Review of the Week: 5th-11th July 2007


The week at a glance:

This week's rare and scarce birds

Balearic Shearwater: at sea, Dorset (photo: Tom Brereton).

The report of the week was yet another Yellow-nosed Albatross, this time one apparently photographed at Manton (Lincs), where it was present on a fishing lake from 3rd to 4th July. It seems probable that this involves the bird that was released into the Severn Estuary on 30th June which then crossed overland for the Humber. Whether this is also the bird involved in the Swedish sighting a few days ago is anyone's guess. Whatever, the presence of these birds in the North Sea will no doubt have galvanized many a lapsed seawatcher into action!

Glossy Ibis: Marshside, Lancs (photo: Stephen Menzie).

A number of scarce waders started to turn up during the week, an indication that autumn movement is already upon us. The best of these was a Pacific Golden Plover at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) on 11th. Two long-staying rarities continued their stays, with the Hudsonian Whimbrel still at Walney Island (Cumbria) and Killdeer still on Shetland. A Lesser Yellowlegs was at Broad Lough (Co. Wicklow) from 6th onwards and a Spotted Sandpiper was at Wykeham Lakes (N. Yorks) from 6th, though no access to the latter site is possible. A Buff-breasted Sandpiper was a good find at Kidwelly (Carmarthen) from 11th, a Red-necked Phalarope was briefly at Cley (Norfolk) on 11th, a Pectoral Sandpiper was at Musselburgh (Lothian) on 12th and a White-rumped Sandpiper was belatedly reported from Gibraltar Point (Lincs) on 3rd.

Red-backed Shrike: Grove Ferry, Kent (photo: Marc Heath).

Two reports of possible Chimney Swifts, at Holkham (Norfolk) on 6th and Cresswell Pond (Northumbs) on 7th, had birders looking to the skies for a change; the presence of this Nearctic swift amongst our familiar Common Swifts is perhaps not so unusual in a summer setting, given the number that cross the Atlantic in some years. The long-staying Subalpine Warbler remained on the Isle of May (Fife), a Serin was at Landguard (Suffolk) on 7th and a Common Rosefinch at Scousburgh (Shetland) on 8th, on which date a Hoopoe was reported at Mundford (Norfolk). A male Red-backed Shrike was again at Grove Ferry (Kent) from 7th to 8th and a Rose-coloured Starling was on South Uist (Outer Hebrides).

Apart from albatrosses there were other seabirds to be seen. Three Wilson's Storm-petrels were off the Isles of Scilly on 6th and another passed the Bridges of Ross (Co. Clare) on 9th, on which date a Leach's Storm-petrel went past Machrihanish (Argyll). Good numbers of Balearic Shearwaters remained off Portland (Dorset), with up to 90 seen, and others were reported from a number of usual watchpoints. There were a handful of Cory's Shearwaters, including singles in Cornwall (off Lizard Point on 7th and Pendeen on 10th), one off North Ronaldsay (Orkney) on 7th and another passing Dunbar (Lothian) on 9th. A Whiskered Tern off Machrihanish (Argyll) on 9th was a good find, but unfortunately it did not linger, nor did a Caspian Tern at Fairhaven Lake (Lancs) on 5th. On South Uist the 1st-summer Bonaparte's Gull remained at Howmore.

Great White Egret: Loch Doon, Ayrshire (photo: Jim Woods).

Great White Egret: Wards Pond, Clyde (photo: Ian Fulton).

The long-staying Glossy Ibis in Lancashire continued to attract observers to Marshside, and Great White Egrets were present in Clyde and Ayrshire, the latter a county first, plus another was reported from East Sussex. A Black Kite passed over Burnham Overy (Norfolk) on 5th. Rare ducks included a drake King Eider again at Rhunahaorine Point (Argyll) and a Ferruginous Duck at Chew Valley Lake (Somerset). A supporting cast included Ring-necked Ducks in Somerset and Staffordshire, plus Green-winged Teal at Inner Marsh Farm (Cheshire). Aberdeenshire accommodated a Surf Scoter off Murcar Golf Course and the drake American Wigeon still on the Ythan Estuary.

Spoonbill: Cresswell Pond, Northumbs (photo: Alan Gilbertson).

Photo of the week

Bearded Tits are one of our most exotic and photogenic species. Dean's portrait of a juvenile male beautifully illustrates one of the less familiar plumages. The soft light and typical setting make for a natural photograph, but capturing the bird in such a perfect pose in the depth of a reedbed calls for great timing and technique.

Bearded Tit: Lincolnshire (photo: Dean Eades).

Other notable photos from the week

Swallow: Leasowe, Cheshire (photo: Steve Round).

Little Egret: Lincolnshire (photo: Dean Eades).

Montagu's Harrier: The Netherlands (photo: Jan Bosch).

Nightingale: Paxton Pits, Cambs (photo: Ian Johnston).

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://billaspinsnatureblog.blogspot.com
Mike Atkinson: http://mikeatkinson.net
Richard Bedford: http://www.richardbedford.co.uk
Steve Blain: http://www.steveblain.co.uk
Will Bowell: http://www.wanderingbirders.com
Paul Bowerman: http://www.severnsidebirds.co.uk
Paul Bowyer: http://www.birdlist.co.uk
Graham Catley: http://pewit.blogspot.com/
Mark Caunt: http://www.AngusBirding.com
Dean Eades: http://www.deaneadeswildlifephotography.co.uk
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
David Hatton: http://www.kowapower.com
Josh Jones: http://www.wanderingbirders.com
Paul and Andrea Kelly: http://www.irishbirdimages.com/
Matt Latham: http://www.mattlathamphotography.com
Micky Maher: http://www.aardfoto.co.uk/
John Malloy: http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/johnmalloy
Brian Mcgeough: http://www.brianmcgeough.com/
Tony Mills: http://www.notjustbirds.com
Jerry O'Brien: http://www.BirdsofBerkshire.co.uk
Mark Newsome: http://www.durhambirdclub.org/
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
Marc Read: http://www.marcread-pix.com
Tristan Reid: http://www.atricillaimages.co.uk/
Steve Round: http://stevenround-birdphotography.com
Craig Shaw: http://craigsukbirdpictures.bravehost.com/
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
Richard Steel: http://wildlifephotographic.bblogspot.com/
Stephen Tomlinson: http://stevesbirding.blogspot.com
Sue Tranter: http://www.suesbirdphotos.co.uk/
Damian Waters: http://www.drumimages.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