Review of the Week: 7th–13th September 2006


Eleonora's Falcon: Time for a long-stayer! (photo: Gintaras Vaidakavicius).

The week at a glance:

What will be, if accepted, the 6th British record of Eleonora's Falcon was seen over Tresco (Scilly) on the 12th (and perhaps again on 14th). An adult dark morph, it unfortunately did not remain for long. This is one of the more tantalising species on the British list: four of the five previous records were brief, and one was found dead. Surely it is only a matter of time before one of these superb birds puts in a prolonged stay and stops teasing and gives itself up to the masses?

American Golden Plover: Lewis, Outer Hebrides (photo: Tristan Ap Rheinallt).

Semipalmated Sandpiper: Lissagriffin, Co. Cork (photo: Michael O'Keefe).

Lesser Yellowlegs: Lissagriffin, Co. Cork (photo: Michael O'Keefe).

Spotted Sandpiper (and Common Sandpiper): Nethertown, Co. Wexford (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).

Buff-breasted Sandpiper: Tacumshin, Co. Wexford (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly).

Buff-breasted Sandpiper: Tacumshin, Co. Wexford (photo: Tom Shevlin).

Pectoral Sandpiper: Grafham Water, Cambs (photo: Stuart Elsom).

Waders still featured prominently on our news pages, and with ten different species of Nearctic wader on offer it is not too surprising. However, it was a Great Snipe from closer to home that was the rarest wader of the week, with an elusive bird at Baltasound, Unst (Shetland) from 11th-12th. In Ireland the waderfest continued, and most, but not all, of the action was located in Co. Kerry and Co. Cork. A Wilson's Phalarope was on the Bann Estuary (Londonderry) on 10th, an adult American Golden Plover was on Lewis (Outer Hebrides) on 9th and the Spotted Sandpiper remained at Nethertown (Co. Wexford). Semipalmated Sandpipers were present during the week at Newport Wetlands (Gwent) and again in Hampshire from the 9th; others were present at Smerwick (two) and Ballyferriter (Co. Kerry), Lissagriffin (Co. Cork) and Rosslare (Co. Wexford). Baird's Sandpipers included singles on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall) from 7th and another reported from Hanningfield Reservoir (Essex) on 11th, with birds at Annagh Head (Co. Mayo), Ballyferriter, Inch and Cashen Estuary (Co. Kerry). White-rumped Sandpipers were present at Blennerville, Carrahane and Ventry with another at Ballycotton (Co. Cork). At least 19 Buff-breasted Sandpipers were reported, including a superb eight at Tacumshin (Co. Wexford) and approaching 40 Pectoral Sandpipers included three together at Blacktoft Sands (E. Yorks). Lesser Yellowlegs remained at Lissagriffin and Dundrum Bay (Co. Down), as did the Long-billed Dowitcher at Gibraltar Point (Lincs) and a Dowitcher sp. passed through Talkin Tarn (Cumbria) on 12th. A Pratincole sp. was reported from near Cheddar (Somerset) on 8th. Two Dotterel were reported, in Cornwall and East Sussex, a Red-necked Phalarope was at Upper Bittell Reservoir (Worcs) on 8th, and five Grey Phalaropes were noted. A Kentish Plover was at Yarmer Beach (Devon) on 8th, with it, or another, at Dawlish Warren (Devon) from 9th-11th.

Wryneck: Mizen Head, Co. Cork (photo: Michael O'Keefe).

Common Rosefinch: Foula, Shetland (photo: Micky Maher).

Marsh Warbler: Foula, Shetland (photo: Micky Maher).

Woodchat Shrike: Fair Isle, Shetland (photo: Dougie Preston).

Barred Warbler: Unst, Shetland (photo: Mike Smith).

Bluethroat: Spurn, E. Yorks (photo: John Hewitt). Red-backed Shrike: Oare Marshes, Kent (photo: Pauline McKenzie Lloyd).

