04/08/2005
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Review of the Week: 28th July-3rd August 2005

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Wilson's Storm-petrel: Scilly pelagic, Scilly. (Photo: Gary Thoburn) European Storm-petrel: Scilly pelagic, Scilly. (Photo: Gary Thoburn)
Balearic Shearwater: Scilly pelagic, Scilly. (Photo: Gary Thoburn) Manx Shearwater: Scilly pelagic, Scilly. (Photo: Gary Thoburn)
Great Skua: Scilly pelagic, Scilly. (Photo: Gary Thoburn) Cory's Shearwater: Madeira. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)

Brisk winds on Wednesday 3rd produced a rush of seawatching off the Irish coast. A Wilson's Storm-petrel lingering off Labost, Lewis (Outer Hebrides) late on Wednesday 3rd was an extreme rarity (so far) in Scottish waters, where there have been just 4 previous accepted records. More expected were singles passing Bridges of Ross (Co. Clare) on 30th and from the Scilly pelagic on 2nd. An impressive movement of Cory's Shearwaters on 3rd included 4,000+ past Brandon Head (Co. Kerry), 1,000 past Easky Point (Co. Sligo), 620 past Kilcummin Head (Co. Mayo), 618 past Annagh Head (Co. Mayo), and 488 past Fanad Head (Co. Donegal). In contrast, on the same day, just one was seen off Galley Head (Co. Cork) and 5 past Pendeen (Cornwall). Three were seen from the Scillonian on 29th with singles from the Scilly pelagic on 30th and 2nd. Mixed in with the Cory's Shearwater movement were smaller numbers of Great Shearwaters, including 150+ past Brandon Head, and up to 30 past Kilcummin Head, Annagh Head and Fanad Head, with one past Easky Point. European Storm-petrels featured this week in the North Sea with many watchpoints reporting single-figure seawatch counts (unusual for such locations), and 174 passed Kinnaird Head (Aberdeenshire) on 31st. Four Leach's Storm-petrels were seen from the Cairnryan ferry (Dumfries and Galloway) on 28th and one from Kinnaird Head on 1st. Small numbers of Balearic Shearwaters were noted, the largest count 7 passing Dungeness (Kent) on 31st. A summer-plumaged Sabine's Gull flew north at Whitburn (Co. Durham) on 28th and another passed Fanad Head on 3rd. There were just three Long-tailed Skuas, with singles in Aberdeenshire, East Yorkshire and Suffolk; small numbers of Sooty Shearwaters were logged, though easily the largest count was 107 past Annagh Head on 3rd with 71 likewise at Fanad Head the same day. A total of 1,088 Little Gulls were seen off Flamborough Head (E. Yorks) on 29th.

White-winged Black Tern: Dosthill NR, Staffs. (Photo: Lee Johnson) White-winged Black Tern: Dosthill NR, Staffs. (Photo: Alan Dean)
Ring-billed Gull: Otterspool, Lancs. (Photo: Steve Tomlinson) Iceland Gull: Morecambe, Lancs. (Photo: Darren AP Ward)
White-billed Diver: Holm Sound, Orkney. (Photo: Keith Hague) White-billed Diver: Holm Sound, Orkney. (Photo: Steve Evans)
Laughing Gull: Burray, Orkney. (Photo: Keith Hague) Laughing Gull: Burray, Orkney. (Photo: Keith Hague)

The Sooty Tern made another reappearance, this time across the Irish Sea at Cockle Island just off Groomsport (Co. Down) on Weds 3rd. A White-winged Black Tern was at Sizewell and Minsmere (Suffolk) on Friday 29th and one was at Dosthill NR (Staffs/Warks) on Monday 1st. The resplendent White-billed Diver remains in Holm Sound (Orkney) as does the Laughing Gull at Burray (Orkney) A 1st-summer Laughing Gull was seen in Co. Galway, favouring Waterside. At least 7 Ring-billed Gulls were reported during the week, four of which were in Ireland, with others in Norfolk, Lancashire and the Outer Hebrides. Unseasonable 'white-wingers' included Glaucous Gulls in Cornwall, Co. Galway, Co. Down and the Outer Hebrides and Iceland Gulls in Lancashire and Co. Down.

