Review of the Week: 22nd-28th July 2004

Semipalmated Sandpiper: Brockholes Quarry, Lancs. (Photo: Bill Aspin)

American Golden Plover: Old Hall Marshes, Essex. (Photo: Kit Day) American Golden Plover: Old Hall Marshes, Essex. (Photo: Tim Corke)

Once again waders featured prominently in the headlines. A Semipalmated Sandpiper was found at Brockholes Quarry (Lancs) on Sunday 25th. A first for Lancashire, unfortunately the identity did not resolve itself until the following day, by which time the bird had departed. This clearly illustrates the value of obtaining digipics whilst out and about. An American Golden Plover at Old Hall Marshes (Essex) from Saturday 24th onwards was, perhaps surprisingly, the first record for Essex. For those willing to undertake the long walk to see the bird, the superbly plumaged male was ample reward for their efforts. In Co. Wexford, a Baird's Sandpiper was at Tacumshin on Sunday 25th, whilst the Short-billed Dowitcher remained at Lady's Island Lake in the same county to at least Sunday 25th and the summer-plumaged Long-billed Dowitcher is still in residence at Gibraltar Point (Lincs). A probable Great Knot was reported from the Swords Estuary (Co. Dublin) on Sunday 25th. Temminck's Stints were at Hickling Broad (Norfolk) and St. Mary's, Mainland (Orkney) on Wednesday 28th and a Red-necked Phalarope was on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) the same day. Pectoral Sandpipers from last week lingered at Loch of Strathbeg (Aberdeenshire) to 24th, 2 at Mussleburgh (Lothian) to 23rd, and one at Titchwell to 23rd, with 2 reported on 24th and one on 25th. At East Chevington (Northumberland) the bird was still present throughout the week, whilst one was at Hickling Broad (Norfolk) from Sunday 25th, and 2 there from Wednesday 28th; another was at Denge Marsh (Kent) on Wednesday 28th and one at Horseshoe Point (Lincs) the same day. Commoner waders were in evidence during the week with at least 60 Curlew Sandpipers reported, the majority along the east coast, and there were 26 Wood Sandpipers. A Stone Curlew at Cley (Norfolk) on Saturday 24th was notable, then at Blakeney Point.

Pectoral Sandpiper: Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk. (Photo: John Friendship-Taylor)

Pectoral Sandpiper: Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk. (Photo: Dave Hawkins) Pectoral Sandpiper: Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk. (Photo: Peter Simpson)

Caspian Tern: Dawlish Warren, Devon. (Photo: Mike Lockyear) Caspian Tern: Dawlish Warren, Devon. (Photo: Mike Lockyear)

Caspian Tern: Dawlish Warren, Devon. (Photo: Mike Lockyear) Caspian Tern: Dawlish Warren, Devon. (Photo: Mike Lockyear)

The first Caspian Tern of 2004 made an appearance for several hours on Tuesday 27th at Dawlish Warren (Devon). Unfortunately, it headed out to sea early afternoon and was not seen again. It was quite a lean week for seawatchers, but there were some rewards for the persistent. A Great Shearwater passed Cape Clear (Co. Cork) on Thursday 22nd and 2 Cory's Shearwaters passed Galley Head (Co. Cork) on Sunday 25th. Sooty Shearwaters remain scarce, but 20 were noted from Kilcumin Head (Co. Mayo) between Saturday 24th-25th, though just 13 were reported from elsewhere, just one of which was in the North Sea. Balearic Shearwaters were more conspicuous this week: one passed Galley Head on Thursday 22nd; 3 passed the Calf of Man (Isle of Man) on Friday 23rd; 2 were seen from Bardsey (Gwynedd) on Saturday 24th, with 4 the following day; one was off Portland (Dorset) from 25th-28th, with singles seen passing Lunan Bay (Angus/Dundee) on Monday 26th, Fairlight (E. Sussex) on Tuesday 27th, and past Porthgwarra (Cornwall) the same day, and one in the Helford Passage (Cornwall) on Wednesday 28th. A Sabine's Gull was noted past Ramore Head (Co. Antrim) on Sunday 25th, and the American Herring Gull remains at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway). Four Ring-billed Gulls included the popular 2nd-summer at Little Marlow GPs (Bucks) through the week, 2 1st-summers at Rubha Ardvule, S. Uist (Outer Hebrides) on Saturday 24th and a 1st-summer at North Bull (Dublin) on Tuesday 27th. Tape-luring of European Storm-petrels is still proving rewarding, with double-figures noted at several North Sea locations, whilst a Leach's Storm-petrel was trapped at Eyemouth (Borders) on Monday 26th, with others seen at Kilcummin Head (Co. Mayo) between 24th and 25th and another passing Machrihanish (Argyll) on Saturday 24th. Skuas remain conspicuous by their absence, but a Long-tailed Skua was reported off Cley (Norfolk) on Sunday 25th. Inland, the Manx Shearwater is still at Rutland Water (Leics and Rutland), and was present to at least Tuesday 27th.

