Review of the Week: 8th–14th January 2004

Baltimore Oriole: Headington, Oxfordshire. (Photo: Bill Baston)

Another Hume's Warbler was found, this time a bird at Fairlop Waters Country Park (London) from Sunday 11th onwards. Elsewhere, the wintering Hume's Warblers were still present at Caernarfon (Gwynedd) and Hook Head (Co. Wexford) and at least 7 Yellow-browed Warblers were reported during the week. Given the number of Yellow-browed Warblers (and Hume's Warblers) located this winter it seems likely that the number of Yellow-browed Warblers actually 'wintering' is presumably well into three figures. Most so far have been found at relatively well-watched sites, how many more must be out there in the wider countryside?

American Robin: Grimsby, Lincs. (Photo: Brian Irvine) American Robin: Grimsby, Lincs. (Photo: Darren Lakin)

Great Grey Shrike: Chittening, Somerset. (Photo: Gary Thoburn) Waxwing: Peterborough, Cambs. (Photo: Paul Mason)

The Baltimore Oriole continues to show well in Headington (Oxfordshire) as do the American Robins at Godrevy Point (Cornwall) and Grimsby (Lincs). There was also an unconfirmed report of an American Robin at Dagenham Chase (London) on Monday 12th. Wintering Dusky Warblers are still present in Taunton (Somerset) and Paignton (Devon), the male Sardinian Warbler remains in Skegness (Lincs), as does the Penduline Tit at Slapton Ley (Devon), Richard's Pipit in Glamorgan and Rose-coloured Starling in Co. Antrim. Small numbers of Great Grey Shrikes are widely scattered, with at least 14 reported during the week, and a notable count of 34 Lapland Buntings was noted at Filey (N. Yorks).

Lesser Scaup: Castle Loch NR, Dumfries and Galloway. (Photo: Brian Orr) Glaucous Gull: Weybourne, Norfolk. (Photo: Kevin P Elsby)

American Coot: Lerwick, Shetland. (Photo: Ian Broadbent) American Wigeon: Whittle Dene Reservoir, Northumberland. (Photo: Alan Gilbertson)

A 1st-winter Bonaparte's Gull was present on the Gann Estuary (Cornwall) on Thursday 8th and seen on three other occasions during the week. Strong winds on the 13th pushed a Cory's Shearwater well into the Severn Estuary with one off Severn Beach (Glos) for several hours, also Balearic Shearwaters were noted passing Cornwall with 10 at Pendeen and 3 at Sennen. 'New' Lesser Scaups included 1st-winter drakes at Macroom (Co. Cork) from Thursday 8th onwards and a 1st-winter drake at Exminster Marshes (Devon) on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th, whilst the drakes remained in Dorset and Dumfries and Galloway. On the whole, rare ducks were still in short supply, with 7 American Wigeons, 16 Green-winged Teals, 4 Ferruginous Ducks, 3 Ring-necked Ducks and 3 Surf Scoters reported during the week, along with 3 King Eiders. There were over half-a-dozen Black Brants noted with Brent Geese flocks and a number of vagrant Canada Geese were reported away from Islay (Argyll). Those with perhaps the best credentials were Richardson's Canada Geese in Dumfries and Galloway and on the Outer Hebrides and the Todd's Canada Goose in Norfolk. Three Cackling Canada Geese were less convincing and birds away from favoured wild goose sites will always struggle to shrug off their 'of presumed captive origin'. A Lesser White-fronted Goose (or hybrid) was also reported in Lincolnshire. The Redhead was still on Barra (Outer Hebrides), whilst the American Coot remains at Lerwick (Shetland). In Co. Wexford the adult Forster's Tern was again seen in Wexford and the Lesser Yellowlegs is still the pick of the rarities on the Hayle Estuary (Cornwall). Around 13 Ring-billed Gulls were noted, with little change in numbers of the two white-wingers or Caspian Gulls.

Tundra Bean Goose: Dumpton Gap, Kent. (Photo: Gadget) Black Brant: Kirton, Suffolk. (Photo: Andrew Easton)

Smew: Inner Marsh Farm, Cheshire. (Photo: Steve Round) Smew: Broome Pits, Norfolk. (Photo: Patrick Frew)
Written by: Russell Slack