Review of the Week: 2nd-8th November 2006


The week at a glance:

Barrow's Goldeneye: Quoile Pondage, Co. Down (photo: Derek Charles). Barrow's Goldeneye: Quoile Pondage, Co. Down (photo: Derek Charles).

As autumn starts to slide into winter, pickings are thinner on the ground, but there was still plenty on offer. Pick of the week was the returning drake Barrow's Goldeneye to Quoile Pondage (Co. Down) from the 4th onwards. The provenance of 'rare' wildfowl always stimulates debate, but this bird certainly seems to be playing by the 'accept me' rules so far, with a developing pattern of carefully timed departure and arrival dates. Quite how long it will keep returning to winter who knows, but he seems to like the choice of location for his winter vacation so far!

Little Auk: Huttoft, Lincs (photo: Dean Eades).

Little Auk: Cley, Norfolk (photo: Garth Peacock).

Little Auk: Snettisham, Norfolk (photo: Dave Hutton).

Little Auk: Scarborough, N. Yorks A number of moribund birds end up as prey, especially those seeking shelter in harbours (photo: Dave Mansell).

The main talking point of the week was the numerous displacement of Little Auks along the east coast on the 2nd. Peak counts came from the usual watchpoints, with nearly 8,000 seen from the Farne Islands (Northumberland), nearly 4,000 from Flamborough Head (E. Yorks) and over 3,000 from Whitburn (Co. Durham). Many stragglers remained through the rest of the week, and small numbers reached the south coast. More tantalizing was the brief sighting of a Brünnich's Guillemot off Flamborough Head (E. Yorkshire) the same day, but unfortunately it quickly disappeared from view.

Desert Wheatear: St. Mary's, Scilly (photo: Martin Goodey).

Desert Wheatear: Cooden, E. Sussex (photo: Mike Buckland).

Desert Wheatear: Cooden, E. Sussex (photo: Gary Thoburn).

Ever-popular Desert Wheatears remained at Cooden (E. Sussex) to 4th and on St. Mary's (Scilly) to 6th. A Siberian Stonechat was on Whalsay (Shetland) on 2nd and 7th and 3 Penduline Tits passed over Dungeness RSPB (Kent) on 4th, with a Pallid Swift picked up nearby 'recently' which died in care. A late Radde's Warbler was also at Dungeness on 4th, whilst more expected were Dusky Warblers at Sandy Point (Hants) on 2nd and Portland (Dorset) on 5th, plus the long-staying bird from late October still in Lowestoft (Suffolk) through the week.

Dusky Warbler: Sandy Point, Hants (photo: George Spraggs).

Woodchat Shrike: Soar, Devon (photo: Phil Edmonds).

A Red-throated Pipit was a late find at Ashleworth Ham (Glos) on 4th as was a Woodchat Shrike at Soar (Devon) from 4th onwards. Three Red-rumped Swallows included singles over Donna Nook (Lincs) on 5th and Cley (Norfolk) on 7th, with a short-stayer at Port Carlisle (Cumbria) on 8th. A Hoopoe was at New Deer (Aberdeenshire) on 7th and long-staying Rose-coloured Starlings remained on Scilly and at Kidwelly (Carmarthen). Up to 3 Little Buntings were on Tresco (Scilly) during the week, though Yellow-browed Warblers had decreased to the mid-teens and a Pallas's Warbler was reported from Chiswick (London) on 6th. A handful of Siberian Chiffchaffs were reported, three of which were on Scottish islands off the west coast. Richard's Pipits were well spread, and just failed to reach double figures, with two at Filey (N. Yorkshire) and one over Baston and Langtoft Pits (Lincs) notable. A Common Rosefinch was on Skomer (Pembrokeshire) on 4th, the Bluethroat remained on Fair Isle (Shetland) and a Red-breasted Flycatcher was on St. Mary's. Five Serin were reported from the southwest, including 2 on Bryher (Scilly) and just 3 Great Grey Shrikes comprised birds in Dorset at Hartland Moor and Portland and one at Bradnor Hill (Herefordshire). Reasonable numbers of Shore Lark were on the east coast between E. Yorkshire and Kent, with 8 at Holkham (Norfolk) and the cumulative total of Lapland Buntings was over 20 birds, including 4 at both Filey (N. Yorks) and Freiston Shore (Lincs). A scattering of Waxwings numbered around 20 birds, though 42 were reported from Scriberscross (Highland).

