Review of the Week: 13-19th January 2005

Pine Bunting: Wadborough, Worcs. (Photo: Kevin Clements) Pine Bunting: Wadborough, Worcs. (Photo: Harry Dennant)

A male Pine Bunting was a fine inland find at Wadborough (Worcs) on Saturday 15th, and represented the second record of this rare Asian bunting for the county following one in February 1996. With only 44 accepted British and Irish records, this attractive species is still a quality rarity, but it is likely that more are out there waiting to be found with bunting flocks in most winters. Present for the rest of the week, the bird is elusive and does not give itself up easily.

White-tailed Eagle: Great Bircham, Norfolk. (Photo: Paul Bowyer)

A white-phase Gyr Falcon, probably a first-winter female, was on Fetlar (Shetland) on Saturday 15th, with it, or another, at Loch of Spiggie (Shetland) on Sunday 16th. The Fetlar individual is a different bird to the recent individual on Fair Isle (Shetland). On North Uist (Outer Hebrides) the white phase Gyr Falcon was again seen on Wednesday 19th. In Norfolk the White-tailed Eagle remained at Great Bircham until the 17th and then went walkabout along the north Norfolk coast on Tuesday 18th, being seen at Burnham Overy, Titchwell and Scolt Head Island, and then on Wednesday 19th was seen heading southwest over Welney - it is eagerly awaited at its next port of call.

A 1st-winter White-billed Diver was off Fetlar (Shetland) on Tuesday 18th, and an adult Bonaparte's Gull was at Thurso (Highland) on Sunday 16th. On Shetland the adult Ross's Gull was relocated at Loch of Hillwell from Sunday 16th-17th and a Forster's Tern was off Galway (Co. Galway) on Sunday 16th, with the 'regular' bird still at Strangford Lough (Co. Down). A Dark-breasted Barn Owl was at Bridlington (E. Yorks) on Saturday 15th and the individual was again seen at Reawick (Shetland) on Friday 14th.

Richard's Pipit: Kinmel Bay, Conwy. (Photo: Steve Round) Richard's Pipit: Kinmel Bay, Conwy. (Photo: Steve Round)

Arctic Redpoll: Titchwell, Norfolk. (Photo: Kit Day) Arctic Redpoll: Titchwell, Norfolk. (Photo: Sean Nixon)

Arctic Redpoll: Titchwell, Norfolk. (Photo: Kit Day)

There was an air of familiarity about many of our long-staying rarities. The exilipes Arctic Redpoll continues to provide a reliable detour at Titchwell RSPB (Norfolk), the Dusky Warbler is still at Kessingland in Suffolk (despite the removal of its favoured bushes by contractors), and the Richard's Pipit remains at Kinmel Bay (Conwy). Moving away from passerines, the Ivory Gull was still at Kyle of Tongue (Highland) during the week, as were the Cattle Egret at Kingston Seymour (Somerset) and Great White Egret at Mockbeggar Lakes (Hants), whilst the Glossy Ibis is still in Norfolk. The Lesser Yellowlegs is still at Stiffkey (Norfolk) and the two Grey Phalaropes were still off Filey Brigg (N. Yorks).

Great Grey Shrike: Fernworthy Res, Devon. (Photo: Mike Lockyear) Waxwing: Kidderminster, Norfolk. (Photo: John Robinson)

On Unst (Shetland) the Black-bellied Dipper was still present at Hermaness NNR. There were 16 well-scattered Great Grey Shrikes, half-a-dozen Siberian Chiffchaffs were reported and small numbers of Northern Bullfinches detected. Waxwings continue to be difficult to miss in many locations, though 31 Shore Larks could only be found in Lothian and Norfolk, 28 of them at Holkham Gap, and just 6 Lapland Buntings included 5 at Choseley (Norfolk). A Common Redstart was seen at Rainham Marshes (London) on 15th, continuing the trend for the unexpected during the mild winter.

Iceland Gull: Irvine, Ayrshire. (Photo: John Anderson) Iceland Gull: Oban, Argyll. (Photo: Bill Jackson)

Kumlien's Gull: Unst, Shetland. (Photo: Micky Maher) Kumlien's Gull: Unst, Shetland. (Photo: Micky Maher)

Seawatching was quiet, but a Sooty Shearwater passed Flamborough Head (E. Yorks) on 15th and 3 Pomarine Skuas passed Tarbat Ness (Highland) on 14th. A total of 26 Little Auks were noted, 18 of which passed Tarbat Ness on 15th. A probable 2nd-winter American Herring Gull was on Tresco (Scilly) on Thursday 13th, and the regular 2nd-winter remained at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway). Good numbers of white-winged gulls could still be found, with maximum counts of Iceland Gulls including 15 at both Killybegs (Co. Donegal) and Stornoway (Lewis), 12 at Culmore Dump (Londonderry) and 11 at Nimmo's Pier and 12 at Rossaveal (Co. Galway). In addition, there were also several birds considered to show characteristics of Kumlien's Gull. Glaucous Gulls were fewer in number, but included 12 at Culmore Dump and 10 at Killybegs.

Glaucous Gull: Unst, Shetland. (Photo: Micky Maher)

Scaup: Conwy RSPB, Conwy. (Photo: Steve Round) Red-necked Grebe: Black Point, Hants. (Photo: George Spraggs)

Red-necked Grebe: Ferry Meadows, Cambs. (Photo: Will Bowell)

The female Black Duck remains on Tresco (Scilly), as do the Black Scoter off Llanfairfechan (Conwy) and Lesser Scaups in East Sussex and Essex. Elsewhere, there were 10 Green-winged Teals, 6 American Wigeons, 7 Ring-necked Ducks and 5 Ferruginous Ducks. The immature drake King Eider remains in Aberdeenshire and Surf Scoters comprised one in Fife and two still in Moray/Nairn. The juvenile Snow Goose is still at Holkham (Norfolk), and good numbers of Tundra Bean Geese remain faithful to favoured locations from the recent influx.

Firecrest: Rivacre CP, Cheshire. (Photo: Steve Round) Firecrest: Rivacre CP, Cheshire. (Photo: Sue Tranter)

Firecrest: Rivacre CP, Cheshire. (Photo: Sue Tranter)

Short-eared Owl: Welney, Norfolk. (Photo: Nigel Blake) Short-eared Owl: Welney, Norfolk. (Photo: Nigel Blake)

Short-eared Owl: Welney, Norfolk. (Photo: G Cox)
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://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/birdphotos/index.htm
Will Bowell: http://www.wanderingbirders.co.nr/
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.kitday-uk.com/
Lee Dingain: http://www.leedingain.co.uk
Jon Dunn: http://www.surfbirds.com/blogs/Stercorarius/
Sean Gray: http://www.grayimages.co.uk
Peter Hadfield: http://www.manxbirdphotography.co.uk
Josh Jones: http://www.wanderingbirders.co.near/
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
Jerry O'Brien: http://www.BirdsofBerkshire.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
Deryk Shaw/FIBO: http://www.fairislebirdobs.co.uk
Tom Shevlin: http://wildlifesnaps.com/
Matt Slaymaker: http://www.freewebs.com/slaymaker
Oliver Smart: http://www.smartimages.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
Chris Wormwell: http://www.iombirding.co.uk
Dylan Wrathall: http://www.planetthanet.org
Written by: Russell Slack