Review of the Week: 20 December 2021-3 January 2022


A Happy New Year to all our readers!

With the arrival of 2022 comes a restructuring of our weekly coverage of sightings from across Britain, Ireland and the Western Palearctic. Based on feedback from our readers (thanks to all of you who submitted your thoughts), Review of the Week, which will continue to be published each Monday afternoon, will once again focus on national highlights, including rarities, scarcities and influxes. In conjunction with the launch of #LocalBigYear, our popular regional summaries are set move to a monthly format that will be published at the start of each month, with the first (covering January) at the beginning of February.

Back to the final days of 2021, and the festive fortnight saw another noticeable influx of Glossy Ibis, with Ireland bearing the brunt of the arrival this time around: no fewer than 35 Irish sites noted the species, including a peak count of 21 near Barrys Head, Co Cork. Meanwhile, good numbers of Russian White-fronted Geese continued to touch down at sites across southern and eastern England in particular.

Glossy Ibis, Brading Marshes RSPB, Isle of Wight (Pete Box).

The exceptional relocation of Ireland's first Egyptian Vulture at Lough Funshinagh, Co Roscommon, on 31st ensured the year ended with a bang. Since its first appearance in the Isles of Scilly in June 2021 it went onto tour Cos Donegal and Mayo during July and August, although the trail has been cold ever since – making its reappearance very exciting indeed. Hopefully, we won't have to wait another four months for the next sighting!

Egyptian Vulture, Lough Funshinagh, Roscommon (Conor Henry).

A Brown Booby taken into care on the beach at Hove, East Sussex, on 2nd made for the first big surprise of 2022. Remarkably, this isn't the first time a rare member of the Sula family has visited this particular stretch of the English coast, with Britain's first and only Red-footed Booby taken into care at nearby St Leonards-on-Sea in September 2016 (see here). Meanwhile, a possible Brown Booby south past Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire, made for an unexpected Christmas Day mega alert.

Brown Booby, Hove, East Sussex (Clodagh Bannerman).

On 3rd, news emerged of a drake Baikal Teal photographed at Greylake RSPB, Somerset, the previous day – even earlier photographs showed it to be present on 29th, too. What is perhaps the same Baikal proved a brief visitor to Aqualate Mere, Staffordshire, on 22nd, where a female Ferruginous Duck was present from 20th.

Baikal Teal (centre), Greylake RSPB, Somerset & Bristol (Martin Pople).

To the pleasure of many, Lancashire's Belted Kingfisher would finally prove reliable from 21st onwards, with access gratefully arranged to a field on the outskirts of Roach Bridge, Lancashire, close to the bird's apparent roost site.

Belted Kingfisher, Withnell Fold, Lancashire (Leonard Poxon).

Devon's first American Buff-bellied Pipit was a smart find at East Prawle from 30th, while the second Rustic Bunting for Northern Ireland was in a Bangor, Co Down, garden from 22-31st.

American Buff-bellied Pipit, East Prawle, Devon (Patrick Mayer).

Rustic Bunting, Bangor, Down (Garry Armstrong).

A new Hume's Leaf Warbler performed at Aldeburgh, Suffolk, on 26-27th, with another present at St Margaret's at Cliffe, Kent, from 22nd. Up to three Eurasian Penduline Tits starred at Weston Airfield, Somerset & Bristol, from 21st and a brief Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll was at Baltasound, Unst, Shetland, on 31st 

Hume's Leaf Warbler, Aldeburgh, Suffolk (Matthew Mellor).

Eurasian Penduline Tit, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset & Bristol (Matthew Mellor).

In Moray & Nairn, the male Snowy Owl was again in the snow-covered Cairngorms in the run up to Christmas, while the young Northern Harrier continued to perform at Lough Boora Parklands, Co Offaly.

Snowy Owl, Ben Macdui, Moray & Nairn (Gary Hodgson).

A new American Coot was a brief visitor to Lough Yganavan, Co Kerry, on 30th, while the Tacumshin, Co Wexford, individual made a brief reappearance on Boxing Day. The young Pacific Diver was present at Eglwys Nunydd Reservoir, Glamorgan, throughout.

Pacific Diver, Eglwys Nunydd Reservoir (no general access), Glamorgan (Jonathan Bull).

