Review of the Week: 8th-14th December 2005


The week at a glance:

Buff-bellied Pipit: Frampton Marsh, Lincs (photo: Paul French). Buff-bellied Pipit: Frampton Marsh, Lincs (photo: Paul French).
Buff-bellied Pipit: Frampton Marsh, Lincs (photo: Garry Taylor). Buff-bellied Pipit: Frampton Marsh, Lincs (photo: Garry Taylor).
Buff-bellied Pipit: Frampton Marsh, Lincs (photo: Garry Taylor). Buff-bellied Pipit: Frampton Marsh, Lincs (photo: Garry Taylor).

An American Buff-bellied Pipit at Frampton Marsh (Lincs) was a superb east-coast find. Due to the sensitive nature of the site news was withheld until the relevant negotiations with landowners had been undertaken and the RSPB are to be congratulated in negotiating access for birders to enjoy this bird. As such, on Monday 12th news was broadcast by BirdGuides in partnership with Birdline Northeast. By then it had been present for eight days and although elusive it showed well enough to patient observers on 12th and 13th, though there have been no sightings since. If accepted this will be only the 5th British record of this species, the last of which was on Scilly in 1996 American Buff-bellied Pipit records. There was also a report from St. Kilda (Outer Hebrides) from earlier in the autumn and one was in Sweden earlier this month.

Sociable Lapwing: Rainham Marshes, London (photo: Richard Jackson). Sociable Lapwing: Rainham Marshes, London (photo: Phil Stidwill).

On Shetland the BrĂ¼nnich's Guillemot continued to perform well throughout the week at Lerwick and in Greater London the 1st-winter Sociable Plover remains at Rainham Marshes. A Snowy Owl at Greinetobht, N. Uist (Outer Hebrides) on Sunday 10th had been present in the area for several days.

Hume's Leaf Warbler: Filey, N. Yorks (photo: Dave Mansell). Hume's Leaf Warbler: Filey, N. Yorks (photo: Dave Mansell).
Waxwing: Tetney, Lincs (photo: Dean Eades). Waxwing: Tetney, Lincs (photo: Russell Hayes).
Waxwing: Tetney, Lincs (photo: Dean Eades). Waxwing: Llandudno, Conwy (photo: Adrian Foster).

Richard's Pipit: West Kirby, Cheshire (photo: Stephen Tomlinson).

A Hume's Leaf Warbler was at Weybourne (Norfolk) on 11th and Filey (N. Yorks) continued to accommodate last week's bird in Church Ravine. Three Yellow-browed Warblers were reported in Devon, with singles at Countess Weir and Clennon Valley and a probable from Slapton. Eight Richard's Pipits were reported, including the two long-staying birds at West Kirby (Cheshire). On 10th, singletons were at Weston-super-Mare (Somerset), Llandudno (Conwy) and Capel Fleet (Kent), and others included one on St. Agnes (Scilly) on 12th and two at Land's End (Cornwall) on 13th. A Siberian Chiffchaff was trapped at Weybourne (Norfolk) on 12th. In Norfolk the Little Bunting again put in an appearance at Morston and in East Yorkshire the two Northern Long-tailed Tits were still at Easington. Just seven Great Grey Shrikes were on offer and the statistics were not much better for traditional coastal wintering scarcities such as Shore Larks and Lapland Buntings, with just eight of the former and seven of the latter. Waxwings continued to filter south, the largest numbers 110 at Port Clarence (Cleveland) and 150 in Edinburgh (Lothian).

Laughing Gull: Glaslyn Marshes, Gwynedd (photo: Julie Rogers). Laughing Gull: Exmouth, Devon (photo: James Packer).
Iceland Gull: Grimsby, Lincs (photo: Dean Eades). Iceland Gull: Grimsby, Lincs (photo: Dean Eades).

Caspian Gull: Frankley Reservoirs, W. Mids (photo: Alan Dean).

