Review of the Week: 19th-25th October 2006


The week at a glance:

Blyth's Pipit: Fair Isle, Shetland (photo: Deryk Shaw).

Blyth's Pipit: Fair Isle, Shetland (photo: Deryk Shaw).

Hermit Thrush: Cape Clear, Co. Cork (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).

Hermit Thrush: Cape Clear, Co. Cork (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).

Baltimore Oriole: Cape Clear, Co. Cork (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).

Unfortunately the rarest bird of the week performed for just one observer. A Pacific Swift was watched over Horsey (Norfolk) for a short period on the 21st. With just 4 accepted records, this would have been highly desired had it chosen to linger a bit longer. With an influx of Crag Martins into Sweden it was always possible that Britain might share in the event too, but one over Badshot Lea (Surrey) on 22nd was present only very briefly. Almost as rare, a Hermit Thrush on Cape Clear (Co. Cork) was the 2nd for Ireland and far more obliging, being present from the 19th-20th. Also on Cape Clear the Baltimore Oriole remained to the 19th and on Scilly the American Robin remained on Tresco, apart from a brief sortie to Bryher, and the Red-eyed Vireo was on St. Mary's to the 19th. The islands also hosted what was probably last weeks Blyth's Pipit on Bryher on 20th, and another on St. Mary's from 22nd, plus another Blyth's Pipit was on Fair Isle (Shetland) from 22nd-24th. The Red-flanked Bluetail remained at Thorpeness (Suffolk) to 24th and others were on Shetland; on Whalsay from 21st-24th and Brae on 23rd.

Red-flanked Bluetail: Thorpeness, Suffolk (photo: Steve Valentine).

Red-flanked Bluetail: Thorpeness, Suffolk (photo: Richard Herd).

Red-flanked Bluetail: Thorpeness, Suffolk (photo: Garth Peacock).

Isabelline Shrike: St. Mary's, Scilly (photo: Jim Woods). Booted Warbler: St. Mary's, Scilly (photo: Andy Booth).
Siberian Stonechat: Porthcurno, Cornwall (photo: Phil Stidwill). American Robin: Tresco, Scilly (photo: Andy Booth).

A Pied Wheatear was on Bryher from 20th-21st and a Desert Wheatear at Meikle Loch (Aberdeenshire) on 21st. The Isabelline Shrike remained at Old Head of Kinsale (Co. Cork) with others on St. Mary's on 20th and Great Orme (Conwy) on 22nd. A Thrush Nightingale was trapped on Fair Isle on 24th and Siberian Stonechats were on St, Mary's on 19th and Porthcurno (Cornwall) from 21st-24th. The Booted Warbler on St. Mary's was present to the 22nd, during which time it was trapped and the possibility of it being a Sykes's Warbler eliminated, and another Booted was at Mizen Head (Co. Cork) on 20th. The Western Bonelli's Warbler was on St. Martin's (Scilly) to 20th and another on St. Mary's to 21st, with a Radde's Warbler on St. Mary's to 19th and another on Holy Island (Northumberland) on 20th. There were Olive-backed Pipits reported from Fair Isle, Sumburgh (Shetland), Blackdog (Aberdeenshire), Spurn (E. Yorks) and St. Marys' and the Red-throated Pipit remained at The Range (Anglesey) to 19th, as did the Subalpine Warbler on Lundy (Devon) to 20th. The Roller was last reported from Beal (Northumberland) on the 19th.

Olive-backed Pipit: North Ronaldsay, Orkney (photo: John Anderson).

Bluethroat: North Ronaldsay, Orkney (photo: John Anderson).

Yellow-browed Warbler: St. Levan, Cornwall (photo: Mike Barker).

Barred Warbler: Flamborough Head, E. Yorks (photo: Dave Mansell).

Red-breasted Flycatcher: St. Mary's, Scilly (photo: Ashley Grove).

There were Arctic Redpolls at Sumbugh from 19th-24th and Fair Isle on 25th, an Aquatic Warbler was a late find on St. Mary's from 19th-25th and a Melodious Warbler was at Porthgwarra (Cornwall) to 24th. There were 3 Short-toed Larks and 3 Little Buntings, with 14 Richard's Pipits and 4 Common Rosefinches. Eight Pallas's Warblers was a poor showing, though dwindling numbers of Yellow-browed Warblers remained. Red-breasted Flycatchers struggled into double figures, there were 4 each of Bluethroats, Wrynecks and Hoopoes. Three Rose-coloured Starlings were present, and an influx of 5 Serin were noted in southwest England. Seven Red-backed Shrikes were at large, plus there was a Woodchat Shrike at Baltimore (Co. Cork), plus the long-staying bird at Old Head of Kinsale. Just two Great Grey Shrikes were noted, though the first Waxwing reached Shetland on 19th, with five more following later in the week, including one on the Outer Hebrides. Shore Lark put on a decent showing, with numbers into the late teens and one reported inland at Edgbaston Reservoir (W. Midlands). Two possible east-coast Pallid Swifts were logged, and two Alpine Swifts were seen over Sunderland (Durham) on 22nd with one over Gibraltar Point (Lincs) on 23rd.

