Review of the Week: 22nd-28th June 2006


The week at a glance:

Not surprisingly it was a relatively quiet week. The Scops Owl continued to entertain visitors to Thrupp (Oxon). As its stay lengthens so a rumour has come to light that the bird is a possible escape. Whether this proves to be the case or not will require further investigation. But if you've not been to see it yet then don't be put off: it won't be the first time that a record has been 'dissed' without solid foundation - better to be safe than sorry! However, it is interesting that evidence came to light after the Dummer (Hants) record of 1980 suggesting that that well-watched long-stayer was an escapee based on evidence from an aviculturalist in the county. However, following consideration of the evidence supplied to them, the BBRC decided that the Dummer record should stand. Such records are always going to be difficult to assess unless there is a clear suggestion of captive origin, especially so for a species such as a Scops Owl which is a species that clearly overshoots to Britain on a regular basis. That other long-staying mega, the Black-browed Albatross on Sula Sgeir (Outer Hebrides), was seen from a charter boat on 24th, with the same charter also scoring a dark-backed tern, identified as a Bridled Tern in The Minch (Highland) on the 23rd. Hopefully the latter will be relocated in a tern colony over the course of the summer. Reports of a White-throated Sparrow at Minster (Kent) came in a week apart, but unfortunately remained unconfirmed.

Great Reed Warbler: Loch of Kinnordy, Angus/Dundee (photo: Alan Gilbertson). Woodchat Shrike: Lucott Cross, Somerset (photo: James Packer).

Elsewhere pickings were thin on the ground. A Great Reed Warbler was present at Far Ings NR (Lincs) on 24th and the long-staying Great Reed Warbler remained at Loch of Kinnordy (Angus/Dundee) throughout. A Woodchat Shrike was a nice inland find at Lucott Cross (Somerset) from 24th-27th and three Red-backed Shrikes included singles at Portland (Dorset) on 23rd and Old Winchester Hill (Hants) on 24th, plus the Fair Isle (Shetland) bird remained to the 23rd. Also at Portland, Serins were seen on 23rd and 28th. A Bee-eater on Fair Isle on 22nd was the first on the island for 24 years, with it, or another, again at Yell from 24th-25th and Unst (Shetland) on 26th.

Black-winged Stilt: Martin Mere, Lancs (photo: Mike Atkinson).

Wader interest was provided by a Pratincole sp. over Joppa (Lothian) on 23rd, a Temminck's Stint at Upton Warren (Worcs) from 22nd-23rd and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper on the Lossie Estuary (Moray/Nairn) on 27th. The two Black-winged Stilts remained at Martin Mere (Lancs), where there was also a Pectoral Sandpiper on 26th and the Lesser Yellowlegs was last seen at Gibraltar Point (Lincs) on 24th. On Lewis (Outer Hebrides) a pair of Red-necked Phalaropes were still present from the 'Phalarope Watchpoint'.

Black Tern: Dungeness, Kent (photo: Dave Hockey). Black Tern: Dungeness, Kent (photo: Dave Hockey).

On Shetland a Laughing Gull was at Quendale on 22nd and Toab on 25th and was presumably the bird seen last week on Unst. Unseasonable Sabine's Gulls passed Galley Head (Co. Cork) on 22nd and Dawlish Warren (Devon) on 28th. There were Ring-billed Gulls still on Lewis and in Co. Galway, with the latter also accommodating the only Glaucous Gull of the week and three Iceland Gulls were seen in Scotland. A short blast of onshore winds delivered European Storm-petrels to many Irish Sea watchpoints on 22nd, and a rare inland bird was seen at Fewston Reservoir (N. Yorks) the same day. Eleven Leach's Storm-petrels passed Uisaed Point (Argyll) on the 22nd, a Wilson's Storm-petrel was seen between St. Mary's and Gugh (Scilly) on 26th with five seen from the Scilly pelagic on 26th and two on the 28th. A Great Shearwater passed Malin Head (Co. Donegal) on 25th and Balearic Shearwaters included three passing Portland on 24th with one on 25th and one past Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on 22nd. A Pomarine Skua was noted offshore in Cornwall on 25th and two off Berry Head (Devon) on 28th.

Montagu's Harrier: Tacumshin, Co. Wexford (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).

Great White Egret: Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria (photo: Craig Shaw). Spoonbill: Havergate, Suffolk (photo: Ian Barthorpe).

A Great White Egret was at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) and another at Bassenthwaite Lake (Cumbria) on 27th-28th. A White Stork remained on the Isle of Man. A Black Kite was reported over Andover (Hants) on 24th and Montagu's Harriers away from breeding areas included birds at Tacumshin, Castle Howard (N. Yorks) and Gibraltar Point. Two Red-footed Falcons were reported in-off at Great Yarmouth (Norfolk) on 22nd. It's not been a Quail year so far, but nearly 30 singing birds were reported, including four at Gringley Carr (Notts). A Ferruginous Duck was at Pett Levels (E. Sussex) on 27th, whilst the Ring-necked Duck remained at Avonmouth (Somerset) as did the King Eider at Irvine (Ayrshire) and Green-winged Teal at Inner Marsh Farm (Cheshire).

Puffin: Farne Islands, Northumbs (photo: Ken Plows).
Sandwich Tern: Farne Islands, Northumbs (photo: Nick Martin).
Shag: Farne Islands, Northumbs (photo: Richard Bedford).
Red-throated Diver: undisclosed, Highland (photo: Ian Fulton).
Curlew: Dallowgill, N. Yorks (photo: Sean Gray).
Yellow-legged Gull: Ringstone Reservoir, W. Yorks (photo: Sean Gray).
Red Kite: Chilterns, Oxon (photo: Nick 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/
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: 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
Written by: Russell Slack