Review of the Week: 5th-11th January 2006


The week at a glance:

Ross's Gull: Lowestoft, Suffolk (photo: Andrew Easton). Ross's Gull: Lowestoft, Suffolk (photo: Andrew Easton).
Ross's Gull: Lowestoft, Suffolk (photo: Andrew Easton). Ross's Gull: Lowestoft, Suffolk (photo: Mike Parker).
Laughing Gull: Glaslyn Marshes, Gwynedd (photo: Chris Cook). Laughing Gull: Porthcawl, Glamorgan (photo: James Packer).

For the second week running a fine adult Ross's Gull presented itself for scrutiny in East Anglia, when an adult was found at Lowestoft (Suffolk) on Friday 6th. Still present at the time of writing, this county first can be elusive at times, but has showed well on occasion. Plumage details illustrate that this is not the same individual as the bird seen at Cley/Blakeney (Norfolk) at the turn of the year. Also in Suffolk another county first, if accepted, was an adult Bonaparte's Gull at Felixstowe on 9th and 11th, whilst a 1st-winter was reported from Breydon Water (Norfolk) on 7th. Half-a-dozen Laughing Gulls continue their residence with Wales retaining the adult at Glaslyn Marshes (Gwynedd) and 1st-winter at Porthcawl (Glamorgan), the 2nd-winter continues to frequent Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway) and adults remain at Barnstaple and Brixham (Devon). Inland the adult roosted on three nights at Moatlands GPs (Berkshire). In addition, a 'new' Laughing Gull was found at Campbeltown (Argyll) on 11th. A Forster's Tern was at Ballycotton (Co. Cork) on 11th and the adult remained at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway). Around 17 Ring-billed Gulls were reported, a possible Kumlien's Gull was reported from Beddington SF (London) and another of that age from Culmore Dump (Londonderry), plus the 3rd-winter was still at Nimmo's Pier (Co. Galway), though 'white-wingers' remain scarce, with just under 20 Glaucous Gulls and under 30 Iceland Gulls. In contrast, good numbers of Caspian Gulls are still present with around 35 noted during the week, including five at Dungeness (Kent) and an adult at Duncannon (Co. Wexford).

Ring-billed Gull: Crosby, Lancs (photo: Stephen Tomlinson). Ring-billed Gull: Hayle Estuary, Cornwall (photo: Phil Stidwill).

Hume's Leaf Warbler: Bridge, Cornwall (photo: Mike Barker).

Yellow-browed Warbler: Newlyn, Cornwall (photo: Mike Barker). Yellow-browed Warbler: Newlyn, Cornwall (photo: Mike Barker).

A Hume's Leaf Warbler was at Holkham Park (Norfolk) on 8th and 9th (and presumably the bird reported there as a Yellow-browed Warbler on 2nd) and another at Bridge (Cornwall) from 8th was considered to be a Hume's Leaf Warbler based on its call. Yellow-browed Warblers remain at Newlyn (Cornwall) and Broadsands (Devon) and another was found at Cardiff (Glamorgan) from 9th. The Little Bunting remains at Morston (Norfolk) as does the Richard's Pipit at West Kirby (Cheshire). A female Penduline Tit was at Stodmarsh (Kent) on 11th and news of a Hoopoe at Gosport (Hants) came to light on 7th, with the bird present to at least 11th. Up to three Arctic Redpolls have been reported from Icklingham (Suffolk) during the week and the long-staying bird remains at Aberlady Bay (Lothian). Increased numbers of Mealy Redpolls, mostly from southern England, perhaps reflect increased observer scrutiny of Lesser Redpoll flocks. Traditional wintering species such as Shore Lark and Lapland Bunting remain at a low ebb with just seven of the former (six at Holkham (Norfolk) and one at Minsmere (Suffolk)) and 13 of the latter (nine in Lincolnshire, two in Norfolk, one in East Yorkshire and one in Co. Antrim). Waxwing numbers appear to have changed little: the largest count was 86 in Sheffield (S. Yorks) and 80 in Jarrow (Durham), and up to 30 were noted in Essex and Suffolk.

