Review of the Week: 17th-24th August 2005

The week at a glance:
Wilson's Phalarope: Farlington Marshes, Hants. (Photo: Nic Hallam)

Wilson's Phalarope: Farlington Marshes, Hants. (Photo: Rob Laughton) Wilson's Phalarope: Farlington Marshes, Hants. (Photo: Richard Ford)
Wilson's Phalarope: Farlington Marshes, Hants. (Photo: Hugh Venables) Wilson's Phalarope: Farlington Marshes, Hants. (Photo: Gavin Horsley)

Nearctic waders hit the headlines this week, with several species represented and a number of multiple records. In terms of rarity value a Stilt Sandpiper at Reedyflats (Co. Armagh) on Friday 19th took the honours, but a juvenile Wilson's Phalarope at Bowling Green Marsh (Devon) from Thursday 18th-20th and then at Farlington Marshes (Hants) from Sunday 21st onwards topped the popularity stakes. Another Wilson's Phalarope was on the Bann Estuary (Co. Londonderry) from Sunday 21st-24th. The supporting cast included a White-rumped Sandpiper at Seabank (Co. Louth) from 20th-21st, Baird's Sandpiper at Slimbridge (Glos) on 21st and an adult American Golden Plover on the Rogerstown Estuary (Co. Dublin) from 20th-21st, with the 1st-summer American Golden Plover again at Anthorn (Cumbria) during the week. A Lesser Yellowlegs was at Stiffkey (Norfolk) on Thursday 18th, with others reappearing at Loch Bee (Outer Hebrides) from 20th-21st and Doonbeg (Co. Clare) on 21st. A Black-winged Stilt was at Bowling Green Marsh (Devon) on 17th. Two Buff-breasted Sandpipers were on St. Mary's (Scilly) on 22nd, then St. Martin's on 23rd, 2 were at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) on 24th and another was on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) from 23rd-24th.

American Golden Plover: Rogerstown Estuary, Dublin. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)

American Golden Plover: Rogerstown Estuary, Dublin. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly) White-rumped Sandpiper: Seabank, Co. Louth. (Photo: Gerry O'Neill)

Scarce waders were well represented too. There were around 18 Pectoral Sandpipers and Temminck's Stints were at Stiffkey (Norfolk) on 18th, Elmley Marshes (Kent) from 19th-20th and Blacktoft Sands (E. Yorks) on 23rd. A juvenile Kentish Plover was at Dawlish Warren (Devon) from 18th-22nd and a Red-necked Phalarope at Blacktoft Sands (E. Yorks) from 23rd-24th. Onshore winds delivered around 25 Grey Phalaropes to inshore waters, with 14 passing Bridges of Ross (Co. Clare) on 24th and 4 past Brandon Head (Co. Kerry) the same day. Eight singletons were well scattered, five of them on 24th and a phalarope sp. was at Stewartby Lake (Beds) on 24th.

Kentish Plover: Dawlish Warren, Devon. (Photo: Tim Hall) Grey Phalarope: Pennington Marshes, Hants. (Photo: BJ Pink)
Great Shearwater: At sea, Outer Hebrides. (Photo: Paul Boyer)

Seawatching was once again at centre stage, birders watching from Irish headlands enjoying some superb movements and the lion's share of the action. A Little Shearwater was reported at sea off Co. Clare on Tuesday 23rd and a Fea's Petrel was seen passing Bridges of Ross (Co. Clare), THE place for this exciting species, on Wednesday 24th. A Sooty Tern was reported past Strumble Head (Pembrokeshire) on Tuesday 23rd and an orange-billed tern passed Newbiggin (Northumberland) on Friday 19th. Large shearwaters provided some mouthwatering passages for those lucky enough to witness them, with 2,350 Great Shearwaters past Kilcummin (Co. Mayo) on 19th and 1,130 Great Shearwaters passing Fanad Head (Co. Donegal) the same day. Peak numbers of Cory's Shearwaters included 1,700 passing Kilcummin on 19th and 1,002 passing Annagh Head (Co. Mayo) on 18th. An impressive movement of Sooty Shearwaters was mixed in for good measure, including 2,900 passing Fanad Head on 19th and 2,100 off Kilcummin the same day. In contrast the only Great Shearwater in the North Sea passed Flamborough Head on 21st, though small numbers were in Scottish waters, including 12 off Lewis (Outer Hebrides) on 24th. The Bridges of Ross also produced the largest count of Balearic Shearwaters with 30 noted on 24th. Sabine's Gulls also featured in the movement experienced off Irish headlands, with peak counts of 8 past Fanad Head on 19th and 7 past the Bridges of Ross on 23rd. An inland summer-plumaged Sabine's Gull on Grafham Water (Cambs) on 21st was a welcome distraction for visitors returning from the Bird Fair. Wilson's Storm-petrels continued to be recorded in good numbers, the majority land-based observations with singles past Bridges of Ross on 18th and 20th and two on 22nd and 23rd, whilst singles were logged from the Scilly pelagic on 17th and 23rd. White-winged Black Terns included birds at Abberton Res (Essex) on 21st and Draycote Water (Warks) on 24th. In Co. Galway the 1st-summer Laughing Gull was again at Nimmo's Pier from 21st-23rd.

