15/11/2021
Share 

Review of the Week: 8-14 November 2021

02e26f96-ac0c-450c-8863-dad7ed1dca04

Few species have been more overdue in Britain than Nutcracker, with the last record as long ago as 1998 – a two-day visitor to Kingsdown, Kent. As such, it goes without saying that the brief visitor to Dunnet Bay, Caithness, on 10th was this week's headline event, although the bird would prove unfortunately brief, with no subsequent sightings.

A Belted Kingfisher filmed on the River Ribble near Brockholes, Lancashire, on 8th would also frustrate the masses, with no further sign other than a possible report there on 14th. A county first, it would undoubtedly prove a popular fixture if relocated, especially if it went on to spend the winter – the species has only been twitchable on one occasion since the last wintering individual in 1980, a famous male that visited Staffordshire, East Yorkshire and Aberdeenshire in spring 2005.

Rounding off an enviable trio of mega alerts was an American Coot at Tacumshin, Co Wexford, from 13th; a county first, Ireland's fifth and the first since 2015.


American Coot, Tacumshin, Wexford (Tom Shevlin).

After a blank year in 2020, an impressive three Pied Wheatears made an appearance this week – at Whitburn Steel, Durham, from 10th, Reculver, Kent, on 11th, and Sizewell, Suffolk, on 14th.


Pied Wheatear, Whitburn Steel, Durham (Tom Tams).


Pied Wheatear, Reculver, Kent (Steven Ashton).

In Shetland, the first-winter White-crowned Sparrow – seemingly of the western gambelii subspecies – lasted at Sandwick, Unst, until 5th. A dapper male Siberian Stonechat was again at Camb, Yell, on 13th, the same day a possible Siberian/Stejneger's Stonechat was at Filey, North Yorkshire.


White-crowned Sparrow, Sandwick, Unst, Shetland (Rebecca Nason).


Siberian Stonechat, Camb, Yell, Shetland (Adrian Kettle).

Devon scored a Desert Wheatear at Thurlestone from 9-12th, while a White's Thrush proved an unfortunate victim of a window strike at Mawnan Smith, Cornwall, on 12th. In Ireland, a smart juvenile Northern Harrier was at Lough Boora Parklands, Co Offaly, from 12th


Desert Wheatear, Thurlestone, Devon (Stephanie Murphy).


Northern Harrier, Lough Boora Parklands, Offaly (Paul Smith).

Two adult Red-breasted Geese were with around 2,000 Dark-bellied Brent Geese at Holliwell Point, Essex, from 10th. Essex's first since 2015, it is not a site for the faint-hearted, with a 9-km one-way hike required to reach the flock. Another remained on Islay, Argyll, alongside at least one continuing Richardson's Cackling Goose. Last week's Ross's Goose lingered with Pink-footed Geese at Fail Loch, Ayrshire, until 8th


Red-breasted Geese, Holliwell Point, Essex (Shaun Ferguson).

Moray scored a drake Black Scoter at Lossiemouth from 11th. Meanwhile, the adult drake White-winged Scoter remained off Musselburgh, Lothian, with the first-winter drake King Eider there again on 13-14th. Others held on at Hopeman, Moray, and Wadbister Voe, Mainland Shetland.


Black Scoter (centre), Lossiemouth, Moray & Nairn (Peter Stronach).

Lesser Scaup continued at Loch Skerrols, Islay, and Tresco, Scilly, while the Chew Valley Lake, Somerset, adult lasted until 8th. Elsewhere, the adult male Pied-billed Grebe was again reported from Loch Feorlin, Argyll, and the female Ferruginous Duck remained at Belvide Reservoir, Staffordshire.


Ferruginous Duck, Belvide Reservoir, Staffordshire (Steve Nuttall).

A Semipalmated Plover was again at Black Rock Strand, Co Kerry, on 10th, while the White-tailed Lapwing at Blacktoft Sands RSPB, East Yorkshire, and Spotted Sandpiper on St Mary's, Scilly, both lingered. The Cambridgeshire Pacific Golden Plover was last noted at Knarr Fen, Cambridgeshire, on 9th, with the juvenile at Deeping Fen, Lincolnshire, reported until 10th.


