Review of the Week: 17th-23rd June 2004


As spring merges with summer, the weather took on a distinctly unsettled flavour, with conditions more in keeping with autumn than midsummer. Rare and scarce species were at a premium during the week, but we are still in the 'anything can happen' period where a single wayward rarity can turn around those midsummer doldrums.

Spotted Sandpiper: Marsh Lane NR, W. Mids. (Photo: Lee Johnson) Spotted Sandpiper: Marsh Lane NR, W. Mids. (Photo: Andy Warr)

Spotted Sandpiper: Marsh Lane NR, W. Mids. (Photo: Darren Chapman) Spotted Sandpiper: Marsh Lane NR, W. Mids. (Photo: Nic Hallam)

Spotted Sandpiper: Marsh Lane NR, W. Mids. (Photo: Steve Nuttall) Spotted Sandpiper: Marsh Lane NR, W. Mids. (Photo: Steve Nuttall)

A Spotted Sandpiper at Marsh Lane NR (West Mids) from Saturday 19th-20th proved popular and was considered a different bird to last week's individual in Cheshire. This smartly-attired individual put on a good show, and was present from early morning on Saturday until late evening on Sunday. Continuing with waders, a Buff-breasted Sandpiper was a nice find on Tiree (Argyll) from Friday 18th-20th, a Pectoral Sandpiper was at West Loch Ollay, South Uist (Outer Hebrides) on Tuesday 22nd and a Temminck's Stint was at Baltasound, Unst (Shetland) from Tuesday 22nd-23rd. Finally, a Red-necked Phalarope was on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) from Saturday 19th-21st.

Red-necked Phalarope: Fetlar, Shetland. (Photo: Joe Ashburner)

Red-rumped Swallows were noted at St. Margaret's at Cliffe (Kent) on Thursday 17th and Heckmondwike (W. Yorks) on Friday 19th. A Serin was at Dungeness (Kent) on Sunday 20th. In Cornwall the Dusky Warbler is still at Fowey, present to at least Monday 21st. In Suffolk the male Icterine Warbler remains at Outney Common, present throughout the week. On Shetland a Marsh Warbler was at Pool of Virkie from 20th-22nd and another was still present on Unst early in the week. Several Common Rosefinches were reported in Scotland and a Golden Oriole was at Horseshoe Point (Lincs) on Monday 21st. On North Uist 3 Common Redpolls of the Icelandic race are on North Uist and a Grey-headed Wagtail was again at Loch of Strathbeg (Aberdeenshire).

White-winged Black Terns were at Loch of Spiggie/Loch of Hillwell (Shetland) from Saturday 19th-21st and at Balranald RSPB, North Uist (Outer Hebrides) on Wednesday 23rd. An adult Sabine's Gull was at Loch an Tiumpan, Lewis (Outer Hebrides) on Saturday 19th, the 1st-summer Bonaparte's Gull was at Bowling Green Marsh (Devon) until Friday 18th and the 1st-year American Herring Gull remains in residence at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway). The unsettled weather has provided some summer seawatching over the past week. On Wednesday 23rd, 2 Cory's Shearwaters were noted past Hartland Point (Devon), with 2 past Pendeen (Cornwall) and one passing St. Mary's (Scilly); earlier in the week one was reported past Anstruther (Fife) on Friday 18th. A Long-tailed Skua passed Flamborough Head (E. Yorks) on Saturday 19th, and there were small numbers of Arctic Skuas and the odd Great Skua from a number of locations. Two Balearic Shearwaters were off Portland (Dorset) on Thursday 17th with one there on Wednesday 23rd, one past Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on Tuesday 22nd and 3 past Pendeen on Wednesday 23rd. There were also a number of European Storm-petrels noted, maximum counts being 23 past Workington (Cumbria) on Monday 21st and 54 off Bardsey (Gwynedd) on Wednesday 23rd.

Ring-necked Duck: Barrow Gurney Reservoirs, Somerset. (Photo: Paul Bowyer) Ruddy Shelduck: Inner Marsh Farm, Cheshire. (Photo: Julie Rogers)

A Lesser Scaup was at Cart GPs (Forth) from Saturday 19th-20th. The Bufflehead of unknown origin remains at large in the Midlands, though it would appear to have a ring on the right leg. Elsewhere, the King Eider remains in Ayrshire, there was a Ring-necked Duck in Somerset and Green-winged Teals were in Lancashire, Cleveland and Perth and Kinross. The Glossy Ibis remains on Otmoor (Oxon) and the Black Kite was again seen at Loch an Ruathair (Highland).

Wood Sandpiper: Slains, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: Chris Jones)

Ruff: Oare Marshes, Kent. (Photo: Dylan Wrathall) Black-tailed Godwit: Oare Marshes, Kent. (Photo: Dylan Wrathall)

Spotted Redshank: Blacktoft Sands, E. Yorks. (Photo: Sue Tranter) Curlew Sandpiper: East Chevington, Northumbs. (Photo: Alan Gilbertson)

Corncrake: N. Uist, Outer Hebrides. (Photo: Nigel Blake)
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://www.nigelblake.co.uk
Will Bowell: http://www.geocities.com/wbowell/
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: Kit Day: http://angusbirding.homestead.com/
Kit Day: http://www.geocities.com/christophe_41/
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
Jerry O'Brien: http://www.BirdsofBerkshire.co.uk
James Packer: http://www.somersetbirder.co.uk
Tristan Reid: http://www.solwaybirder.org.uk
Steve Round: http://stevenround-birdphotography.com
Pete Ryder: http://groups.msn.com/petesdigibirds homepage
Tom Shevlin: http://wildlifesnaps.com/
Matt Slaymaker: http://www.freewebs.com/slaymaker
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