Review of the Week: 12th-18th July 2007


The week at a glance:

This week's rare and scarce birds

Dark-eyed Junco: Langham, Norfolk (photo: Peter Simpson).

Dark-eyed Junco: Langham, Norfolk (photo: Mick Green).

A Dark-eyed Junco in a back garden at Langham (Norfolk) on 14th was a surprise find, but once again illustrates that anything is possible, anywhere and at any time! This bird constitutes the second county record - the first was found on the Leman Gas Field and then released at Holme in 1980. A Roller in East Yorkshire from 15th-16th, and again on 18th, was more in keeping with the time of year, but it proved to be elusive as it frequented the Easington and Skeffling area. The long-staying Subalpine Warbler remained on the Isle of May (Fife), an Alpine Swift passed over Tidworth (Wiltshire) on 14th and a male Common Rosefinch was at Caldy (Cheshire) on the 12th.

Roller: Easington, E. Yorks (photo: Tony Dixon).

Roller: Easington, E. Yorks (photo: Tim Corke).

No fewer than a dozen rare and scarce waders were on offer, a good mid-July showing. A Pacific Golden Plover was at Spurn (E. Yorks) briefly on 17th, whilst both the Killdeer and Hudsonian Whimbrel continued their stays in Shetland and Cumbria, respectively. The Spotted Sandpiper remained at Wykeham Lakes (N. Yorks), a Long-billed Dowitcher was on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall) from 14th-17th and an American Golden Plover was on the Monach Islands (Outer Hebrides). A Lesser Yellowlegs was on the Rogerstown Estuary (Dublin) on 14th, there was a Baird's Sandpiper at Inishkeeragh Island (Co. Donegal) on 17th and a White-rumped Sandpiper was on Inishkea Island (Co. Mayo) on 12th. A trio of Buff-breasted Sandpipers included the bird from last week at Kidwelly (Carmarthen) to 12th, plus singles at Leam Lough (Co. Mayo) on 15th and one at Inishkeeragh Island (Co. Donegal) on 17th. Further wader interest was provided by a Temminck's Stint at Loch of Strathbeg (Aberdeenshire) on 13th and half-a-dozen Pectoral Sandpipers.

Pectoral Sandpiper: Musselburgh, Lothian (photo: Kris Gibb).

Caspian Tern: Big Waters, Northumbs (photo: Stef McElwee).

A further belated report of the overland journey of the Yellow-nosed Albatross came to light, this time from Carsington Water (Derbys) on 2nd - leaving yet more frustration in its wake! A Caspian Tern in Northumberland on 14th was an excellent local record, being typically mobile as it visited Big Waters, Bothal Pond and Blyth during its brief tour. Wilson's Storm-petrels were encountered on three of the pelagic trips from the Isles of Scilly, with singles on 14th and 18th and four on 15th. Two early Great Shearwaters passed Streak Head (Co. Cork) on 15th and just over 20 Balearic Shearwaters were logged passing both Portland (Dorset) and Porthgwarra (Cornwall). Finally a Leach's Storm-petrel passed North Ronaldsay (Orkney) on 13th and the 1st-summer Bonaparte's Gull remained on South Uist (Outer Hebrides).

Squacco Heron: Minsmere, Suffolk (photo: Andrew Easton).

Squacco Heron: Minsmere, Suffolk (photo: Mike Parker).

The summer influx of Squacco Herons continued: one at Minsmere (Suffolk) on 13th was the first county record for nearly a century and another was at Freiston (Lincs) on 15th, plus there was belated report of one photographed from Worcestershire in June to add to the tally. A Black Stork was reported from Petersfield (Hants) on 12th and Purple Herons were reported in Northumberland from Coquet Island on 14th and Cambois on 15th. The Glossy Ibis remained at Marshside (Lancs), a Great White Egret was reported from Minsmere (Suffolk) on 17th and two Night Herons of unknown origin were at Fairburn Ings (W. Yorks). Six Surf Scoters were off Murcar Golf Course (Aberdeenshire) during the week, with the other scarce ducks represented by long-staying Ring-necked Ducks at Blithfield Reservoir (Staffs) and Avonmouth (Somerset), plus a Ferruginous Duck at Chew Valley (Somerset). A Black Kite was present at Nocton Heath (Lincs) from 16th onwards.

Black Kite: Nocton Heath, Lincs (photo: Russell Hayes).

Glossy Ibis: Marshside, Lancs (photo: Sean Gray).

Photo of the week

We're used to seeing flight shots of the more diurnal Short-eared Owl, but most photos of Long-eared Owls show them roosting in dense thickets. Sean's superb series of images captures the essence of an evening hunt, with the setting sun glinting in the bird's eye. It would have been easy to lighten these images during processing but, by keeping the dark tones, Sean has retained the atmosphere of the sequence. This image, with the warm hues on the bird's side and underwing, is the pick of the bunch.

Long-eared Owl: W. Yorks (photo: Sean Gray).

Other notable photos from the week

Hen Harrier: Isle of Man (photo: Pete Hadfield).

Water Rail: Warwickshire (photo: Tom Melton).

Goldfinch: New Brighton, Cheshire (photo: Richard Steel).

Guillemot: Farne Islands, Northumbs (photo: Brian Irvine).

Common Tern: Summer Leys, Northants (photo: Kenneth Plows).

Spotted Flycatcher: Leominster, Herefs (photo: George Ewart).

Wren: Humberston, Lincolnshire (photo: Dave Bradbeer).

Many of the images that appear in our weekly reviews can be purchased from the photographers, some of whom have their own websites:

John Anderson: http://www.pbase.com/crail_birder
Bill Aspin: http://billaspinsnatureblog.blogspot.com
Mike Atkinson: http://mikeatkinson.net
Richard Bedford: http://www.richardbedford.co.uk
Steve Blain: http://www.steveblain.co.uk
Will Bowell: http://www.wanderingbirders.com
Paul Bowerman: http://www.severnsidebirds.co.uk
Paul Bowyer: http://www.birdlist.co.uk
Graham Catley: http://pewit.blogspot.com/
Mark Caunt: http://www.AngusBirding.com
Dean Eades: http://www.deaneadeswildlifephotography.co.uk
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
David Hatton: http://www.kowapower.com
Josh Jones: http://www.wanderingbirders.com
Paul and Andrea Kelly: http://www.irishbirdimages.com/
Matt Latham: http://www.mattlathamphotography.com
Micky Maher: http://www.aardfoto.co.uk/
John Malloy: http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/johnmalloy
Brian Mcgeough: http://www.brianmcgeough.com/
Tony Mills: http://www.notjustbirds.com
Jerry O'Brien: http://www.BirdsofBerkshire.co.uk
Mark Newsome: http://www.durhambirdclub.org/
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
Marc Read: http://www.marcread-pix.com
Tristan Reid: http://www.atricillaimages.co.uk/
Steve Round: http://stevenround-birdphotography.com
Craig Shaw: http://craigsukbirdpictures.bravehost.com/
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
Richard Steel: http://wildlifephotographic.bblogspot.com/
Stephen Tomlinson: http://stevesbirding.blogspot.com
Sue Tranter: http://www.suesbirdphotos.co.uk/
Damian Waters: http://www.drumimages.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