Review of the Week: 11th-17th January 2007


The week at a glance:

Lesser Yellowlegs: Thornham, Norfolk (photo: Peter Simpson).

Lesser Yellowlegs: Thornham, Norfolk (photo: Dean Eades).

Lesser Yellowlegs: Thornham, Norfolk (photo: John Miller).

Lesser Yellowlegs: Thornham, Norfolk (photo: David H Hatton).

Lesser Yellowlegs: Thornham, Norfolk (photo: Matt Latham).

The continuing mild conditions ensured that there was little change in the composition of birds on offer. A confiding, and therefore popular, Lesser Yellowlegs was located at Thornham (Norfolk) from 13th onwards, proving attractive for birdwatchers and photographers alike. In Co. Louth the putative Short-billed Dowitcher at Dundalk was re-identified as a Long-billed Dowitcher, and a 1st-winter Long-billed Dowitcher was located on the Inland Sea (Anglesey) from 14th-15th and the long-staying bird remained on the Oare Marshes (Kent), as did the long-staying Spotted Sandpiper on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall). Four Grey Phalaropes included two still at Liscannor (Co. Clare) and one at Rainham Marshes (London), plus one at Parton (Cumbria) on 13th.

Ross's Gull: Ormsary, Argyll (photo: Graham Catley).

Ross's Gull: Ormsary, Argyll (photo: Graham Catley). Ross's Gull: Ormsary, Argyll (photo: Graham Catley).

Bonaparte's Gull (with Black-headed and Iceland Gull): St. Mary's, Scilly (photo: Martin Goodey).

Bonaparte's Gull: Whitehead, Co. Antrim (photo: Craig Nash). Bonaparte's Gull: Whitehead, Co. Antrim (photo: Craig Nash).

Bonaparte's Gull: Whitehead, Co. Antrim (photo: Derek Charles).

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Laughing Gull: Newton Abbot, Devon (photo: Paul Bowyer). Laughing Gull: Newton Abbot, Devon (photo: M. Lockyear).

Gulls continued to be the species group under focus for most observers. A 1st-winter Laughing Gull was found in Newton Abbot (Devon) from 13th onwards and the 1st-winter Ross's Gull was present to at least the 14th at Ormsary (Argyll). Five Bonaparte's Gulls were a good showing, with the adult still at Ferryden (Angus/Dundee), 2nd-winter again on the Plym Estuary (Devon) and 1st-winters still on St. Mary's (Scilly) and Whitehead Bay (Co. Antrim); a 1st-winter also put in an appearance at Tralee (Co. Kerry) on the 15th. The American Herring Gull, now in 4th-winter plumage, returned to Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway) and there was an adult Kumlien's Gull at Loch of Hillwell (Shetland), plus the 3rd-winter at Culmore Dump (Londonderry) and 2nd-winter at Nimmo's Pier. Around 80 Iceland Gulls were reported, including 10 at Culmore Dump, with just under half as many Glaucous Gulls and 25 Caspian Gulls and 11 Ring-billed Gulls. Despite often stormy conditions, there was little in the way of seawatching on offer. A Leach's Storm-petrel passed Chesil Cove (Dorset) on 11th, up to 22 Balearic Shearwaters were off St. Mary's (Scilly) on 12th and a Sooty Shearwater was off Budleigh Salterton (Devon) on 17th. Small numbers of Little Auks were widely scattered, five in Bressay Sound (Shetland) the only number apart from singletons.

Caspian Gull: Dunbar, Lothian (photo: Peter Macdonald).

Glaucous Gull: Culmore Dump, Londonderry (photo: Derek Charles). Glaucous Gull: Culmore Dump, Londonderry (photo: Derek Charles).
Herring Gull: Culmore Dump, Londonderry (photo: Derek Charles). Iceland Gull: Culmore Dump, Londonderry (photo: Derek Charles).

Waxwing: Westleton, Suffolk (photo: Mark Breaks).

Waxwing: Ashington, Northumberland (photo: David Dack).

The female Penduline Tit at Rainham Marshes (London) was joined by at least one male on the 12th, the Red-throated Pipit remained on the Rogerstown Estuary (Co. Dublin) to at least the 14th and the Richard's Pipit was again reported from Tanybwlch (Ceredigion) on 17th. Five Yellow-browed Warblers included singles in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Hampshire and the same number of Siberian Chiffchaffs included two still at Kempsey southwest (Worcs) and one on Tiree (Argyll). Five Great Grey Shrikes included two in Hampshire, with others in Norfolk, Derbyshire and Clyde, and there were over 50 Waxwings, nearly all in Scotland apart from 10 at Ashington (Northumbs), three briefly in North Yorkshire and one at Westleton (Suffolk). In Norfolk Shore Larks could be seen at Snettisham, Holkham, Cley and Winterton, there were four at Coldharbour (Kent) and one at Freiston Shore (Lincs), plus the long-staying inland bird near Halifax (W. Yorks). Lapland Buntings remained scarce, with eight at Flamborough Head (E. Yorks) accounting for the majority of the 13 reported.

Red-throated Pipit: Rogerstown Estuary, Co. Dublin (photo: Tom Shevlin).

White Stork: Lound, Suffolk (photo: Andrew Easton).

White Stork: Lound, Suffolk (photo: Andrew Easton).

The white-morph Gyr Falcon again put in an appearance on Fetlar (Shetland) on the 13th and the Snowy Owl remained on Lewis (Outer Hebrides). The Great White Egret continued at Blashford Lakes (Hampshire) with others briefly at Capel Fleet (Kent) on 13th and Dingle Marshes (Suffolk) on 14th, with the Cattle Egret still at Otterton (Devon) to at least the 12th. The wintering Rough-legged Buzzard remained at Capel Fleet, as did the Black-eared Kite along the north Norfolk coast. A ringed White Stork at Lound (Suffolk) from 12th-14th was taken into care and a Great Bustard from the Salisbury Plain project was in Somerset.

