Review of the Week: 26th April–2nd May 2007


The week at a glance:

Black Kite: North Creake, Norfolk (photo: David H Hatton).

Black Kite: North Creake, Norfolk (photo: Tony Mills).

Potentially one of the sightings of the year, if accepted, was the Egyptian Vulture in Norfolk. Seen early on Saturday 28th at Scoulton, unfortunately it didn't hang around, but there were further sightings reported from Warham and East Barsham the following day. The last record of a wild bird to be accepted was in Essex in 1868. There have been sightings since, but none were felt to relate to wild birds, so could this be the bird that upgrades Egyptian Vulture onto Category A of the British list?

Hoopoe: Calshot Marshes, Hampshire (photo: Lee Fuller).

Hoopoe: Calshot Marshes, Hampshire (photo: Tony Bates).

Iberian Chiffchaff: Colney, Norfolk (photo: Tim Corke).

Siberian Chiffchaff: Oxwich, Glamorgan (photo: Barry Stewart).

A male Blue Rock Thrush was present at Selsey Bill (W. Sussex) on 30th, but for the second time this year for this species it was too brief for an appreciative audience to gather. Scarcities were still pretty thin on the ground: a Red-throated Pipit was at Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on 29th, an eastern-race Subalpine Warbler was trapped on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) on 30th and a Little Bunting was on Fair Isle (Shetland) the same day. A Grey-headed Wagtail was at Braunton (Devon) and another at Salthouse (Norfolk). Around 15 Hoopoes were reported, along with five Golden Orioles, five Wrynecks and four Red-rumped Swallows. A Bee-eater was at East Fleet (Dorset) on 1st and another at St. David's (Pembrokeshire) on 2nd, and there were three Serin were along the south coast. A Siberian Chiffchaff was trapped at Oxwich (Glamorgan) on 26th and the Iberian Chiffchaff remained at Colney (Norfolk).

Spoonbill: Minsmere, Suffolk (photo: Chris Mayne).

Glossy Ibis: Lizard, Cornwall (photo: Len).

Montagu's Harrier: Norfolk (photo: Lee Fuller).

Exceptional numbers of Glossy Ibis remained on offer, with seven still around Lizard village (Cornwall) and 14 at Frampton-on-Severn (Glos). Elsewhere singles were at Braunton Burrows (Devon) on 29th and another at West Alvington (Devon) on 30th and 1st, plus one at Pagham Harbour (W. Sussex) from 30th onwards. In Lancashire four 'possibles' passed over Leyland on 1st and the immature remained at Warton Marsh. Another feature of the week was an influx of Black Kites, several of which lingered long enough to be appreciated by the masses, particularly birds in Norfolk and Cheshire. A Snowy Owl was photographed at Aonach Moor (Highland) on 26th and a Black Stork passed over Leyland (Lancashire) on 2nd, with White Storks over Dunstable (Beds) on 29th and Fairburn Ings (W. Yorks) on 1st. A Purple Heron was at Minsmere (Suffolk), a Spotted Crake was at Grove Ferry (Kent) and three Quail were logged.

Lesser Yellowlegs: Kenchester Pools, Herefordshire (photo: Kev Joynes).

Lesser Yellowlegs: Kenchester Pools, Herefordshire (photo: Kev Joynes).

Lesser Yellowlegs: Kenchester Pools, Herefordshire (photo: George Ewart).

Spotted Sandpiper: Hayle Estuary, Cornwall (photo: Brian Mellow).

Dotterel: Green Lowther, Clyde (photo: Ian Fulton).

An obliging Lesser Yellowlegs was at Kenchester Pools (Herefordshire) from 28th onwards with others at Clonakilty (Co. Cork) and Braintree (Essex). The Killdeer remained at Banna Minn (Shetland) as did the Spotted Sandpiper on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall), plus a Pectoral Sandpiper was seen at Loch of Strathbeg (Aberdeenshire) on 26th. Temminck's Stints were in the Midlands at Netherfield Lagoon (Notts), Doxey Marshes (Staffs) and Rutland Water (Leics) and around 50 Dotterel included 13 at Garreg Lwyd (Carmarthen) and 10 at Pendle Hill (Lancs). Inland birders were treated to an impressive displacement of Bar-tailed Godwits and over 15,000 passed through Dungeness (Kent) over several days' observation.

Whiskered Tern: Lough Beg, Co. Cork (photo: Sean Cronin).

Whiskered Tern: Lough Beg, Co. Cork (photo: Mike O'Keefe). Whiskered Tern: Lough Beg, Co. Cork (photo: Mike O'Keefe).

Laughing Gull: Countess Weir, Devon (photo: Tim Crawshaw).

A fine Whiskered Tern graced Lough Beg (Co. Cork) from 29th-30th and small numbers of Black Terns were associated with the easterly airflow. Two Gull-billed Terns were reported passing Landguard (Suffolk) on 1st, with singles briefly at Holland Haven (Essex) and Minsmere (Suffolk) on 2nd, and the Forster's Tern remained at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway). A 1st-summer Bonaparte's Gull was reported from Draycote Water (Warks) on 30th with perhaps the same bird at Farmoor Reservoir (Oxon) from 1st onwards, with others at Seaton (Devon) on 30th and Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) on 28th. The Laughing Gull remained in Devon, as did the American Herring Gull in the Outer Hebrides, with others in Scilly and Co. Cork. Several White-billed Divers were seen in Shetland with three different birds reported on two dates, plus two were off North Ronaldsay (Orkney) and birds off the Outer Hebrides. Skua passage was reported from a number of watchpoints; 38 Pomarine Skuas passed Dungeness (Kent) on 29th and Shetland had its earliest-ever spring Pomarine Skua on 28th.

