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


The week at a glance:


Two-barred Greenish Warbler: Filey, N. Yorks (photo: Graham Catley).

Two-barred Greenish Warbler: Filey, N. Yorks (photo: Graham Catley).

Roller: Beal, Northumberland (photo: Steven Fryer). Roller: Beal, Northumberland (photo: Alan Gilbertson).
Isabelline Wheatear: Filey, N. Yorks (photo: Dave Mansell). Isabelline Wheatear: Filey, N. Yorks (photo: Dave Mansell).

An easterly airflow delivered plenty of interest this week, primarily to the east coast. Although presently treated as a race of Greenish Warbler, the Two-barred Greenish Warbler at Filey (N. Yorks) from 16th-18th proved a popular attraction - well, you never quite know what might happen in the future, so it will have been seen for 'insurance purposes' by many! There was a Blyth's Pipit at Sumburgh (Shetland) on 12th and another was identified on St. Mary's (Scilly) on 18th. A number of collectable Red-flanked Bluetails in the last decade has ensured that they're no longer the rarity of days of old, but they're still eagerly sought-after. One at Newgord, Unst (Shetland) from 13th-16th will have enticed relatively few birders north, but another at Thorpeness (Suffolk) from 16th onwards has proved much more popular. Both an Isabelline Wheatear at Filey (N. Yorks) late on 14th and a possible Eye-browed Thrush at Spurn (E. Yorks) on 15th would have proved popular had they hung around, whilst the long-staying Roller continued to attract birders to Beal (Northumberland), but a brief individual on St. Mary's (Scilly) on 15th was less obliging.

Red-flanked Bluetail: Thorpeness, Suffolk (photo: Steve Blain).

Red-flanked Bluetail: Unst, Shetland (photo: Mike Pennington).

Red-flanked Bluetail: Unst, Shetland (photo: Mike Pennington). Red-flanked Bluetail: Unst, Shetland (photo: Mike Pennington).
Red-flanked Bluetail: Thorpeness, Suffolk (photo: Tim Brown). Red-flanked Bluetail: Thorpeness, Suffolk (photo: Scott Mayson).

Baltimore Oriole: Cape Clear, Co. Cork (photo: Tom Shevlin).

Red-eyed Vireo: Kilbaha, Co. Clare (photo: Stuart Elsom).

A Baltimore Oriole was found on Cape Clear (Co. Cork) from 12th onwards, but the Canada Warbler departed Kilbaha (Co. Clare) prior to the weekend on 13th and the American Robin remained on Tresco (Scilly) throughout the week. Red-eyed Vireos were found on Bryher (Scilly) and St. Mary's on 17th, with the latter still present on 18th, whilst the bird at Kilbaha was last seen on 14th.

Isabelline Shrike: Dungeness, Kent (photo: Paul).

Isabelline Shrike: Old Head of Kinsale, Co. Cork (photo: Tom Shevlin).

Great Reed Warbler: Dunwich, Suffolk (photo: Mark Breaks).

A Great Reed Warbler was trapped at Dingle Marshes (Suffolk) on 14th and released at nearby Dunwich, whilst there were Booted Warblers on Bryher from 13th-14th and on St. Mary's from 15th onwards. The Arctic Warbler remained at Boddam (Shetland) to 12th and another was on St. Mary's on 13th and the Greenish Warbler remained on St. Agnes to 12th. There were Western Bonelli's Warblers on St. Martin's (Scilly) on 18th and still on St. Mary's, plus a Bonelli's Warbler sp. was on Unst (Shetland) from 13th. An Isabelline Shrike was at Dungeness (Kent) on 15th with another at Old Head of Kinsale (Co. Cork) on 17th. There was a Siberian Stonechat on Out Skerries (Shetland) from 13th-14th, with a Thrush Nightingale trapped at Herston, South Ronaldsay (Orkney) on 13th and a Pechora Pipit at Pool of Virkie (Shetland) from 14th-15th with last week's bird still on Foula (Shetland). Six Olive-backed Pipits included birds at Spurn (E. Yorks) and St. Mary's, with two on North Ronaldsay (Orkney).

Pallas's Warbler: Salthouse, Norfolk (photo: John Miller).

Radde's Warbler: Horse Shoe Point, Lincs (photo: Graham Catley).

Radde's Warbler: Horse Shoe Point, Lincs (photo: Graham Catley). Radde's Warbler: Horse Shoe Point, Lincs (photo: Will Bowell).

Yellow-browed Warbler: Skateraw, Lothian (photo: Peter Macdonald).

An arrival of 8 Radde's Warblers was well appreciated, with several showy birds, and four Subalpine Warblers included two in Co. Cork and two in the southwest. Six Red-throated Pipits included three in Co. Cork and one on Anglesey, whilst two Tawny Pipits were reported and over 25 Richard's Pipits, including inland birds in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. Good numbers of Yellow-browed Warblers remained, along with 10 Pallas's Warblers and a dozen Barred Warblers, plus Melodious Warbler at Porthgwarra (Cornwall) and Icterine Warbler at Gibraltar Point (Lincs).

Barred Warbler: Holy Island, Northumberland (photo: Tim Dean).

Subalpine Warbler: Chapel Porth, Cornwall (photo: Mike Barker).

Shore Lark: Salthouse, Norfolk (photo: Steve Seal).

