Review of the Week: 24th-30th June 2004

Grey Heron: Tetney Marshes, Lincs. Some have been left perplexed at the recent lack of accessible rarities! (Photo: Dave Bradbeer)

Rare waders rescued what was becoming an exceptionally dull week, but there were few highlights to be had elsewhere apart from the first signs of wader movement. The unsettled weather continued to entertain seawatchers, with European Storm-petrels particularly conspicuous from some watchpoints.

Short-billed Dowitcher: Lady's Island Lake, Co. Wexford. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)

Only the fourth British and Irish Short-billed Dowitcher was found at Lady's Island Lake (Co. Wexford) on Wednesday 30th. This is the third for Ireland. Previous records of this Nearctic wader are as follows. One was found by the finder of the present bird in Co. Wexford in 1985, a well-watched juvenile was seen in Northeast Scotland in September 1999 and was then relocated in Cleveland, where it remained until the end of October and another was on the Swords Estuary (Co. Dublin) in May 2001.

Pacific Golden Plover: (Photo: John Chapman)

An adult Pacific Golden Plover was on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) on Wednesday 30th and slotted neatly into the traditional late summer arrival pattern for this Asiatic species. Up to 3 Red-necked Phalaropes were present on the same island during the week and one was at Caerlaverock WWT (Dumfries and Galloway) on Sunday 27th. A scattering of Temminck's Stints included one at Aldcliffe (Lancs) on Friday 25th, another at Carnbarns (Clyde) on Sunday 27th and two at Loch of Tankerness (Orkney) on Wednesday 30th. At least 10 Wood Sandpipers were noted and a small movement of commoner waders were observed through a number of locations. Two out-of-range Stone Curlews were found, one at Musselburgh (Lothian) on Saturday 26th and another at Wheelton Moor (Lancs) from Tuesday 29th till at least 30th.

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A Little Bunting was a surprise find in a mist-net at Arreton (Isle of Wight) on Wednesday 30th. A Woodchat Shrike was at Consols Pool (Cornwall) on Thursday 24th. Red-backed Shrikes included a male on Fair Isle (Shetland) on 24th, with two there on 26th, a pair on North Ronaldsay on 24th and a female there to at least 27th. An Icterine Warbler was on Fair Isle on Saturday 26th and the male remains at Outney Common (Suffolk). A Common Rosefinch was on Fair Isle on 26th, with the male still at Berriedale (Highland).

American Herring Gull: Nimmo's Pier, Galway. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)

American Herring Gull: Nimmo's Pier, Galway. Together with Glaucous Gull and Yellow-legged Gull. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly) American Herring Gull: Nimmo's Pier, Galway. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)

Ring-billed Gull: Lewis, Outer Hebrides. (Photo: Martin Scott) Ring-billed Gull: Lewis, Outer Hebrides. (Photo: Martin Scott)

It has been another relatively productive week for seawatchers. A Cory's Shearwater passed Sennen Cove on Thursday 24th and 2 went past Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on Wednesday 30th. Balearic Shearwaters were noted in E. Yorks and Dorset and Sooty Shearwaters totalled 14 birds with 6 past Peterhead (Aberdeenshire) on 26th. European Storm-petrels featured prominently on the news service this week, with reports from many locations resulting from strong winds on Thursday 24th, but Workington (Cumbria) has produced good numbers throughout the week, with three-figure counts on several days and 415 noted on Wednesday 30th along with a Leach's Storm-petrel. Three Gull-billed Terns were reported past Birling Gap (E. Sussex) on Sunday 27th, the American Herring Gull remains in Galway and a 1st-summer Ring-billed Gull was at Loch Ordais, Lewis (Outer Hebrides). Great White Egrets were over Scaling Dam (Cleveland) on Saturday 26th and at Breydon Water (Norfolk) on Tuesday 29th. Around a dozen Quail were reported, the summering Black Kite remains at Achentoul (Highland) and the Montagu's Harriers have been performing well from the RSPB viewpoint at Frampton Marsh (Lincs). Finally, a Glossy Ibis at Hanningfield Res (Essex) on Friday 25th was presumably the bird from Otmoor (Oxon).

Spoonbill: Coatham Marsh, Cleveland. (Photo: Jane Hanson) Long-tailed Duck: Hauxley NR, Northumbs. (Photo: John Malloy)

Roseate Tern: East Chevington, Northumbs. (Photo: Alan Gilbertson) Roseate Tern: East Chevington, Northumbs. (Photo: Alan Gilbertson)

Greenshank: Blacktoft Sands, E. Yorks. (Photo: Sue Tranter) Black-tailed Godwit: Marshside, Lancs. (Photo: Sean Gray)
Written by: Russell Slack