Review of the Week: 20-26 June 2022


Another warm summer week gave way to more unsettled weather by the weekend. Classic summer doldrums conditions, you could say, although a handful of territorial rarities proved popular and there was a mini-influx of Caspian Terns. A midsummer push of Wood Sandpipers was noticeable between south-west England and north-east Scotland, with birds logged at no fewer than 28 sites.

Wood Sandpiper, Sunderland, Durham (Paul Hindess).

At Slimbridge WWT, Gloucestershire, a vocal male White-spotted Bluethroat returned to the site for its second year from 21-25th, with a number of strategically-placed song posts making it marginally easier to see than in 2021. Another Bluethroat was reported near Hoswick, Northumberland, on 23rd.

Glamorgan's first White-throated Sparrow – a white-morph example – was filmed in a private Porthcawl garden late on 25th. An adult White-crowned Sparrow reportedly photographed in an Ivybridge, Devon, garden in recent weeks would, if confirmed, prove the first mainland record since one at Woolston Eyes, Cheshire, in April 2016.

White-throated Sparrow, Porthcawl, Glamorgan (E Hanna).

Remarkably, Shetland's most notable bird concerned a Magpie at Sandness, Mainland, from 20th – just the second for the archipelago following one on Fair Isle in 1987.

Magpie, Sandness, Mainland, Shetland (Roger Riddington).

It was another impressive week for the islands – a displaying Broad-billed Sandpiper at Levenwick, Mainland, proved a rather surprising find, while the Pacific Swift resurfaced over the Isle of Noss on 21st. From 24th, a Moltoni's Warbler – Shetland's second bird of 2022 – sang at Gutcher, Yell.

Pacific Swift, Isle of Noss, Shetland (Jennifer Clark).

Moltoni's Warbler, Gutcher, Yell, Shetland (Dougie Preston).

Territorial Great Reed Warblers continued at Langford Lowfields RSPB, Nottinghamshire, and Snettisham Coastal Park, Norfolk, as did the Iberian Chiffchaff at Regent's Park, London.

Great Reed Warbler, Langford Lowfields RSPB, Nottinghamshire (Sam Viles).

Dungeness, Kent, saw a highly mobile European Serin on 23rd. Elsewhere, a probable Western Subalpine Warbler was trapped and ringed on Calf of Man, Isle of Man, on 21st, with an Icterine Warbler at Nanjizal Valley, Cornwall, and Marsh Warblers on both Fair Isle and Unst, Shetland.

Western Subalpine Warbler, Calf of Man, Isle of Man (Aron Sapsford / Calf of Man Bird Observatory).

One of the week's most popular visitors concerned a Hoopoe in paddocks at Hinxworth, Hertfordshire, from 21st, with a brief individual at Church Norton, West Sussex, on 24-25th. A respectable two male Golden Orioles were at The Naze, Essex, with an adult replaced by a first-summer. Other confirmed examples were at Wykeham Forest, North Yorkshire, and Spurn, East Yorkshire.

Hoopoe, Hinxworth, Hertfordshire (Mark Rayment).

In Norfolk, up to eight nesting European Bee-eaters at Trimingham again proved a popular draw for birders and holidaymakers alike. Elsewhere, notable examples were in Northamptonshire over Clifford Hill GPs and Aberdeenshire and Loch of Strathbeg RSPB, Aberdeenshire, with others over Kent, Suffolk, North Yorkshire and Lancashire.

European Bee-eater, Trimingham, Norfolk (David Carr).

Somewhat remarkably, all of the weeks' Rosy Starlings were island-bound. Five west coast Scottish islands hosted individuals, with birds on Islay, Mull, Eigg, Skye and Lewis. Two more were in Shetland, with singletons on St Mary's, Scilly, Lundy, Devon, and Rathlin Island, Co Antrim.

Rosy Starling, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly (Kris Webb).

A probable Little Swift flew west over Wangford, Suffolk, on 21st and a Red-rumped Swallow remained on North Ronaldsay, Orkney.

In the Outer Hebrides, a Snowy Owl was briefly at Rubha Ardvule, South Uist, on 23rd before heading high north out to sea. Six Black Kite reports included a notable example logged flying in-off the sea over Castletown, Isle of Man, on 22nd. Other confirmed examples were in Norfolk and Cornwall. A number of flyover European Honey Buzzards were noted and a probable Rough-legged Buzzard was again on Mull, Argyll; this time near Croggan on 24th.

European Honey Buzzard, Guist, Norfolk (Andy Thompson).

Four White Storks were logged near Ashbourne, Derbyshire, on 21st, with Cambridgeshire's unringed example remaining at Smithy Fen. The Warwickshire Little Bittern lasted at Ladywalk NR until the evening of 20th.

