Review of the Week: 25th-31st March 2004


For rarities it was a quieter week than of late, but those of you who have been out and about will have noticed increasing numbers of summer visitors on your local patch, especially across southern Britain.

Alpine Swift: Scarborough, Yorks. (Photo: Steve Evans)

Alpine Swift: Scarborough, Yorks. (Photo: Barry Byatt) Alpine Swift: Scarborough, Yorks. (Photo: Barry Byatt)

Another Alpine Swift was reported, at Hengistbury Head (Dorset) on Tuesday 30th. In Scarborough the long-staying and obliging bird is still present, now favouring Scalby Mills on the north side of the town. In Leicestershire the Red-rumped Swallow remained at Swithland Reservoir until Monday 29th. Two Hoopoes were reported on Friday 26th, with singles at Hill Head (Hants) and Strumble Head (Pembrokeshire), plus the bird from last week at Colyford Common (Devon) was last seen on Thursday 25th. That other early spring scarcity, Serin, was noted on three occasions, with singles on St. Mary's (Scilly) between Saturday 27th and Tuesday 30th, it or another over St. Agnes (Scilly) on Sunday 28th and one over Foreland (Isle of Wight) the same day. At least 16 Great Grey Shrikes were present during the week, many still on their winter territories. Late news from last week was of a Northern Long-tailed Tit paired with a British-race bird at Beddingham (E. Sussex), whilst several birds were still at Minsmere early in the week.

Great Grey Shrike: Fernworthy Reservoir, Devon. (Photo: Mike Lockyear) Waxwing: Harlow, Essex. (Photo: Mike Lawrence)

Great White Egret: Baron's Haugh, Clyde. (Photo: Lang Stewart) Glossy Ibis: Bowling Green Marsh, Devon. (Photo: Mike Lockyear)

An adult Bonaparte's Gull was at Peninerine, South Uist (Outer Hebrides) on Wednesday 31st, on which date a Snowy Owl was also on the island. Great White Egrets included singles at Powderham (Devon) on Thursday 25th and Tuesday 30th, plus birds at Minsmere (Suffolk) and Baron's Haugh (Clyde) on Wednesday 31st. Rare ducks comprised: 5 Ring-necked Ducks, 2 Lesser Scaup, 4 American Wigeon, 7 Green-winged Teal, 3 King Eiders and 9 Surf Scoters. There was a noticeable arrival of Garganey and Black-necked Grebes during the week, though for obvious reasons only transient birds are reported on the news page.

Harlequin Duck: Lewis, Outer Hebrides. (Photo: Nick Smith) American Coot: South Uist, Outer Hebrides. (Photo: Nick Smith)

Franklin's Gull: Radipole, Dorset. (Photo: Martin Green) Black-necked Grebe: undisclosed, Northumbs. (Photo: John Malloy)

The 1st-winter Franklin's Gull continues to perform well at Radipole Lake RSPB (Dorset). The names and locations of the long-stayers has changed little since last week. The Harlequin Duck is still on Lewis (Outer Hebrides), as are the American Coots on South Uist and Shetland adult the Forster's Tern in Co. Down. The Dusky Warbler remains in Devon and Hume's Warblers can still be seen in London and Co. Wexford, plus 4 Yellow-browed Warblers can still be seen, three in the southwest. In Dorset the Penduline Tit was still present at Lodmoor on 25th and 26th and Rose-coloured Starlings were still in Penzance (Cornwall) and St. Agnes (Scilly), as is the Little Bunting on Anglesey. Finally, in Highland the Rufous Turtle Dove was again reported from St. John's Loch and is presumably still at large on the bird tables in the area.

Garganey: Dorney Wetlands, Berks. (Photo: Jerry O'Brien)