Review of the Week: 26th October-1st November 2006


The week at a glance:

Masked Shrike: St. Mary's, Scilly (photo: Martin Goodey).

Blyth's Pipit: St. Mary's, Scilly (photo: David H Hatton). American Robin: Tresco, Scilly (photo: Andy Booth).

Despite arriving after most birders had left the islands, the highlight of the week was undoubtedly Britain's second-ever Masked Shrike on St. Mary's (Scilly) on 1st November. It was another frosty-looking juvenile but unfortunately for the masses and unlike the last one it stayed for just one day. Running it close was the 1st-winter Siberian Rubythroat discovered lurking in a private garden on the outskirts of Sunderland (Durham) on at least 26th and 27th October. Unfortunately access could not be arranged but it must only be a matter of time before a twitchable mainland bird appears. Back on the Scillies the Blyth's Pipit remained on St. Mary's to at least 26th October and the American Robin was still on Tresco to at least 28th October. Late news emerged of a Killdeer at Clachan, N. Uist, (Outer Hebrides) on 19th October - surely this was the bird seen later on Oronsay (Argyll) on 21st October.

Desert Wheatear: St. Mary's, Scilly (photo: Martin Goodey). Desert Wheatear: St. Agnes, Scilly (photo: David H Hatton).

Isabelline Shrike: Cresswell Pond, Northumberland (photo: Craig Shaw).

Isabelline Shrike: Cresswell Pond, Northumberland (photo: Brian Bullough). Isabelline Shrike: Cresswell Pond, Northumberland (photo: Philip).
Yellow-browed Warbler: Sand Point, Somerset (photo: Paul Bowyer). Yellow-browed Warbler: St. Levan, Cornwall (photo: Mike Barker).

Thrush Nightingale: Fair Isle, Shetland (photo: Deryk Shaw).

A Desert Wheatear was on St. Agnes (Scilly) from 27th October with another at Cooden Beach (E. Sussex) on 1st November. Yet another Isabelline Shrike was found, this time at Cresswell Pond (Northumberland) on 27-29th October in what is turning out to be an excellent autumn for this species. A Blyth's Reed Warbler was on St. Mary's (Scilly) on 31st October-1st November, a Dusky Warbler was at Gunton (Suffolk) on 27th October and 2 Radde's Warblers were on Bardsey (Gwynedd) on 30th October. The Melodious Warbler remained at Porthgwarra (Cornwall) to at least 26th of October but just 3 Pallas's Warblers were reported, from Hengistbury Head (Dorset), St. Catherine's Point (Isle of Wight) and Churchtown (Wexford). There were still reasonable numbers of Yellow-browed Warblers in the country including an inland bird at Carr Vale NR (Derbyshire) on 29th October. Olive-backed Pipits were reported from Flamborough Head (E. Yorkshire) and Gibraltar Point (Lincolnshire) and a Red-throated Pipit was on St. Mary's (Scilly) on 26th October. The Thrush Nightingale remained on Fair Isle (Shetland) to at least 28th October and a probable Pallid Swift was reported over Stockport on 27th October.

Arctic Redpoll: Fair Isle, Shetland (photo: Deryk Shaw).

Short-toed Lark: St. Mary's, Scilly (photo: Tony Mills). Rose-coloured Starling: Kidwelly, Carmarthen (photo: Derek Moore).

There was a Penduline Tit at Dungeness RSPB (Kent) on 27-29th October, just 2 Great Grey Shrikes were reported and late Red-backed Shrikes remained in Cornwall and on Scilly. An Arctic Redpoll was still on Fair Isle to at least 30th October and the Short-toed Lark remained on St. Mary's (Scilly) to at least 31st October. A juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was at Kidwelly (Carmarthen) from 26th October and possibly up to 3 juveniles still on Scilly. A Rustic Bunting was on St. Mary's (Scilly) on 29th and 2 Little Buntings were also on Scilly with others reported from Dorset and Norfolk. A Serin was at Dungeness (Kent) on 29th October with another at Nanjizal Valley (Cornwall) on 1st November and possibly up to 3 birds on Scilly. There were 7 Richard's Pipits including a good inland find at Rumworth Lodge Reservoir (Manchester) on 27th October but just one Common Rosefinch was reported at Inish Boffin (Galway). About 25 Shorelark were reported from typical locations with 2 over Portland (Dorset) on 29th October probably the most noteworthy. Six Red-breasted Flycatchers were reported, all from the south and west and late Barred Warblers were at Flamborough Head to 29th October, St. Cyrus (Aberdeenshire) on 28th October and West Bexington (Dorset) on 29-30th October. There were still 4 Wrynecks, 2 each of Bluethroats and Hoopoes and a late Golden Oriole was reported from St. Agnes (Scilly) on 27th October.