Black Scoter remained off Lossiemouth, Moray, and Stag Rocks, Northumberland, with a possible photographed off Laytown, Co Meath, on 3rd. Off Lothian, Musselburgh's White-winged Scoter was last reported on 30th; two drake King Eider remained in Bluemull Sound, Shetland, until 22nd

Surrey's Ferruginous Duck was last noted at Thorpe Park on 29th, while the drake at Blashford Lakes, Hampshire, made it into 2022. Otherwise, a female Hooded Merganser with Eurasian Wigeon at Tollesbury Wick, Essex, on 2nd was an intriguing record.

Continuing Lesser Scaup included birds on Lewis and South Uist, Outer Hebrides, Islay, Argyll (two), Tresco, Scilly, and Ballinascarty, Co Cork, with the Devon duo moving to Slapton Ley from 31st. A new drake was at New Cumnock, Ayrshire, from 30th.

Lesser Scaup, Slapton Ley, Devon (Daryl Brady Lavis).

Richardson's Cackling Geese were well-represented this festive period, with examples at North Uist, Outer Hebrides, Ballygilgan, Co Sligo, and Doonbeg, Co Clare, the latter alongside two Lesser Canada Geese.

On 3rd, a Lesser White-fronted Goose accompanied Pink-footed Geese at Terrington St Clement, Norfolk; a likely escaped adult was with Greylag Geese at Ranworth Broad on 30th. Meanwhile, the two Red-breasted Geese reappeared at Holliwell Point, Essex from 31st, just in time for any prospective year listers.

With no sign at Blacktoft Sands RSPB, East Yorkshire, for a couple of weeks, the White-tailed Lapwing made an appearance at East Halton Skitter, Lincolnshire, from 31st, while the Scilly Spotted Sandpiper lingered on St Mary's into the New Year.

White-tailed Lapwing, East Halton Skitter, Lincolnshire (Wayne Gillatt).

Christmas Eve saw the appearance of an apparent adult Azores Gull at Kildavin, Co Carlow. An adult Bonaparte's Gull was at Larne, Co Antrim, the following day, while the Co Galway Forster's Tern made its first appearance since November at Nimmo's Pier.

A possible Mandt's Guillemot floated on the sea off Gossabrough, Yell, Shetland, from 1st.

Possible Mandt's Guillemot, Gossabrough, Yell, Shetland (Dougie Preston).

In West Sussex, the adult male Greater Mouse-eared Bat returned to its favoured abandoned railway tunnel for the first time since 2019. 'Freya', the immature female Walrus, was last noted at Muckle Roe, Shetland, on 23rd.


Scottish mainland

Two Great Grey Shrikes have been recorded so far in 2022 – at Glen Feshie, Highland, and Backwater Reservoir, Angus. The young Rosy Starling was again at Prestonpans, Lothian, on 20th, while 14 Waxwings graced Elgin, Lothian, at the turn of the year – the only individuals noted in 2022 so far. A Siberian Chiffchaff ended the year at Doonfoot, Ayrshire, with the Cetti's Warbler present at Stevenston throughout.

Rosy Starling, Prestonpans, Lothian (Mike Thrower).

Clyde's returning Ring-billed Gull was a Christmas Eve treat at Strathclyde Loch, with the Lothian adult roosting again at Eastfield on 28-30th. The Reay, Caithness, Glossy Ibis was last noted on 20th.

Ring-billed Gull (centre), Eastfield (nr Musselburgh), Lothian (Jonathan Farooqi).

Surf Scoter included two of Lossiemouth, Moray, and three off Musselburgh, Lothian. Two Green-winged Teal remained at Tain, Highland, with others at Loch of Strathbeg RSPB, Aberdeenshire, and Baron's Haugh RSPB, Clyde. No fewer than three Ring-necked Duck were logged – in Clyde, Ayrshire and Highland. The three Snow Geese were last noted at Loch Spynie, Moray, on 21st. On Tiree, Argyll, three Ring-necked Duck remained at Loch Bhasapol.

In cetacean news, the Firth of Forth Humpback Whale remained a popular draw.

Humpback Whale, Kinghorn, Fife (John Nadin).


