Review of the Week: 24th-30th March 2005

Killdeer: Breydon Water, Norfolk. (Photo: Roy Harvey) Killdeer: Breydon Water, Norfolk. (Photo: Kit Day)

Killdeer: Breydon Water, Norfolk. (Photo: Steve and Sue)

A Killdeer at Breydon Water RSPB (Norfolk) from Monday 28th-29th was an addition to the Norfolk list and was the first English record to linger away from the southwest since the mid-1980s. As such, it gave those with an aversion to long drives or travel to offshore islands a welcome opportunity to see this charismatic Nearctic wader a bit closer to home, and would presumably have been even more popular had it been discovered earlier in the Bank Holiday weekend.

Penduline Tit: Grove Ferry, Kent. (Photo: Dylan Wrathall)

Two male Penduline Tits were at Grove Ferry (Kent) on Wednesday 30th; one of the birds bore a ring on the right leg. A 1st-summer male Siberian Stonechat was a surprise find at the London Wetland Centre (London) on Thursday 24th. A Snowy Owl on Stronsay (Orkney) from Saturday 26th was the first on the islands since 1996, and there were Gyr Falcon sightings on Shetland on 24th and 28th.

Hoopoe: Cefn Cribwr, Glamorgan. (Photo: Steve Evans) Hoopoe: Reading, Berks. (Photo: Tony Knight)

An Ortolan Bunting was an early find at Dungeness RSPB (Kent) on Monday 28th and a female Common Rosefinch at Cunningsburgh (Shetland) from last week remained through the week. This is the earliest ever Shetland record, though one was present from 3rd April in 1974. A Wryneck at Land's End during the week was presumably the bird from earlier in the month. Serins conformed to expectation with four brief visitors along the south coast with singles at Beachy Head (W. Sussex) and Brighton (E. Sussex) on 26th, Edburton (W. Sussex) on 28th and Portland (Dorset) on 30th. Around 15 Hoopoes were noted, mostly in Cornwall, though two reached Co. Cork, and singles were in Glamorgan, Scilly, Devon, Highland, Norfolk and Berkshire. A clear passage of Great Grey Shrikes was evident with over 25 reported, many from east-coast locations, and a modest exodus of Northern Bullfinches totalled 12 birds - perhaps a departing wintering Pine Grosbeak will also be picked up at a coastal location in the next couple of weeks?

Great Grey Shrike: Caistor, Lincs. (Photo: Russell Hayes)

Dusky Warbler: Kessingland, Suffolk. (Photo: Steve Valentine) Common Rosefinch: Cunningsburgh, Shetland . (Photo: Jim Nicolson)

There were just 4 Lapland Buntings and 6 Shore Larks, and a possible Black-bellied Dipper was reported from Newcastle (Co. Wicklow) on 25th. Waxwings were still evident in many locations, with several three-figure counts reported. Left-overs from the winter also included the Arctic Redpoll in Norfolk, Richard's Pipit in Conwy and Dusky Warbler in Suffolk. Summer visitors continued to arrive, with early dates for some species, though commoner species were still scarce in many areas, most notably a lack of Swallows.

Great White Egret: Loch Lomond, Clyde. (Photo: Jim Duncan) American Coot: Benbecula, Outer Hebrides. (Photo: Ian Crutchley)

A Purple Heron was at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) from Friday 25th to at least 28th and a possible over Romsey (Hants) on Wednesday 30th. White Storks of unknown origin were at Littleport (Cambs) and West Moor (Somrset), the matter likely to become more confused over coming weeks as several feral birds go on their annual 'walkabout'! Popular Great White Egrets were in Clyde and Carmarthenhire, and another on Guernsey on 25th. In Somerset the Cattle Egret returned to Kingston Seymour - it was previously last reported in late February. A Spotted Crake was at Saltfleetby (Lincs) on Tuesday 29th.

Short-billed Dowitcher: Booterstown Marsh, Dublin. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly) Short-billed Dowitcher: Booterstown Marsh, Dublin. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)

In Co. Dublin, the Short-billed Dowitcher was relocated at Booterstown Marsh, and the Long-billed Dowitcher was again present at the Newport Wetlands (Gwent). In Norfolk, the Lesser Yellowlegs remains, a Pectoral Sandpiper was reported from Cley on the 30th and the Glossy Ibis resurfaced after a short absence. An American Herring Gull was at Sennen (Cornwall) and the 2nd-winter remained in Co. Galway. Adult Bonaparte's Gulls were again at Thurso (Highland) and Harris (Outer Hebrides) and the Forster's Tern was still in Co. Galway. For seawatchers, small numbers of Arctic Skuas passed along the English Channel and the earliest ever Pomarine Skua for Portland (Dorset) passed there on 30th. A Sooty Shearwater passed Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on 28th and a Little Auk passed the Farnes (Northumberland) on 27th.

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

The American Coots were still on the Outer Hebrides and Shetland, as was the Grey-bellied Brant on the Outer Hebrides. The Black Scoter was off Conwy again and the Black Duck continued her residence on Tresco (Scilly). A King Eider off Dorset on Sunday 27th was an excellent record for the English Channel, and two remained on Shetland. A dozen Green-winged Teals brightened up many a Teal flock, and there were two American Wigeons. Ten Ring-necked Ducks were reported, a single Ferruginous Duck in Staffordshire, Lesser Scaup in Forth and Devon and 6 Surf Scoters, including the two long-staying birds in Devon.

Long-tailed Duck: Freiston Shore, Lincs. (Photo: Paul Sullivan) Red-necked Grebe: Deeping Lake NR, Lincs. (Photo: Josh Jones)

Stone Curlew: Sandy Point, Hants. (Photo: George Spraggs) Avocet: Kingsbury WP, Warks. (Photo: Brian Mcgeough)

Black Redstart: St. Mary's Wetland, Northumberland. (Photo: John Malloy) Black Redstart: Landguard NR, Suffolk. (Photo: Steve Valentine)
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://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/birdphotos/index.htm
Will Bowell: http://www.wanderingbirders.co.nr/
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: http://angusbirding.homestead.com/
Kit Day: http://www.kitday-uk.com/
Lee Dingain: http://www.leedingain.co.uk
Jon Dunn: http://www.surfbirds.com/blogs/Stercorarius/
Katie Fuller: http://bogbumper.blogspot.com
Sean Gray: http://www.grayimages.co.uk
Peter Hadfield: http://www.manxbirdphotography.co.uk
Josh Jones: http://www.wanderingbirders.co.near/
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
Brian Mcgeough: http://www.pbase.com/bmcgeough/british_birds
Jerry O'Brien: http://www.BirdsofBerkshire.co.uk
James Packer: http://www.somersetbirder.co.uk
Mike Pennington: http://www.nature.shetland.co.uk
Marc Read: http://www.marcread-pix.com
Tristan Reid: http://www.solwaybirder.org.uk
Steve Round: http://stevenround-birdphotography.com
Deryk Shaw/FIBO: http://www.fairislebirdobs.co.uk
Tom Shevlin: http://wildlifesnaps.com/
Matt Slaymaker: http://www.freewebs.com/slaymaker
Oliver Smart: http://www.smartimages.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
Chris Wormwell: http://www.iombirding.co.uk
Dylan Wrathall: http://www.planetthanet.org
Written by: Russell Slack