Review of the Week: 26th August-1st September 2004

Wilson's Storm-petrel: Kerry pelagic, Co. Kerry. (Photo: Michael O'Keeffe ) Wilson's Storm-petrel: Kerry pelagic, Co. Kerry. (Photo: Michael O'Keeffe )

Another good week for seawatchers delivered two Little Shearwaters and three Fea's Petrels. On Sunday 29th, Little Shearwaters were noted passing Kilcummin Head (Co. Mayo) and Brandon Head (Co. Kerry) and Fea's Petrels were observed from the Scilly pelagic on Saturday 28th and passing Brandon Head and the Bridges of Ross (Co. Clare) on Wednesday 1st. Three Wilson's Storm-petrels passed Brandon Head on Sunday 29th but mcuh more exceptional was one passing north at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea (Northumberland) on Tuesday 31st - the second British North Sea record, and the first from dry land! Backup came in the form of small numbers of Long-tailed Skuas reported from many sites, including 7 past Kilcummin Head on Sunday 29th, and over 180 Leach's Storm-petrels, with double-figure counts noted from a number of Irish watchpoints, the maximum 25 passing the Bridges of Ross on 29th. There were small numbers noted from the usual locations in the Northwest of Britain and an inland bird briefly at Southfield Reservoir (E. Yorks) on Tuesday 31st. There were very few large shearwaters, with both Great Shearwater and Cory's Shearwater only just scraping into double figures. Sooty Shearwaters featured from several headlands, with 600 past Rocky Point (Co. Donegal) on 27th, and then on the 'big day' of the 29th, 200 passed Brandon Head, 500 off Bridges of Ross and 600 passed Kilcummin Head. A modest 24 Sabine's Gulls were also mixed in with the seabird movement, half of which were from Irish watchpoints, and an inland bird flew through Chew Valley Lake (Somerset) on Thursday 26th. Other inland seabirds included Gannet in North Yorkshire, Arctic Skua in Cambridgeshire and several Shags.

Western Bonelli's Warbler: Bempton Cliffs, E. Yorks. (Photo: Simon Mitchie) Greenish Warbler: Flamborough Head, E. Yorks. (Photo: Tony Collinson)

The week was not totally dominated by seawatching highlights. A Citrine Wagtail was at Marazion (Cornwall) from Tuesday 31st and Red-throated Pipits were at Davidstow (Cornwall) on Monday 30th and Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on Tuesday 31st. A Western Bonelli's Warbler showed well on occasion at Bempton Cliffs (E. Yorks) from Monday 30th-31st. Yet more Greenish Warblers arrived: one at Girdle Ness (Aberdeenshire) on 26th; Flamborough Head (E. Yorks) on 28th with another on 1st; Spurn (E. Yorks) two on 30th; Farne Islands (Northumberland) on 31st. Rare inland birds were reported from Baldock (Herts) on 27th, Fairburn Ings (W. Yorks) on 30th and Wix (Essex) on 1st, whilst birds were still at Hauxley (Northumberland) to 26th and Fife Ness (Fife) on 29th. Aquatic Warblers were at Sandwich Bay (Kent) on Saturday 28th, Aston-on-Trent (Derbyshire) on Tuesday 31st and Abbotsbury (Portland) on Wednesday 1st. A Tawny Pipit was at Portland (Dorset) on Wednesday 1st and Ortolan Buntings were on St. Mary's (Scilly) on Thursday 26th and Nanjizal (Cornwall) on Wednesday 1st, with one reported from Beddington SF (Surrey) on Friday 27th. Three Melodious Warblers included birds on St. Agnes (Scilly) from Sunday 29th-30th, Lundy (Devon) on Sunday 29th and Bardsey (Gwynedd) on Wednesday 1st. Scarce drift migrants were in smaller numbers this week. There were around 25 Wrynecks, nine Barred Warblers and just five Red-backed Shrikes. Four of the five Common Rosefinches were on Shetland, one at St. Mary's Island (Northumberland) on Friday 27th the exception, and three well-spread Icterine Warblers comprised singles on St. Mary's and North Ronaldsay (Orkney) on Sunday 29th and Cape Clear (Co. Cork) on Wednesday 1st. On Shetland the Lesser Grey Shrike was again reported from Gulberwick on 29th and 30th.