Northern Isles and the Hebrides

The Glossy Ibis arrival continued apace, including one on Foula on 20th and three on Unst. The young drake Ring-necked Duck lasted at Loch of Tingwall, Mainland, until the new year and the White-billed Diver until at least 21st. Iceland Gulls were at a mere two sites with Glaucous Gulls at eight. The 3rd saw a Grey Phalarope at Ireland, Mainland – a welcome early addition for some Shetland year listers. An immature White-tailed Eagle was at Loch of Cliff, Unst, on 3rd. A Waxwing was Fair Isle's Christmas present on 25th.

The Westray Glossy Ibis flock levelled off at 11 from 22nd and at least four made it until 3rd. A single was on North Ronaldsay on 22nd. The Lesser Yellowlegs made a reappearance at North Loch, Sanday, on 21st and a drake Green-winged Teal was on the island between 21-24th. Iceland Gulls were reported from four sites and Glaucous Gulls from two.

Glossy Ibis, Westray, Orkney (Steven J Charlton).

Barra held onto its Glossy Ibis at Bruernish until 3rd. The two drake Green-winged Teal made a timely reappearance at Aird Mhor on New Years Day, when the first-winter drake Surf Scoter was last reported off Allasdale. Anorther drake Green-winged Teal was at Loch nam Fèithean, North Uist, on 20th and a Snow Goose was at Sollas on 28th. Iceland Gulls were at three sites and just a single juvenile Glaucous Gull was at Howmore, South Uist, on 3rd. A Little Auk was off Rubha Ardvule, South Uist, on 23rd.

Dan Owen


North-East England

Significant news from Durham concerned a Red-flanked Bluetail inland at Middleton-in-Teesdale on 31st. Unfortunately, there was no sign of it the next day. Elsewhere, a Richard's Pipit was heard at The Leas, South Shields, on 1st and a Bewick's Swan was a brief visitor to Lambton Pools on 28th. On 24th, a juvenile Glaucous Gull was at Boldon Flats and the Iceland Gull returned to Silksworth. A Great Egret began 2022 at Low Barns.

Iceland Gull, Big Waters NR, Northumberland (Chris Barlow).

A drake Surf Scoter was tracked north past Whitburn Coastal Park, Durham, and St Mary's Island and Cambois, Northumberland, on 21st, with likely the same bird off Bamburgh the following day. Nearby Stag Rocks produced a White-billed Diver on 30th, while a Todd's Canada Goose was logged at Elwick on 20th.

Elsewhere in the county, highlights included a second-winter Caspian Gull at Coquet Estuary on 20th, a few Iceland and Glaucous Gulls and three Water Pipits. St Mary's Island scored a Corn Bunting on 2nd – nowadays a county mega – with two unidentified bean geese noted over Cullercoats on 24th. A Greenland White-fronted Goose was at Grindon Lough from 27th, while Widdrington Moor Lake continued to host its redhead Smew.

Water Pipit, St Mary's Island, Northumberland (Jack Bucknall).

The Black-throated Diver remained at Hartlepool Headland, Cleveland, throughout. Further Black-throated Divers were off Seal Sands and South Gare, with two Eurasian Bitterns at Coatham Marsh on 30th.

Jonathan Farooqi


North-West England

Cumbria's highlight was arguably a Waxwing at Harrington Reservoir LNR on 28-29th. A single female Ring-necked Duck at Longtown on 27th was joined by a second from 30th. Four Greenland White-fronted Geese were mingling with Whooper Swans at Angerton and three Russian White-fronts were at Warcop. A Red-necked Grebe was off South Walney NR on 21st.

Ring-necked Duck, Longtown, Cumbria (Sam Northwood).

There was a pleasing arrival of Bewick's Swans at the regular Lancashire haunts, with up to 12 in the Upper Thurnham area, four at Hundred End and a family of five at Banks Marsh. A drake Green-winged Teal was at Martin Mere WWT on 2nd. The Todd's Canada Goose was again frequenting the saltmarsh between Marshside RSPB and Hesketh Out Marsh RSPB, although remained mobile and hard to catch up with. Nearby, the five Snow Buntings continued to entertain along Southport beach throughout. An adult Iceland Gull livened up the Christmas Eve roost at Lower Rivington Reservoir.

Twite, Southport, Lancashire (Steve Young).