White Stork, Smithy Fen, Cambridgeshire (Chris James).

A surprise midsummer Baird's Sandpiper – just the fourth June find since the turn of the century – visited Alkborough Flats, Lincolnshire, on 21st. Other Nearctic visitors comprised a Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Lough Beg, Co Londonderry, and an American Golden Plover at Tacumshin, Co Wexford.

Baird's Sandpiper, Alkborough Flats, Lincolnshire (Graham Catley).

Always a rare Irish visitor, a Black-winged Stilt graced Muckrush, Co Galway, from 22nd. The family group remained at Potteric Carr, South Yorkshire, too. On 21st, a Pectoral Sandpiper was at Belvide Reservoir, Staffordshire, while a Temminck's Stint was reported at Washington WWT, Durham.

Black-winged Stilt, Potteric Carr YWT, South Yorkshire (Peter Garrity).

Pectoral Sandpiper, Belvide Reservoir (PERMIT ONLY), Staffordshire (Steve Nuttall).

No fewer than four Caspian Terns were discovered on Saturday – two at Idle Washlands, Nottinghamshire, and singletons at Dungeness RSPB, Kent, and Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk. Last making an appearance at the Portrane Point, Co Dublin, Little Tern colony on 13 June, the Least Tern graced the site again on 25th.

Caspian Tern, Minsmere RSPB, Suffolk (Nick Brown).

Least Tern, Portrane Point, Dublin (Paul Lynch).

The Northumberland American Black Tern became more bohemian in its movements this week, putting in appearances on both Coquet Island and Inner Farne before returning to Long Nanny, while an adult Black Tern photographed at Dorman's Pool, Cleveland, on 23rd likely refers to the wandering Yank.

American Black Tern, Long Nanny, Northumberland (Nick Truby).

It looks set to be a bumper start to the summer for Cory's Shearwaters, with a number of sites in the South-West Approaches scoring sightings – including 46 past Porthgwarra, Cornwall, on 26th alongside a probable Fea's-type petrel and a Sabine's Gull. Another flew south past Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow. In East Yorkshire, the Black-browed Albatross proved a reliable customer at Bempton Cliffs RSPB throughout; a Wilson's Storm Petrel was logged off a Scilly pelagic on 21st.

Black-browed Albatross, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, East Yorkshire (Will Scott).

The first juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of the year occurred, surprisingly, on the North Yorkshire coast at Filey on 26th, perhaps assisted by strong southerly winds over the previous 24 hours. In Perth & Kinross, the adult Ring-billed Gull was again at Loch Turret Reservoir – interestingly, a recent Scottish Birding paper provided conclusive proof that it is the same individual that spends the winter months at Strathclyde Loch, Clyde.

Yellow-legged Gull, Filey, North Yorkshire (Will Scott).

Amazingly, up to four American Wigeon have resided at Lough Beg, Co Antrim, in recent weeks – this week saw two drakes and a female present. One remained at Skinflats Lagoons, Forth, with a drake American Black Duck again at Cross Lough, Co Mayo. A new drake Green-winged Teal was at Loch Shin, Highland, with another still at Loch of Tingwall, Mainland Shetland.

In Staffordshire, a female Ferruginous Duck remained at Belvide Reservoir, Staffordshire, with a lingering young drake King Eider still at Musselburgh, Lothian. Two Red-breasted Geese of unknown origin held on at Saltholme RSPB, Cleveland, and the Pied-billed Grebe continued at Loch Feorlin, Argyll.

Red-breasted Goose, Saltholme RSPB, Cleveland (Bob Howe).


Western Palearctic

Terceira, Azores, boasted a Wilson's Phalarope at Cabo da Praia and a continuing Snowy Egret at Praia da Vitória. Semipalmated Plovers were split between Terceira (two) and Pico, with the long-staying Pied-billed Grebe at Lagoa das Furnas, São Miguel.

Belated news was received of a Black-winged Pratincole Capanni Ca' Pasta, Italy, from 7-16 June. In Denmark, a Paddyfield Warbler was trapped and ringed at Skagen, a Short-toed Snake Eagle was at Dokkedal and a Griffon Vulture was at Rostved. Four additional Griffon Vultures were in The Netherlands at Gemert.

France hosted no fewer than three Elegant Terns with two in the Camargue at Grau de Piémanson and another still on Île de Noirmoutier. The sprightly singing White-throated Sparrow remained popular at Les Bouchoux, while a Western Reef Heron continued at Platja d'Aro, Spain.

Just the ninth record for Israel, a male Yellow-throated Sparrow found feeding a fledgling in the Golan Heights became the country's first breeding record.

Written by: Sam Viles