Review of the Week: 15th-21st March 2007


The week at a glance:

White-billed Diver: Hayle Estuary, Cornwall (photo: Keith Simpson).

With the weather doing its best to remind us that we still do get wintry spells occasionally, even in spring, most migrant activity ground to a halt. It was left to the late winter leftovers to attract most of the attention. The juvenile Pacific Diver remained at Llys-y-Fran Reservoir (Pembroke) throughout the week, as did the White-billed Diver on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall) to the 20th. Shetland hosted White-billed Divers at Symbister, Whalsay from 16th to 17th and Laxo, Mainland on 17th. The elusive Gyr Falcon was at Pentire Point (Cornwall) daily to the 17th, and again on 21st, but refused to perform well for its admirers.

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Laughing Gull: Countess Weir, Devon (photo: Andy Booth).

American Herring Gull: Tiree, Argyll (photo: John Bowler).

Ring-billed Gull: Crosby, Lancs (photo: Gavin Thomas).

Five American Herring Gulls were seen during the week, with first-year birds on Tiree (Argyll) and Lewis (Outer Hebrides), up to two first-years at Mousehole (Cornwall) and the 4th-winter still at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway). The 1st-winter Laughing Gull at Countess Weir (Devon) was on show all week, providing a nice diversion for birders on their way to/from the southwest. A 1st-winter Bonaparte's Gull was at Midleton (Co. Cork) on 20th and 20 Ring-billed Gulls were reported, with four each at Sandymount (Co. Dublin) and Nimmo's Pier. White-winged gulls remained conspicuous in certain areas, with a whopping 50 Iceland Gulls at Killybegs (Co. Donegal) on 17th, plus a handful of Kumlien's Gulls including an adult briefly on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall). Strong winds provided some unseasonable seawatching. There were several Leach's Storm-petrels between Gwynedd and Clwyd; seven passed Uisaed Point (Argyll) on the 18th, on which day one was off Stonehaven (Aberdeenshire). A European Storm-petrel passed Sheringham (Norfolk) on 21st and an adult Pomarine Skua in Cleveland on the 20th flew south past Hartlepool and was then relocated off South Gare; another was seen off Rhos Point (Conwy) on 18th. Small numbers of Little Auks included 33 passing the Butt of Lewis (Outer Hebrides) on the 18th with 16 there on the 19th, and a handful were noted elsewhere, with six passing Whitburn (Durham) on 20th.

Waxwing: Scunthorpe, Lincs (photo: Matt Latham).

Hoopoe: Knighton, Somerset (photo: Nathan Casburn).

Hoopoe: Knighton, Somerset (photo: Nathan Casburn). Shore Lark: Holkham, Norfolk (photo: Steve Fletcher).

A Hoopoe at Knighton (Somerset) from 18th to 21st was the only new 'scarcity' of note. The Little Bunting remained at Amwell GPs (Herts), with the Black-throated Thrush again reported from Rothesay (Bute) on the 18th. The Dusky Warbler was last reported in Newquay (Cornwall) on the 16th and the possible 'Central Asian' Lesser Whitethroat continued at Lelant (Cornwall). Four Yellow-browed Warblers included long-staying birds at Southwick (W. Sussex), Andover (Hampshire), Plymouth (Devon) and Penzance (Cornwall) and four Siberian Chiffchaffs were noted. Four Great Grey Shrikes included birds at Grimes Graves (Norfolk), Ogston Reservoir (Derbyshire), Perthcelyn (Glamorgan) and Parkend (Gloucestershire) and several flocks of Waxwings lingered on, with up to 31 at Longforgan (Perth and Kinross) and 20 each at Attlebridge (Norfolk) and Cramlington (Northumberland). Of two Lapland Buntings, one was a notable inland bird briefly at Willington GPs (Bedfordshire) whilst the other was more expected at Cresswell (Northumberland). Small parties of Shore Lark remained in Norfolk, where flocks were seen at Snettisham, Holkham, Cley and Caistor-on-Sea, along with four still in Kent at Coldharbour and singletons still in Northumberland and West Yorkshire.

Spotted Sandpiper: Hayle Estuary, Cornwall (photo: Andy Booth).

Common Crane: Cropredy, Oxon (photo: Steve Seal).

White Stork: Wold Newton, E. Yorks (photo: Dave Mansell).

Two Snowy Owls remained on Lewis (Outer Hebrides), the White-tailed Eagle was last reported from Loch of Strathbeg (Aberdeenshire) on the 17th and Rough-legged Buzzards included birds in Norfolk and Kent. An adult Night Heron was still on St. Mary's (Scilly) and the Glossy Ibis was still present at Lytham St. Annes (Lancs) to at least the 16th. A colour-ringed White Stork was at Wold Newton (E. Yorks) to the 18th (this bird was present in the Midlands and Northeast last year) and it, or another, was at Burgh-le-Marsh (Lincolnshire) on 20th and 21st. The long-staying Cattle Egret remained in Devon, a Common Crane was still at Cropredy (Oxon) and up to five Spoonbills were still in Dorset, plus singles in Cornwall, Scilly, Gwynedd and Co. Kerry. In London the Grey Phalarope remained at Crossness LNR as did the Temminck's Stint at Slimbridge (Glos). Four Long-billed Dowitchers included birds still in Kent, Essex, Co. Louth and Anglesey and the Spotted Sandpiper was an ever-present on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall).

Black Brant: Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk (photo: Kevin P Elsby).

Red-breasted Goose: Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk (photo: Will Bowell).

Snow Goose: Craobh Haven, Argyll (photo: Jim Dickson).

Green-winged Teal: Marshside, Lancs (photo: Steve Round).

The two adult Red-breasted Geese continued to attract visitors to Wells-next-the-Sea (Norfolk) and eight Black Brants included two each at Wells-next-the-Sea (Norfolk) and Farlington Marshes (Hampshire). Four Snow Geese included both the blue and white morph at North Slob (Co. Wexford) and others at Skinburness (Cumbria) and Craobh Haven (Argyll), plus vagrant Canada Geese in Northumberland and Argyll. The drake Barrow's Goldeneye remained in Forth to at least the 15th and a King Eider was at Symbister, Whalsay (Shetland) on 17th. Lesser Scaup included two still on Benbecula (Outer Hebrides), plus one at Blagdon Lake (Somerset) and another at Belturbet (Co. Cavan). A drake Ferruginous Duck was reported from William Girling Reservoir (London) on the 17th and 13 Ring-necked Ducks were noted, plus seven American Wigeon and 10 Green-winged Teal. The regular drake Surf Scoter remained in Fife and a drake was at Balbriggan (Co. Dublin).

Goldeneye: Balcomie, Fife (photo: John Anderson).

Slavonian Grebe: Waters' Edge, Lincs (photo: Graham Catley).

Scaup: Marshside, Lancs (photo: Steve Round).

Mediterranean Gull: Doonfoot, Ayrhsire (photo: Angus Hogg).

Grey Wagtail: Leominster, Herefordshire (photo: George Ewart).

Kingfisher: undisclosed, Lancashire (photo: Mike Atkinson).

Dipper: undisclosed, Clwyd (photo: Richard Steel).

Twite: White Holme Reservoir, W. Yorks (photo: Sean Gray).

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://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://www.severnsidebirds.co.uk
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://www.AngusBirding.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
Ian Fulton: http://www.pbase.com/ianfulton
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