Four Bewick's Swans at Frodsham Marsh, Cheshire, included two juveniles – always a welcome sight in the North-West these days! A single redhead Smew returned to Lapwing Hall Pool on 22nd and the nearby Black-necked Grebe lingered at Acre Nook Sand Quarry. At least five Snow Buntings decorated the north Wirral coast throughout, while a showy Siberian Chiffchaff was a one-day wonder at Heswall golf course on Christmas Day.

Short-eared Owl, Burton Marsh, Cheshire (Mark Woodhead).

The Red-throated Diver lingered at Watergrove Reservoir, Greater Manchester, with another at Hollingworth Lake CP on 31-1st. The presumed returning adult Iceland Gull roosted at Pennington Flash CP on 23rd.

Caspian Gull, Gorton, Greater Manchester (Rob Creek).

The Isle of Man hosted a drake Green-winged Teal at Poyllvaaish on 21-25th. Meanwhile, the adult Glaucous Gull remained at Strandhall until 23rd.

Dan Owen


Lincolnshire and Yorkshire

Perhaps the most surprising bird to figure in Lincolnshire's roll-call this Christmas was a Waxwing photographed in Stamford on 21st – a species that is extremely thin on the ground this winter. A Richard's Pipit was at Frampton Marsh RSPB on New Year's Day and nearby Freiston Shore RSPB held a flock of 15 Russian White-fronted Geese, while inland, 17 Russian White-fronts were at Tallington and two at Deeping Lakes LWT. A Glossy Ibis was a brief visitor to Middlemarsh Farm on 2nd. Male Ring-necked Duck were at Tallington Lakes and Baston & Langtoft Pits.

Greater Scaup, Tallington Lakes, Lincolnshire (Josh Jones).

In South Yorkshire, an Iceland Gull was at Orgreave Lagoons on Christmas Eve and Water Pipits were at five sites. A pair of Smew called in briefly at Newington Flash on 2nd, with a Siberian Chiffchaff at Wombwell Ings that day. A Snow Bunting was at Blacka Moor from 23rd.

Black-necked Grebe, St Aidan's RSPB (Swillington Ings), West Yorkshire (Steve Cribbin).

A juvenile Great Northern Diver was popular at Knotford Nook GPs near Otley, West Yorkshire, from Boxing Day, but the Eccup Reservoir Iceland Gull didn't roost past 22nd, with perhaps the same individual roosting thereafter at Blackmoorfoot Reservoir. It or another flew over Hebden Bridge on 27th. Redhead Smew were at Fairburn Ings RSPB on 22nd and Mixenden Reservoir on 28th.

Wheldrake Ings YWT played host to the York area's first Dusky Warbler from 27th, with a Great Grey Shrike again near Wistow from 1st. Elsewhere in North Yorkshire, up to a dozen Hawfinches were at Fountains Abbey, a male Green-winged Teal was at Wass Moor on 29th, five Bewick's Swans flew over Nosterfield on 28th and a Richard's Pipit was at Filey for a few days, where there were also a couple of Swallows on New Year's Day.

Russian White-fronted Goose, Spurn YWT, East Yorkshire (Bethan Clyne).

What could be the same Green-winged Teal mentioned above was at Buckton, East Yorkshire, on 2nd. A Richard's Pipit flew south over Spurn on 31st, with that area also netting Bewick's Swan, Russian White-fronted Geese and two Siberian Chiffchaffs. Tophill Low's Smew remained, with a Slavonian Grebe also there on 3rd, and another Smew on the outskirts of Hull on 27-28th. A further 'Slav' was at Southfield Reservoir from 1st and the Great Northern Diver remained on a lake near Broomfleet throughout.

Josh Jones


West Midlands

A drake Green-winged Teal was at Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire, on Christmas Day, reportedly present for its third day. A drake Red-breasted Merganser was there from 20th. Two adult Bewick's Swans graced Tucklesholme Quarry SWT on 27th and were presumably the same two at Whitemoor Haye the following day, when a single also flew over Teddesley Park. The Garganey remained at Belvide Reservoir until 24th. Ruddy Shelduck were at Gailey Reservoirs on 22-30th and Uttoxeter Quarry on 1st. An adult Greenland White-fronted Goose at Whitmore on 2nd was a great start to the county's year list and five Russian White-fronts were at Radford Meadows SWT the same day. Swallow Moss hosted a Snow Bunting on 30th.

