Review of the Week: 12th-18th January 2006


The week at a glance:

Black-throated Thrush: Swansea, Glamorgan (photo: Barry Stewart). Hume's Leaf Warbler: Whitley Bay, Northumbs (photo: Colin Bradshaw).

News of a fine male Black-throated Thrush in private gardens at Townhill, Swansea broke on Wednesday 18th. Apparently present in the area since early January, this represents the first Welsh record of this attractive thrush. Over the years a number have performed well to the masses in suburban settings, but how many of these superb birds must idle away their winters undetected? Also in gardens was a Hume's Leaf Warbler at Marden, Whitley Bay (Northumberland) from Saturday 14th onwards, whilst the Hume's Leaf Warbler at Holkham Park (Norfolk) was again seen on 16th-18th and the individual at Bridge (Cornwall) was present throughout the week.

Richard's Pipit: West Kirby, Cheshire (photo: John Morris). Hoopoe: Gosport, Hants (photo: George Spraggs).
Great Grey Shrike: Grendon Underwood, Bucks (photo: Matt Slaymaker). Great Grey Shrike: Walton-on-Trent, Derbys (photo: Kev Joynes).
Waxwing: Stockport, Gtr Manchester (photo: Steve Round). Waxwing: Nocton Fen, Lincs (photo: Russell Hayes).
Shore Lark: Holkham, Norfolk (photo: Matt Slaymaker). Snow Bunting: Hayling Island, Hants (photo: Pete Ryder).

Yellow-browed Warblers remained at Broadsands (Devon) and Newlyn (Cornwall), as did the Little Bunting at Morston (Norfolk) and Hoopoe at Gosport (Hampshire). The Northern Long-tailed Tit was again seen in Easington (E. Yorks) on 16th, whilst the Richard's Pipit remained at West Kirby (Cheshire). The Penduline Tit was seen again at Stodmarsh (Kent) on 12th. Recent Arctic Redpolls remained, with the bird at Aberlady Bay (Lothian) and at least one at Icklingham (Suffolk). Ten Great Grey Shrikes were at large, all but one of which, in Clyde, were from the Midlands south. Three birds considered to show features of Siberian Chiffchaff were reported, and good numbers of Common Redpolls were reported in southern England, though surprisingly few were seen elsewhere. The six Shore Larks remained at Holkham (Norfolk) and the Shore Lark at Minsmere (Suffolk) was last reported on the 12th. Over 30 Lapland Buntings were noted, though over 25 of these were in Lincolnshire, including 20 at Frampton Marsh. The largest gathering of Waxwings was 85 in Aberdeen, though small flocks were spread far and wide and included 40 in Dublin (Co. Dublin).

Redhead: Lewis, Outer Hebrides (photo: Martin Scott).

A drake Redhead at Bru, Lewis (Outer Hebrides) on Saturday 14th was yet another superb Nearctic duck on the islands, providing further pointers (if they were needed) as to where rarity-finders should head to seek their quarry. On Tiree (Argyll) the controversial Redhead or hybrid was still present at the weekend. A dark-morph juvenile Gyr Falcon of unknown origin was noted from Nosterfield NR (N. Yorks) on Sunday 15th and represented yet another intriguing report of the species in Northeast England to go with the white morphs reported this winter. The origins of a Great Bustard at Middlezoy (Somerset) on 17th were less difficult to place as it had originated from the controversial Salisbury Plain re-introduction scheme. The Brünnich's Guillemot was again reported on 14th between Lerwick and Bressay (Shetland).

Content continues after advertisements
Glaucous Gull: Budleigh Salterton, Devon (photo: Mike Lockyear).

Glaucous Gull: Otter Estuary NR, Devon (photo: Mike Lockyear). Ring-billed Gull: Gosport, Hants (photo: Pete Ryder).

In Suffolk the Ross's Gull was last reported from Lowestoft on 14th, and in the same county the Bonaparte's Gull was again reported from Felixstowe on 12th and a White-billed Diver off Minsmere on 12th. The Bonaparte's Gull was once again seen at Lunan Bay (Angus/Dundee) on 14th and an adult was at Cobh (Co. Cork) on 16th and 17th. Seven Laughing Gulls remain at large: Campbeltown (Argyll); Glaslyn Marshes (Gwynedd); Porthcawl (Glamorgan); Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway); Brixham (Devon); Barnstaple (Devon) with presumably the same at Fremington Quay (Devon) and; the adult continued to roost at Moatlands GPs (Berkshire). The 3rd-winter American Herring Gull remained at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway), with Kumlien's Gull at the same site and a 2nd-winter Kumlien's Gull and possible 1st-winter were at Culmore Dump (L'derry). Caspian Gull numbers remain high, with maximum counts of 4 at Ogston Reservoir (Derbyshire) and 3+ at Dix Pit (Oxon). A slight increase in 'white-wingers' was apparent, with in the region of 30 Glaucous Gulls and 40 Iceland Gulls, including 7 of the latter in Stornoway Harbour (Outer Hebrides), though numbers this winter are well down on those of recent late winters – so far. The Forster's Tern remained at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway).

