Many thanks to Simon Fairweather for getting the news out so quickly about the juvenile Red-necked Phalarope at WWT Steart, and to Roger Musgrove for the detailed directions to the bird. It was still present, and spinning around as phalaropes do, at 10:30 hrs this morning. There were also up to 20 Yellow Wagtail present in the nearby saltmarsh.
Phalarope still present at 17:05, but not convinced it's a juvenile - perhaps a moulting adult, but then again I'd have thought a bit early in year to moult. Any other observers any views on subject?
Yes, a moulting adult - an unfamiliar plumage to most (including me). I remarked on Twitter yesterday that it seemed odd that it should have moulted quite so much this early on in the 'autumn', which made things all the trickier for Simon when he found it. He got the species ID spot-on though, and alerted people quickly. First Somerset one since the famous juvenile on Meare Heath in 2006, found by the late Alan Bundy.
I think it might be a male given the pattern of the remnants of summer plumage, but in some ways it would be more likely to be a female heading south (and moulting) this early. Most males will still be involved in the last stages of parenting duties, though it could be a failed breeder of course.
Sadly no sign today, as far as I know.
No sign on site today between 1pm and 4:30pm.
A few juvenile wheatear about but not much else, didn't even see a yellow wagtail!