Bewick's Swan, Whitemoor Haye, Staffordshire (Tony Davison).

Shropshire had a quiet festive period, although a female Bearded Tit reported at Ellesmere on 2nd was a great local record. Telford hosted a first-winter Caspian Gull and a Russian White-fronted Goose was at Hereford Quarry on 30th.

Great Northern Diver, Worcester, Worcestershire (Christopher Farman).

In Worcestershire, up to two Bewick's Swans flirted with Camp Lane Pools, Grimley, between 20-28th. Two Siberian Chiffchaffs were at Kempsey sewage works and a showy Snow Bunting was at Worcestershire Beacon throughout. A showy Great Northern Diver was along the Severn at Diglis on 20-30th but was sadly found dead on 31st. An adult Dark-bellied Brent Goose was at Lower Moor on 29-30th. The juvenile Great Northern Diver at Draycote Water, Warwickshire, lingered until 30th before being joined by a second. The adult Glaucous Gull continued to roost there with Siberian Chiffchaffs at Ladywalk NR and Hams Hall.

Dan Owen


East Midlands

Derbyshire's American Wigeon continued at Carr Vale NR until 28th and a Siberian Chiffchaff was there on 31st. Two Red-necked Grebes were at Carsington Water on 22-25th with one remaining until 3rd. A drake Smew was a smart find at Witches Oak.

Smew saw a modest arrival into Nottinghamshire with seven sites reporting birds, including trios at Idle Valley NR and Holme Pierrepont. Two female Ring-necked Duck remained at Langford Lowfields RSPB throughout, with up to two Great Northern Divers for company. Two Tundra Bean Geese were welcome at Besthorpe on 21st and Siberian Chiffchaffs were at Attenborough NR, Stoke Bardolph and Netherfield Lagoons. A drake American Wigeon surfaced at Idle Washlands in the new year, likely the Derbyshire bird but a smart find all the same.

Leicestershire scored its first-ever Dusky Warbler at Aylestone Meadows on 24th. The Ring-necked Duck lasted at Eyebrook Reservoir, where up to 17 Smew and seven Greater Scaup made for a good day out. Three Slavonian Grebes and three Great Northern Divers were at Rutland Water, plus four Smew, three Russian White-fronts and two Bewick's Swans. A female Ruddy Duck was a prize find at Albert Village Lake – it proved particularly popular with newer and younger birders.

Ruddy Duck, Albert Village, Leicestershire and Rutland (Steve Daniels).

A female Ring-necked Duck was at Thrapston GPs, Northamptonshire, on 30th.  Pitsford Reservoir managed to hold onto the Wood Sandpiper into the New Year, plus up to three drake Smew, with two juvenile European Shag and a Siberian Chiffchaff for back-up. Smew were reported from two other sites. The Dark-bellied Brent Goose lingered at Clifford Hill GPs until 3rd. Three Russian White-fronts were at Hollowell Reservoir on 21st and three were at Stanford Reservoir on 31-3rd.

Dan Owen


East of England

Norfolk enjoyed a busy fortnight, with scarce geese including the five Taiga Beans at Buckenham Marshes RSPB throughout, Tundra Beans at a handful of sites, a Todd's Canada near Brancaster Staithe from 31st and a Black Brant still in the Cley area. A Great Shearwater off Sheringham on 20th was a surprise, but the five Shore Larks at Holkham Gap were a little more predictable. A Glossy Ibis was at Welney on a couple of dates.

Iceland Gull, Cley next the Sea, Norfolk (Tony Davison).

Suffolk was a little quieter, although an Iceland Gull in Lowestoft from 1st was a handy one for the year listers, as was the Lapland Bunting at Kessingland. A count of 11 Hawfinches at Sotterley on 20th proved a one-off, while a Curlew Sandpiper at Hazlewood Marshes SWT on 30th was an excellent midwinter record. Water Pipits and Black-throated Diver were around the Orwell, a few flocks of Russian White-fronted Geese were noted, plus Whooper and Bewick's Swans in the Minsmere area.

