Review of the Week: 29th June-5th July 2006


The week at a glance:

Semipalmated Sandpiper: Saltholme Pools, Cleveland (photo: Bryan Rains).

Soaring temperatures and settled conditions across much of Britain ensured that pickings were thin on the ground. A Semipalmated Sandpiper at Saltholme Pools (Cleveland) from 5th onwards was a hint at the wader delights eagerly anticipated throughout the rest of the month. The Scops Owl in Oxfordshire was last reported from Thrupp during the evening of the 29th whilst presumably the same Snowy Owl again put in an appearance on North Uist (Outer Hebrides) on the 4th - it was last reported in mid-May. The Black-browed Albatross remained atop Sula Sgeir (Outer Hebrides), with another boat of birders paying expensive homage on 1st.

Gull-billed Tern: Walmsley Sanctuary, Cornwall (photo: Adrian Langdon).
Gull-billed Tern: Walmsley Sanctuary, Cornwall (photo: Adrian Langdon).

News of a Gull-billed Tern at the Walmsley Sanctuary (Cornwall) for its 4th day came to light on 1st, and the bird remained to the 4th, allowing birders another opportunity to connect with this superb species this summer. A Caspian Tern was tracked close inshore heading south off Whitburn (Durham) to Hartlepool (Cleveland) on 2nd, whilst other rare terns included a White-winged Black Tern through Worlaby Carrs (Lincs) on 30th and an adult Forster's Tern briefly at Belfast Lough (Co. Antrim) on 2nd. At Cemlyn (Anglesey) the yellow-billed tern was still present to the 4th. Long-tailed Skuas were noted passing Whitburn on 2nd and Galley Head (Co. Cork) on 1st, where also 7 Pomarine Skuas and 4 Sooty Shearwaters were logged the same day. Balearic Shearwaters were represented by singletons off Annet (Scilly) on 29th and Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on 30th. Scarce gulls comprised Ring-billed Gulls in Co. Galway, Iceland Gull in Highland, three scattered Glaucous Gulls and Caspian Gulls in Norfolk and Leicestershire.

Common Rosefinch: Newmachar, Aberdeenshire (photo: Pete Morrison).
Common Rosefinch: Newmachar, Aberdeenshire (photo: Pete Morrison).

An Alpine Swift was noted briefly over Stretham (Cambs) on 5th and a Bee-eater was reported near Grantham (Lincs) on 2nd. A 'red' Common Rosefinch in the Newmachar (Aberdeenshire) area from 3rd onwards had been present for 11 days and another was on Fair Isle (Shetland) on 3rd. A Serin was again at Portland (Dorset) on 5th and a Golden Oriole was at Askernish, South Uist (Outer Hebrides) on 30th. In Angus/Dundee the Great Reed Warbler continued to perform at Loch of Kinnordy.

Spoonbill: Blacktoft Sands, E. Yorks (photo: Howard Broughton).

Spoonbill: Blacktoft Sands, E. Yorks (photo: Mark Ranner). Spoonbill: Blacktoft Sands, E. Yorks (photo: Keith Pickering).
Red-necked Grebe: Hatfield Moor, S. Yorks (photo: Brian Irvine). Red-necked Grebe: Hatfield Moor, S. Yorks (photo: Brian Irvine).

The two Black-winged Stilts were last reported at Martin Mere (Lancs) on 29th, with the only other scarce wader interest provided by a Red-necked Phalarope at Cley (Norfolk) on 5th, plus the pair still on Lewis (Outer Hebrides). A dozen Wood Sandpipers provided some incentive for local patchers to get out looking for early returning waders and a build-up of Spotted Redshanks was evident at a few favoured locations, with, for example, 38 at Minsmere (Suffolk) and 20 at Elmley Marshes (Kent).

Spotted Redshank: Minsmere, Suffolk (photo: Russell Hayes).

A White Stork remained on the Isle of Man and two others were seen briefly. Around 20 Spoonbills were reported and several Great White Egrets included the Bassenthwaite Lake (Cumbria) bird to 1st. Others were reported from Hill Head, Portsmouth harbour and Blashford Lakes (Hampshire) and Quoile Pondage (Co Down). Reasonable numbers of Quail were again heard, with around 30 located, including up to four in the Carrington Moss (Greater Manchester) area. Raptor interest was confined to the long-staying immature Montagu's Harrier at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) and another over Martin Mere, plus a possible Black Kite in Cornwall. Duck rarities included Lesser Scaup in Staffordshire, Ring-necked Ducks in Fife and Somerset, plus two Surf Scoters off Aberdeenshire, King Eider in Ayrshire and a Green-winged Teal at Derwent Reservoir (Northumbs).

Kittiwake: Farne Islands, Northumbs (photo: Ken Plows).
Common Tern: Summer Leys, Northants (photo: Richard Bedford).
Puffin: Isle of May, Fife (photo: Fraser Simpson).
Peregrine Falcon: undisclosed, W. Yorks (photo: Sean Gray).
Little Gull: Swords, Co. Dublin (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/
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: Russell Slack