Review of the Week: 19th-25th July 2007


The week at a glance:

This week's rare and scarce birds

Chimney Swift: York, N. Yorkshire (photo: Malcolm Douglas).

It has been a summer of surprises so far, so the appearance of a Chimney Swift in the centre of the city of York (North Yorkshire) on 24th should not come as too much of a shock given recent events. Present until at least the 25th, it has proved to be devilishly difficult to catch up with and has led many observers a game of hide and seek following the initial find. With reports earlier in the month of this species it is conceivable that it could be the same bird - but then again how many Chimney Swifts that find themselves on this side of the Atlantic end up summering with Common Swifts? Such birds certainly add a further dimension to scanning midsummer Swift flocks in the hope of a rarity!

Spotted Sandpiper: Draycote Water, Warks (photo: Steve Evans).

White-rumped Sandpiper: Seaforth, Lancs (photo: Gavin Thomas).

White-rumped Sandpiper: Seaforth, Lancs (photo: Gavin Thomas).

A decent array of waders was once again to be found. The Spotted Sandpiper was at Wykeham Lakes (N. Yorks) to the 19th and another, or perhaps the same, was at Draycote Water (Warks) on 20th. A Baird's Sandpiper was at Pool of Virkie (Shetland) on 21st, at which location the summer Killdeer continued its stay. A White-rumped Sandpiper was present at Seaforth (Lancs) from 22nd onwards, the Lesser Yellowlegs was on the Rogerstown Estuary (Dublin) to the 21st and another Lesser Yellowlegs was at Leighton Moss (Lancs) from 24th. The Hudsonian Whimbrel remained at Walney Island (Cumbria) and scarce waders comprised seven Pectoral Sandpipers, Temminck's Stints at Cley (Norfolk), Grove Ferry (Kent) and Blashford Lakes (Hants) and a Kentish Plover reported from St. Mary's (Scilly).

Black Kite: Nocton Heath, Lincs (photo: Andrew P. Chick).

Black Kite: Nocton Heath, Lincs (photo: Graham Catley). Black Kite: Nocton Heath, Lincs (photo: Graham Catley).

Night Heron: Fairburn Ings, W. Yorks (photo: Dave Mansell).

A Squacco Heron was a good find at Lough Beg (Co. Londonderry) from 21st, and yet another addition to the statistics for this attractive heron during this influx year. In West Yorkshire the two Night Herons at Fairburn Ings continued to attract a steady flow of visitors, as did the Glossy Ibis at Marshside (Lancs). A Cattle Egret was at Grove Ferry (Kent) from 21st-24th and several Great White Egrets were reported, though none lingered. The Black Kite continued to prove popular at Nocton Fen (Lincs), with many observers combining it with viewing the breeding Montagu's Harriers at Digby Fen. Another Black Kite was present at Scarborough (N. Yorks) on the 19th. A Snowy Owl was again on Lewis (Outer Hebrides), on the 25th, at Mangurstadh.

White-winged Black Tern: Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (photo: Nic Hallam).

Cattle Egret: Grove Ferry, Kent (photo: Martyn Philip Wilson).

White-winged Black Terns were at Farmoor (Oxon) on 20th and Loch of Tankerness (Orkney) from 22nd-23rd and the Bonaparte's Gull was still present on South Uist (Outer Hebrides) on 20th. Times were still lean for seawatchers, though small numbers of Great Shearwaters skirted southern Ireland on 25th with six passing Galley Head (Co. Cork), two each past Cape Clear (Co. Cork) and Helvick Head (Co. Waterford) and one past Dursey Island (Co. Cork). Small numbers of Cory's Shearwaters were noted, with three past Galley Head on the 25th being the highest count. The Scilly pelagics continued to encounter Wilson's Storm-petrels with two on 20th and one on 21st, and the peak Balearic Shearwater count was 37 passing Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on 25th.

Glossy Ibis: Marshside, Lancs (photo: Steve Oakes).

The Lesser Grey Shrike was still to be found on Fair Isle (Shetland) and a Woodchat Shrike was reported from Ember Combe (Somerset) for its 9th day on 25th. An Icterine Warbler on the Farnes (Northumberland) on 22nd was an early record and the Subalpine Warbler remained on the Isle of May (Fife). Summering ducks included up to five Surf Scoters still off Aberdeenshire, a Green-winged Teal at Grafham Water (Cambs) and Ring-necked Ducks at Loch Gelly (Fife), Barrow Gurney (Somerset) and Blithfield Reservoir (Staffs).

Photo of the week

Peter's action shot of a displaying Stone Curlew sums up both an event in time and the concept of protectiveness. Birds that nest on open ground have limited options for protection. This image illustrates the extremes, from squatting down and relying on camouflage to looking as big and threatening as possible: in this case, ten times bigger! As well as capturing the rabbit in mid-air, the timing of this shot perfectly places the three subjects (triangularly) for maximum impact, with the protector centrally between the threat and the threatened. This just shows that you can't judge an image by its thumbnail.

Stone Curlew: Weeting Heath, Norfolk (photo: Peter Simpson).

Other notable photos from the week

Salvin's Albatross: Kaikoura, New Zealand (photo: Steve Arlow).

Goldfinch: New Brighton, Cheshire (photo: Richard Steel).

Avocet: Inner Marsh Farm, Cheshire (photo: Steve Round).

Lapwing: Fareham, Hants (photo: Steve Copsey).

Common Buzzard: Caernarfon, Gwynedd (photo: Joe Griffiths).

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://billaspinsnatureblog.blogspot.com
Mike Atkinson: http://mikeatkinson.net
Richard Bedford: http://www.richardbedford.co.uk
Steve Blain: http://www.steveblain.co.uk
Will Bowell: http://www.wanderingbirders.com
Paul Bowerman: http://www.severnsidebirds.co.uk
Paul Bowyer: http://www.birdlist.co.uk
Graham Catley: http://pewit.blogspot.com/
Mark Caunt: http://www.AngusBirding.com
Dean Eades: http://www.deaneadeswildlifephotography.co.uk
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
David Hatton: http://www.kowapower.com
Josh Jones: http://www.wanderingbirders.com
Paul and Andrea Kelly: http://www.irishbirdimages.com/
Matt Latham: http://www.mattlathamphotography.com
Micky Maher: http://www.aardfoto.co.uk/
John Malloy: http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/johnmalloy
Brian Mcgeough: http://www.brianmcgeough.com/
Tony Mills: http://www.notjustbirds.com
Jerry O'Brien: http://www.BirdsofBerkshire.co.uk
Mark Newsome: http://www.durhambirdclub.org/
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
Marc Read: http://www.marcread-pix.com
Tristan Reid: http://www.atricillaimages.co.uk/
Steve Round: http://stevenround-birdphotography.com
Craig Shaw: http://craigsukbirdpictures.bravehost.com/
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
Richard Steel: http://wildlifephotographic.bblogspot.com/
Stephen Tomlinson: http://stevesbirding.blogspot.com
Sue Tranter: http://www.suesbirdphotos.co.uk/
Damian Waters: http://www.drumimages.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