In Essex, up to 25 Hawfinches remained at Hatfield Forest. On the coastal marshes, Black Brant were noted at three sites. Up to four Smew were at Abberton Reservoir, where Long-tailed Duck, Slavonian and Red-necked Grebes, and Red-throated and Great Northern Divers all remained. The Black Guillemot wasn't seen at Gunners Park past 21st.

Smew, Abberton Reservoir, Essex (Paul Chamberlain).

A male Green-winged Teal at Wilstone Reservoir on New Year's Day was Hertfordshire's standout bird, but up to 11 Russian White-fronted Geese there were also welcome. A handful of Hawfinches were regular at Bramfield, while both Greater Scaup and Smew were in the Lee Valley.

Bedfordshire's American Wigeon resurfaced near Kempston Hardwick on 30th, as did the Greater Scaup near Henlow. Several sites produced Russian White-fronted Geese, including a flock of 24 at Great Barford GPs on 3rd.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Milton CP, Cambridgeshire (Jon Heath).

Cambridgeshire highlights included a Green-winged Teal at Ely from 2nd, the regular Kumlien's Gull (and an Iceland Gull) at Heydon and up to six Glossy Ibises at Berry Fen. A Yellow-browed Warbler took up residence at Milton CP from 21st. Grafham Water's highlight was a Snow Bunting from 1st, but Great Northern Diver and up to three Smew were also on offer. Further Smew included at least six at Fen Drayton Lakes and seven at Paxton Pits.

Josh Jones


South-East England

A Richard’s Pipit was a nice inland record at Lamberhurst, Kent, on 22 December. The Dusky Warbler continued at Fordwich until 2nd, with the Siberian Chiffchaff there until 31st; other tristis were logged at Broadstairs, Higham and Sandwich Bay. On Sheppey, a Rough-legged Buzzard was reported over Swale NNR on 1st, while the eight Shore Larks appeared sporadically at Leysdown-on-Sea. The Black Brant remained at Reculver, Glossy Ibises were at five sites, Snow Buntings at seven and Lapland Buntings at two. Both Dungeness and St Margaret’s on Cliffe hosted groups of five Tundra Bean Geese, while Bewick’s Swans were at six locations. The Black Guillemot appeared off Swalecliffe again from 1st.

Black-throated Diver, Ramsgate, Kent (Steven Ashton).

In Sussex, the Iping Common Little Bunting remained present into the New Year, the Shore Lark was still to be found at Eastbourne or Pevensey and the Polegate Hooded Crow continued. Bewick’s Swans were at six sites. A Snow Bunting took up residence at Alciston from 23 December, Russian White-fronted Geese were at 10 locales and three sites hosted Siberian Chiffchaff.

Caspian Gull, Goring-by-Sea, West Sussex (David Campbell).

Black Point, Fishlake Meadows, Pennington Marshes and Vyne Park all scored Russian White-fronts in Hampshire, where a Leach's Storm Petrel was unfortunately found dead at New Milton on 31 December. At least one Siberian Chiffchaff was at Oxey Marsh. On the Isle of Wight, up to 11 Glossy Ibises graced Brading Marshes – the same site also scored 10 Russian White-fronted Geese, with another two at Whale Chine.

Slavonian Grebe, Furzton Lake, Buckinghamshire (David James).

The Pink-footed Goose continued at Padworth Lane GPs, Berkshire, with two Russian White-fronts joining it on 21st. Up to two Siberian Chiffchaffs were at Sandhurst SF. In Buckinghamshire, a Slavonian Grebe at Furzton Lake from 21-27 December was a popular customer, the Great Northern Diver remained at Caldecotte Lake and Floodplain Forest hosted a Russian White-fronted Goose.

Red-necked Grebe, King George V Reservoir (Permit Only), London (Henry Wyn-Jones).

In the capital, the Bexley Little Bunting and Walthamstow Marshes Dusky Warbler were present throughout. Brent Reservoir, Burgess Park, Crossness and Fairlop Waters all scored Russian White-fronted Geese, the King George V Red-necked Grebe continued and a drake Smew graced London Wetland Centre. Great Northern Divers were at two sites. The Reigate Ring-necked Duck continued in Surrey, where a Smew was at Thorpe Park on 31st. A Great Northern Diver visited Island Barn Reservoir and Russian White-fronts were at Loseley, North Holmwood and Westfield.