White-rumped Sandpipers: Tacumshin, Co. Wexford Three with three Dunlin, part of a flock of 6 (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).

Spotted Sandpiper: Hayle Estuary, Cornwall (photo: Matt Sallis).

Spotted Sandpiper: Hayle Estuary, Cornwall (photo: Matt Sallis).

American Golden Plover: Waxham, Norfolk (photo: Bill Plumb). Long-billed Dowitcher: Oare Marshes, Kent (photo: Dylan Wrathall).

Reasonable numbers of waders remained from the autumn influx. A dozen White-rumped Sandpipers included 6 still at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) and 2 each at Cley (Norfolk) and Ballycotton (Co. Cork), whilst half-a-dozen American Golden Plovers included a popular bird at Waxham (Norfolk). Lesser Yellowlegs remained at Dundrum bay (Co. Down) and Rosscarbery (Co. Cork), as did the Long-billed Dowitcher on the Oare Marshes (Kent) and Spotted Sandpiper on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall). A handful of Grey Phalaropes were reported, but all were 'fly-pasts'.

Black Kite: Butterwick, Lincs (photo: Will Bowell).

Glossy Ibis: Fluke Hall, Lancs (photo: Tristan Reid).

Glossy Ibis: Fluke Hall, Lancs (photo: Craig Shaw).

A Black Kite was a surprise find at Freiston Shore (Lincs) on the 2nd, and it has been seen intermittently in Lincolnshire and Norfolk since. Rough-legged Buzzards included birds at Banks Marsh (Lancashire), Lyng (Norfolk) and at Capel Fleet (Kent), and the Snowy Owl remains on North Uist (Outer Hebrides) with another reported on Lewis (Outer Hebrides) on 8th. The White-billed Diver remained in Co. Cork as did the Glossy Ibis at Fluke Hall (Lancashire). A Cattle Egret was reported from Farthing Corner (Kent) on 2nd, plus the bird remained at Colaton Raleigh (Devon) as did the Great White Egret at Blashford Lakes (Hants). In N. Yorkshire the colour-ringed White Stork was last reported from Melmerby on 3rd. The flock of 17 Spoonbills remained in Devon and another flock of 12 was in Cornwall and Dorset. A Sabine's Gull lingered off Cley briefly on 8th, though for gull-watchers there were just 4 Ring-billed Gulls and a handful of Glaucous Gulls and Iceland Gull. Around 15 Caspian Gulls included 3 at Poolsbrook CP (Derbyshire). In Co. Louth the Forster's Tern remained at Cruisetown Strand.

Black Brant: Ferrybridge, Dorset (photo: Phil Stidwill).

Red-breasted Goose: Ferrybridge, Dorset (photo: Phil Stidwill).

Ring-necked Duck: Marton, Cleveland (photo: Dave Mansell).

Marbled Duck: Minsmere, Suffolk (photo: Mike Parker). American Wigeon: Cresswell Pond, Northumbs (photo: Alan Gilbertson).

On Fair Isle the Black Duck remained to at least the 5th and the King Eider was again off Peterhead (Aberdeenshire). In Suffolk the Marbled Duck relocated to Minsmere on 8th, and there were 9 Ring-necked Ducks, 6 American Wigeon and 4 Green-winged Teal reported. Three Ferruginous Ducks included 2 at Chew Valley Lake (Somerset) and one at New Hythe GPs (Kent) and Surf Scoters included up to 5 at Burghead Bay (Moray/Nairn). The two adult Red-breasted Geese continued their residence on the Lincolnshire coast and another was in Dorset from 4th onwards, favouring the Ferrybridge area. A Richardson's Canada Goose was at Mersehead (Dumfries and Galloway) and a Lesser Canada Goose was reported passing south at Boulmer (Northumberland). Between Norfolk and Dorset at least 7 Black Brants consorted with Brent Geese flocks.

Sanderling: Huttoft, Lincs (photo: Matt Latham).

Brambling: Krumlin, W. Yorks (photo: Sean Gray).

Bearded Tit: Titchwell, Norfolk (photo: Steve Round).

Bittern: Potteric Carr, S. Yorks (photo: JB Charlesworth).

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
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Written by: Russell Slack