Spotted Sandpiper, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly (Kris Webb).


Pacific Golden Plover, Deeping Fen, Lincolnshire (Josh Jones).

In Northumberland, the adult Bonaparte's Gull continued its regular foraging trips around Stag Rocks, Bamburgh, throughout.


Bonaparte's Gull, Stag Rocks, Bamburgh, Northumberland (Michael Frankis; creative commons cc-by-sa).

A young female Walrus caused quite a surprise at Seahouses, Northumberland, on 14th. It transpires that this is the same individual – named 'Freya' by the Dutch – which has spent several weeks touring the coasts of Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands, including three days spent snoozing on Walrus-class submarine HNLMS Dolfijn at Den Helder, The Netherlands, earlier this month. A Sei Whale off North Queensferry, Fife, on 10th was unfortunately found dead nearby the following day.


Walrus, Seahouses, Northumberland (Jack Bucknall).

 

Scottish mainland

A Western Cattle Egret was a one-day visitor to Chapelton, Angus, on 9th – just a second county record after one in 1979 – with the popular individual still at Kingussie, Highland, throughout. An impressive week for Angus & Dundee – a Lesser Yellowlegs was a smart find at Montrose Basin on 11th, with the Great Grey Shrike still at Backwater Reservoir and a Barred Warbler at Invergowrie.


Western Cattle Egret, Chapelton, Angus & Dundee (Mark Caunt).

After looking set for a blank Waxwing winter no fewer than three Scottish sites hosted reports, providing fresh hope of a potential arrival. Thurso, Caithness, scored first with 25 on 10-11th, followed by two at Elgin, Moray & Nairn, on 12th and 20 at Edzell, Angus, on 14th. In other news, the Rosy Starling remained at Balnakeil, Highland, and a Yellow-browed Warbler was trapped at Melvich, with Great Egrets at Caerlaverock WWT, Dumfries & Galloway, and Montrose Basin, Angus & Dundee.

A Snow Goose with Canada Geese at Loch Thom, Clyde, on 10th was an intriguing record and perhaps the probable seen with Greylag Geese at nearby Newshot Island the previous day. Three remained around Loch Spynie, Moray & Nairn, with a Ruddy Shelduck still at Martnaham Loch, Ayrshire, on 9th. A Tundra Bean Goose was logged at Skateraw and Dunbar, Lothian, from 9-11th, with notable Taiga Bean Geese records at North Queensferry, Fife, on 13th and Loch of Strathbeg RSPB, Aberdeenshire, from 9-11th. 


Rosy Starling, Balnakeil, Highland (Dean Macaskill).

Two redhead Smew made an appearance – at Montrose Basin, Angus, and Cameron Reservoir, Fife. The American Wigeon remained at Udale Bay, Highland, with a drake Ring-necked Duck still at Loch na Bo, Moray & Nairn, until 11th. Elsewhere, Green-winged Teal graced Loch of Strathbeg RSPB, Aberdeenshire, on 8th and Lossie Estuary, Moray & Nairn, on 12th.

Offshore, a probable Cory's Shearwater south past St Abbs, Borders, on 13th would be a notable November occurrence, while a White-billed Diver was briefly off St Andrews, Fife, on 9th. Surf Scoter were off Musselburgh (three) and Gullane, Lothian, and Lossiemouth, Moray & Nairn (two), with a brief Black-necked Grebe reported off Troon, Ayrshire, on 13th. Meanwhile Glaucous Gulls were at two sites – Tarbat Ness, Highland, and Peterhead, Aberdeenshire – with a lone Iceland Gull at Dunnet Bay, Caithness, on 12-13th.

On Islay, Argyll, a drake American Wigeon lingered at Loch Skerrols and a Ring-necked Duck held on at Loch Gorm. A Yellow-browed Warbler was at Balephuil, Tiree.