Little Bunting, Bexley, London (Henry Wyn-Jones).

At least two Ring-necked Duck were still around in Oxfordshire, with Radley GPs and Sutton Courtenay/Appleford GPs continuing to host birds. A Velvet Scoter at Henley Road GPs was a nice record from 30 December, a Eurasian Spoonbill flew over Islip on 1 January and Russian White-fronts were at Little Wittenham (14) and Otmoor (one). The latter site also continued to host the wintering Eurasian Dotterel.

Ed Stubbs


South-West England

In Cornwall, new scarcities consisted of a Richard's Pipit at Housel Bay, Hoopoes at Laddock and St Austell, and a Green-winged Teal at Devoran from 2nd, perhaps the drake last seen at Nanpean on Christmas Day. Hayle Estuary's adult Ring-billed Gull remained reliable, while the Rosy Starling at Pendeen and Dusky Warbler at Goldsithney were also seen again.

Dozmary Pool continued to host seven Ring-necked Duck; possible Kumlien's Gulls were recorded at Portreath and Gwithian, and the reintroduced White-tailed Eagle lingered at Colliford Lake. Glossy Ibis were recorded from six localities, including a notable count of 13 at Walmsley Sanctuary. A Grey Phalarope passed Lizard Point on 28th with five Tundra Bean Geese nearby, while small numbers of Russian White-fronted Geese were scattered across the county.

Caspian Gull (back left), European Herring Gull (front) and Yellow-legged Gull (right), Hayle Estuary, Cornwall (Keith Pritchard).

The first-winter female Surf Scoter off Tresco remained into 2022, alongside at least three Siberian Chiffchaffs on St Mary's. Another Sibe Chiff was on St Agnes and Tresco's Glossy Ibis put in several sporadic appearances. Other highlights on St Mary's included a Yellow-browed Warbler, 'eastern' Lesser Whitethroat, Swallow, and several Western Cattle Egrets.

Glossy Ibis were recorded at 10 Devon sites, including five at Fremington Pill and six at Loddiswell. Ring-necked Duck were recorded at Roadford Reservoir (two), Beesands Ley and Slapton Ley, a Tundra Bean Goose frequented Exminster Marshes RSPB from 23rd, and 34 Russian White-fronted Geese were at East Budleigh.

Glossy Ibis, Clennon Valley Lakes, Devon (Chris Lake).

A brief first-winter Ring-billed Gull at Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset, on 28th was a smart – if brief – find. A Grey Phalarope was off Lyme Regis on 3rd and three Tundra Bean Geese at Upton, Poole, proved popular. 37 Russian White-fronted Geese over Ticleton on 3rd was the highest count, while a Glossy Ibis was back at Stanpit Marsh on 29th.

Tundra Bean Goose, Holes Bay, Dorset (Mark Wright).

Slimbridge WWT, Gloucestershire, hosted a single Glossy Ibis, at least 101 Bewick's Swans, and three Greenland White-fronted Geese. A probable Richard's Pipit was briefly at Splatt Bridge on 2nd and a Leach's Storm Petrel flew past Severn Beach on 3rd, while a Siberian Chiffchaff frequented Aust sewage works on 21-22nd.

Hawfinch, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire (Jonathan Bull).

In Somerset, Glossy Ibis were at Pawlett Hams and Shapwick Heath NNR. The drake Ring-necked Duck and a Siberian Chiffchaff frequented Ham Wall RSPB, a Grey Phalarope flew past Burnham-on-Sea on 28th, and a lone Tundra Bean Goose was noted at Tealham Moor. A bean goose species was at West Lyng too.

Two Siberian Chiffchaffs were at Westbury, Wiltshire, on 28th, while the Great Northern Diver at Cotswold Water Park and Snow Bunting at Mere remained in place.

Jonathan Farooqi



Two Tundra Bean Geese at Tanybwlch, Ceredigion, from 28th was a notable occurrence, while Carmarthen and Clwyd both held flocks of Russian White-fronted Geese. Four Ruddy Shelduck overflew Shotwick Fields, Clwyd, on 3rd, the same day Ogmore-by-Sea, Glamorgan, hosted a Grey Phalarope. Ring-necked Duck were at three Glamorgan sites – Lisvane Reservoir (two), Eglwys Nunydd Reservoir and Kenfig NNR.