Around a dozen or more Laughing Gulls were reported during the week. These included one, possibly two, in Co Durham with an adult/2nd-winter at Fence House on 10th and an adult at Whitburn on 14th. Elsewhere, three remained on St. Mary's (Scilly) and others were at Brixham and Exmouth (Devon), Gosport (Hants), Porthcawl (Glamorgan), Pembroke and Glaslyn Marshes (Gwynedd), plus the long-staying bird was still at Waterside (Co. Galway) and the adult was last seen in Berkshire on the 9th. A dozen Iceland Gulls included six on Lewis (Outer Hebrides) and nine Glaucous Gulls were reported. A Kumlien's Gull was at Culmore Dump (Londonderry) and another at Chew Valley Lake (Somerset). Decent numbers of Caspian Gulls were still at large, including birds reaching as far north as South Yorkshire. Of 11 Ring-billed Gulls nine were in Ireland.

The 1st-winter Lesser Yellowlegs again put in an appearance at White's Marsh, Clonakilty (Co. Cork) on 10th and the Long-billed Dowitcher remained on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall). A dozen Spoonbills included four at Wacker Quay (Cornwall) and the colour-ringed White Stork was still in Dorset, as was the bird in East Yorkshire. The White-billed Diver continued its stay at Kirkabister (Shetland) and another was in Mousa Sound (Shetland) on 11th. It's been a poor winter for Rough-legged Buzzards so far and continuing the trend only two were reported, the wintering bird at Harty Marshes (Kent) and one at Massingham Heath (Norfolk).

Hooded Merganser: Chilham, Kent (photo: Dylan Wrathall).
Black Brant: Tetney Marshes, Lincs (photo: Dean Eades). Black Brant: Tetney Marshes, Lincs (photo: Dean Eades).
Ring-necked Duck: Quoile Pondage, Co. Down (photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly). Ring-necked Duck: Lewis, Outer Hebrides (photo: Andy Robinson).

Vagrant Canada geese included both Richardson's Canada Goose and Taverner's Canada Goose at Caerlaverock (Dumfries and Galloway) and a Lesser Canada Goose or Todd's Canada Goose at Formby (Lancs). A white-morph Snow Goose was at Guardbridge (Fife) and a blue morph at Brancaster (Norfolk) on 10th. Ten Black Brants were between Lincolnshire and the south coast and another on The Mullett (Co. Mayo). The Taiga Bean Goose flock at Buckenham Marshes (Norfolk) increased to 139 birds and two were still at Mountnorris (Co. Armagh), whilst a Tundra Bean Goose was at Tetney Marshes (Lincs) and four more at North Warren (Suffolk). The Hooded Merganser of unknown origin remained at Chilham (Kent) to 10th. This bird has generated a lot of discussion as to its 'credentials', but due to its location it is unlikely to be accepted at a national level unless an earlier record is accepted as a 'first' at a national level which will then allow subsequent reports a greater opportunity for acceptance irrespective of location and date. The drake Barrow's Goldeneye was still present at Quoile Pondage (Co. Down) to the 11th and Black Scoter remained offshore at Llanfairfechan (Conwy). A drake King Eider was off Peterhead (Aberdeenshire) on 11th and the drake remained in Mousa Sound (Shetland). Just one Surf Scoter was reported, though a new Lesser Scaup was found at Lochwinnoch (Clyde) and a female or hybrid at Loch Barvas, Lewis (Outer Hebrides); familiar birds remained in Cornwall, East Yorkshire and Ayrshire. A female Ferruginous Duck was at New Hythe GPs (Kent) and the mobile drake remained in Staffordshire as did the more predictable female in Bedfordshire. Nine Ring-necked Ducks were reported along with 10 Green-winged Teals and three drake American Wigeon.

Smew: Colwick CP, Notts (photo: Darren Chapman). Smew: Colwick CP, Notts (photo: Darren Chapman).
Slavonian Grebe: Fairhaven Lake, Lancs (photo: Sean Gray). Slavonian Grebe: Fairhaven Lake, Lancs (photo: David Barker).
Hawfinch: Draycote Water, Warks (photo: Kev Joynes). Hawfinch: Draycote Water, Warks (photo: Kev Joynes).

Slavonian Grebe: Fairhaven Lake, Lancs (photo: Sean Gray).
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/
Andrew Easton: http://home.clara.net/ammodytes/
Graham Eaton: http://www.eatonphotography.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
Josh Jones: http://www.wanderingbirders.com
John Judge: http://www.draycotebirding.co.uk
Paul and Andrea Kelly: http://www.irishbirdimages.com/
Jack Levene: http://www.birdingimages.com
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
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