Review of the Week: 2nd-7th March 2007


The week at a glance:

Glaucous-winged Gull: Ferryside, Carmarthenshire (photo: Barry Stewart).

Glaucous-winged Gull: Ferryside, Carmarthenshire (photo: Barry Stewart).

The rediscovery of the Glaucous-winged Gull previously seen, and trapped, at Gloucester Landfill (Gloucestershire) on 15th and 16th December 2006 was the news that the birding fraternity had been hoping for all year. The blue colour-ringed 3rd-winter was found on the Tywi Estuary at Ferryside (Carmarthenshire) on the afternoon of the 2nd and was present intermittently to the 5th; it was also seen on the nearby Gwendraeth Estuary and Burry Port. Those who missed out over the weekend will be praying that it isn't "lost" for long! If accepted, this bird will be the first record for Britain and the 3rd for the Western Palearctic: previous records involve birds on El Hierro, Canary Islands in February 1992 and Morocco in January 1995. The species is an abundant resident along the northwestern coast of North America and is also found along the coast of northeast Asia.

White-billed Diver: Hayle, Cornwall (photo: Will Bowell).

White-billed Diver: Hayle, Cornwall (photo: Will Bowell).

White-billed Diver: Hayle, Cornwall (photo: Lee Fuller).

White-billed Diver: Hayle, Cornwall (photo: Steve Arlow).

Pacific Diver: Llys-y-Fran Reservoir, Pembroke (photo: Mark Trott).

Franklin's Gull: Hayle, Cornwall (photo: Paul Bowerman). Kumlien's Gull: Killybegs, Co. Donegal (photo: Derek Charles).
Gyr Falcon: Stepper Point, Cornwall (photo: Dave Hockey). Gyr Falcon: Stepper Point, Cornwall (photo: Dave Hockey).

Cornwall was still the place to be for at least part of the weekend. A 1st-winter Franklin's Gull shared the Hayle Estuary with the confiding White-billed Diver from the 2nd to 3rd and again on the 6th. Nearby the Gyr Falcon continued to attract birders to its roosting site at Stepper Point to at least the 7th, with some daytime sightings for good measure. The Pacific Diver was reported off Penzance (Cornwall) again on the 4th and the juvenile Pacific Diver remained at Llys-y-Fran Reservoir (Pembroke) providing another option for 'gull dippers'. The first major spring overshot involved a 1st-summer Great Spotted Cuckoo at Dungeness RSPB (Kent), which was glimpsed just prior to dark on the 6th and was present, albeit elusive, until early afternoon on the 7th.

Yellow-browed Warbler: Southwick, W. Sussex (photo: Johnny Carr).

Black-throated Thrush: Rothesay, Bute (photo: Mark Caunt).

Black-throated Thrush: Rothesay, Bute (photo: Mark Caunt).

The Black-throated Thrush remained at Rothesay (Bute) to at least the 3rd and a Pallas's Warbler was reported from Arne (Dorset) on the 2nd. The Little Bunting was at Amwell GPs (Herts) to at least the 4th, whilst the Dusky Warbler throughout the week in Newquay (Cornwall) was yet another diversion for visitors to the southwest. The Penduline Tit remained at Rainham Marshes (London). The possible 'Central Asian' Lesser Whitethroat and eight Yellow-browed Warblers were still on offer, as were two Siberian Chiffchaffs. Seven Great Grey Shrikes included two each in Scotland and Hampshire, plus singles in Norfolk, Gloucestershire and Glamorgan. The only Lapland Buntings available were a party of six at Cowbar (Cleveland) and reliable Shore Larks could still be found in Norfolk along with four still at Reculver (Kent) and singles at Cresswell (Northumberland) and Holmfield (W. Yorks). Over 50 Waxwings were reported, though 32 of these were in Dundee (Angus and Dundee) and 10 in Pickering (N. Yorkshire). A trickle of early spring migrants continued to arrive, primarily along the south coast and 'out-of-range' Dartford Warblers included one, or the same, at Salthouse and Waxham in Norfolk.

Forster's Tern: Nimmo's Pier, Co. Galway (photo: Tony Mills).

American Herring Gull: Nimmo's Pier, Co. Galway (photo: Tony Mills).

Ring-billed Gull: Nimmo's Pier, Co. Galway (photo: Tony Mills).

American Herring Gull: Nimmo's Pier, Co. Galway (photo: David H. Hatton).

Kumlien's Gull: Belfast Lough, Antrim (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).

The adult Bonaparte's Gull remained faithful to Ferryden (Angus and Dundee) and an adult was at Blennervile (Co. Kerry). The Forster's Tern and American Herring Gull were still at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway) and several Kumlien's Gulls included adults at Killybegs (Co. Donegal) and Stewartby Lake (Bedfordshire). There were several double-figure congregations of Iceland Gulls with 18 at Killybegs the largest gathering and just over a dozen Ring-billed Gulls were reported. On the Outer Hebrides the Snowy Owl was still present, as was the Black-eared Kite in Norfolk and the wintering Rough-legged Buzzard on the Isle of Sheppey (Kent). The immature White-tailed Eagle was still at Loch of Strathbeg (Aberdeenshire) and three early Ospreys passed through. The only rare 'heron' was the long-staying Cattle Egret in Devon and a dozen Spoonbills included seven at Arne (Dorset) and a single still on Shetland.

Spotted Sandpiper: Hayle, Cornwall (photo: Will Bowell).

An American Golden Plover was reported Dorrington Fen (Lincolnshire) on the 4th and the Long-billed Dowitcher on Anglesey was present at Malltraeth on the 3rd and the long-staying bird remained at Dundalk (Co. Louth). The Temminck's Stint remained at Slimbridge (Glos) as did the Spotted Sandpiper on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall) and Lesser Yellowlegs at Rosscarbery (Co. Cork).

Ring-necked Duck: Low Barns, Durham (photo: Ian Forrest).

Ring-necked Duck: Slimbridge, Glos (photo: Rob Russon).

The white- and blue-morph Snow Geese remained at North Slob (Co. Wexford), an intermediate morph was still in Lancashire and a white-morph bird was in Cumbria. Vagrant Canada Geese were still Northumberland and Dumfries and Galloway, though just five Black Brants were reported, including two at Titchwell (Norfolk). The drake Barrow's Goldeneyes remained in Forth and Co. Down, as did the female Bufflehead in Co. Clare. Lesser Scaup included two at Loch Leven (Perth and Kinross) and others at Caerlaverock (Dumfries and Galloway) and Benbecula (Outer Hebrides). The long-staying female Ferruginous Duck remained in Kent and nine Ring-necked Ducks were noted, along with five American Wigeon and nine Green-winged Teal. The Surf Scoter continued at Beer (Devon) as did one at Rosslare (Co. Wexford) and the drake in Fife.

Common Buzzard: Gigrin Farm, Powys (photo: Gordon Speirs).

Common Treecreeper: Kilbrony, Co. Down (photo: Craig Nash).

Smew: Colwick CP, Notts (photo: John Dickenson).

Skylark: West Kirby, Cheshire (photo: Steve Round).

Great Spotted Woodpecker: private site, Clwyd (photo: Richard Steel).

Little Grebe: London Wetland Centre, London (photo: Fraser Simpson).

Many of the images that appear in our weekly reviews can be purchased from the photographers, some of whom have their own websites:

John Anderson: http://www.pbase.com/crail_birder
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://www.severnsidebirds.co.uk
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://www.AngusBirding.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
Ian Fulton: http://www.pbase.com/ianfulton
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