Barrow's Goldeneye: Loch Venachar, Forth (photo: Mark Priest).

Jack Snipe: Minsmere, Suffolk (photo: Jim Middleton).

Little Gull: Forfar Loch, Angus and Dundee (photo: John Anderson).

There were male King Eiders at Burrastow and Wester Quarff on Shetland and the drake remained at Burghead Bay (Moray/Nairn), whilst the Surf Scoter remained off Rerwick Head (Orkney). There were still three Lesser Scaup on offer, along with half-a-dozen Ring-necked Ducks and four Green-winged Teal and the American Wigeon was last seen at Wheldrake Ings (N. Yorks) on 26th, plus the Marbled Duck remained at Frampton (Glos).

Common Redstart: Wyre Forest, Worcs (photo: John Robinson).

Hobby: Minsmere, Suffolk (photo: Sean Nixon).

Whimbrel: Summer Leys, Northants (photo: Richard Bedford).

Black-tailed Godwit: Inner Marsh Farm, Cheshire (photo: Steve Round).

Many of the images that appear in our weekly reviews can be purchased from the photographers, some of whom have their own websites:

John Anderson: http://www.pbase.com/crail_birder
Bill Aspin: http://www.eastlancashirebirding.net
Mike Atkinson: http://mikeatkinson.net
Ian Barnard: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/sussex.birder
Bill Baston: http://billbaston.com
Richard Bedford: http://www.richardbedford.co.uk
Steve Blain: http://www.steveblain.co.uk
Nigel Blake: http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/birdphotos/index.htm
Paul Boulden: http://southdevonbirds.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/
Will Bowell: http://www.wanderingbirders.com
Paul Bowerman: http://www.severnsidebirds.co.uk
Paul Bowyer: http://www.ukbirds.net
Andy Brett: http://www.freewebs.com/andybrett/
Andy Bright: http://www.Digiscoped.com
Martin Cade: http://www.portlandbirdobs.btinternet.co.uk
Graham Catley: http://pewit.blogspot.com/
Mark Caunt: http://www.AngusBirding.com
John Coveney: http://www.clarebirdwatching.com/index.php
Kit Day: http://www.kitday-uk.com/
Eric Dempsey: http://www.birdsireland.com/
Lee Dingain: http://www.leedingain.co.uk
Jon Dunn: http://www.surfbirds.com/blogs/Stercorarius/
Dean Eades: http://www.pbase.com/dean_eades/root
Andrew Easton: http://home.clara.net/ammodytes/
Graham Eaton: http://www.eatonphotography.co.uk
Stuart Elsom: http://www.stuartelsom.co.uk
Steve Evans: http://www.powow.com/birds2004/
Katie Fuller: http://bogbumper.blogspot.com
Ian Fulton: http://www.pbase.com/ianfulton
Sean Gray: http://www.grayimages.co.uk
Peter Hadfield: http://www.manxbirdphotography.co.uk
David Hatton: http://www.kowapower.com
Josh Jones: http://www.wanderingbirders.com
John Judge: http://www.draycotebirding.co.uk
Paul and Andrea Kelly: http://www.irishbirdimages.com/
Matt Latham: http://www.mattlathamphotography.com
Jack Levene: http://www.birdingimages.com
Micky Maher: http://www.aardfoto.co.uk/
John Malloy: http://mysite.freeserve.com/JohnMalloyBirdPhotos
Brian Mcgeough: http://www.pbase.com/bmcgeough/british_birds
Tony Mills: http://www.notjustbirds.com
Jerry O'Brien: http://www.BirdsofBerkshire.co.uk
Charlie Moores: http://www.charliesbirdblog.com
Mark Newsome: http://www.whitburnbirding.co.uk
James Packer: http://www.somersetbirder.co.uk
Mike Pennington: http://www.nature.shetland.co.uk
Ken Plows: http://www.kenswildlifepics.co.uk
Ray Purser: http://www.pbase.com/02purser/images
Marc Read: http://www.marcread-pix.com
Tristan Reid: http://www.solwaybirder.org.uk
Steve Round: http://stevenround-birdphotography.com
Gerald Segelbacher: http://www.digiscoping.uk.md
Craig Shaw: http://craigsukbirdpictures.bravehost.com/
Deryk Shaw/FIBO: http://www.fairislebirdobs.co.uk
Tom Shevlin: http://wildlifesnaps.com/
Peter Simpson: http://www.blueskybirds.co.uk
Matt Slaymaker: http://www.mattslaymaker.co.uk
Oliver Smart: http://www.smartimages.co.uk
George Spraggs: http://www.bird-watching.co.uk
Simon Stirrup: http://www.simonstirrup.co.uk/
Garry Taylor: http://www.spurnbirdobservatory.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
Simon Wilson: http://www.bakewellbirder.co.uk/
Chris Wormwell: http://www.iombirding.co.uk
Dylan Wrathall: http://www.planetthanet.org
Written by: Russell Slack