05/02/2004
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Review of the Week: 29th January–4th February 2004

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American Herring Gull: Nimmo's Pier, Galway. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly) American Herring Gull: Nimmo's Pier, Galway. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)

Ring-billed Gull: Dingwall, Highland. One of 19 present during the week. (Photo: Andy Jensen)

An exceptionally wet and mild week produced little in the way of new rarities, but there were still new birds to be found. An adult Bonaparte's Gull was at Cobh (Co. Cork) on Wednesday 4th, whilst the 1st-winter American Herring Gull remained at the 'gull mecca' of Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway). At least 19 Ring-billed Gulls were reported, including 3 at Cobh. There was no perceived change in the numbers of white-winged gulls, but 2 Kumlien's Gulls were noted on the Outer Hebrides, and Caspian Gulls totalled just 9 birds.

Hume's Warbler: Fairlop Waters CP, London. (Photo: Andrew Moon) Hume's Warbler: Fairlop Waters CP, London. (Photo: Andrew Moon)

Northern Long-tailed Tit: Lewes, E. Sussex. (Photo: Nigel Blake) Northern Long-tailed Tit: Lewes, E. Sussex. (Photo: Nigel Blake)

Northern Long-tailed Tit: Lewes, E. Sussex. (Photo: Ian Barnard) Northern Long-tailed Tit: Westleton, Suffolk. (Photo: Phil Palmer)

Little Bunting: Newborough Warren, Anglesey. (Photo: Stephen Tomlinson) Little Bunting: Newborough Warren, Anglesey. (Photo: Stephen Tomlinson)

In London the Hume's Warbler remains at Fairlop Waters CP, and another was reported from Washington WWT (Durham) on Sunday 1st. A Yellow-browed Warbler was at Abbotsbury from Tuesday 3rd, but just two other wintering birds remain. The Northern Long-tailed Tits continued to show well, with perhaps as many as 10 present, with up to 6+ reported at Westleton Heath (Suffolk) and 4 at Lewes (E. Sussex). A Rose-coloured Starling was at Weymouth (Dorset) on Wednesday 4th, with others remaining at Cobh and Penzance (Cornwall). Other long-stayers included the Penduline Tit at Slapton Ley (Devon), Dusky Warbler at Paignton (Devon), Richard's Pipit at Llanilid (Glamorgan) and Little Bunting at Newborough Warren (Anglesey). The American Robins were still in Lincolnshire and Cornwall – will more be found during the spring when thrushes start to move? A House Martin over the Isle of Wight during the week was unseasonable and is perhaps an arrival on the mild southwesterlies, but is a reminder that we are only a few weeks off the first true spring migrants making an appearance.

Ferruginous Duck: Martin Mere, Lancs. (Photo: Sue Tranter) American Wigeon: Rogerstown Estuary, Dublin. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)

A Night Heron of unknown origin was at Venus Pool (Shropshire) on Friday 30th and a White-tailed Eagle was reported over Stiffkey (Norfolk) the same day. Lesser White-fronted Geese of unknown origin were in Lancashire and Hampshire, and the Redhead was again reported on the Outer Hebrides. Rare ducks comprised 8 Green-winged Teals, 5 American Wigeon, 5 Ring-necked Ducks, 2 Ferruginous Ducks, 2 Lesser Scaup, 5 Surf Scoters and 2 King Eiders, plus the Black Duck was reported again from Cross Lough (Co. Mayo). Both American Coots remain in situ, at West Loch Ollay (Outer Hebrides) and Lerwick (Shetland), respectively. The Lesser Yellowlegs remains on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall) and Grey Phalaropes were at Rosslare (Co. Wexford) on Friday 30th and Rhosneigr (Anglesey) on Wednesday 4th.

Tundra Bean Goose: Bolden Flats NR, Durham. (Photo: Mark Newsome) Snow Goose: North Slob, Co. Wexford. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)
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