Review of the Week: 3rd-9th February 2005


Rare gulls continued to provide the main focus of attention this week. In Aberdeenshire the adult Ross's Gull continued to perform well at Peterhead and an adult Bonaparte's Gull was at Fraserburgh on Wednesday 9th. A probable American Herring Gull was at Sennen (Cornwall) on Monday 7th and Kumlien's Gulls reached into double figures along with good numbers of 'white-wingers', including 30 Iceland Gulls and 12 Glaucous Gulls at Killybegs (Donegal). Decent numbers of Ring-billed Gulls were also noted, with at least 22 reported during the week.

Bonaparte's Gull: Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: Chris Jones) Bonaparte's Gull: Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: Chris Jones)
Ring-billed Gull: Bull Island, Co. Dublin. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly) Glaucous Gull: Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: T. Keith Bruce)

A Gyr Falcon was still on the Outer Hebrides with sightings on Benbecula on Saturday 5th and North Uist on 6th. A White-billed Diver was in Loch Fyne (Argyll) on Saturday 5th and a Northern Long-tailed Tit was reported from Dursley (Glos) on Wednesday 9th.

Many of the regular long-staying rarities were still in residence. The Pallas's Warbler was still at Crossley (Cheshire) and was even heard singing on Wednesday 9th. The Dusky Warbler is still at Kessingland, as are the Arctic Redpoll at Titchwell RSPB (Norfolk) and Richard's Pipit at Kinmel Bay (Conwy). On Shetland the Dark-breasted Barn Owl remains at Reawick, as does the American Coot at Loch of Benston. Small numbers of Northern Bullfinches continue to be detected, including 32 at Stornoway (Outer Hebrides) on 6th. At least 20 well-spread Great Grey Shrikes brightened up many a dull day, but the handful of Siberian Chiffchaffs reported were less aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Pallas's Warbler: Crossley, Cheshire. (Photo: Chris Galvin) Pallas's Warbler: Crossley, Cheshire. (Photo: Steve Round)
American Coot: Loch of Benston, Shetland. (Photo: Mike Pennington) Great Grey Shrike: Stocksbridge, S Yorks. (Photo: Keith Pickering)

The Cattle Egret is still at Kingston Seymour (Somerset) and the Short-billed Dowitcher again put in an appearance at North Bull Island (Dublin), whilst the Lesser Yellowlegs remains faithful to Stiffkey (Norfolk). In Co. Galway the Forster's Tern continues to frequent Nimmo's Pier.

Short-billed Dowitcher: Bull Island, Co. Dublin. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly) Lesser Yellowlegs: Stiffkey, Norfolk. (Photo: Simon Stirrup)
Forster's Tern: Nimmo's Pier, Co. Galway. (Photo: Dermot Breen)

Numbers of rare ducks and geese show little in the way of change. The drake King Eider was still in Loch Ryan (Dumfries and Galloway) as was the immature drake at Peterhead (Aberdeenshire). There were a dozen Green-winged Teals, 4 American Wigeons, 9 Ring-necked Ducks and the reliable Ferruginous Duck is still in Bedfordshire. Of several Surf Scoters the most noteworthy were two off Devon, and the Black Scoter was still at Llanfairfechan (Conwy). The Black Duck remains on Tresco (Scilly), as do the Lesser Scaups in East Sussex and Co. Fermanagh. The Grey-bellied Brent Goose is still at The Mullet (Co. Mayo), as was the juvenile Snow Goose in Norfolk and another at Loch Crinan (Argyll). Reasonable numbers of Tundra Bean Geese continue to be reported.

Ferruginous Duck: Elstow GPs, Beds. (Photo: Josh Jones) Ring-necked Duck: Bredon's Hardwick, Worcs. (Photo: Oliver Wadsworth)
Lesser Scaup: Lough Barry, Fermanagh. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly) Tundra Bean Goose: Cresswell Pond, Northumberland. (Photo: Alan Gilbertson)

Interesting winter reports included several Swallows in the continuing exceptionally mild weather. Two overwintering birds were reported from Pembroke and others were seen at West Bexington (Dorset) and Budleigh Salterton (Devon). Turtle Doves were at Manea (Cambs) and Southampton (Hants), the latter present since Christmas. A Lesser Whitethroat was seen in Bridgend (Glamorgan) and the Little Ringed Plover remains at Ballycotton (Co. Cork).

Lesser Whitethroat: Bridgend, Glamorgan. (Photo: Paul Roberts) Waxwings: Cambridge Street, Leicester. (Photo: Craig Taylor)
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
Will Bowell: http://www.wanderingbirders.co.nr/
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
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/
Sean Gray: http://www.grayimages.co.uk
Peter Hadfield: http://www.manxbirdphotography.co.uk
Josh Jones: http://www.wanderingbirders.co.near/
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
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
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
Chris Wormwell: http://www.iombirding.co.uk
Dylan Wrathall: http://www.planetthanet.org
Written by: Russell Slack