Hoopoe: Gosport, Hampshire (photo: Brian Barker).

Waxwing: Huddersfield, W. Yorks (photo: Sean Gray). Waxwing: Lincoln, Lincs (photo: Matt Latham).
Cattle Egret: Piddinghoe, E. Sussex (photo: Marc Read). Cattle Egret: Piddinghoe, E. Sussex (photo: John Reeves).

A Snowy Owl on Lewis (Outer Hebrides) on 7th was possibly the same bird on North Uist (Outer Hebrides) on 11th. A white-morph Gyr Falcon reported from Darlington (Durham) was presumably an escaped falconer's bird (or convincing hybrid) and ties in with reports of a similar bird in Yorkshire recently. Cattle Egrets remain conspicuous on the south coast. The party of eight are still at Piddinghoe (E. Sussex) and up to three were at Pagham Harbour (W. Sussex) between 7th and 9th. Two remain at Britford Water Meadows (Wilts) and one was in the Warblington (Hants) area from 9th onwards. The Long-billed Dowitcher is still a predictable sight on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall) and the Lesser Yellowlegs is still at Clonakilty (Co. Cork). Wintering Rough-legged Buzzards remain at Harty Marshes (Kent) and Massingham Heath (Norfolk), with others reported from Warham and Wighton (Norfolk) and Colne Point (Essex).

Ferruginous Duck: Craigavon, Co. Armagh (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).
Lesser Scaup: Roadford Reservoir, Devon (photo: Andrew Cunningham). Ring-necked Duck: Craigavon, Co. Armagh (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).
Tundra Bean Goose: Herringfleet, Suffolk (photo: Andrew Easton). Taiga Bean Goose: Mountnorris, Co. Armagh (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).

The Redhead or hybrid remains on Tiree (Argyll), as does the drake Barrow's Goldeneye at Quoile Pondage (Co. Down) and drake Black Scoter off Llanfairfechan (Conwy). A Lesser Scaup was on the Reclamation Pond (Cleveland) from 7th onwards, and long-staying Lesser Scaup remain at: Drift Reservoir (Cornwall), Roadford Reservoir (Devon), Hornsea Mere (E. Yorks) and Kilbirnie Loch (Ayrshire). A dozen Ring-necked Ducks were reported, long-staying Ferruginous Ducks continue in Bedfordshire, Co. Armagh and Kent and three Surf Scoters were off the east coast of Scotland. The Blue-winged Teal remains in Co. Dublin, eight Green-winged Teals were at large and American Wigeon were in Cornwall, Devon, Pembrokeshire, Co. Wexford and Aberdeenshire. The four Tundra Bean Geese remain at Herringfleet (Suffolk), one and twos in north Norfolk and one at Spurn (E. Yorkshire). The two Taiga Bean Geese are still at Mountnorris (Co. Armagh). Black Brants can be found at several locations between Norfolk and Hampshire, and one is still at Blennerville (Co. Kerry), a Lesser Canada Goose was on Fair Isle (Shetland) and Taverner's Canada Goose at Kirkonnell Marshes (Dumfries and Galloway) and the Snow Goose remains in Fife.

Firecrest: Cardiff, Glamorgan (photo: Kev Joynes).

Black-necked Grebe: Barrow Gurney Reservoir, Somerset (photo: Oliver Smart). Slavonian Grebe: Alton Water, Suffolk (photo: Nick Crouch).

Black-headed Gull: Southwold, Suffolk (photo: Mike Parker).
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/
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/
Andrew Easton: http://home.clara.net/ammodytes/
Graham Eaton: http://www.eatonphotography.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/
Jack Levene: http://www.birdingimages.com
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
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
Written by: Russell Slack