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RSPB Birdwatch: Europe's big freeze brings flocks of rare birds to Britain

Game Warden

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Reports www.guardian.co.uk.

The deep winter freeze across northern Europe and Russia has driven many exotic and unusual birds into Britain's back gardens on a weekend when more than half a million people are taking part in the world's biggest wildlife survey.


Amateur ornithologists are being told to "expect the unexpected" as they turn out for the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, including spectacular flocks of rarely seen waxwings that have been forced into towns and cities across the UK by a shortage of berries in their native Scandinavia and Russia.

To read the full article click here.


Are you taking part in the RSPB survey?

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I saw in my local newspaper - apparently, the Amur Falcon was seen in our town. Not sure where it was migrating from or going to.

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I was told by family, now living in the U.K. that in the New Forest, a very rear sighting of the 'White Tailed Eagle' they think it’s probably from Scandinavia and been blown down by the weather. You normally have to go to the top of Scotland to see one.


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Submitted my results a few hours ago, sadly nothing too unusual just a few extra chaffinches and some bramblings.


A white-tailed eagle over the New Forest would certainly be a rare sight these days but in centuries past they probably bred all along the south coast. Vagrants to sometimes show up on the east coast of England having come over from Germany or the Netherlands where they have recently started breeding. Following their successful reintroduction to the west coast of Scotland a new reintroduction project was started on the east coast in 2007. However a proposal to reintroduce them to the Suffolk Coast has so far been put on hold due to local opposition and is unlikely to go ahead. Though given that their recolonisation of the Netherlands was entirely unassisted they will hopefully come back naturally someday and once again breed in England.

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I also sent in my sightings.


The only unusual birds were a flock of 6 reed buntings and a blackcap. We are not too far from water and they have started coming into gardens when the weather gets very cold (-6C in my garden before heading for Brussels).

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