Review of the Week: 25th November-1st December 2004

Rose-coloured Starling: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: Chris Jones)

Rose-coloured Starling: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: Chris Jones) Rose-coloured Starling: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: Chris Jones)

It was a quiet week with little in the way of new arrivals. A Dusky Warbler was at Samphire Hoe CP (Kent) from Thursday 25th-28th. Recent winters have produced several wintering birds and it will be interesting to see if the trend is continued this winter. In Lincolnshire the Barred Warbler continues to perform well at Covenham Reservoir, and was present throughout the week. The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling continues to provide exceptional views in Aberdeen and the Blyth's Pipit was still at Land's End (Cornwall) to Monday 29th at least, plus there were Richard's Pipits there on 25th and at Nanjizal (Cornwall) on 26th.

Barred Warbler: Covenham Reservoir, Lincs. (Photo: Graham Catley)

Barred Warbler: Covenham Reservoir, Lincs. (Photo: Dean Eades) Barred Warbler: Covenham Reservoir, Lincs. (Photo: Josh Jones)

Lapland Bunting: St. Mary's, Scilly. (Photo: Oliver Smart) Shore Lark: Holkham, Norfolk. (Photo: Sean Nixon)

Winter is the time to be out and about looking through your local tit-flocks and spending time at the local sewage works, and what better incentive than the BTO Winter Warbler Survey, the prize perhaps being the discovery of a Firecrest; around 43 were reported on Bird News Extra this week, with presumably many more lurking undetected or unreported. There were also half-a-dozen Siberian Chiffchaff reports and small numbers of Northern Bullfinches continue to feature on our news pages. Numbers of Great Grey Shrikes reached the mid-teens and Waxwings continue to feature prominently with a number of locations reporting 3-figure counts. There were 27 Shore Larks reported, though 23 of these were at Holkham, the others in Lothian and a bird at Abberton Reservoir (Essex). Good numbers of Snow Buntings are present in some areas, and around 35 Lapland Buntings noted, with double-figure gatherings at Thornham and West Runton (Norfolk).

Waxwing: Halifax, W. Yorks. (Photo: Sean Gray)

Waxwing: Jarrow, Durham. (Photo: Tom Tams) Waxwing: Martlesham Heath, Suffolk. (Photo: Chris Mayne)

Northern Bullfinch: Ardcath, Meath. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly) Great Grey Shrike: Fernworthy Reservoir, Devon. (Photo: Phil Stidwill)

A dowitcher species, probably Long-billed Dowitcher, was on Coll (Argyll) on Monday 29th, a juvenile American Golden Plover on The Mullet (Co. Mayo) was presumably the bird from early November and the Lesser Yellowlegs continues to frequent the tidal channels at Stiffkey (Norfolk). It was business as usual for a number of our long-staying rarities. The Snowy Owl is still on South Uist (Outer Hebrides), the 1st-winter Ivory Gull is still at Kyle of Tongue (Highland) and the Cattle Egret remains at Firsdown (Wilts). In Hampshire the Great White Egret was at Mockbeggar Lakes to at least the 28th and in Norfolk the Glossy Ibis is still at Breydon Water. A slight upturn in white-winged gull numbers totalled mid-teens of both Iceland Gulls and Glaucous Gulls, with a some popular adults at inland locations of the former. There was also an upsurge in Caspian Gull sightings which may reflect greater observer effort or perhaps a small influx, with nearly 20 noted during the week with multiples at some inland roosts. Ring-billed Gull numbers remained relatively static with around 9 noted.

Lesser Yellowlegs: Stiffkey, Norfolk. (Photo: John Dickenson)

Cattle Egret: Firsdown, Wilts. (Photo: Marc Read) Cattle Egret: Firsdown, Wilts. (Photo: Marc Read)

Black Duck: St. Mary's, Scilly. (Photo: Martin Goodey) Black Duck: St. Mary's, Scilly. (Photo: Martin Goodey)

A drake Black Duck was on Newford Duckpond on St. Mary's (Scilly) on from Friday 26th-27th. The drake Black Scoter was again off Llanfairfechan (Conwy). On Shetland the American Coot is still at Loch of Benston, as is the Redhead at Kenfig Pool (Glamorgan) and Lesser Scaup at Scotney GPs (Kent/E. Sussex). An influx of Ring-necked Ducks boosted numbers to 11 individuals including an excellent 4 at Ballyalla Lake (Co. Clare) on 29th. In addition there was the usual Ferruginous Duck in Bedfordshire, American Wigeons on Shetland, in Argyll, Co. Galway and Dublin, plus half-a-dozen Green-winged Teals. Of the 7 Surf Scoters the most notable was a 1st-winter female off St. Mary's, whilst the Snow Goose remains at North Slob (Co. Wexford), another was at Aldcliffe (Lancs), and there was a small arrival of Tundra Bean Geese to East Anglia.

Surf Scoter: St. Mary's, Scilly. (Photo: Martin Goodey) Velvet Scoter: Pugney's CP, W. Yorks. (Photo: Sean Gray)

Smew: Toft Newton Reservoir, Lincs. (Photo: Dean Eades) Smew: Toft Newton Reservoir, Lincs. (Photo: Dean Eades)

Black Brant: Titchwell, Norfolk. (Photo: John Dickenson) Black Brant: Wells, Norfolk. (Photo: Sean Nixon)
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://www.nigelblake.co.uk
Will Bowell: http://www.geocities.com/wbowell/
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.geocities.com/blgp_birder
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
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