17/03/2005
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Review of the Week: 10th-16th March 2005

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Garganey: Minsmere, Suffolk. (Photo: Arthur Grosset)

Spring has arrived at last and the southerly airflow and warmer temperatures produced the first migrants of the spring in southern Britain. Most conspicuous of the forerunners were Wheatears, 120 of which made landfall at Portland (Dorset) on Wednesday 16th, with smaller numbers at many locations throughout southern Britain. Also on 16th there were a good number of Sand Martin reports, some as far north as North Wales and the Midlands. Other summer migrants included Chiffchaffs, 5 Little Ringed Plovers, several Ring Ouzels and Swallows, Willow Warbler, and a Yellow Wagtail. There was also an Osprey noted over Surrey and Garganey in West Sussex and Suffolk.

Thayer's Gull: Banatra, Co. Mayo. (Photo: Ian Lewington) Thayer's Gull: Banatra, Co. Mayo. (Photo: Ian Lewington)

Thayer's Gull: Banatra, Co. Mayo. (Photo: Ian Lewington) Thayer's Gull: Banatra, Co. Mayo. (Photo: Nic Hallam)

In Co. Mayo the 1st-winter Thayer's Gull attracted a steady stream of admirers crossing the Irish Sea to enjoy superb views of this attractive gull at Barnatra. In Co. Galway the 2nd-winter American Herring Gull was seen again at Nimmo's Pier on Tuesday 15th, the first time since the end of January. An adult Bonaparte's Gull was at Scrabster (Highland) on 11th and Thurso (Highland) on 14th and 16th. There were 21 Ring-billed Gulls reported, most of which were in Ireland, and smaller numbers of white-winged gulls continued to be noted. Also in Co. Galway the adult Forster's Tern was still present. A White-billed Diver was in Ronas Voe (Shetland) on 16th

American Herring Gull: Nimmo's Pier, Co. Galway. (Photo: Ian Lewington) Ring-billed Gull: Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. (Photo: Marc Read)

Ring-billed Gull: Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. (Photo: Josh Jones) Ring-billed Gull: Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. (Photo: Will Bowell)

A Snowy Owl was reported at Loch Thormaid (Highland) on Thursday 10th and a Gyr Falcon on St. Kilda (Outer Hebrides) on Friday 11th. A Little Bunting was at Choseley Drying Barns (Norfolk) on Saturday 12th and up to three continue to frequent Caunsell (Worcs/Staffs). The Dusky Warbler remains at Kessingland (Sufolk) and the Arctic Redpoll is still at Titchwell RSPB (Norfolk). A total of 19 Great Grey Shrikes were noted, there were just 4 Lapland Buntings and 2 Shore Larks, and there were 21 Northern Bullfinches at Aberlour (Moray/Nairn) with two more reported from Baron's Haugh (Clyde).

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Lesser Yellowlegs: Stiffkey, Norfolk. (Photo: Dean Eades) Lesser Yellowlegs: Stiffkey, Norfolk. (Photo: Dean Eades)

Lesser Scaup: Bough Beech Res, Kent. (Photo: Mike Buckland) Lesser Scaup: Bough Beech Res, Kent. (Photo: Mike Buckland)

Lesser Scaup: Farnborough, Warks. (Photo: Kit Day) Lesser Scaup: Farnborough, Warks. (Photo: Kit Day)

The Short-billed Dowitcher was again at Bull Island (Co. Dublin) and the Lesser Yellowlegs in Norfolk was present to at least the 14th. On the Outer Hebrides the American Coot is still on Benbecula. For duck enthusiasts there were still Black Ducks on Tresco (Scilly) and Achill Island (Co. Mayo), 4 Lesser Scaups, 4 Ferruginous Ducks, 4 Ring-necked Ducks, 4 King Eiders, 5 Surf Scoters, two American Wigeon and 8 Green-winged Teals. Snow Geese were in Norfolk and Cumbria and several Black Brant were between the Isle of Wight and Norfolk, with another in Co. Mayo. Small numbers of Tundra Bean Geese were still at large and Spoonbills were just into double figures.

Ferruginous Duck: Abberton Res, Essex. (Photo: Kelvin Lewis) Ring-necked Duck: Avonmouth, Somerset and Bristol. (Photo: Paul Bowerman)

Snow Goose: Holkham, Norfolk. (Photo: Josh Jones) Tundra Bean Goose: Whaddon, Wilts. (Photo: Steve Dettmar)

Siberian Chiffchaff: Coleshill, Warks. (Photo: Jim Milne) Black Redstart: Workington, Cumbria. (Photo: Tristan Reid)

Slavonian Grebe: Barrow upon Trent, Derbys. (Photo: Steve Evans) Black-necked Grebe: Clifford Hill GPs, Northants. (Photo: Steve Evans)
Many of the images that appear in our weekly reviews can be purchased from the photographers, some of whom have their own websites:

Bill Aspin: http://www.eastlancashirebirding.net
Ian Barnard: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/sussex.birder
Bill Baston: http://billbaston.com
Steve Blain: http://www.steveblain.co.uk
Nigel Blake: http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/birdphotos/index.htm
Will Bowell: http://www.wanderingbirders.co.nr/
Paul Bowerman: http://mysite.freeserve.com/severnsidebirds
Paul Bowyer: http://www.ukbirds.net
Andy Brett: http://www.freewebs.com/andybrett/
Martin Cade: http://www.portlandbirdobs.btinternet.co.uk
Mark Caunt: http://angusbirding.homestead.com/
Kit Day: http://www.kitday-uk.com/
Lee Dingain: http://www.leedingain.co.uk
Jon Dunn: http://www.surfbirds.com/blogs/Stercorarius/
Katie Fuller: http://bogbumper.blogspot.com
Sean Gray: http://www.grayimages.co.uk
Peter Hadfield: http://www.manxbirdphotography.co.uk
Josh Jones: http://www.wanderingbirders.co.near/
John Judge: http://www.draycotebirding.co.uk
Paul and Andrea Kelly: http://www.irishbirdimages.com/
Jack Levene: http://www.birdingimages.com
John Malloy: http://mysite.freeserve.com/JohnMalloyBirdPhotos
Brian Mcgeough: http://www.pbase.com/bmcgeough/british_birds
Jerry O'Brien: http://www.BirdsofBerkshire.co.uk
James Packer: http://www.somersetbirder.co.uk
Mike Pennington: http://www.nature.shetland.co.uk
Marc Read: http://www.marcread-pix.com
Tristan Reid: http://www.solwaybirder.org.uk
Steve Round: http://stevenround-birdphotography.com
Deryk Shaw/FIBO: http://www.fairislebirdobs.co.uk
Tom Shevlin: http://wildlifesnaps.com/
Matt Slaymaker: http://www.freewebs.com/slaymaker
Oliver Smart: http://www.smartimages.co.uk
Glen Tepke: http://www.pbase.com/gtepke
Phillip Tomkinson: http://www.philliptomkinson.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk
Stephen Tomlinson: http://www.digitalbirds.co.uk
Sue Tranter: http://www.suesbirdphotos.co.uk/
Steve Williams: http://www.hilbrebirdobs.co.uk
Chris Wormwell: http://www.iombirding.co.uk
Dylan Wrathall: http://www.planetthanet.org
Written by: Russell Slack