Review of the Week: 14th-20th April 2005

Yellow Wagtail or hybrid: Covenham Reservoir, Lincs. (Photo: Roy Harvey)

Yellow Wagtail or hybrid: Covenham Reservoir, Lincs. (Photo: Roy Harvey) Yellow Wagtail or hybrid: Covenham Reservoir, Lincs. (Photo: Roy Harvey)

For the second week running things remained fairly quiet. A wagtail at Covenham Reservoir (Lincs) from Tuesday 19th-20th was at first thought to be a Citrine Wagtail, but on closer inspection was considered to be a variant Yellow Wagtail though the possibility of a hybrid can not be dismissed in such birds; it showed some plumage features of Citrine Wagtail but called like a Yellow Wagtail and is another reminder that any 'Citrine-like' Wagtail at this time of year needs a full 'grilling' to be completely certain of the identity. There have been a number of similar spring birds masquerading as Citrine Wagtails in recent years that have failed to make the grade. Perhaps it is time to review of all spring Citrine Wagtails to see if any others slipped through the net?

Kentish Plover: Breydon Water, Norfolk. (Photo: Sean Nixon) Kentish Plover: Breydon Water, Norfolk. (Photo: Steve Evans)

A Killdeer was at Lough Atalia (Co. Galway) on Saturday 16th - there has been a veritable glut of sightings of this rare Nearctic wader this year, though how many can be attributed to one or two wandering birds is difficult to ascertain. A Lesser Yellowlegs was at Broad Lough (Co. Wicklow) on Saturday 16th, and the Stiffkey (Norfolk) Lesser Yellowlegs was still present to at least the 18th. A Kentish Plover was at Dungeness RSPB (Kent) on Sunday 17th, and the Kentish Plovers from last week remained at Breydon Water (Norfolk) to 14th and Dawlish Warren (Devon) to 16th.

Hoopoe: St. Minver, Cornwall. (Photo: Derek Julian)

Waxwing: Sandy, Beds. (Photo: Mike Lawrence) Waxwing: Blithfield Res, Staffs. (Photo: Steve Evans)

Scarce migrants remain scarce! A Wryneck was on Fair Isle (Shetland) on 19th, with three there on 20th. Other Wrynecks were at Kelling (Norfolk) on 19th and Landguard NR (Suffolk) on 20th, and the Land's End bird remained in residence. Not surprisingly Great Grey Shrikes were thin on the ground, singles were in Conwy, East Yorkshire and North Yorkshire. There were 8 Hoopoes, most in Cornwall, though others were in Kent, Northamptonshire, Essex and Durham. Typically, all three Serins were in Dorset, with singles at Portland on 15th, Durlston Country Park on 19th and Hengistbury Head on 20th. Withdrawing Northern Bullfinches were picked up on Foula and Fair Isle (Shetland), plus North Ronaldsay (Orkney), with 3 on Coll (Argyll). Waxwings are still present in good numbers with three-figure flocks at 8 sites, including 350 early in the period at Armthorpe (S. Yorks). Ring Ouzels too were conspicuous by their presence in some locations, with, for example, 20 at North Gare (Cleveland) and 20 at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea (Northumberland) though multiples were noted at many coastal and traditional stop-overs. Long-staying rarities exhibiting a reluctance to depart their wintering sites include the Dusky Warbler in Suffolk and Richard's Pipit in Conwy.

White Stork: Wetley Rocks, Staffs. (Photo: Simon Wilson) White Stork: Wetley Rocks, Staffs. (Photo: Simon Wilson)

Seawatching picked up in the English Channel, with a Cory's Shearwater passing Dungeness (Kent) on 15th and a Sabine's Gull was reported passing Portland (Dorset) on 16th. Small numbers of Pomarine Skuas were noted, the peak count 7 passing Portland on 17th. The build-up of White-billed Divers off Lewis (Outer Hebrides) continued with a number of birds noted off Port Skigersta, Tiumpan Head and Cellar Head; how many birds might be present further offshore? A Night Heron was at Golden Grove (Carmarthen) on 14th-15th and an adult at Kuggar (Cornwall) on Saturday 16th. A Purple Heron was at North Warren (Suffolk) on 14th and one flew over Manston (Kent) on Tuesday 19th. Great White Egrets were seen in Dorset (14th), Hampshire (17th), Kent (18th) and Shetland (18th-19th) and two Cattle Egrets were at Kingston Seymour (Somerset) on 16th. The escaped White Stork remained in Warwickshire, whilst others of unknown origin were in Dorset and Somerset, and an obliging bird was at Wetley Rocks (Staffs) from 18th which may, perhaps, have been the Warwickshire bird.

Ring-necked Duck: Craigavon, Co. Armagh. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)

Blue-winged Teal: Malltraeth, Anglesey. (Photo: Marc Hughes) Blue-winged Teal: Malltraeth, Anglesey. (Photo: Marc Hughes)

A female Blue-winged Teal at Malltraeth (Anglesey) from 16th onwards proved popular, especially in combination with the long-staying Black Scoter off Conwy. The Black Duck remains on Tresco and King Eiders likewise in Dumfries and Galloway and Aberdeenshire. There 9 widely scattered Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon in Cambridgeshire and Ceredigion, 4 Surf Scoters and over half-a-dozen Ring-necked Ducks.

Ring Ouzel: Aston Rowant, Oxon. (Photo: Ashley Stow) Ring Ouzel: North Gare, Cleveland. (Photo: Ian Forrest)

Black Redstart: Bardsey, Gwynedd. (Photo: Lee Johnson) Grasshopper Warbler: Lavell's Lake, Berks. (Photo: Jerry O'Brien)

White Wagtail: Prescot Res, Lancs. (Photo: Stephen Tomlinson) White Wagtail: Shelling Hill, Co. Louth. (Photo: Breffni)
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/
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
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
George Spraggs: http://www.bird-watching.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