 

Northern Isles and the Hebrides

Glaucous Gulls were reported from five sites in Shetland, including 10 at Norwick, Unst, on 10th. There was just a single Iceland Gull – a juvenile at Haroldswick, Unst, on 14th. A juvenile Tundra Bean Goose was at Ringasta, Mainland, on 8th, while both Ring-necked Duck lingered at Sand Water, Yell, and Loch of Tingwall, Mainland. The adult White-billed Diver was still in South Nesting Bay, Mainland, on 13th. A Little Bunting, perhaps the last of the year, was at Grutness, Mainland, on 12th. A smart adult summer Black-throated Diver was in North Haven at Fair Isle on 9th – just the island's seventh record and the first since 2006.


Ring Ouzel, Valyie, Unst, Shetland (Pete Aley).

At least six White-billed Divers were back off Papa Westray on 13th, where both Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, Siberian Chiffchaff and Grey Phalarope all featured on the roll call. A juvenile Iceland Gull was on Birsay Links on 14th and a Little Auk in Scapa Bay, Mainland, on 13th was joined by a second bird the following day. The Grey Phalarope lingered at North Ronaldsay until 8th, when Glaucous and Iceland Gulls were present.


Little Auk, Scapa Bay, Mainland, Orkney (Steven J Charlton).

In Outer Hebrides, the juvenile Surf Scoter remained off Craigston, Barra, throughout and another female-type was off Rubha Ardvule, South Uist, on 13th. A Todd's Canada Goose was at Aird Mhor, Barra, on 9th before flying past Eoligarry later that day. Two drake Ring-necked Duck made a reappearance at Loch Stiapavat, Lewis, on 11th and an immature Glaucous Gull was at Tiumpan Head, Lewis, on 13th.

Dan Owen

 

North-East England

A juvenile Rosy Starling at Glanton and a Grey Phalarope on Holy Island were the only new scarcities located in Northumberland this week. The Great Shearwater continued to linger off Stag Rocks, Bamburgh, and was joined sporadically by a Black Guillemot. The Todd's Canada Goose was seen again at nearby Budle Bay and Hawfinches returned to Morpeth for another winter, with four seen there on 9th.


Rosy Starling, Glanton, Northumberland (Tim Dean).

Two Siberian Chiffchaffs were seen in Durham, with one still in place at Whitburn at the start of the week and another at Marsden Quarry on 14th. A trickle of Little Auks passed Whitburn Coastal Park with 37 on 9th being the highest count. A Glaucous Gull also passed there three days later and a Rough-legged Buzzard was reported from Cleadon on 12th. The drake Northern Eider at Redcar, Cleveland, remained in place and Saltholme RSPB produced a group of five Ruddy Shelduck.

Jonathan Farooqi

 

North-West England

Two Todd's Canada Geese infiltrated the Barnie flock at Rockcliffe Marsh, Cumbria, on 8th, while a Dusky Warbler at South Walney NR was a great county bird and remained until 13th. In Lancashire, a Glossy Ibis touched down at Marshside RSPB on 9th and remained throughout. It seems to be a good start to the Short-eared Owl season in the area, with up to three reported from Crossens Outer Marsh and Banks Marsh respectively. Eight Snow Buntings on Ainsdale Beach is also a nice local count.


Glossy Ibis, Marshside RSPB, Lancashire (Stephen Tomlinson).

The Purple Sandpiper remained at Mere Farm Quarry, Cheshire, until 8th but was duly replaced by a juvenile Northern Gannet the following day. The Hilbre Island Snow Bunting tally increased to two. Six Red-breasted Merganser overflew Elton Reservoir on 8th – a cracking record for Greater Manchester airspace.

Dan Owen

 

Lincolnshire and Yorkshire

Saltfleetby NNR, Lincolnshire, produced two November classics: Dusky Warbler on 8th and Pallas's Warbler on 14th, plus Siberian Chiffchaffs were there and at Barton-upon-Humber Pits. A Richard's Pipit flew over Alkborough Flats on 9th. The drake Ring-necked Duck reappeared at Tallington Lakes on 8th, where a Greater Scaup remained. A Eurasian Dotterel was reported from nearby Deeping Fen on 10th.


