Review of the Week: 22nd February-1st March 2007


The week at a glance:

White-billed Diver: Hayle, Cornwall (photo: Chris Buckland).

White-billed Diver: Hayle, Cornwall (photo: Mike Barker).

White-billed (and Great Northern) Diver: Hayle, Cornwall (photo: Matt Sallis).

White-billed Diver: Hayle, Cornwall (photo: Nathan Casburn). White-billed Diver: Hayle, Cornwall (photo: Nathan Casburn).
Gyr Falcon: Stepper Point, Cornwall (photo: Colin Selway). Gyr Falcon: Stepper Point, Cornwall (photo: Colin Selway).

Cornwall was the centre of birding attention this week. The Pacific Diver remained to at least the 25th, but this was overshadowed by a beast of a White-billed Diver off Hayle on 25th, and then from 28th onwards. This was another enticing proposition for those heading to the southwest and one of five species of diver on offer in the county. Even more appealing was the white-morph Gyr Falcon again at Stepper Point near Padstow from 22nd onwards, though it proved to be frustratingly elusive for those intent on catching up with it! Back-up in the county came in the shape of a Dusky Warbler at Newquay from the 24th onwards and the first Hoopoe of the year at St. Buryan from 24th-26th.

Pacific Diver: Llys-y-Fran Reservoir, Pembrokeshire (photo: Mark Trott).

Bonaparte's Gull: Ferryden, Angus/Dundee (photo: Mark Caunt).

Ring-billed Gull: Nimmo's Pier, Co. Galway (photo: Mark Caunt).

Laughing Gull: Exmouth, Devon (photo: Phil Stidwill).

In Pembrokeshire the Pacific Diver remained at Llys-y-Fran Reservoir, and more-predictable White-billed Divers included two off Lewis (Outer Hebrides) and the juvenile again off Unst (Shetland). A 1st-winter Laughing Gull at Exmouth (Devon) from 23rd onwards was presumably the bird seen recently in the same county and the Ross's Gull was again at Portavadie (Argyll) on the 25th. The Bonaparte's Gulls remained faithful to Ferryden (Angus/Dundee) and St. Mary's (Scilly), as did the Forster's Tern at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway), where the American Herring Gull was also present with a near-adult at Rossaveal (Co. Galway) on the 22nd and 23rd. Notable Caspian Gulls included singles at Youghal (Co. Cork) and Culmore Dump (Londonderry) and several Kumlien's Gulls included an adult at Killybegs (Co. Donegal). There were four double-figure congregations of Iceland Gulls with 25 at Killybegs the largest gathering and 10 Glaucous Gulls also there. A total of 22 Ring-billed Gulls were reported, most, as would be expected, in Ireland.

Black-throated Thrush: Rothesay, Bute (photo: Jim Duncan).

Black-throated Thrush: Rothesay, Bute (photo: Jim Duncan).

Waxwing: Pickering, N. Yorkshire (photo: Dave Mansell).

Great Grey Shrike: Dumbrock Loch, Clyde (photo: Ian Fulton).

Shore Lark: Reculver, Kent (photo: Dylan Wrathall). Yellow-browed Warbler: Helston, Cornwall (photo: Steve Bury).

The Black-throated Thrush remained at Rothesay (Bute), as did the Penduline Tit at Rainham Marshes (London) and Little Bunting at Amwell GPs (Herts). The possible 'Central Asian' Lesser Whitethroat was still present in Cornwall. Eight Yellow-browed Warblers included one in West Sussex, three in Cornwall, two in Hampshire and singles in Gloucestershire and Devon. Four Siberian Chiffchaffs were reported and seven Great Grey Shrikes. There were 10 east-coast Lapland Buntings, including five at Cowbar (Cleveland), and Shore Larks could still be found in Norfolk at Cley, Holkham and Salthouse, with four still at Reculver (Kent) and singles at Cresswell (Northumberland) and Holmfield (W. Yorks). Around 75 Waxwings were logged, but the only flock into double figures was one of 23 at Skelton (Cleveland). There was an early pulse of Sand Martins, the first of which was at Slimbridge (Glos) on 22nd, though birds had been reported from seven counties by the end of the week, the most northerly in Lancashire. There were also single reports of Wheatear, House Martin and Swallow, plus Ospreys in Cornwall and Ceredigion and a Little Ringed Plover reported in Manchester.

