13/08/2003
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Review of the Week: 7th-13th August 2003

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Woodchat Shrike: Trevose Head, Cornwall. (Photo: Gary Thorburn)

Despite record-breaking temperatures throughout the land and clear blue skies there was no escaping the fact that autumn is just around the corner as the first rare and scarce migrants started to appear.

Greenish Warbler: Filey, N. Yorks. (Photo: John Harwood) Greenish Warbler: Filey, N. Yorks. (Photo: John Harwood)

A Greenish Warbler was found on Carr Naze, Filey North Cliff CP (N. Yorks) on 12th and was still present on 13th. Surprisingly there have been just two Aquatic Warblers so far reported, with one trapped at Slapton Ley (Devon) on 10th and another trapped at Titchfield Haven NNR (Hants) on 13th. A Common Rosefinch was on Unst (Shetland) on 13th. Four Barred Warblers included one on Fair Isle on 8th and Foula (Shetland) on 10th, with one at Howden's Pullover (Lincs) from 11th-12th, North Ronaldsay (Orkney) on 12th and Unst (Shetland) on 13th. Icterine Warblers were at Weybourne (Norfolk) on 10th and Studland Bay (Dorset) on 12th. A Hoopoe was a surprise find at Cherry Hinton (Cambs) on 12th-13th and Rose-coloured Starlings were at Llanynghendl (Anglesey) on 7th and between Weybourne and Cley (Norfolk) from 8th onwards. A juvenile Woodchat Shrike at Trevose Head (Cornwall) was re-identified on the 8th and remained to the 11th, having first been seen on the 5th. A Serin was at Tollesbury Wick (Essex) on 13th and a Red-rumped Swallow was on St. Mary's (Scilly) on 8th.

Lesser Yellowlegs: Inchydoney, Co. Cork. (Photo: Kevin Cronin) Lesser Yellowlegs: Inchydoney, Co. Cork. (Photo: Kevin Cronin)

Least Sandpiper: Startops End Reservoir, Herts. (Photo: Michael Collard) Least Sandpiper: Startops End Reservoir, Herts. (Photo: Andrew Moon)

Rare waders were still very much in evidence. An adult Lesser Yellowlegs was at Inchydoney (Co. Cork) from 7th-9th, with a bird at Dorman's Pool (Cleveland) on 13th. A White-rumped Sandpiper was at Cresswell Ponds (Northumberland) from 8th onwards, and the bird on the Wyre Estuary (Lancs) was last seen on the 11th. In Hertfordshire the adult Least Sandpiper remained at Startops End Reservoir, Tring to the 12th. As the many superb digipics illustrate, it has been most obliging throughout its stay. In Co. Cork the adult Stilt Sandpiper was present at Lough Beg to the 10th. On the Isles of Scilly the adult Semipalmated Sandpiper was on St. Mary's to the 8th, another was on Fair Isle (Shetland) on 13th and one was reported at Nanjizal Valley (Cornwall) on 9th and 11th. The good run of Pectoral Sandpipers continued with 9 birds reported during the week. Just one Temminck's Stint was seen during the week, at Blacktoft Sands RSPB on 8th.

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White-rumped Sandpiper: Cresswell Pond, Northumbs. (Photo: Tristan Reid) White-rumped Sandpiper: Cresswell Pond, Northumbs. (Photo: Alan Gilbertson)

Wilson's Storm-petrel: At sea, South West Approaches. The highlight of the Scillonian pelagic was three birds. (Photo: Steve Nuttall)

It was another dull week for seabird enthusiasts, the highlight being Wilson's Storm-petrels, with two seen from pelagic trips to the south of the Isles of Scilly on 8th, 10th and 13th, with three in the South West Approaches from the Scillonian on 10th. An adult Sabine's Gull was at King George VI Reservoir (London) briefly on 12th, another was reported at North Gare (Cleveland) on 13th and the long-staying Lowestoft (Suffolk) bird continued to entertain. Rare gulls included a 1st-summer American Herring Gull at Polgigga (Cornwall) on 9th and Ring-billed Gulls were reported from Glamorgan, Co. Cork and Co. Kerry, with the regular birds in Cornwall and London. A White-winged Black Tern was at Holland Haven on 10th and the long-staying bird remained at East Chevington (Northumbs).

The glut of Great White Egrets continues. On the 7th birds were at Llandeilo (Carmarthen) and Arpley Tip (Cheshire), then one at Eyebrook Reservoir (Leics) was present from 9th-11th with presumably the same at Rutland Water on 12th. One was reported at Brandon Marsh (Warks) on 9th, one at Wilstone Reservoir (Herts) on 10th and two past Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on 10th. Rare raptors included a report of a Red-footed Falcon over Scalby (N. Yorks) on 9th and Black Kites in Dorset on 7th, 10th and 12th and one over Brean Down (Somerset) on 13th. A female Blue-winged Teal was reported at Chew Valley Lake (Somerset) on 12th and Spotted Crakes were at Marazion RSPB (Cornwall) from 8th onwards and two were on Unst (Shetland). Long-staying ducks included Lesser Scaup at Pennington Flash (Gtr Manchester), Ferruginous Duck at Loch Gelly (Fife), American Wigeon at Stiffkey Fen (Norfolk) and Black Duck on St. Mary's (Scilly).


Pectoral Sandpiper: Leighton Moss, Lancs. (Photo: Andrew McCafferty) Great White Egret: Eyebrook Reservoir, Leics. (Photo: Matthew Berriman)
Bittern: Dorman's Pool, Cleveland. (Photo: Ian Forrest) Mediterranean Gull: Blackpill Beach, Glamorgan. (Photo: Tristan Bantock)
Written by: Russell Slack