Wryneck: Worcester, Worcs. (Photo: Any Warr)

Buff-breasted Sandpiper: Blacktoft Sands, E. Yorks. (Photo: John Beaumont) Buff-breasted Sandpiper: Blacktoft Sands, E. Yorks. (Photo: Paul Bagguley)

Red-necked Phalarope: Blithfield Res, Staffs. (Photo: John Galletly)

A scattering of rare waders are hopefully a taster of things to come. A Long-billed Dowitcher was at Kinsale Marsh (Co. Cork) from Thursday 26th onwards, whilst long-staying birds remain at Blennerville (Co. Kerry) and Gibraltar Point (Lincs). A Baird's Sandpiper was on Tresco (Scilly) from Monday 30th onwards, a White-rumped Sandpiper at Poulnasherry Bay (Co. Clare) on Saturday 28th and in Co. Cork American Golden Plovers were at Ballycotton and Lough Beg on Saturday 28th. A Buff-breasted Sandpiper was at Blacktoft Sands (E. Yorks) from Sunday 29th and a Great Snipe was reported on Fair lsle (Shetland) on Tuesday 31st. Pectoral Sandpipers were noted in Kent and Berkshire, and Surrey. Four Temminck's Stints included singles at Scatness (Shetland) on 29th, Goldcliffe (Gwent) on 30th, Port Clarence (Cleveland) on 30th and Meare Heath (Somerset) on 1st. In Addition to long-staying Red-necked Phalaropes in Staffordshire and Essex, one was at Snettisham (Norfolk) on 26th and another at Grafham Water (Cambs) from 1st and Grey Phalaropes were noted at Leasowe (Cheshire), Uisaed Point (Argyll) and Bridges of Ross on 30th and Weston-Super-Mare (Somerset) on 29th. Four Dotterel included singles at Scotney GPs (Kent) from 26th-31st, Land's End (Cornwall) and Lundy on 28th and Skippool Creek (Lancs) on 29th.

Spotted Crake: Chew Valley Lake, Somerset. (Photo: Roy Shilham) Spotted Crake: Chew Valley Lake, Somerset. (Photo: Roy Shilham)

White-winged Black Tern: Highbridge, Somerset. (Photo: Paul Bowyer) Black Tern: St. Mary's Island, Northumberland. (Photo: Stephen Tomlinson)

Half-a-dozen Spotted Crakes continued to show well at several sites. A Whiskered Tern was reported from Cardiff Bay (Glamorgan) on Monday 30th and juvenile White-winged Black Terns were at Breydon Water (Norfolk) and Highbridge (Somerset) on Sunday 29th, the latter remaining to 31st. Great White Egrets were still in Glamorgan/Carmarthen, and a colour-ringed bird was seen in Kent from 31st-1st (being relocated in South Yorkshire on 2nd). Two White Storks in Dorset on 30th and 31st were presumably the same birds seen in Cornwall on 31st and 1st and then Scilly later on the 1st. In Essex the juvenile Black Stork is still present, as are the Glossy Ibis and Purple Heron in Norfolk.

Black Stork: Copt Hall Marshes, Essex. (Photo: Mike Lawrence) Black Stork: Copt Hall Marshes, Essex. (Photo: Mike Lawrence)

Great White Egret: Bough Beech Res, Kent. (Photo: John Reeves) Glossy Ibis: Burgh Castle, Norfolk. (Photo: Darren AP Ward)

Curlew Sandpiper: Tacumshin, Co. Wexford. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly) Curlew Sandpiper: Bowness, Cumbria. (Photo: Tristan Reid)
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.geocities.com/christophe_41/
Lee Dingain: http://www.leedingain.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
Tristan Reid: http://www.solwaybirder.org.uk
Steve Round: http://stevenround-birdphotography.com
Tom Shevlin: http://wildlifesnaps.com/
Matt Slaymaker: http://www.freewebs.com/slaymaker
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