Review of the Week: 30th June-6th July 2005

Pacific Golden Plover: Bowness-on-Solway, Cumbria. (Photo: Tristan Reid) Pacific Golden Plover: Port Carlisle, Cumbria. (Photo: Tristan Reid)

The 4th British Pacific Swift passed south at Spurn (E. Yorks) on Friday 1st July. This was a fine reward for a small band of observatory regulars who were able to note all the finer ID points as it passed though. Previous records of this sibe include: one captured on a gas platform at sea off Norfolk on 19th June 1981, one at Cley (Norfolk) from late morning to mid-afternoon on 30th May 1993 and one at Daventry Reservoir (Northants) on 16th July 1995 - a long-stayer would have been greatly appreciated by those who couldn't make it to Cley quick enough in 1993. The nominate race breeds from Siberia to northern China and Japan, and is a long-distance migrant, wintering in Indonesia, Melanesia, and Australia. Presumably this bird arrived in Europe previously and has kept company with Common Swifts since.

Off Anglesey a Bridled Tern was reported off Rhosneigr on Tuesday 5th, and was presumably the bird (re)identified as a Sooty Tern on The Skerries today (7th). Interestingly, the two species have been present in the same sea within a short space of time (in early July 1984 both species were seen in the English Channel in the space of a few days and a similar situation occurred in the North Sea in July 1989)! Sooty Tern is an exceptionally rare visitor to our shores; the only bird in recent times to have been seen by any number of observers was a sick bird that was eventually taken into care at Ditchford GPs (Northants) between 29th and 30th May 1980. If this bird takes up residence in the tern colony at Cemlyn then it will do wonders to boost the local tourist trade!

probable Baltic Gull: North Ronaldsay, Orkney. (Photo: Peter Donnelly) probable Baltic Gull: North Ronaldsay, Orkney. (Photo: Peter Donnelly)
Sabine's Gull: Knottingley, Yorks. (Photo: Jon Lowes) Sabine's Gull: Knottingley, Yorks. (Photo: Jon Lowes)

A movement of large shearwaters off Southern Ireland on 2nd included a Fea's Petrel off Galley Head (Co. Cork). Despite increasing numbers of sightings of this superb seabird it remains a devilishly difficult bird to catch up with. Eleven Cory's Shearwaters passing Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on 30th were the first hint at birds in the Southwest Approaches, and then 47 were noted passing Cape Clear (Co. Cork) on 1st. These were eclipsed by a whopping 1,800 passing Galley Head on 2nd with 300 passing Cape Clear the same day. Typically, the day after the movement yielded just single-figure counts. Associated with the movement were 20 Great Shearwaters passing Galley Head on 2nd, with 2 Sabine's Gulls the same day and 20 Sooty Shearwaters. Also, Pomarine Skua and Leach's Storm-petrel were seen, making for a memorable seawatch for those fortunate enough to observe it. Pelagic trips off the Isles of Scilly produced 4 Wilson's Storm-petrels on 2nd and 2 on 5th, and 7 Cory's Shearwaters were seen on 2nd. For those envious of such seawatch delights but unable to do anything other than turn green at others' good fortune, then some delight was provided for inland birders in the shape of an unexpected, but resplendent, summer-plumaged Sabine's Gull in the unlikely surrounds of Knottingley (W. Yorks) from 2nd onwards; this bird was also seen to roost at nearby Fairburn Ings on 5th. A probable Gull-billed Tern was reported from Cotswold WP (Glos) on 3rd. A probable Baltic Gull was on North Ronaldsay (Orkney), though a ringed bird would make the identification process easier.

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Pacific Golden Plover: Port Carlisle, Cumbria. (Photo: Tristan Reid) Pacific Golden Plover: Port Carlisle, Cumbria. (Photo: Tristan Reid)
Collared Pratincole: National Wetlands Centre, Carmarthen. (Photo: Steve Evans) Collared Pratincole: National Wetlands Centre, Carmarthen. (Photo: Steve Evans)
Collared Pratincole: National Wetlands Centre, Carmarthen. (Photo: Barry Stewart) Collared Pratincole: Rainham Marshes, London. (Photo: Nic Hallam)

A Pacific Golden Plover was located at Port Carlisle (Cumbria) on Sunday 3rd. It then frequented Anthorn and Bowness-on-Solway for much of the rest of the week. A Collared Pratincole was at Rainham Marshes (London) from 2nd-5th, whilst the bird at the National Wetlands Centre (Carmarthen) was present to 5th and another probable was reported from Titchwell (Norfolk) on 4th. A White-rumped Sandpiper was at Titchwell (Norfolk) on 3rd and it, or another, at Shell Ness (Kent) on 4th. Also in Norfolk, a female Kentish Plover was at Breydon Water (Norfolk) from 1st onwards and a Temminck's Stint at Musselbugh (Lothian) from 5th-6th. Four Red-necked Phalaropes were on North Ronaldsay (Orkney). The Marsh Sandpiper was last seen at Bowling Green Marsh on 3rd. In Co. Cork a 1st-summer Laughing Gull was at Clonakilty from 1st-6th and an adult at Burray (Orkney) was last reported on 1st.

Marsh Sandpiper: Bowling Green Marsh, Devon. (Photo: Gary Thoburn) White-rumped Sandpiper: Titchwell, Norfolk. (Photo: Ray Roche)
Laughing Gull: Burray, Orkney. (Photo: Steve Searle) Kentish Plover: Breydon Water, Norfolk. (Photo: Josh Jones)

A male Snowy Owl was on Lewis (Outer Hebrides) on 30th and 1st, and a Pallid Swift on Whalsay (Shetland) on 3rd was the second for Shetland. Two Penduline Tits were at Oare Marshes (Kent) on 3rd. The mini-influx of Rose-coloured Starlings continued - on 30th birds were at Hedge End (Hants), Allihies (Co. Cork) and Flamborough Head (E. Yorks). One at Barrock (Highland) had been present since late June and the bird on The Mullet (Co. Mayo) was still present on 1st. A Golden Oriole was at Dungeness (Kent) on 30th a Marsh Warbler was on Unst (Shetland) on 4th and a possible Marsh Warbler was at Pipps Ford (Suffolk) from 2nd-3rd. A Melodious Warbler was at Portland (Dorset) on 3rd with a 'possible' at Durlston CP (Dorset) on 30th. A male Common Rosefinch was at Llyn Brenig (Clwyd) on 2nd.

Long-eared Owl: Clyde. (Photo: John Anderson) Long-eared Owl: Clyde. (Photo: John Anderson)

A possible Great White Egret flew past Abbotsbury (Dorset) on 5th, a Night Heron was at Cowpen Marsh (Cleveland) from 4th-5th and the 1st-summer Night Heron was again on St. Mary's (Scilly) to at least 5th. A Lesser Scaup was in Perth/Kinross on 3rd and 4th, the American Wigeon remained in Angus/Dundee, as did the Green-winged Teal in Cheshire and Ring-necked Ducks in Somerset and on Scilly.

Black-necked Grebe: Lincs. (Photo: Dean Eades) Black-necked Grebe: Lincs. (Photo: Dean Eades)
Roseate Tern: Rye Harbour, E. Sussex. (Photo: John Reeves) Common Tern: Colwick CP, Notts. (Photo: John Dickenson)
Yellow Wagtail: Malham Tarn, N. Yorks. (Photo: Sean Gray) Sand Martin: Cresswell Pond, Northumberland. (Photo: John Malloy)
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/
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
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