Review of the Week: 30th October–5th November 2003

Yellow-rumped Warbler: Dale, Orkney. An excellent garden bird. (Photo: Alan Clewes) Yellow-rumped Warbler: Dale, Orkney. (Photo: Alan Clewes)

A Yellow-rumped Warbler at Dale, Mainland (Orkney) was an excellent garden bird on 31st. Luckily it lingered until the 2nd and constituted the 2nd for Orkney. With only 25 British and Irish records, the last to be collectable for the masses were in 1994 when birds proved popular on Ramsey Island (Pembroke) and Bristol (Avon); others were seen on Fair Isle in June 1999 and birds were in Co. Kerry and Co. Cork in October 2001.

Yellow-rumped Warbler: Dale, Orkney. (Photo: Alan Clewes) Yellow-rumped Warbler: Dale, Orkney. (Photo: Alan Clewes)

A male Pine Bunting was on Unst (Shetland) from 31st-1st; it seems a long time since one put in an extended stay at an accessible locality - the last to do so were birds in Worcestershire and S. Yorks in early 1996, since when there have been just three accepted records. A female Pied Wheatear at Paston (Norfolk) on 1st was the 2nd record for the county in a matter of weeks. A Siberian Stonechat was at Cruden Bay (Aberdeenshire) on 1st, a Radde's Warbler was at Port Mooar (Isle of Man) on 2nd and a Dusky Warbler at Sumburgh (Shetland) on 4th, in addition to birds in Cleveland, N. Yorks and Norfolk from last week. An Olive-backed Pipit was at Seaford (E. Sussex) on 30th, with one still on Fair Isle. A Red-throated Pipit was reported from Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) and a Buff-bellied Pipit reported from Levington Marina (Suffolk) from 4th-5th.

Richard's Pipit: Lundy, Devon. Just over a dozen were present during the week. (Photo: Jonathan Smith) Barred Warbler: Dale, Orkney. (Photo: Alan Clewes)

Hoopoe: Shenington, Oxon. (Photo: Ray Bellis) Rose-coloured Starling: Histon, Cambs. (Photo: Nigel Blake)

There were still just under 30 Pallas's Warblers scattered along the east and south coast during the week, along with reasonable numbers of Yellow-browed Warblers, though just one Hume's Warbler remained, a bird at Kilnsea to the 1st. An Ortolan Bunting at Flamborough Head (E. Yorks) on 30th was late, and a Short-toed Lark went over Sennen (Cornwall) the same day. An Artic Redpoll remained on Foula (Shetland) and the Sardinian Warbler likewise in Lincolnshire. A Serin was at Stanpit Marsh (Dorset) on 1st and dwindling numbers of scarce migrants included around a dozen Richard's Pipits, three Barred Warblers, including a bird sharing the same garden as the Yellow-rumped Warbler, and a Red-breasted Flycatcher was on Out Skerries (Shetland) on 1st. Around 25 Great Grey Shrikes roamed widely and the early influx of Waxwings continued with three-figure counts noted at Aberdeen, Gannochy (Perth and Kinross) and Dundee (Angus and Dundee) during the week, the max being 120 in Dundee. There were 5 Hoopoes reported during the week, including an inland bird in Oxfordshire, and a handful of Rose-coloured Starlings included one in Cambridgeshire.

Waxwing: Strathclyde CP, Clyde. The early influx continues. (Photo: Scott Jones) 'Northern' Bullfinch: Flamborough Head, E. Yorks. A number of birds have been seen at east coast sites over the past few weeks, such as this 1st-winter female. (Photo: Martin Garner)

Grey Phalarope: Stanford Reservoir, Northants. Five could be found on inland waters during the week. (Photo: Paul Mason) Spotted Sandpiper: Barrow Gurney Res, Somerset. Something of a rarity lately, this bird stayed for just a day. (Photo: Paul Bowerman)

Pectoral Sandpiper: Moor Green Lakes, Berks. It's been a superb autumn for 'Pecs', and birds are still being found. (Photo: Mick Sales)

Wader-watchers continued to be entertained. A juvenile Pacific Golden Plover was on the Ythan Estuary (Aberdeenshire) on the 2nd, whilst American Golden Plovers were on Fair Isle, Fleck (Shetland), Islay (Argyll), Southport (Lancs), Blagdon Lake (Somerset) and a probable on the Ythan Estuary. A Spotted Sandpiper was at Barrow Gurney Reservoirs (Somerset) on the 2nd and Lesser Yellowlegs were still in Cornwall, Pembrokeshire and Co. Kerry. The superb autumn for Pectoral Sandpipers is not quite over yet, with 4 birds present during the week. A Dotterel was at Saltholme Pools (Cleveland) and at least 14 Grey Phalaropes were seen including 5 past Pendeen on the 3rd. A Spotted Crake was at Angler's CP (W. Yorks) from 1st-4th, whilst the bird at Wormleighton Reservoir (Warks) was last seen on the 1st. An adult Bonaparte's Gull was at Sennen on 30th, whilst rare ducks included the Redhead in Glamorgan, three Ring-necked Ducks, a handful of Ferruginous Ducks, two Green-winged Teals and 4 American Wigeons.

Spotted Crake: Angler's CP, W. Yorks. An obliging bird - at times. (Photo: Russell Slack) Green-winged Teal: Hayle Estuary, Cornwall. One of two drakes during the week. (Photo: Paul Bowerman)

Great Grey Shrike: Barbrook Res, Derbyshire. A good number of birds are presently at a number of traditional sites. (Photo: Keith Pickering) Desert Wheatear: Lundy, Devon. A late report from last week from this underwatched gem of an island. (Photo: Jonathan Smith)