Review of the Week: 15th-21st September 2005

The week at a glance:
Yellow Warbler: Quendale, Shetland (photo: Michelle Spraggs).

Yellow Warbler: Quendale, Shetland (photo: Jon Dunn). Yellow Warbler: Quendale, Shetland (photo: Jon Dunn).
Yellow Warbler: Quendale, Shetland (photo: Dougie Preston). Yellow Warbler: Quendale, Shetland (photo: Dougie Preston).

Following on from last year's Yellow Warbler on Barra (Outer Hebrides), the 5th British Yellow Warbler was found at Quendale (Shetland) on Thursday 15th. Present until 17th, this was a welcome opportunity for those who missed out last year to catch up with this ultra-rare Nearctic warbler. This bird was also the 4th Scottish record; the only other British record was the first on Bardsey (Gwynedd) in 1964, and it is one of the few Nearctic species that have not (yet) made landfall on the Isles of Scilly. There are also two Irish records, both of which occurred in October 1995 (to see a full list of accepted records go to: Accepted Yellow Warbler records).

Western Bonelli's Warbler: Fair Isle, Shetland (photo: Deryk Shaw). Greenish Warbler: South Gare, Cleveland (photo: Ian Boustead).

A Buff-bellied Pipit was reported from St. Kilda (Outer Hebrides) on Tuesday 20th; the last record was a long-stayer on Scilly from late September through October 1996, and with just 6 previous British and Irish records a 'collectable' bird on this distant outpost could prove an expensive necessity for determined listers. A Lesser Grey Shrike was on Cape Clear (Co. Cork) on Sunday 18th and both Western Bonelli's Warbler and Greenish Warbler were present on the island early in the week. An inland Greenish Warbler was reported from Bedworth (Warks). A Paddyfield Warbler was trapped and released at Seasalter (Kent) on Tuesday 20th, but was only reported after release - this will be the 2nd county record, following one in September 2003. Other major rarities included a juvenile Pallid Harrier on St. Mary's and St. Martin's (Scilly) on Friday 16th and there was a Nutcracker reported from Sutton Veny (Wilts) on Sunday 18th; the last accepted Nutcracker was in 1998 in Kent and it seems a long time ago now since the obliging Staffordshire bird in 1991 - a new crowd-pleaser would be well appreciated by the masses.

Little Crake: Slimbridge, Glos photo: Josh Jones). Little Crake: Slimbridge, Glos photo: Mike Smith).
Little Crake: Slimbridge, Glos(photo: Steve Evans). Little Crake: Slimbridge, Glos(photo: Mike Jeffries).
Spotted Crake: Blacktoft Sands, E. Yorks(photo: Sean Gray). Great White Egret: Orchardleigh Park, Somerset(photo: James Packer).

The 1st-winter Little Crake continued to entertain visitors to Slimbridge Wetland Centre (Glos) through the week. A Snowy Owl was again at Solas, North Uist (Outer Hebrides) on Sunday 18th. Spotted Crakes were into double figures, with records well scattered, including two at Marazion (Cornwall). The Great White Egret remained at Blashford Lakes (Hants), with another at Orchardleigh Park (Somerset) from 16th onwards and one over Lodmoor (Dorset) on 18th. Several White Storks were at large in southern England.

Semipalmated Sandpiper: Ballycotton, Co. Cork (photo: Michael O'Keefe). Lesser Yellowlegs: Clonakilty, Co. Cork (photo: Michael O'Keefe ).
Baird's Sandpiper: Kirkby on Bain GPs, Lincs (photo: Russell Hayes). Baird's Sandpiper: Kirkby on Bain GPs, Lincs (photo: Russell Hayes).
Buff-breasted Sandpiper: Tacumshin, Co. Wexford (photo: Eric Dempsey). Buff-breasted Sandpiper: Tacumshin, Co. Wexford (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).
Pectoral Sandpiper: Tacumshin, Co. Wexford (photo: Eric Dempsey). Pectoral Sandpiper: Blacktoft Sands, E. Yorks (photo: Gordon Rickers).

Waders continued to maintain a high profile in our daily news reports. A 1st-winter Wilson's Phalarope was at Rubha Ardvule, South Uist (Outer Hebrides) from Monday 19th onwards. The Semipalmated Sandpiper remained at Shannon (Co. Clare) to 17th, White-rumped Sandpipers on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) increased to two on 18th then 3 on 19th and 20th, and a juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper was on Tresco (Scilly) on 18th. Baird's Sandpipers included birds on St. Agnes (Scilly), and at Smerwick (Co. Kerry) and Murvagh (Co. Donegal), plus a popular individual at Kirkby on Bain GPs (Lincs) - the first in Lincolnshire since 1979. Five American Golden Plovers included birds on the Outer Hebrides, Shetland, Orkney and in Co. Londonderry, with the long-staying 1st-summer in Cumbria. Some 17 Buff-breasted Sandpipers remained at large, including 4 at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) and 4 at Bornish, S.Uist (Outer Hebrides). The Long-billed Dowitcher remained at Shannon (Co. Clare) and a dowitcher species flew past Skeffling (E. Yorks) on 18th. Lesser Yellowlegs were at Clonakilty (Co. Cork) and Trabeg (Co. Kerry) with another at Loch Gruinart (Argyll). In addition, scarcities included nearly 30 Pectoral Sandpipers, 20 Grey Phalaropes and half-a-dozen Red-necked Phalaropes, plus a dozen Dotterel and three Temminck's Stints.