Great Grey Shrike: Holy Island, Northumberland (photo: Craig Shaw).

There were around a dozen Wrynecks, 7 Rose-coloured Starlings, 7 Hoopoes, 12 Red-backed Shrikes, 8 Great Grey Shrikes and a Woodchat Shrike at Old Head of Kinsale. Twenty Red-breasted Flycatchers was a decent showing, as was 13 Little Buntings and 5 Short-toed Larks, though the only Ortolan Bunting was at Ness of Sound (Shetland). Six Shore Lark were restricted to the east coast, mostly Norfolk, and 9 Common Rosefinches were well scattered. Seven Bluethroats were found, nearly all on the Northern Isles, and the Red-rumped Swallow remained at Hoswick (Shetland) and another over Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on 13th.

Pectoral Sandpiper: Titchwell, Norfolk (photo: Sean Nixon).

White-rumped Sandpiper: Salthouse, Norfolk (photo: Peter Simpson).

American Golden Plover: St. Mary's, Scilly (photo: Doug Kelson).

Nearctic waders still retained a presence. An Upland Sandpiper was reported over St. Agnes (Scilly) on 17th. No fewer than 15 White-rumped Sandpipers were located, including 5 at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) and 3 in north Norfolk. The Least Sandpiper remained on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall) to the 15th, and Spotted Sandpipers were still on the Hayle Estuary and Tamar Lakes (Devon). Lesser Yellowlegs resided at Rosscarbery (Co. Cork) and Cross Lough (Co. Mayo) with Long-billed Dowitchers still at Oare Marshes (Kent), with others at Elmley Marshes (Kent) and on the Bann Estuary (L'derry). Five Buff-breasted Sandpipers included three at Blacktoft Sands (E. Yorks), and 11 American Golden Plovers continued the good showing of recent weeks for this popular wader. Just five Pectoral Sandpipers were left over from the early autumn influx, along with 5 Dotterel and 2 Grey Phalaropes.

Bonaparte's Gull: Newbiggin, Northumberland (photo: Howard Broughton).

Whiskered Tern: Titchwell, Norfolk (photo: Sean Nixon).

Whiskered Tern: Titchwell, Norfolk (photo: Lee Johnson). Whiskered Tern: Titchwell, Norfolk (photo: Mick Green).

An obliging 1st-winter Whiskered Tern frequented Titchwell (Norfolk) from 13th onwards, after being reported from Brancaster on 12th. A probable Laughing Gull passed Isley Marsh (Devon) on 15th and the Bonaparte's Gulls remained in Northumberland and Co. Kerry. The Azorean Yellow-legged Gull remained in Co. Kerry and another was again at Belfast Lough (Co. Antrim). An adult Kumlien's Gull was at Barrow Gurney Reservoirs (Somerset) on 16th, though just 6 Ring-billed Gulls were at large and two brief Sabine's Gulls.

Snowy Owl: Doagh, Co. Donegal (photo: Dermot Breen).

Cattle Egret: Fairburn Ings, W. Yorks (photo: Darren Ward).

Snow Goose: Burnham Market, Norfolk (photo: Sean Nixon).

Green-winged Teal: Inner Marsh Farm, Cheshire (photo: AEBS Limited).

Red-breasted Goose: Covenham Reservoir, Lincs (photo: Russell Hayes). Red-breasted Goose: Covenham Reservoir, Lincs (photo: Russell Hayes).

Five Cattle Egrets were present between the south coast and West Yorkshire, and, of 6 Great White Egrets, long-staying birds remained at Blashford Lakes (Hants) and New Swillington Ings (W. Yorks). The Glossy Ibis continued to tour Lancashire during the early part of the week, last being reported on 15th over Martin Mere. Snowy Owls remained in Co. Donegal and South Uist. Two adult Red-breasted Geese were an intriguing find in Lincolnshire, being present at Covenham Reservoir and then in the Saltfleet and Donna Nook area. Two Richardson's Canada Geese were at Caerlaverock (Dumfries and Galloway) and a Snow Goose passing south over Spurn and then Mablethorpe (Lincs) settled in Norfolk; another was in Aberdeenshire. The Marbled Duck remained in Dorset and the Lancashire Lesser Scaup moved from Pine Lake to Leighton Moss. The Ring-necked Duck remained at Avonmouth (Somerset), and Ferruginous Ducks were at New Hythe GP (Kent) and Chew Valley (Somerset), with a drake at Studland Bay (Dorset) on 13th. Green-winged Teal were at Inner Marsh Farm (Cheshire) and Belfast Lough (Co. Antrim), with American Wigeon at Sandbach Flashes (Cheshire) and Needingworth Quarries (Cambs). A handful of Surf Scoters included one still in Cornwall and another passing Whitburn (Durham).

Great Northern Diver: Rutland Water, Leics (photo: John Dickenson).

Little Stint: Salthouse, Norfolk (photo: Adrian Dancy).

Black-headed Gull: Rhoscolyn, Anglesey (photo: Mike Atkinson).

Mediterranean Gull: North Wirral, Cheshire (photo: Steve Round).

Bittern: Holy Island, Northumberland (photo: Tim Dean).

Starling: Kensington Gardens, London (photo: Fraser Simpson).

Cirl Bunting: Prawle Point, Devon (photo: John Moon).

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/
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
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