Cattle Egret: Warblington, Hants (photo: George Spraggs). Cattle Egret: Warblington, Hants (photo: Pete Ryder).

Long-staying Nearctic waders included the Long-billed Dowitcher on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall) and Lesser Yellowlegs at Clonakilty (Co. Cork). The recent influx of Cattle Egrets remain loyal to their chosen sites, with one still at Warblington (Hampshire), two at Britford Water Meadows (Wilshire), eight at Piddinghoe (E. Sussex) and three at Pagham Harbour (W. Sussex). A Great White Egret was reported at Uskmouth NR (Gwent) on 14th and one went over Welney (Norfolk) on 16th. A White Stork was reported from Romford (London) on 18th and 18 Spoonbills were present during the week. Several Rough-legged Buzzards were seen in Norfolk and the wintering bird remained in Kent.

Tundra Bean Goose: Skateraw, Lothian (photo: Ian Fulton). Tundra Bean Goose: Skateraw, Lothian (photo: John Anderson).
Black Brant: Holkham, Norfolk (photo: Matt Slaymaker). Black Brant: Gosport, Hants (photo: Pete Ryder).
Lesser Scaup: Hornsea Mere, E. Yorks (photo: Nigel Stewart). Ring-necked Duck: Yelland, Devon (photo: Mike Lockyear).

A small arrival of Tundra Bean Geese was evident, with nine at Welney (Norfolk) and four at Hixon (Staffs), with others in E. Yorks, Lothian, Norfolk and Suffolk. The only Taiga Bean Geese reported away from wintering area were singletons at Mountnorris (Co. Armagh) and Kirton Marsh (Lincs). A Grey-bellied Brant was at The Mullet (Co. Mayo) on 15th and wintering Black Brants remained with Brent Geese flocks between Norfolk and Hampshire. In Fife the Snow Goose remained with Greylag Geese, and vagrant Canada Geese included Richardson's Canada Geese at Holkham (Norfolk) and Islay (Argyll), Todd's Canada Goose at Martin Mere (Lancs) and Taverner's Canada Goose at Kirkconnell Merse (Dumfries and Galloway). The drake Black Scoter remained off Llanfairfechan (Conwy) as did the Barrow's Goldeneye at Quoile Pondage (Co. Down). A 'new' Lesser Scaup was at Caerlaverock (Dumfries and Galloway) from 16th, whilst familiar birds included those at Kilbirnie Loch (Ayrshire), Reclamation Pond (Cleveland), Hornsea Mere (E. Yorks) and Drift Reservoir (Cornwall), plus possibles reported in Norfolk and Suffolk. Ferruginous Ducks remained in Kent, Bedfordshire and Co. Armagh, Ring-necked Ducks maintained double-figure status as did Green-winged Teal and American Wigeon were in Aberdeenshire, Devon, Cornwall and Co. Mayo. The only Surf Scoters reported were off Lothian and Moray/Nairn and a borealis Eider was off Hunter's Quay (Argyll) on 14th.

Bittern: Upton Warren, Worcs (photo: Kev Joynes).

Crossbill: Walesby, Lincs (photo: Dean Eades). Crossbill: Druridge Bay, Northumbs (photo: Alan Gilbertson).
Cirl Bunting, undisclosed, Devon (photo: Gary Thoburn). Lesser Spotted Woodpecker: undisclosed, Hants (photo: Pete Ryder).

Goldeneye: Martin Mere, Lancs (photo: Graham Eaton).
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://mysite.freeserve.com/severnsidebirds
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/
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/
Andrew Easton: http://home.clara.net/ammodytes/
Graham Eaton: http://www.eatonphotography.co.uk
Steve Evans: http://www.powow.com/birds2004/
Katie Fuller: http://bogbumper.blogspot.com
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/
Jack Levene: http://www.birdingimages.com
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
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