Common Rosefinch: Fair Isle, Shetland. (Photo: Deryk Shaw) Barred Warbler: Fair Isle, Shetland. (Photo: Deryk Shaw)
Barred Warbler: Spurn, E. Yorks. (Photo: Susan Paylor) Barred Warbler: Spurn, E. Yorks. (Photo: Susan Paylor)
Wryneck: Dawlish Warren, Devon. (Photo: Dan Pointon) Wryneck: Dawlish Warren, Devon. (Photo: Dan Pointon)
Red-backed Shrike: Kessingland, Suffolk. (Photo: Josh Jones) Red-backed Shrike: Kessingland, Suffolk. (Photo: Mike Parker)

A window of opportunity for a few drift migrants to arrive did not disappoint. A Citrine Wagtail was reported from Cley (Norfolk) on Monday 22nd, and the Booted Warbler remained on the Farnes (Northumberland) to 17th. Around 22 Barred Warblers were recorded, with records confined to the Northern Isles and along the east coast to Norfolk, except for one on St. Agnes; the peak count was 7 on Fair Isle (Shetland) on 20th. An Icterine Warbler was at Spurn (E. Yorks) on 18th and 21st, with another there on 19th, a Marsh Warbler was on Fair Isle on 21st and Common Rosefinches were on Foula (Shetland) on 19th, with 2 on Fair Isle on 20th and one to 22nd. Five Wrynecks were noted, four of them along the south coast, as were 5 Red-backed Shrikes between Yorkshire and Shetland, and a Woodchat Shrike was at Gelston (Dumfries and Galloway) on 22nd. A Tawny Pipit was at Dungeness (Kent) on 23rd and an Aquatic Warbler at Lodmoor (Dorset) on 21st. A Bee-eater was reported over Great Yarmouth (Norfolk) on 18th and a Rose-coloured Starling was at Frockheim (Angus and Dundee) from 20th onwards. The Black-headed Wagtail once again put in an appearance at South Huish Marsh (Devon) from 18th onwards and a Red-rumped Swallow was reported from the same site on 18th.

Black-headed Wagtail: South Huish, Devon. (Photo: Steve Evans) Rose-coloured Starling: Frockheim, Angus/Dundee. (Photo: Richard M)
Cattle Egret: Brampton, Cambs. (Photo: Jonathan Clarke) Spotted Crake: Ambaston GPs, Derbys. (Photo: Darren Chapman)

A Snowy Owl was on North Uist (Outer Hebrides) on 17th and a Black Kite reported over Margate (Kent) on 22nd. Cattle Egrets were at Nanjizal (Cornwall) and Seaton Marshes (Devon) on 17th, with one at Lodmoor (Dorset) on 20th and the long-stayer still at Brampton (Cambs). The colour-ringed Great White Egret remained at Blashford Lakes (Hants) to 22nd and another was reported at Llanrhidian (Glamorgan) on 23rd. The Purple Heron was still at Doxey Marshes (Staffs) during the week and others were at Beddington (London) on 18th and Bacton (Norfolk) on 21st. Half-a-dozen Spotted Crakes were reported, several of which were long stayers. A Northern Eider was at Fanad Head (Co. Donegal), and a King Eider at Nairn (Moray/Nairn). The long-staying Ring-necked Ducks remained in Somerset and Scilly as did the American Wigeon in Angus/Dundee.

Curlew Sandpiper: Titchwell, Norfolk. (Photo: Peter Simpson) Dunlin: Smeale, Isle of Man. (Photo: Pete Hadfield)
Sanderling: Skye, Highland. (Photo: Martin Benson) Black Tern: Eccletson Mere, Lancs. (Photo: Stepehn Tomlinson)
Red Kite: Devil's Bridge, Ceredigion. (Photo: Steve Round) Red Grouse: Derbys Moors, Derbys. (Photo: Dave Winnard)

Wood Sandpiper: Titchwell, Norfolk. (Photo: Will Bowell)
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