Red-necked Phalarope: Toft Newton Res, Lincs (photo: Graham Catley). Red-necked Phalarope: Toft Newton Res, Lincs (photo: Matt Latham).
Red-necked Phalarope: Toft Newton Res, Lincs (photo: Russell Hayes). Red-necked Phalarope: Toft Newton Res, Lincs (photo: Russell Hayes).
Red-backed Shrike: Newbiggin, Northumberland (photo: Mark Priest). Red-backed Shrike: Newbiggin, Northumberland (photo: John Malloy).
Red-breasted Flycatcher: Flamborough Head, E. Yorks (photo: Martin Garner). Rose-coloured Starling: East Prawle, Devon (photo: Paul Boulden).

A Citrine Wagtail was at Shannon (Co. Clare) from Thursday 15th-17th and a possible Arctic Warbler at Loop Head (Co. Clare) on 17th. A Red-throated Pipit was at Land's End (Cornwall) on 18th. A Little Bunting was at Spurn (E. Yorks) and another on Tresco (Scilly), and there were 9 Richard's Pipits reported, the majority of which were brief visitors along the south coast. Eight Red-breasted Flycatchers were scattered between the Northern Isles and east coast, except for two in Pembrokeshire. Yellow-browed Warblers were into double figures, three of which were in the southwest, there were a dozen Barred Warblers, four Melodious Warblers and just two Icterine Warblers. A Marsh Warbler was on Shetland, Common Rosefinches totalled 10, and Wrynecks around 30. A Woodchat Shrike was at Radipole Lake (Dorset) on 16th and 16 Red-backed Shrikes included popular birds in Buckinghamshire, Surrey and Greater London. The Bee-eater remained at Helendale (Shetland) and another passed over Salthouse (Norfolk) on 19th. Rose-coloured Starlings included juveniles at Helston Loe Pool (Cornwall), East Prawle (Devon) and Fort Doyle (Guernsey). There were four Ortolan Buntings, one on Shetland, the rest predictably in the southwest. An Alpine Swift was reported over Burnham-on-Sea (Somerset) on 16th and a popular Hoopoe was at Great Billing (Northants).

Barred Warbler: Oare Marshes, Kent (photo: Andy Vidler). Barred Warbler: Oare Marshes, Kent (photo: Andy Vidler).
Hoopoe: Great Billing, Northants (photo: Tony Mills). Hoopoe: Great Billing, Northants (photo: Richard Bedford).
Leach's Storm-petrel: Draycote Water, Warks (photo: Steve Valentine). Leach's Storm-petrel: Draycote Water, Warks (photo: Steve Valentine).

A presumed Fea's Petrel passed Old Head of Kinsale (Co. Cork) on Thursday 15th. A blast of onshore winds along the east coast overnight on 15th produced exceptional numbers of Sooty Shearwaters from most watchpoints in northeast England, peaking, as expected, at Flamborough Head (E. Yorks) where a record 2,600 went north, though 2,005 passed the Farnes (Northumberland) the same day. The impact on other species was less obvious, but small numbers of Sabine's Gulls included 6 past Hartlepool (Cleveland) and an inland juvenile at Chew Valley Lake (Somerset) from 16th-18th. Long-tailed Skua numbers peaked in Kent with 19 passing Reculver, though just single-figure counts were noted from the usual watchpoints. Leach's Storm-petrels included 32 past Spurn on 16th and four were recorded inland, including a popular bird at Draycote Water (Warks) for much of 18th and another at Nosterfield NR (N. Yorks) on 17th. Large shearwaters were in short supply: 28 Great Shearwaters included 25 from the Scilly pelagic on 19th and just five Cory's Shearwaters were reported. White-winged Black Terns were at Lamington (Clyde) and Tacumshin (Co. Wexford).

Leach's Storm-petrel: Nosterfield NR, N. Yorks (photo: Gordon Rickers). Sabine's Gull: Chew Valley Lake, Somerset (photo: Paul Bowyer).
White-winged Black Tern: Lamington, Clyde (photo: Craig Shaw). White-winged Black Tern: Lamington, Clyde (photo: John Anderson).

The Blue-winged Teal remained at Smerwick (Co. Kerry) and another was at North Slob (Co. Wexford). There were two drake King Eiders off Wester Quarff (Shetland), Surf Scoters off Moray/Nairn and Cornwall and a Ferruginous Duck was in Somerset. There were Ring-necked Ducks in Scilly, Somerset and Cornwall, whilst the American Wigeon returned to Wick (Highland) and the Green-winged Teal remained in South Yorkshire and another was at Inner Marsh Farm (Cheshire).

Ring-billed Gull: Otterspool, Lancs (photo: Steve Tomlinson). Ring-billed Gull: Portrush, Co. Antrim (photo: Derek Charles).
Little Stint: Salthouse, Norfolk (photo: Stuart Elsom). Dotterel: Fair Isle, Shetland (photo: Deryk Shaw).

Osprey: Hythe, Kent (photo: Andrew Lawson).
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
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/
Martin Cade: http://www.portlandbirdobs.btinternet.co.uk
Graham Catley: http://pewit.blogspot.com/
Mark Caunt: http://angusbirding.homestead.com/
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/
Andrew Easton: http://home.clara.net/ammodytes/
Graham Eaton: http://www.eatonphotography.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
Josh Jones: http://www.wanderingbirders.com
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
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
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
Simon Wilson: http://www.bakewellbirder.co.uk/
Chris Wormwell: http://www.iombirding.co.uk
Dylan Wrathall: http://www.planetthanet.org
Written by: Russell Slack