Greater Scaup, Tallington Lakes, Lincolnshire (Josh Jones).

A Dusky Warbler spent five days at Spurn YWT, East Yorkshire, from 9th, with a Richard's Pipit lingering in the Kilnsea area and a few flyover Lapland Buntings and an Iceland Gull off Easington on 13th. Flamborough's Red-flanked Bluetail hung on till 10th, with a Pallas's Warbler on the headland on 14th. Another Richard's Pipit was at Hunmanby Gap, North Yorkshire, briefly on 14th. Elsewhere, the Green-winged Teal lingered at North Cave YWT, a White-tailed Eagle passed south over Bubwith Ings on 10th, a Garden Warbler was trapped at South Duffield on 13th and Hornsea Mere hosted Red-necked Grebe and three Greater Scaup.


Red-flanked Bluetail, Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire (Peter Garrity).

A quiet seven days in South Yorkshire produced little more than a Northern Gannet over Hatfield Moors on 14th, five possible bean geese over Stainton on 13th, Water Pipits in the Dearne Valley and a regular Caspian Gull at Potteric Carr YWT. Bizarrely, a Puffin was taken into care at Thorpe Audlin, West Yorkshire, on 11th, with three Hawfinches at Ilkley on 13th.

Josh Jones

 

West Midlands

The regular adult Ring-billed × Lesser Black-backed Gull hybrid continued to spend the evenings at Belvide Reservoir, Staffordshire, while a Curlew Sandpiper lingered at Blithfield Reservoir until 9th. A late Spotted Flycatcher was in a Newcastle-under-Lyme garden on 14th. In Shropshire, a first-winter Grey Phalarope proved a popular local bird at Whixall Moss on 13-14th.

Content continues after advertisements


Ring-billed × Lesser Black-backed Gull, Belvide Reservoir (PERMIT ONLY), Staffordshire (Steve Nuttall).

The juvenile Red-throated Diver was still showing nicely at Brockhall GPs, Herefordshire, throughout. It was a quiet week in Worcestershire, although Hawfinches had a good run with three sites reporting birds. A first-winter Kittiwake at Draycote Water on 12th was Warwickshire's star bird.


Red-throated Diver, Brockhall GPs, Herefordshire (Jonathan Bull).

Dan Owen

 

East Midlands

A Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Carsington Water on 8th kicked off Derbyshire's week. Last week's Snow Bunting resurfaced at Alport on 8th, a Mealy Redpoll was at Drakelow NR on 10th and a Twite overflew Carr Vale NR on 12th, although two Chough over Ripley on 13th will take some beating. In Nottinghamshire, the Great Northern Diver and Garganey both lingered at Langford Lowfields RSPB and were joined by a female Ring-necked Duck on 14th. An adult Kittiwake was at Kilvington Lakes on 13th and was possibly the bird from Budby pumping station on 14th.


Caspian Gull, Attenborough NR, Nottinghamshire (Ian Bollen).

The unseasonal Wood Sandpiper remained at Pitsford Reservoir, Northamptonshire, throughout – will it stay through the winter? An immature Greater Scaup was still at Daventry Reservoir CP until 10th. Up to four Greater Scaup remained at Swithland Reservoir, Leicestershire & Rutland, where a possible juvenile Ring-necked Duck joined the Aythya flock but remained stubbornly distant. A Slavonian Grebe and Great Northern Diver were at Rutland Water from 13th.

Dan Owen

 

East of England

Bird of the week in Norfolk was a Melodious Warbler at Wells Woods on 8th. Other late migrants included a Pallas's Warbler at Blakeney Point and Dusky Warbler at Holme Dunes, both on 14th, plus a Red-breasted Flycatcher at Sidestrand on 8th. The Great Grey Shrike was still in the Waxham area, as was the Greater Short-toed Lark at West Runton to 11th. A Todd's Canada Goose was a nice find near Docking on 13th and was seen again the following day. 


Great Grey Shrike, Waxham, Norfolk (Tim Smith).

