Review of the Week: 12th–17th August 2004

Great Knot: Skippool Creek, Lancs. (Photo: Phillip Tomkinson) Great Knot: Skippool Creek, Lancs. (Photo: Tony Disley)

Great Knot: Skippool Creek, Lancs. (Photo: Bill Aspin) Great Knot: Skippool Creek, Lancs. (Photo: Margaret Breaks)

The reappearance of the Great Knot at Skippool Creek (Lancs) on Monday 16th provided a welcome opportunity to see this exceptionally rare wader for those who missed out on its brief stay at the same location on 31st July. On that occasion it was only present until just after 8am, but this time it has showed well for extended periods on both the 16th and 17th, allowing many a relieved observer to enjoy this superb vagrant.

Greenish Warbler: Blakeney Point, Norfolk. (Photo: Will Bowell) Greenish Warbler: Blakeney Point, Norfolk. (Photo: Josh Jones)

Last week's fall continued to 'deliver the goods' well into this week. A Lesser Grey Shrike was at Gulberwick (Shetland) on Tuesday 17th. Thrush Nightingales were at Cruden Bay (Aberdeenshire) on Thursday 12th and at Spurn (E. Yorks) on Saturday 14th. A deluge of Greenish Warblers resulted from the drift conditions, and no fewer than 13 were reported during the week, all but two of them in Scotland. Birds from last week remained in Aberdeenshire to the 13th at both Cove Bay and Girdle Ness. Newly detected birds included singles at: Auchmithie (Angus and Dundee) on Thursday 12th; Fishtown of Usan (Angus and Dundee) from Thursday 12th-16th; Geosetter (Shetland) on Thursday 12th; Balmedie CP (Aberdeenshire) on Thursday 12th; Ethie Mains (Angus and Dundee) from Thursday 12th-13th; Bridge of Don (Aberdeenshire) on Friday 13th; Kingsbarns (Fife) on Friday 13th; Burnmouth (Borders) on Friday 13th; Farne Islands (Northumbs) on Saturday 14th; and Blakeney Point (Norfolk) from Saturday 14th onwards.

Red-backed Shrike: Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland. (Photo: John Malloy) Red-backed Shrike: Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland. (Photo: Ian Forrest)

Red-backed Shrike: Landguard, Suffolk. (Photo: Kit Day)

Red-backed Shrike: South Gare, Cleveland. (Photo: MJ Watson) Red-backed Shrike: Holy Island, Northumberland. (Photo: Alan Gilbertson)

Scarce migrants continued to be reported from many locations along the east coast, the majority between northeast England and Scotland. There were around 34 Wrynecks reported, 21 Red-backed Shrikes, 19 Icterine Warblers and 15 Barred Warblers. Common Rosefinches were on the Farnes from Friday 13th-14th and a male was at Landguard NR (Suffolk) on Saturday 14th. Five Melodious Warblers were noted, most as would be expected in the southwest: Galley Head (Co. Cork) from Thursday 12th-13th; Carnsore Point (Co. Wexford) from Saturday 14th-17th; again on Dursey Island (Co. Cork) on 13th; Dungeness (Kent) on Sunday 15th; and Land's End (Cornwall) on Tuesday 17th. Five Aquatic Warblers were noted during the week, birds at Stanpit Marsh (Dorset) on Thursday 12th and Titchfield Haven (Hants) on Friday 13th were to be expected in terms of location. However, a notable three were on Shetland with birds at Pool of Virkie and Quendale on Saturday 14th (only the 7th and 8th records for Shetland away from Fair Isle) and one was trapped on Fair Isle on Thursday 12th, with another on Monday 16th. This was the 35th-36th record for this famous island, but only the 2nd-3rd in the past 10 years (following one in 1997). An exceptionally early Richard's Pipit was reported at Spurn on Sunday 15th, a Hoopoe was at Rattray Head (Aberdeenshire) on Thursday 12th and a Red-breasted Flycatcher was at Sandgarth (Shetland) on Friday 13th. Finally, the 1st-summer Woodchat Shrike remained at Kennard Moor (Somerset).