Shore Lark: Holyhead, Anglesey (photo: Rhys Ones).

Alpine Swift: Sunderland, Durham (photo: Mark Newsome).

White-rumped Sandpiper: North Ronaldsay, Orkney (photo: John Anderson).

Spotted Sandpiper: Hayle Estuary, Cornwall (photo: Steve Valentine).

A Killdeer was on Oronsay (Argyll) on 21st and a Semipalmated Sandpiper was at Cross Lough (Co. Mayo) on 21st. The Spotted Sandpiper remained on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall), where the Least Sandpiper again put in an appearance on 25th. The Long-billed Dowitcher remained on the Oare Marshes (Kent), with other in Londonderry, and there were two Lesser Yellowlegs in Co. Cork and another still in Co. Down. At least 11 White-rumped Sandpipers were still present, including 4 at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford), along with 6 American Golden Plovers and perhaps 8 Pectoral Sandpipers The Buff-breasted Sandpiper remained at Rye Harbour (E. Sussex) to the 22nd and a Kentish Plover was reported from Pagham Harbour (W. Sussex) on 24th. The only Grey Phalaropes passed Dungeness (Kent) and Galley Head (Co. Cork).

Glossy Ibis: Fluke Hall, Lancs (photo: Alan Gilbertson).

The Whiskered Tern remained in north Norfolk to the 20th, and the Forster's Tern was still at Cruisetown (Co. Louth). A possible Franklin's Gull passed Sennen Cove (Cornwall) on 22nd and Bonaparte's Gulls remained in Co. Kerry and Northumberland. Seven Sabine's Gulls included 5 from Bardsey (Gwynedd) and 11 Ring-billed Gulls were well spread. A White-billed Diver returned to Kirkabister (Shetland) from 24th and another was off Cape Clear the same day. Small numbers of Little Auks passed the east coast, the peak count 67 passing the Farne Islands (Northumbs) on 24th. The Snowy Owl remained on the Outer Hebrides, as did the rehabilitated, and released, Rough-legged Hawk on Shetland, whilst Rough-legged Buzzards were seen at Patrington (E. Yorks) and Harty Ferry (Kent). The Glossy Ibis remained in Lancashire, favouring Fluke Hall from 19th-24th, and the Great White Egret from New Swillington Ings (W. Yorks) relocated to the Old Moor (S. Yorks) area, plus one was again on the Lincolnshire coast, at Grainthorpe on 19th, and the long-staying bird remained at Blashford Lakes. There were Cattle Egrets in the Blakeney (Norfolk) and Dungeness (Kent) areas, and brief birds were on the Otter Estuary (Devon) and Hanningfield Reservoir (Essex). The ringed White Stork again put in an appearance in N. Yorks.

Red-breasted Goose: Rimac, Lincs (photo: Graham Catley).

Black Brant: Cudmore Grove, Essex (photo: Sean Nixon).

American Wigeon: Sandbach, Cheshire (photo: RL Brown).

American Wigeon: Sandbach, Cheshire (photo: RL Brown). Ferruginous Duck: Chew Valley, Somerset (photo: G. Bullivant).

The two adult Red-breasted Geese remained on the Lincolnshire coast, and Black Brants were at Castle Espie (Co. Down) and Cudmore Grove (Essex). A plethora of vagrant Canada geese were on Islay (Argyll) and white-morph Snow Geese were at Loch of Strathbeg (Aberdeenshire), Sutton Bridge (Lincs) and North Slob (Co. Wexford), with the blue-morph bird still in Norfolk. A Black Duck was at Ventry (Co. Kerry), and the Marbled Duck was still at Rye Harbour. The Lesser Scaup remained in Lancashire, and Ring-necked Ducks were in Somerset and Cumbria, with Ferruginous Ducks in Kent and Somerset. There were three each of American Wigeon and Green-winged Teals. The drake Black Scoter remained off Llanfairfechan (Conwy), as did the borealis Eider off Fair Isle. A number of Surf Scoters were reported, including one off Titchwell Norfolk) and others in Cornwall. A drake King Eider off St. Combs (Aberdeenshire) was presumably the regular drake.

Twite: Warley Moor, W. Yorks (photo: Sean Gray).

Dipper: Clwyd (photo: Steve Round).

Tufted Duck: Redes Mere, Cheshire (photo: Mike Atkinson).

Little Stint: Hornsea Mere, E. Yorks (photo: Peter Martin).

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
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://mysite.freeserve.com/severnsidebirds
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://angusbirding.homestead.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
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
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Written by: Russell Slack