European Storm-petrel: Filey Brigg, N. Yorks. (Photo: Toby Collett)

Roseate Tern: Farne Islands, Northumberland. (Photo: John Friendship-Taylor) Roseate Tern: Cruisetown, Co. Louth. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)

Three Great White Egrets were noted during the week, with one at the National Wetlands Centre (Carmarthen) from Friday 23rd-24th, one at Burnham Overy (Norfolk) on Tuesday 27th and another at Land's End (Cornwall) on Wednesday 28th. A 1st-summer Night Heron was at Weir Wood Reservoir (E. Sussex) from Thursday 22nd-24th and a Common Crane at Loch of Strathbeg (Aberdeenshire) from Saturday 25th-26th, plus the long-staying bird was still in Cumbria. In Norfolk the Glossy Ibis was again reported from Berney Marshes on Saturday 25th.

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Rare ducks comprised a Surf Scoter off Lunan Bay (Angus/Dundee) on Friday 23rd and 25th, the female Blue-winged Teal at Trimley Marshes (Suffolk), and Ring-necked Ducks at Barrow Gurney Reservoir (Somerset) and South Usit (Outer Hebrides). Black Kites were reported over Par (Cornwall) on Saturday 24th and Lowestoft (Suffolk) on Tuesday 27th, whilst the Montagu's Harriers continue to entertain visitors to Frampton Marsh (Lincs). A total of 8 Quail were reported during the week.

Woodchat Shrike: Kennard Moor, Somerset. (Photo: Paul Bowyer) Woodchat Shrike: Kennard Moor, Somerset. (Photo: Alan Browne)

Passerine interest was limited, but Melodious Warblers were on Bardsey (Gwynedd) on Monday 26th and Hengistbury Head (Dorset) on Wednesday 28th. The 1st-summer Woodchat Shrike remains at Kennard Moor (Somerset) and Red-backed Shrikes were at Newtown NR (Isle of Wight) on Friday 23rd and Abbot's Cliff (Kent) on Monday 26th. At least one Serin remains on St. Mary's (Scilly) and 'Icelandic' Common Redpolls were reported from South Uist (10 birds) and North Uist (3 birds) on the Outer Hebrides.

Stone Curlew: Cley, Norfolk. (Photo: Josh Jones) Red-necked Phalarope: Outer Hebrides, Outer Hebrides. (Photo: Martin Scott)

Wood Sandpiper: Langness, Isle of Man. (Photo: Pete Hadfield) Wood Sandpiper: Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)

Curlew Sandpiper: Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly) Curlew Sandpiper: Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)
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
Steve Blain: http://www.steveblain.co.uk
Nigel Blake: http://www.nigelblake.co.uk
Will Bowell: http://www.geocities.com/wbowell/
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
Mark Caunt: Kit Day: http://angusbirding.homestead.com/
Kit Day: http://www.geocities.com/christophe_41/
Peter Hadfield: http://www.manxbirdphotography.co.uk
Josh Jones: http://www.geocities.com/blgp_birder
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
Jerry O'Brien: http://www.BirdsofBerkshire.co.uk
James Packer: http://www.somersetbirder.co.uk
Tristan Reid: http://www.solwaybirder.org.uk
Steve Round: http://stevenround-birdphotography.com
Tom Shevlin: http://wildlifesnaps.com/
Matt Slaymaker: http://www.freewebs.com/slaymaker
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
Chris Wormwell: http://www.iombirding.co.uk
Dylan Wrathall: http://www.planetthanet.org
Written by: Russell Slack