Blue Rock-Thrush - Monticola solitarius

On Saturday 20 September 2003 Arjen van Gilst was birding at Westkapelle, almost the most western point in the Netherlands. At around 13:00 hours the first bird he saw made him feel uneasy. The bird in question was hopping on the boulders and look familiair. He had seen this before in IsraŽl, but was not very sure. Checking the books by phone made him sure: it was the first Blue Rock-Thrush Monticola solitarius for the Netherlands! He warned other birds and the bird was seen till dark. At first side it looked most likely to be an adult female, but ageing and sexing can be difficult this time of year. It was present for one day only (cf Dutch Birding 25 (5): 348-360, 2003).

20 September 2003, Westkapelle Zld; © Bas van de Boogaard.

20 September 2003, Westkapelle Zld; © Bas van de Boogaard.


It was accepted as the first record for the Netherlands. Happily in the UK two recent records in 14-16 October 1999 (cf Birding World 12 (10): 412-413, 1999) and 14-18 May 2000 (cf Birding World 13 (5): 196-197, 2000) were already accepted (previously there were records on 4 June 1985, 4-8 June 1987 and again 25 October 1999). Other records in Western Europe were in Belgium (September 1877), Germany (8 June 1962 and 23-26 August 1962), Finland (2-3 June 1995 and 5 April 1997) and Sweden (21-25 April 1981).

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