Five Shore Larks were at Slaughden, Suffolk, on 14th, with at least 11 sites in the county registering Snow Buntings. A Siberian Chiffchaff was at Southwold on 14th, with a Glossy Ibis at Minsmere RSPB. A Glaucous Gull toured sites in the Blyth Estuary area, while several Little Auks were noted offshore and a couple of sites produced Bewick's Swan.


Shore Lark, Slaughden, Suffolk (Nick Brown).

Two inland Puffins were found in Essex: one at Abberton Reservoir on 9th was found dead the following day, with another at Tolleshunt D'Arcy on 11th. Abberton also hosted Red-necked Grebe and Long-tailed Duck among others. Red-breasted Goose twitchers enjoyed Black Brant and Common Crane (14th) at Holliwell Point. A Glossy Ibis flew over Heybridge Basin on 8th.

Western Cattle Egret and Caspian Gull were noted at Wilstone Reservoir, Hertfordshire, with four of the former at Amwell NR on 10th and seven Hawfinches near Whitwell on 13th. The American Wigeon stuck around at Marton Vale CP, Bedfordshire, to 10th, with nearby Brogborough Lake hosting a Caspian Gull on 13th.

Both Great Northern and Red-throated Divers were at Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire, with the six Glossy Ibises at Berry Fen, two Hawfinches at Wimpole Park on 13th and a Brent Goose on the Ouse Washes on 14th among the notable county records.

Josh Jones

 

South-East England

Sussex enjoyed another relatively decent week, with a trio of late Sibes headlining out east: a Dusky Warbler at Newhaven and a Little Bunting at Poundgate on 14th, plus a Pallas's Warbler at Beachy Head on 10th. Siberian Chiffchaffs were at Hove (12th) and North Chailey (continuing), with Plumpton and Church Norton hosting Snow Buntings and a Red-necked Grebe taking up temporary residence at Pett Level from 9-10th. A Common Crane visited Pulborough Brooks briefly on 12th, up to two of the three Glossy Ibises lingered at West Wittering until 9th and the Hooded Crow continued at Polegate throughout.


Dusky Warbler, Newhaven, East Sussex (Karen Jayne).

A flock of up to eight Snow Buntings at Hayling Island, Hampshire, were good modern-day value for the south coast and enjoyed by many during the week; a single bird flew over Barton-on-Sea on 14th. Elsewhere in the county, Siberian Chiffchaffs were at Blashford Lakes and Titchfield on 11th and the Great Grey Shrike remained in the New Forest at Backley Bottom. On the Isle of Wight, a Snow Bunting was at Culver Down.


Water Pipit, Blashford Lakes HWT, Hampshire (Matthew Barfield).

Berkshire continued to host the Pink-footed Goose at Padworth Lane GPs and Western Cattle Egrets (five) at Sonning, while three Whooper Swans briefly visited Floodplain Forest, Buckinghamshire, on 14th. In Oxfordshire, a drake Ring-necked Duck pitched up at Radley GPs on 12th, with a Great Northern Diver at Farmoor on 13th; late news of a Snow Bunting at the latter site on 6th also emerged during the week. A drake Greater Scaup was present at Sonning Eye GP from 9th.

In Surrey, the lingering Ring-necked Duck at Reigate and Western Cattle Egrets (three) at Esher remained, with a Greater Scaup at Thorpe Park and Caspian Gull at Slyfield of note elsewhere. It was rather quiet in London, where a Yellow-browed Warbler was heard at Beddington Farmlands on 9th.


Caspian Gull, Jacobs Well, Surrey (Martin Kettell).

Up to seven Shore Larks were at Leysdown-on-Sea, Sheppey, Kent, during the week – a fine total for 2021. Two other birds were at Swalecliffe on 10th, with the same site continuing to host the offshore Black Guillemot, as well as a Siberian Chiffchaff on 12th. A Rough-legged Buzzard was at Reculver on 8th and 12th, a European Serin flew over Shuart on 9th and a Sabine's Gull flew past Birchington and North Foreland on 14th. A Common Crane was in the Sandwich Bay area from 13-14th, with 34 Pink-footed Geese flying over on the latter date. Lapland Buntings were at three sites, Snow Buntings at 13 and Glossy Ibises were recorded at Dungeness (two) and Faversham.