Spotted Sandpiper: Hayle Estuary, Cornwall (photo: Steve Valentine). Long-billed Dowitcher: Oare Marshes, Kent (photo: Richard Jones).

The Spotted Sandpiper remained on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall) throughout as did the Long-billed Dowitcher on the Oare Marshes (Kent) and the Lesser Yellowlegs at Rosscarbery (Co. Cork). At least 9 White-rumped Sandpipers were still present including 3 juveniles at Cley (Norfolk) on 29th October. There were still 9 widely scattered American Golden Plovers including 2 together at Annagh Head (Mayo) on 28th October and inland birds in Lincolnshire and Cambridge. Pectoral Sandpipers numbers dropped to just 2 in Norfolk and Carmarthen, a Red-necked Phalarope passed Flamborough Head (E. Yorkshire) on 29th, there were up to 13 scattered Grey Phalaropes and a late Temminck's Stint at Dungeness RSPB (Kent) on 28th October.

Forster's Tern: Cruisetown Strand, Louth (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).

Little Auk: South Gare, Cleveland (photo: Dave Spark).

Glossy Ibis: Fluke Hall, Lancs (photo: Alan Gilbertson). Cattle Egret: Colaton Raleigh, Devon (photo: Dave Stone).

Forster's Tern: Cruisetown Strand, Louth (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).

Spoonbill: Kinneil Lagoon, Forth (photo: Mike Thrower).

The Forster's Tern was still at Cruisetown (Co. Louth) throughout and the Bonaparte's Gull was still at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea (Northumberland) to at least 29th October. Just 2 Sabine's Gulls were reported and 5 Ring-billed Gulls including the returning adult at Gosport (Hants). The White-billed Diver was still off Cape Clear to 30th October and a summer-plumaged bird flew north at Girdleness (Aberdeenshire) on 1st November. Little Auks began to move in earnest from 27th October with counts from the Farne Islands (Northumberland) of 494 on 27th, 1997 on 28th and 2543 on 1st November but even these numbers would be eclipsed later in the week! The Glossy Ibis remained in Lancashire, again favouring the flooded fields around Fluke Hall throughout. The Great White Egret continued to commute between several sites in South and West Yorkshire to at least 31st October, while the long-staying bird remained at Blashford Lakes HWT (Hants). A Cattle Egret eventually settled down at Colaton Raleigh (Devon) from 30th October and another was reported from Abberton Reservoir (Essex) on 29th October. The yellow colour-ringed White Stork of unknown origin continued its residence in a ploughed field near Melmerby (North Yorks) throughout. Spoonbill numbers continued to increase in the southwest with 12 on Brownsea Island (Dorset) on 31st October and an amazing 18 at Isley Marsh RSPB (Devon) on 31st October and 1st November, this latter flock containing 4 Dutch-ringed birds.

Red-breasted Goose: Rimac, Lincs (photo: Graham Catley). Red-breasted Geese: Huttoft Bank Pit, Lincs (photo: Trevor Gunby).

Snow Goose: North Slob, Co. Wexford (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).

The two adult Red-breasted Geese remained on the Lincolnshire coast throughout except for a short excursion to Spurn (East Yorks) on 27th October. Black Brants remained in Norfolk and Essex while up to 4 presumed vagrant Canada Geese were on Islay (Argyll) and in Dumfries and Galloway. White-morph Snow Geese were still at Loch of Strathbeg (Aberdeenshire), River Nene mouth (Lincs) and North Slob (Co. Wexford). A Black Duck was on Fair Isle (Shetland) on 1st November, the Marbled Duck was still at Rye Harbour (E. Sussex) to at 29th October and another bird appeared at North Warren RSPB (Suffolk) on 28-29th October. The Lesser Scaup was still at Pine Lake (Lancashire) to 26th October, single Ring-necked Ducks were in Somerset, Cumbria and Shetland with 2 females at Porth Reservoir (Cornwall) on 31st October. Ferruginous Ducks remained in Kent and Somerset, as did the drake Black Scoter off Llanfairfechan (Conwy) and the borealis Eider on Fair Isle. There were 5 American Wigeon, 3 Green-winged Teal but just one drake King Eider off Peterhead (Aberdeenshire) on 28th October. A total of 6 Surf Scoters were reported including 2 together in Burghead Bay (Moray/Nairn).

Red-flanked Bluetail: Thorpeness, Suffolk (photo: Steve Valentine).

Hermit Thrush: Cape Clear, Co. Cork (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).

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
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://mysite.freeserve.com/severnsidebirds
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://angusbirding.homestead.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
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.pbase.com/latho/root
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
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: Tim Barker