remember subtle ID features?

    Reading the thread about the Herts Gray-cheeked Thrush, it occured to me that I'd forgotten most of the ID features for Bicknell's Thrush, so I read it up and posted the results. Trouble is, I'll I know have forgotten it all again within a couple of weeks. It's OK with the species you see every...
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    How often does this happen to you?

    Yesterday afternoon I thought that, with all these Laughing Gulls around, I'd go out and find my own. So I went and scoured the Plym Estuary. Saw sod all of course. And, needless to say, while I was there, some lucky b***** turned one up one the river next door. I console myself in the certain...
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    Black Redstart Query

    I've just had five-minute's-worth of a new garden tick: a female/immature Black Redstart. At least, I'm 99% sure that's what it was, but it didn't half look odd. The trouble was that the bird was brown - a shade paler than the brown variant female/imm in the Collins field guide. If it was a...
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    Bobolink on Ouessant

    One found there today. Not a million miles from Scilly. There's hope yet...
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    Veery on Shetland

    One trapped and ringed on Unst this evening, 1 mile west of Norwick at Northdale Cottage. Flippin' Shetland again! :storm:
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    Mortality of Transatlantic Passerines in the UK

    The American warblers, vireos and other passerines that reach the UK in autumn are typically first-year birds and the received opinion is that they don't survive very long. I'm wondering why not. I can understand why the larger birds like cuckoos, nighthawks and Mourning Doves peg out. The...
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    What will this October Bring?

    Every October, usually around the middle of the month, the UK gets a mega-rarity. Just for fun, what do you think we'll get (or what would you like to see) this year?
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    Tern ID Query

    I noticed this rather nice photo that Searobin has just posted in the gallery: http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/showphoto.php?photo=56550 It's labelled as a Forster's Tern and I'm certainly not qualified to argue with that. However, in view of the extent of the black on the bill tip, the...
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    House Martin Question

    A chap I work with has several House Martin nests on his house - part of a colony in the neighbourhood. He said that last night he was out on his patio when an egg fell from one of the nest. He was fairly sure the martins had pushed it out and asked me why they would do this. I suggested that...
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    Janruss's Pine Siskin

    How's this for a sharp shot, then? http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/showphoto.php?photo=55885
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    Common Swift Fledging Dates

    Can anyone tell me the mean fledging date for Common Swift Apus apus? Usual first and last dates would be interesting too. I always find myself wondering around this time of year.
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    Refilled Ink Cartidges?

    I'm looking to cut my printing costs and would really welcome the Brains Trust's views on these. Are they as good as the branded originals or could I have problems? My printer is an HP deskjet 1220c (I needed an A3 printer and it was the only brand stocked in these parts). I understand that...
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    Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Query

    drdufault has posted this pic in the gallery: http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/showphoto.php?photo=50963 It seems to me to be a female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, except for the lack of any red on the head. Sibley shows the juvenile (Jan-Mar) as being quite brownish so I guess this bird is on...
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    Kibbled Sunflower Hearts

    Just noticed this new product on the C J Wildbirds Food website. They say there's virtually no waste. If that's the case then I'm interested - our visiting finches waste masses and the dropped bits have killed patches of grass below the feeders. Has anyone tried it yet? What do you think?
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    BigSkyBirds' Sharp-tailed Grouse

    I really like this: http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/showphoto.php?photo=49102
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    The great East coast (UK) 'fall' of 1965!

    Hi, Hardboiled, and welcome. That was the classic "rush", wasn't it? Wish I'd seen it. From Stephen Moss, Birds and Weather: A Birdwatcher's Guide: "At just after two 'clock in the afternoon of 3rd September 1965, the residents of Lowestoft looked up to see a vast cloud of small birds...
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    Oversized Wood Pigeon

    Just caught a snippet on the news this morning about a Wood Pigeon, nicknamed "Hercules", that's 50% larger than normal. The mind boggles. How often does this sort of thing occur? Is there a name for it? Gigantism maybe?
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    Acrobat Reader Annoyance

    Every time I open Acrobat Reader 6.0 I get an alert telling me it's trying to access the internet. I've just tried it twice and the first time it tried to use port 2675; the second time it was 2684. It's driving me round the bend. Is this normal or have I got a trojan? I update and run...
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    John Dempsey's Northern Black Korhaan

    This one rather took my fancy: http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/showphoto.php/photo/37707