Ed Stubbs

 

South-West England

On Scilly, a Radde's Warbler was unearthed on St Mary's on 11th and lingered for a couple of days. At least six Siberian Chiffchaffs, a probable Siberian Lesser Whitethroat and a couple of Yellow-browed Warblers were also seen on the island. The Glossy Ibis and Hoopoe remained on Tresco along with a couple of Siberian Chiffchaffs


Siberian Chiffchaff, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly (Kris Webb).

A remarkable count of eight Ring-necked Duck came from Dozmary Pool, Cornwall, on 9th, with Green-winged Teal at Devoran and Nanpean. Two Dusky Warblers and a flyover Richard's Pipit were at Porthgwarra, with further Richard's at Trevescan, Perranporth and Pendeen. The latter site held onto the juvenile Rosy Starling until 8th. A European Serin was in Nanjizal Valley from 11th and a Barred Warbler was at Kenidjack Valley, while a private garden in Trebetherick produced a Hoopoe on 10th and Siberian Chiffchaffs were scattered across several sites. A Long-tailed Skua and Leach's Storm Petrel flew past Pendeen and another Leach's off St Ives. 


Western Cattle Egret, Starcross, Devon (Steve HOPPER).

New scarcities in Devon comprised of a Ring-necked Duck at Beesands Ley, Grey Phalarope at Dawlish Warren NNR and a couple of Siberian Chiffchaffs. The Pectoral Sandpiper remained at South Huish Marsh, as did the two Glossy Ibises at Fremington Pill.


Snow Bunting, Poole Harbour, Dorset (Jon Mercer).

A Pallas's Warbler at Durlston Country Park on 13th was Dorset's highlight. A Richard's Pipit was heard over Abbotsbury Swannery on 9th with Portland scoring a flyover European Serin five days later. A Black Brant reappeared at Ferrybridge and Siberian Chiffchaffs were recorded at four localities.


Todd's Canada Goose (right), Slimbridge WWT, Gloucestershire (Paul Masters).

In Gloucestershire, a Todd's Canada Goose was located at Slimbridge WWT on 12th and a Siberian Chiffchaff visited at Aust on 14th. The Slimbridge Bewick's Swan herd increased to 16 and both subspecies of Greater White-fronted Goose continued to be recorded. A Snow Bunting was at Prestbury on 8-9th.

Pairs of Ring-necked Duck were at Ham Wall RSPB and Chard Reservoir, Somerset. A Siberian Chiffchaff was also at Ham Wall and Glossy Ibises were at Westhay and Steart WWT (two). Other county highlights included a couple of Bewick's Swans at Chew Valley Lake and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Sutton Bingham Reservoir. The Dipper at Marlborough, Wiltshire continued to be reliable.

Jonathan Farooqi

 

Wales

A Hoopoe at Bronant, Ceredigion, on 12-13th was popular, while the seventh Dusky Warbler for Wales delighted at Talacre, Clwyd, from 13th. A notable 17 Water Pipits enjoyed a flooded field near St Athan, Glamorgan, with at least 10 at Cors Ddyga RSPB, Anglesey. On 14th, a Great Grey Shrike appeared near Llyn Brenig, Clwyd, while five Siberian Chiffchaffs were recorded and eight sites hosted Snow Buntings. Lingering Hooded Crows were at Gann Estuary, Pembrokeshire, and South Stack RSPB, Anglesey.


Ring-necked Duck, Welsh Wildlife Centre & Teifi Marshes NR, Ceredigion (Richard Stonier).

