Review of the Week: 24th February-2nd March 2005

Killdeer: Upper Lough Erne, Fermanagh. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)

Killdeer: Upper Lough Erne, Fermanagh. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly) Killdeer: Upper Lough Erne, Fermanagh. (Photo: Michael Ruddock)

A Killdeer was located at Upper Lough Erne (Co. Fermanagh) on Friday 25th, and was present through the rest of the week, providing good views and plenty of photographic opportunities. This was the 2nd record for Northern Ireland, the last as long ago as 1967, though there have been at least 15 in Ireland. Initial speculation was that this was the bird seen a few months ago in the Outer Hebrides, but on plumage they would appear to be different individuals - there must be more out there awaiting detection?

Little Bunting: Caunsell, Staffs. (Photo: Steve Nuttall) Arctic Redpoll: Titchwell, Norfolk. (Photo: Oliver Smart)

An American Coot was found on the appropriately named 'Coot Loch' on Benebecula (Outer Hebrides) from Friday 25th onwards. A 'new' bird perhaps, or could it have been the individual from last winter returning to the archipelago? On Shetland the long-staying American Coot remains at Loch of Benston. A 1st-winter Laughing Gull was at Drogheda (Co. Louth) on Saturday 26th and an adult Bonaparte's Gull on Harris (Outer Hebrides) on Saturday 26th and 1st. On Shetland a dashing white Gyr Falcon was seen again, this time over Scord Quarry, on Sunday 27th. On the Worcestershire/Staffordshire border the presence of a second Little Bunting was confirmed at Caunsell, again highlighting that we only see a fraction of what is present in our countryside, and a possible Little Bunting was reported from Staines Reservoir (Surrey) on the 26th. Also on 26th a Pallas's Warbler was reported from Coleshill (Warks) and a Yellow-browed Warbler was in a garden at Plympton (Devon) on Wednesday 2nd. A Wryneck at Sennen (Cornwall) on Wednesday 2nd was a quite exceptional record.

Great Grey Shrike: Bakewell, Derbys. (Photo: Simon Wilson) Lapland Bunting: Whitburn, Durham. (Photo: MJ Watson)

At least 14 Great Grey Shrikes were scattered around the country and yet another 'out-of-range' Dartford Warbler was reported; one at New Swillington Ings (W. Yorks) was the 3rd county record. Familiar long-stayers included the Arctic Redpoll in Norfolk, Dusky Warbler in Suffolk and Richard's Pipit in Conwy. The White-tailed Eagle showed itself again in Lincolnshire on 24th and 27th, on which day it was seen to head off west and was relocated over Langsett Reservoir (S. Yorks) briefly - it is difficult to believe that such large birds can be so difficult to pin down!

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The White-billed Diver was still at Collafirth (Shetland) early in the week, and the Cattle Egret remains in Somerset. The Lesser Yellowlegs was still at Stiffkey (Norfolk) and Grey Phalaropes were noted at Filey (N. Yorks) and Lade GPs (Kent). The Forster's Tern remains in Co. Galway as does the 1st-winter American Herring Gull in Co. Kerry. A Sooty Shearwater was off Norfolk and a small run of Little Auks were noted along the east coast, mostly off Scotland.

Lesser Scaup: Farnborough, Warks. (Photo: Garth Clark)

Lesser Scaup: Farnborough, Warks. (Photo: Steve Valentine) Lesser Scaup: Farnborough, Warks. (Photo: John Harris)

Green-winged Teal: Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria. (Photo: Tristan Reid) Ring-necked Duck: Portbury Wharf, Somerset and Bristol. (Photo: Jason Williams)

A 1st-winter Lesser Scaup proved popular in Warwickshire, whilst others remained in East Sussex and Co. Fermanagh. The Black Scoter was still off Conwy and the Black Duck on Tresco (Scilly). King Eiders were in Dumfries and Galloway and on Shetland, there were 9 Surf Scoters, 8 Ring-necked Ducks, 2 Ferruginous Ducks, 11 Green-winged Teal and one, possibly two, American Wigeon. Despite the cold weather, spring is just around the corner, and a surge of milder weather will no doubt start to change the composition of the national bird news.

Iceland Gull: Irvine, Ayr. (Photo: Ian Fulton) Iceland Gull: Killybegs, Donegal. (Photo: Dave Hatton)

Red-necked Grebe: Stanwick GPs, Northants. (Photo: Bob Hazell) Slavonian Grebe: Pitsford Res, Northants. (Photo: Chris Cook)

Brambling: Cramlington, Northumberland. (Photo: John Molloy) Goldeneye: Covenham Res, Lincs. (Photo: Russell Hayes)
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/
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