Glossy Ibis: Lytham St. Annes, Lancs (photo: Sue Tranter).

Glossy Ibis: Lytham St. Annes, Lancs (photo: Sue Tranter).

On the Outer Hebrides the two male Snowy Owls were still present and the White-tailed Eagle was still in Aberdeenshire on the 24th, 26th and 1st. A Great White Egret was at Broad Lough (Co. Wicklow), the Cattle Egret remained in Devon and the Glossy Ibis was at Lytham St. Annes (Lancs) to the 28th. The wintering Rough-legged Buzzard on the Isle of Sheppey (Kent) remained the only one on offer and a dozen Spoonbills included seven at Arne (Dorset) and singles on Shetland and Co. Kerry.

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Spotted Sandpiper: Hayle Estuary, Cornwall (photo: Len).

Temminck's Stint: Slimbridge, Glos (photo: Alan Wadsworth). Temminck's Stint: Slimbridge, Glos (photo: Alan Wadsworth).

The unseasonable Temminck's Stint was again at Slimbridge (Glos) from 22nd onwards and a Grey Phalarope was at Crossness LNR (London) from 24th-26th. The long-staying Spotted Sandpiper on the Hayle Estuary offered a slight diversion away from larger fare nearby and the Lesser Yellowlegs remained at Rosscarbery (Co. Cork) as did the Long-billed Dowitchers at Dundalk (Co. Louth) and Oare Marshes (Kent).

Ring-necked Duck: Low Barns, Durham (photo: David Brown).

Lesser Scaup: Caerlaverock, Dumfries and Galloway (photo: Jim Woods).

Green-winged Teal: Axe Estuary, Somerset (photo: James Packer). Surf Scoter: Beer, Devon (photo: Phil Stidwill).
Tundra Bean Goose: Awliscombe, Devon (photo: Phil Stidwill). Tundra Bean Goose: Awliscombe, Devon (photo: Phil Stidwill).

The south-coast Red-breasted Goose was relocated in Sussex. The white- and blue-morph Snow Geese remained at North Slob (Co. Wexford), an intermediate morph was in Lancashire and white-morph birds were in Orkney and Argyll. The Richardson's Canada Goose was still in Northumberland and another in Dumfries and Galloway. The drake Barrow's Goldeneyes remained in Forth and Co. Down, as did the female Bufflehead in Co. Clare. Seven Lesser Scaup were noted, including two at Vane Farm (Perth and Kinross), there was a 'new' Ferruginous Duck at Huttoft Bank (Lincs) on 25th, plus the long-staying female in Kent and 13 Ring-necked Ducks. Ten American Wigeon represented a good showing, though there were just eight Green-winged Teal. The drake King Eider was still in Mousa Sound (Shetland). The Surf Scoter in Penzance (Cornwall) was found dead, though one continued at Beer (Devon) as did the drake in Fife.

Mediterranean Gull: Mumbles, Glamorgan (photo: Tristan Bantock).

Black-headed Gull: Palmers Green, London (photo: Fraser Simpson).

Shelduck: Martin Mere, Lancs (photo: Damian Waters).

Siskin: Abernethy, Highland (photo: Steve Round).

Black Grouse: Perth and Kinross (photo: John Anderson).

Red Kite: Gigrin Farm, Powys (photo: Richard Bedford).

Many of the images that appear in our weekly reviews can be purchased from the photographers, some of whom have their own websites:

John Anderson: http://www.pbase.com/crail_birder
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://www.severnsidebirds.co.uk
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
Ian Fulton: http://www.pbase.com/ianfulton
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
Written by: Russell Slack