Tundra Bean Goose, Tanybwlch, Ceredigion (Luke Gravett).

On the passerine front, the Llyn Brenig Great Grey Shrike was last noted on 31st, while 11 Siberian Chiffchaffs were spread between five sites. Three Glossy Ibis roosted near Angle, Pembrokeshire, on 2nd, with another at Llanelli Wetland Centre WWT, Carmarthen. The adult Caspian Gull remained on Gann Estuary, Pembrokeshire, until 21st at least, while four Iceland Gulls included a popular juvenile at Little Orme, Conwy.



Ireland bore the brunt of the fortnight's Glossy Ibis influx, with as many as 35 sites noting the species. Peak counts included 21 near Barrys Head, Co Cork, 15 at Frosses, Co Donegal, and up to nine at Reenroe, Co Kerry.

Glossy Ibis, Enniskeane, Cork (Richard Mills).

Ring-necked Duck were reported from 16 sites. Both Northern Irish records came from Co Fermanagh (a female at Drumgay Lough and male near Bellanaleck). Three Co Leitrim sites held singles, with two Co Sligo sites hosting three birds. Four were at Derrybrick Lake, Co Cavan, two at Moylan Lough, Co Monaghan, and three split between two Co Kerry localities. Further singles were in Cos Mayo, Clare, Cork, Waterford and Kilkenny.

By comparison, just four Green-winged Teal were to be found, including two in Co Kerry. The only Surf Scoter seen was a male off the Co Meath coast. The white-morph Snow Goose remained among Barnacle Geese in Co Sligo and a Todd's Canada Goose was at Dooey, Co Donegal, on 2nd. Bewick's Swans were at two Co Wexford localities.

Ring-billed Gull (front bird), Cooanmore Point, Sligo (Seamus Feeney).

Seven Ring-billed Gulls was a decent enough total by modern standards. This included first-winters at Cooanmore Point, Co Sligo, on 30-31st and Cork Lough on 2nd, plus new adults at Ballyalia Lake, Co Clare, and Clonakilty, Co Cork. However, it remains a paltry winter for white-winged gulls, with Glaucous and Iceland Gulls barely scraping into double figures.

Grey Phalarope, Ballycotton, Cork (Gemma Kelleher).

Two sites produced Swallows: up to two were at Carne, Co Wexford, from 30th, with another at Clahane Strand, Co Clare, on Boxing Day. At least seven sites had Siberian Chiffchaffs, with up to four at Waterford Town and twos at several sites, as well as one as far north-east as Castle Espie WWT, Co Down.

Josh Jones


Western Palearctic

Regionally, 2022 got off to a corking start – a Crimson-rumped Waxbill sound-recorded at Abu Simbel is the first for both Egypt and the Western Palearctic. Otherwise, it was largely quiet; Turkey's first Sabine's Gull – a juvenile – was at Milleyha, Samanda─č, on 28th.

No fewer than two drake Stejneger's Scoter were photographed off Båstad, Sweden, on 1st, with another continuing off Høve, Denmark. Nearby, a Black Scoter remained off Tisvilde Hegn and the Swedish Siberian Rubythroat lasted at Vargön into 2022. An inland Mandt's Guillemot was a Christmas Day treat at Kajaani, Finland.

Remarkably, The Netherlands' Western Swamphen count increased to two from 22nd – the country's first two records – with birds at Alblasserdam and Zevenhuizen. A satellite-tagged German Great Bustard rocked up at Workum and the Pygmy Cormorant lingered near Utrecht, although the Caspian Plover wasn't reported at Uithuizermeeden after 22nd. The young Ross's Gull continued at Nieuwpoort, Belguim.

Late December goodies on Terceira, Azores, included at least one Snowy Egret, Belted Kingfisher, two Great Blue Herons, American Great Egret, Bonaparte's Gull, three Semipalmated Plovers and five Ring-necked Duck. In Spain, a Brown Booby was at Málaga on 27th and the adult American Herring Gull remained at Muxía.

Written by: Sam Viles & the BirdGuides team