Wryneck: Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: Lindsay Cargill)

Wryneck: Blackpool, Lancs. (Photo: Philip J Kirkham) Wryneck: Marsden Quarry, Durham. (Photo: Geoffrey Pain)

Melodious Warbler: Carnsore Point, Co. Wexford. (Photo: Tom Shevlin)

A juvenile Black Stork was seen over Abbott's Cliff Farm (Essex) on Monday 16th, then relocated at Copt Hall Marshes (Essex) later that afternoon. The male Snowy Owl was still on Arranmore Island (Co. Donegal) on Friday 13th. The pick of the scarce waders was a juvenile Broad-billed Sandpiper at Cley/Salthouse (Norfolk) on Thursday 12th, with presumably the same bird at Titchwell RSPB (Norfolk) from Monday 16th onwards. White-rumped Sandpipers were at Slimbridge (Glos) on Sunday 15th and on the Brue Estuary (Somerset) on Tuesday 17th, and a Baird's Sandpiper was reported at Lady's Island Lake (Co. Wexford) on Saturday 14th. Around 8 Temminck's Stints were noted during the week and there were half-a-dozen Pectoral Sandpipers. The first Dotterel of the autumn was a single at Nanjizal (Conrwall) on 12th, followed by a bird on Arranmore Island on 14th, 9 at St. Margaret's at Cliffe (Kent) on 14th and 3 on Garreg Lwyd (Carmarthen) on 15th, with two there on 17th. Long-staying rare waders included the Short-billed Dowitcher at Lady's Island Lake, Long-billed Dowitchers at Gibraltar Point (Lincs) and Blennerville (Co. Kerry), plus the Marsh Sandpiper still present at Fobbing Marshes (Essex) for much of the week.

Broad-billed Sandpiper: Salthouse, Norfolk. (Photo: Kit Day) Broad-billed Sandpiper: Salthouse, Norfolk. (Photo: Kit Day)

Broad-billed Sandpiper: Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk. (Photo: Peter Simpson)

Times were still lean for seawatchers. Pelagics produced Wilson's Storm-petrels from Scilly with singles on Saturday 14th and Tuesday 17th and 3 were noted from the Kerry pelagic on Saturday 14th. Just 5 Great Shearwaters were reported during the week, Cory's Shearwaters fared better with 30 noted, but 20 of these passed Pendeen (Cornwall) on Friday 13th. There were around 30 Balearic Shearwaters, 10 passing Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on Thursday 12th. Half-a-dozen Long-tailed Skuas were noted and just 4 Sabine's Gulls, with the Scilly pelagic yielding an adult on 14th and juvenile on 17th, whilst a juvenile and 1st-summer passed Flamborough Head (E. Yorks) on 17th. An adult White-winged Black Tern was at Skinflats Lagoons (Forth) from Friday 13th-14th and a juvenile at Abberton Reservoir (Essex) on Tuesday 17th - surely the time is drawing near for this species' removal from the list of species considered by the BBRC? The American Herring Gull is still at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway) along with the adult Ring-billed Gull, another adult was at Skippool Creek (Lancs) during the week and a 2nd-winter on the Farne Islands.

Night Heron: Sheepwash Urban Park, W. Mids. (Photo: Nick Smith)

There were other assorted highlights during the week. A juvenile Purple Heron was at Cley and Salthouse on Thursday 12th, with perhaps the same bird at Breydon Water (Norfolk) from Saturday 14th onwards. The Night Heron is still present at Sheepwash Urban Park (W. Mids) and in Glamorgan Great White Egrets were noted at Crofty on 12th, Llanrhidian on 14th and Salthouse Point on 16th and the Glossy Ibis was reported once during the week in Norfolk. Eight Spotted Crakes put in an appearance: one at Martin Mere (Lancs) from Thursday 12th onwards was joined by a second on 15th and 16th; 2 were on St. Mary's (Scilly) on 13th, with one on 14th; one at Inner Marsh Farm from 13th onwards; one at Tophill Low (E. Yorks) from 13th onwards; one at Paxton Pits (Cambs) on 14th and; Fair Isle on 16th.

Osprey: Marton Mere, Lancs. (Photo: Philip J Kirkham) Garganey: Oare Marshes, Kent. (Photo: Pete Merchant)
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://www.nigelblake.co.uk
Will Bowell: http://www.geocities.com/wbowell/
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.geocities.com/christophe_41/
Lee Dingain: http://www.leedingain.co.uk
Peter Hadfield: http://www.manxbirdphotography.co.uk
Josh Jones: http://www.geocities.com/blgp_birder
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
Jerry O'Brien: http://www.BirdsofBerkshire.co.uk
James Packer: http://www.somersetbirder.co.uk
Tristan Reid: http://www.solwaybirder.org.uk
Steve Round: http://stevenround-birdphotography.com
Tom Shevlin: http://wildlifesnaps.com/
Matt Slaymaker: http://www.freewebs.com/slaymaker
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