A new female Ring-necked Duck graced Lisvane Reservoir, Glamorgan, on 10-11th, with the drake continuing at Teifi Marshes, Ceredigion, throughout. A young Red-necked Grebe was at Morfa Madryn, Conwy, on 9th. On 10th, a Black Guillemot was reported off Telpyn Point, Carmarthen, with a first-winter Caspian Gull reported back at Lower Town, Pembrokeshire. Meanwhile, a Ring-billed × Lesser Black-backed Gull hybrid roosted at Llys-y-Fran Reservoir, Pembrokeshire, overnight on 14th.

 

Ireland

In addition to the American Coot, Tacumshin produced up to four Water Pipits and the continuing Lesser Yellowlegs. A late American Golden Plover was at The Gearagh, Co Cork, on 14th. Two Glossy Ibises were near Waterford town, with three briefly at White's Marsh, Co Cork, on 10th and one near Limerick.

Wildfowl included two Green-winged Teal at Courtmacsherry, Co Cork, with others at Killala Bay, Co Mayo, on 14th, and Blennerville, Co Kerry. Two Ring-necked Duck stuck around at Moylan Lough, Co Monaghan, with the male still at Inch Island Lake, Co Donegal. The Surf Scoter was still at Lough Gill, Co Kerry, with another nearby in Smerwick Harbour from 8th.


Ring-necked Duck (top bird), Descart Lake, Monaghan (Brian McCloskey).

Seawatching snippets included Great Shearwater off Ballycotton, Co Cork, and Leach's Storm Petrel off Helvick Head, Co Waterford, both on 11th. White-winged gulls remain virtually absent, but the Ring-billed Gull was again at Blackrock, Co Louth, this week.

Josh Jones

 

Western Palearctic

Finnish birders were stunned by the breath-taking news of an Ancient Murrelet off Porkkala on 9-10th. There is just one previous Western Palearctic record of this scrumptious Pacific alcid – a summering adult on Lundy, Devon, between 1990 and 1992. Finland's eighth Western Cattle Egret at Haapajärvi on 12th would be upstaged by a possible Mediterranean Flycatcher at Lauttasaari two days later – another national first if confirmed.

Ancient Murrelet, Porkkala, Uusimaa (Owen Foley).

A continuing influx of Great Blue Herons to the Azores saw at least two on Corvo and another at Lajes do Pico, Pico, while a smaller arrival of Snowy Egrets included two at Paul da Praia, Terceira, on 10th and a singleton at Ribeira Grande, São Miguel, on 13th. The Belted Kingfisher also continued on Terceira. On the Portuguese mainland, a male Siberian Yellow Wagtail was at Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal, on 10th.

An incredible three Snowy Owls were found on the northern Spanish coast this week, the first three records for both Spain and the Iberian Peninsula. The first taken into care at Virgen del Mar, Cantabria, on 8th, was followed by two in Asturias – at Luanco on 10th and Cabo de Peñas on 13-14th.


Snowy Owl, Cabo de Peñas, Asturias (Daniel López Velasco).

Elsewhere in Spain, the White-backed Vulture was back at Los Barrios on 11th and an Eyebrowed Thrush was shot by hunters at Murchante on 11th – the fourth such example of the five national records. An American Black Tern – Spain's second – visited San Andrés de los Tacones Reservoir on 7-8th.

An awesome 2,013 Pine Grosbeaks flew south over Väddö, Sweden, on 6th, the same day one overflew Skagen, Denmark. Denmark's third Isabelline Wheatear graced Blåvands Huk on 14th and a Steppe Eagle was at Ullervad, Sweden, from 10th. An Oriental Turtle Dove at Lyngdal and a Brown Shrike at Farsund were the best of the week's action in neighbouring Norway.

A Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Tagula on 14th is just the second for Estonia, while a Dusky Warbler was ringed at Ghadira, Malta, on 7th.

In Belgium, a returning Wallcreeper was back at Dinant from 8th, with the Western Swamphen still at Zoutleeuw. An Eastern Olivaceous Warbler was still at Nieuwvliet-Bad, The Netherlands, while a Pygmy Cormorant hung on near Utrecht.


Dusky Warbler, Ghadira Nature Reserve, Malta (Raymond Galea).

Written by: Sam Viles & the BirdGuides team