Review of the Week: 6th-13th December 2001


A cold week dominated by high pressure, resulting in a mixture of clear blue skies or fog, depending upon where you live. Cold weather on the continent appears to have resulted in a few extra winter visitors, but otherwise things remain relatively unchanged.

Long-staying wildfowl include the Redhead in Glamorgan, Lesser Scaup in Dorset and the Baikal Teal has been seen for much of the week in Suffolk. A second Baikal Teal appeared in Hertfordshire sporting a ring and a preference for Mallards. The Squacco Heron remained in Norfolk until the weekend, whilst a Great White Egret was seen in Kent and the Cattle Egret was again seen in Dorset. The Snowy Owl appears to have tired of Felixstowe and was seen further along the River Deben at Waldringfield.

Other notable remnants of the autumn include a White-winged Black Tern at Tacumshin, American Golden Plovers in Orkney and Cornwall and the Pectoral Sandpiper was seen in Dorset once again. From points east, the Dusky Warbler continues to skulk in Cornwall and a Yellow-browed Warbler remained in Devon. Richard's Pipits were still present in Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Gloucestershire, whilst a Little Bunting was a festive bonus on Shetland.

The cold weather on the continent has prompted a small influx of Smew to take place, with several birds present across the country. The immediate forecast is for much of the same, so more Smew might be expected, plus perhaps grebes along coastal areas and perhaps an arrival of thrushes and Waxwings.

Written by: Russell Slack, BirdGuides