A Paddyfield Warbler was trapped at Porth Hellick Pool, St. Mary's (Scilly) on 9th and presumed Western Bonelli's Warblers were on Tiree (Argyll) on 8th and Tresco (Scilly) from 12th. The first Yellow-breasted Bunting of the autumn for the Northern Isles was at Whalsay (Shetland) on 11th and a Black-headed Bunting was at Holme (Norfolk) on 13th. The Citrine Wagtail was on St. Mary's (Scilly) to 7th and the bird on Fair Isle (Shetland) was present to at least the 11th. The first Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn was on Foula (Shetland) on 10th and other early birds were on Fair Isle and Noss (Shetland). Scarce pipits comprised a Red-throated Pipit at Porthgwarra (Cornwall) on 8th with a Tawny Pipit at Nanquidno (Cornwall) the same day. The Subalpine Warbler remained on Bryher (Scilly), a Golden Oriole was at Portland (Dorset) on 13th and a Serin passed over Grain (Kent) on 10th and another at Beachy Head (E. Sussex) on 13th. The only Bluethroat was at Spurn (E. Yorks) on 8th, and Rose-coloured Starlings were at Staddon Heights (Devon) on 9th, Ness of Sound (Shetland) on 10th and Cape Clear (Co. Cork) on 13th. Four Woodchat Shrikes included birds on Fair Isle, Lundy (Devon) and St. Mary's and another at Sennen (Cornwall) whilst Red-backed Shrikes crept into double figures. Far more plentiful were nearly 25 Common Rosefinches, including 8 on Fair Isle, and 35 Wrynecks, including four on Cape Clear (Co. Cork). Nearly 25 Barred Warblers included 7 on Fair Isle, which included the 15th of the autumn to be trapped on the island so far. Four Marsh Warblers were restricted to Shetland, five Icterine Warblers were well spread and three Melodious Warblers were typically along the south coast. Seven Ortolan Buntings included three on Shetland, two in East Yorkshire and two on Scilly. The Red-rumped Swallow remained at Hoswick (Shetland) and another was at Jockey Shield (Cumbria) on 9th.

Long-tailed Skua: QMR, Berkshire (photo: Jerry O'Brien).

Bonaparte's Gull: Newbiggin, Northumbs (photo: Craig Shaw).

Bonaparte's Gull: Newbiggin, Northumbs (photo: Tim Dean).

The seabird of the week was a Wilson's Storm-petrel passing Hartlepool Headland (Cleveland) on 7th, which will be only the second British North Sea record if accepted; another was at sea 15 miles south of Plymouth (Devon) the same day. A Fea's Petrel passed Galley Head (Co. Cork) on 11th and a whopping 102 Balearic Shearwaters passed Berry Head (Devon) on 13th. Sabine's Gulls just about reached double figures and a lingering inland Long-tailed Skua at Queen Mother Reservoir (Berkshire) proved popular. The Northumberland Bonaparte's Gull from last week was relocated at Newbiggin from 8th onwards, and others were at Slimbridge (Glos) on 10th, Lisvane Reservoir (Glamorgan) on 12th and Inch (Co. Kerry) on 13th. Just three Ring-billed Gulls were reported, and an influx of Black Terns late in the week brought a juvenile White-winged Black Tern to Long Eaton GPS (Derbyshire) on 13th and an adult past East Tilbury (Essex) on 9th.

Black Tern: Gailey Reservoirs, Staffs (photo: Ian Butler).

Glossy Ibis: Radipole Lake, Dorset (photo: Aidan Brown).

Red-footed Falcon: Minsmere, Suffolk (photo: Mike Parker).

Great White Egret: Tetney Marshes, Lincs (photo: Dave Bradbeer). Great White Egret: Tetney Marshes, Lincs (photo: Dave Bradbeer).
Spotted Crake: Grove Ferry, Kent (photo: Martyn Wilson). Spotted Crake: Blacktoft Sands, E. Yorks (photo: Marcus Conway).

A Snowy Owl was on The Mullet (Co. Mayo) from 9th-10th and the long-stayer was still on North Uist (Outer Hebrides). The Red-footed Falcon remained at Minsmere (Suffolk) to 9th and seven Spotted Crakes included two at Grove Ferry (Kent). A Glossy Ibis at Radipole Lake (Dorset) from 7th-8th was the first in the county for nearly 20 years and two Cattle Egrets at Elmley Marshes/Conyer Creek (Kent) were presumably the same as two at Stanpit Marsh (Dorset) on 9th and 11th, on which date one passed Hengistbury Head (Dorset). Great White Egrets included singles at Beachy Head (E. Sussex) on 10th and 11th and another at Tetney Marshes (Lincs) on 13th, and the juvenile Night Heron was still at Weir Wood Reservoir (E. Sussex). The White Stork remained at Eaton to 8th, and singles were seen in Durham and Northumberland from 8th-10th. A scattering of rare ducks included the King Eider again at Blackdog (Aberdeenshire), four Surf Scoters, including one past Flamborough Head (E. Yorks), and the American Wigeon in Glamorgan and Ferruginous Duck in Staffordshire.

Snipe: Shropshire (photo: John Robinson).

Golden Plover: Fife Ness, Fife (photo: John Anderson).

Spotted Redshank: Snettisham, Norfolk (photo: Tony Mills).

Osprey: Aviemore, Highland (photo: Steve Round).

Dunlin: Marshside, Lancs (photo: Sue Tranter).

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/
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
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.pbase.com/latho/root
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
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