Review of the Week: 3rd-9th May 2007


The week at a glance:

Dotterel: Pendle Hill, Lancs (photo: Sue Tranter).

Dotterel: Pendle Hill, Lancs (photo: Sue Tranter).

Dotterel: Garreg Lwyd, Carmarthen (photo: Kev Joynes).

Those who dug deep into their pockets for the boat charters to Sula Sgeir (Outer Hebrides) in the hope of the returning Black-browed Albatross were not to be disappointed as the bird was once again to be found in the gannetry there and was even seen in flight. Many with shallower pockets will be hoping for somewhere a little more accessible for this bird in the future. The other major rarity of the week was a Short-toed Eagle over Barrow Gurney Reservoirs (Somerset) on the 3rd. There is just one accepted British record of this nice raptor, so those who were not on the Isles of Scilly for the five days that one toured the islands in October 1999 would welcome the opportunity of another.

Wilson's Phalarope: Grafham Water, Cambs (photo: Peter Simpson).

Wilson's Phalarope: Grafham Water, Cambs (photo: Dave Hutton).

Events elsewhere were slightly more pedestrian, despite the time of year, with relatively few rarities and scarcities on offer. A stunning female Wilson's Phalarope at Grafham Water (Cambs) attracted the most attention during its stay from the 4th-9th. A Semipalmated Sandpiper was at Belfast Lough (Co. Antrim) from the 9th onwards, and the Spotted Sandpiper was last reported from the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall) on the 3rd with another at Kilcoole (Co. Wicklow) from 8th-9th. The Lesser Yellowlegs remained at Kenchester Pools (Herefs) to the 5th, with one at Loch Gruinart (Argyll) on the 6th and one still at Clonakilty (Co. Cork), whilst the Killdeer remained at Banna Minn (Shetland). Good numbers of Dotterel were logged, with nearly 100 reported, including 21 on Cross Fell (Cumbria) and 14 on Ingleborough (N. Yorks), with others at a number of traditional stop-over sites. Five Temminck's Stints was a meagre showing, with two at Cley (Norfolk), and a Stone Curlew was a good local record at Marsh Lane NR (W. Midlands) from 3rd-5th. A Kentish Plover was at Ferrybridge (Dorset) on 4th and Pectoral Sandpipers at Caerlaverock (Dumfries and Galloway) on 4th and Swillington Ings (W. Yorks) from 7th.

Pallas's Warbler: Freiston Shore, Lincs (photo: Russell Hayes).

Pallas's Warbler: Freiston Shore, Lincs (photo: Peter Stronach).

Red-backed Shrike: Blakeney Point, Norfolk (photo: Richard Hill).

A Pallas's Warbler at Freiston Shore (Lincs) on 7th was unexpected, though more anticipated was a small flurry of Subalpine Warblers with single males at The Mullet (Co. Mayo) and Vatersay (Outer Hebrides) on the 3rd, and one on Bardsey (Gwynedd) on the 4th plus the long-staying bird still on North Ronaldsay (Orkney). A possible Iberian Chiffchaff was at Bridport (Dorset) and the long-staying male was still at Colney (Norfolk). A Woodchat Shrike at Polgigga (Cornwall) showed some features of Balearic Woodchat Shrike, there were early Red-backed Shrikes at Hailsham (W. Sussex) and Blakeney (Norfolk) on the 6th with another at Cattersty Gill (Cleveland) on the 7th. A Black-headed Wagtail was reported from Cardiff (Glamorgan) on the 6th and a Common Rosefinch was at Spurn (E. Yorks) on 4th, on which date an Ortolan Bunting was at Dawlish Warren (Devon). There were three Wrynecks and nine Hoopoes and of several Serin one in Cumbria at South Walney was notable. A splash of colour was provided by three Bee-eaters at Nanjizal and another at Brew Pool (Cornwall) on the 3rd, with one the same day (to 5th) on St. Agnes (Scilly), though more notable were birds at Applecross (Highland) on 4th and Forsinard RSPB (Highland) from 7th-9th. The only Golden Oriole reported was from Sandwich (Kent) and there were Red-rumped Swallows on St. Agnes (Scilly) on 3rd and at Gibraltar Point (Lincs) from 6th-7th.

Bonaparte's Gull: Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (photo: Tim Corke).

Small numbers of Long-tailed Skuas were logged, with 19 passing Balranald (Outer Hebrides) on 6th along with 167 Pomarine Skuas there the same day. A Sabine's Gull was off Hurst Point (Hants) on 6th and another was reported from Bridlington (E. Yorks) on 7th. The Bonaparte's Gull remained at Farmoor Reservoir (Oxon) as did another at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford), and there was a Laughing Gull on Benbecula (Outer Hebrides) on 7th and the first-year bird again at Bowling Green Marsh (Devon) on 4th. The American Herring Gull remained at Youghal (Co. Cork), a probable Baltic Gull was at Slimbridge (Glos) on 5th and the Forster's Tern continued at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway). A White-billed Diver was off Mull (Argyll), with others still off Lewis (Outer Hebrides) and Kirkabister (Shetland).

Night Heron: Lancaster, Lancs (photo: Andrew McCafferty).

Red-footed Falcon: Dungeness, Kent (photo: Adrian Dowling).

Montagu's Harrier: Norfolk (photo: Sean Nixon).

The glut of Black Kites continued, including a continued presence in Norfolk, whilst Red-footed Falcons were at Dungeness (Kent) and over the New Forest (Hampshire). Snowy Owls were again reported from Lewis and St. Kilda (Outer Hebrides), and flocks of up to 14, and 7, Glossy Ibis remained at Frampton (Glos) and Lizard Village (Cornwall) respectively, with singles at Pett Levels (E. Sussex) on 5th, Winnersh (Berks) on 6th and Dungeness (Kent) on 9th, plus the long-staying Lancashire bird. There were Purple Herons at Nanjizal (Cornwall) on 3rd and Newport Wetlands (Gwent) on 5th, plus Great White Egrets at Marazion (Cornwall) on 3rd and Brow Marsh (Shetland) on 8th. An escaped Night Heron was in Lancaster (Lancs) on 4th and another was at Stoford (Somerset) on 6th.

Lesser Scaup: Eyebrook, Leics (photo: Mark Priest).

As would be expected, scarce wildfowl were in short supply. The King Eider remained at Burghead Bay (Moray/Nairn), as did the Lesser Scaup at Eyebrook (Leics) and Marbled Duck at Frampton (Glos). A Green-winged Teal was at Inner Marsh Farm (Cheshire) and a drake Ring-necked Duck frequented several sites in north Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. A Surf Scoter was at Ronanachan Point (Argyll) and a Black Brant at Yantlett Creek (Kent) on 5th.

Yellowhammer: Godlingston Heath, Dorset (photo: Kev Joynes).

Sparrowhawk: Summer Leys, Northants (photo: Terry Heeley).

Swallow: Grenagh, Co. Cork (photo: Sean Cronin).

Willow Warbler: Clwyd (photo: Steve Round).

Tufted Duck: Summer Leys, Northants (photo: Richard Bedford).

Sedge Warbler: North Wirral CP, Cheshire (photo: Richard Steel).

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.mattlathamphotography.com
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
Craig Shaw: http://craigsukbirdpictures.bravehost.com/
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