Ring-necked Duck: Grasmere, Cumbria (photo: Craig Shaw).

As would be expected, there was an air of familiarity surrounding the wildfowl on offer. The female Bufflehead remained at Lough Atedaun (Co. Clare) as did the drake on Unst (Shetland), whilst the drake Barrow's Goldeneyes, in Forth and Co. Down respectively, continued to entertain their admirers. The Lesser Scaup was at Sonning Eye (Oxon) to at least the 13th, with others still on the Outer Hebrides, and Ferruginous Ducks comprised the long-staying female at New Hythe (Kent) with presumably the returning female to Elstow (Bedfordshire). Ring-necked Ducks continued to be reported in good numbers with 19 seen during the week, plus there were 10 Green-winged Teal and 7 American Wigeon, which included a noteworthy female at Clapper Marshes (Cornwall). The Surf Scoter remained at Beer (Devon), with another still in Co. Kerry, and the Northern Eider was on the Ythan Estuary (Aberdeenshire). Ever-popular, the Red-breasted Geese remained in Dorset and Lincolnshire; a selection of Black Brants were on offer with Brent Geese flocks from Lincolnshire to Hampshire, plus three in Ireland. A white-morph Snow Goose was tracked with Pinkfeet over Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire on 14th, and a white morph remained in Moray/Nairn and a blue morph was at Windhill (Highland). In Northumberland the Richardson's Canada Goose remained at Linton Lane NR.

Goldeneye: Crosby, Lancs (photo: Steve Round).

Shoveler: London Wetland Centre, London (photo: Fraser Simpson).

Little Grebe: London Wetland Centre, London (photo: Fraser Simpson).

Brent Goose: Thornham, Norfolk (photo: Matt Latham).

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
Mike Atkinson: http://mikeatkinson.net
Ian Barnard: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/sussex.birder
Bill Baston: http://billbaston.com
Richard Bedford: http://www.richardbedford.co.uk
Steve Blain: http://www.steveblain.co.uk
Nigel Blake: http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/birdphotos/index.htm
Paul Boulden: http://southdevonbirds.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/
Will Bowell: http://www.wanderingbirders.com
Paul Bowerman: http://www.severnsidebirds.co.uk
Paul Bowyer: http://www.ukbirds.net
Andy Brett: http://www.freewebs.com/andybrett/
Andy Bright: http://www.Digiscoped.com
Martin Cade: http://www.portlandbirdobs.btinternet.co.uk
Graham Catley: http://pewit.blogspot.com/
Mark Caunt: http://angusbirding.homestead.com/
John Coveney: http://www.clarebirdwatching.com/index.php
Kit Day: http://www.kitday-uk.com/
Eric Dempsey: http://www.birdsireland.com/
Lee Dingain: http://www.leedingain.co.uk
Jon Dunn: http://www.surfbirds.com/blogs/Stercorarius/
Dean Eades: http://www.pbase.com/dean_eades/root
Andrew Easton: http://home.clara.net/ammodytes/
Graham Eaton: http://www.eatonphotography.co.uk
Stuart Elsom: http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk
Steve Evans: http://www.powow.com/birds2004/
Katie Fuller: http://bogbumper.blogspot.com
Ian Fulton: http://www.pbase.com/ianfulton
Sean Gray: http://www.grayimages.co.uk
Peter Hadfield: http://www.manxbirdphotography.co.uk
David Hatton: http://www.kowapower.com
Josh Jones: http://www.wanderingbirders.com
John Judge: http://www.draycotebirding.co.uk
Paul and Andrea Kelly: http://www.irishbirdimages.com/
Matt Latham: http://www.pbase.com/latho/root
Jack Levene: http://www.birdingimages.com
Micky Maher: http://www.aardfoto.co.uk/
John Malloy: http://mysite.freeserve.com/JohnMalloyBirdPhotos
Brian Mcgeough: http://www.pbase.com/bmcgeough/british_birds
Tony Mills: http://www.notjustbirds.com
Jerry O'Brien: http://www.BirdsofBerkshire.co.uk
Charlie Moores: http://www.charliesbirdblog.com
Mark Newsome: http://www.whitburnbirding.co.uk
James Packer: http://www.somersetbirder.co.uk
Mike Pennington: http://www.nature.shetland.co.uk
Ken Plows: http://www.kenswildlifepics.co.uk
Ray Purser: http://www.pbase.com/02purser/images
Marc Read: http://www.marcread-pix.com
Tristan Reid: http://www.solwaybirder.org.uk
Steve Round: http://stevenround-birdphotography.com
Gerald Segelbacher: http://www.digiscoping.uk.md
Deryk Shaw/FIBO: http://www.fairislebirdobs.co.uk
Tom Shevlin: http://wildlifesnaps.com/
Peter Simpson: http://www.blueskybirds.co.uk
Matt Slaymaker: http://www.mattslaymaker.co.uk
Oliver Smart: http://www.smartimages.co.uk
George Spraggs: http://www.bird-watching.co.uk
Simon Stirrup: http://www.simonstirrup.co.uk/
Garry Taylor: http://www.spurnbirdobservatory.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
Simon Wilson: http://www.bakewellbirder.co.uk/
Chris Wormwell: http://www.iombirding.co.uk
Dylan Wrathall: http://www.planetthanet.org
Written by: Russell Slack