Cattle Egret: Brampton, Cambs. (Photo: Kelvin Lewis) Cattle Egret: Brampton, Cambs. (Photo: David H Hatton)
Cattle Egret: Brampton, Cambs. (Photo: Tony Mills) Cattle Egret: Brampton, Cambs. (Photo: Nigel Blake)
Cattle Egret: Otter Est. NR, Devon. (Photo: Oliver Wadsworth) Cattle Egret: Otter Est. NR, Devon. (Photo: Oliver Wadsworth)

Britain's share of the influx of Cattle Egrets into northern Europe continues, with a juvenile on the Otter Estuary NR (Devon) from 31st onwards, a superb adult at Brampton (Cambs) from 28th and one at Wareham (Dorset) on 31st and 3rd; escapees from Pensthorpe were seen in Norfolk and Suffolk during the week. Two Great White Egrets were reported from Mockbeggar Lake (Hants) on 29th. White Storks were in Somerset, Norfolk and E. Sussex, with one reported in Worcestershire. A Purple Heron flew north past Felixstowe (Suffolk) on 31st. With low water levels at many locations it might prove to be a good autumn for seeing those elusive Spotted Crakes: birds were at Inner Marsh Farm and Marbury CP (Cheshire) during the week and another was reported from Martin Mere (Lancs).

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Pacific Golden Plover: Tacumshin, Co. Wexford - Aug 2005. (Photo: Mike O'Keefe) Pacific Golden Plover: Tacumshin, Co. Wexford - Aug 2005. (Photo: Mike O'Keefe)
Pacific Golden Plover: Tacumshin, Co. Wexford - Aug 2005. (Photo: Mike O'Keefe) Pacific Golden Plover: Tacumshin, Co. Wexford - Aug 2005. (Photo: Mike O'Keefe)
White-rumped Sandpiper: Wyre Estuary, Lancs. (Photo: Darren AP Ward) Red-necked Phalarope: Cley, Norfolk. (Photo: Graham Ruffles)

A Pacific Golden Plover was at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) from Monday 1st onwards and a Long-billed Dowitcher was at Shannon (Co. Clare) from Sunday 30th. A Marsh Sandpiper was reported from Holland Haven (Essex) on Tuesday 28th. In Lancashire the White-rumped Sandpiper remained on the Wyre Estuary throughout the week. Two Temminck's Stints were at Denge Marsh (Kent) on 31st and one was at Dorman's Pool (Cleveland) on 2nd. Pectoral Sandpipers were reported from three sites in Norfolk, with others in Derbyshire, Cleveland and Co. Wexford, and two at Leighton Moss (Lancs). Red-necked Phalaropes were at Elmley (Kent), Titchwell/Cley (Norfolk) and a phalarope sp. passed Flamborough Head on 31st. A number of sites, particularly along the east coast, picked up on modest numbers of passage waders such as Curlew Sandpipers, Little Stint and Wood Sandpipers. A Stone Curlew at Boulmer (Northumberland) on 3rd was an excellent county sighting.

Wood Sandpiper: Earsdon, Northumberland. (Photo: John Malloy) Stone Curlew: Boulmer, Northumberland. (Photo: Alan Gilbertson)
Bee-eater: Hampton Bishop, Herefs. (Photo: Josh Jones) Bee-eater: Hampton Bishop, Herefs. (Photo: Josh Jones)
Bee-eater: Hampton Bishop, Herefs. (Photo: Simon Wilson) Bee-eater: Hampton Bishop, Herefs. (Photo: George Ewart)

Sad news broke on the 30th regarding the popular pair of Bee-eaters at Hampton Bishop (Herefs). Unfortunately the nest was predated with the result that the viewpoint is now closed, though the pair were still present until at least 3rd. Bee-eaters were also seen over Ely (Cambs) on 1st and Hayling Island (Hants) on 3rd. In Devon the male Black-headed Wagtail remains at South Huish Marsh. Melodious Warblers are often amongst the first scarce passerines of the autumn, and this week one was at Dungeness (Kent) on 29th and two were at Portland (Dorset) on 2nd, with one reported on 3rd. The latter site also accommodated a fall of 250 Willow Warblers, 20 Wheatears, 20 Sedge Warblers, and 10 Garden Warblers amongst others on 2nd.

Spotted Redshank: Minsmere, Suffolk. (Photo: Russell Hayes) Whimbrel: Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: Chris Jones)
Black-necked Grebe: Toft Newton Res, Lincs. (Photo: Dean Eades) Black-necked Grebe: Northumberland. (Photo: Stephen Fryer)
Hen Harrier: Isle of Man. (Photo: Sean Gray) Hen Harrier: Isle of Man. (Photo: Sean Gray)

Wren: Spittal, Chesire. (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:

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://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/
Martin Cade: http://www.portlandbirdobs.btinternet.co.uk
Graham Catley: http://pewit.blogspot.com/
Mark Caunt: http://angusbirding.homestead.com/
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/
Andrew Easton: http://home.clara.net/ammodytes/
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
Josh Jones: http://www.wanderingbirders.com
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
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
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
George Spraggs: http://www.bird-watching.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