Review of the Week: 8th-14th June 2006


The week at a glance:

Scops Owl: Thrupp, Oxon (photo: Ashley Banwell).

Highlight of the week was undoubtedly the discovery of the first twitchable mainland Scops Owl since March 2002 in the somewhat unlikely inland location of Thrupp (Oxon). News was released on the 13th but it had been present and calling for three weeks and was still present at the time of writing. This represents the first record for the county since one was picked up dead in 1858!

Short-toed Eagle: Guernsey (photos: Jamie Hooper).
Possible Cayenne Tern: Cemlyn, Anglesey (photo: Tristan Reid). Franklin's Gull: Vazon Bay, Guernsey (photo: M Lawlor).

A Short-toed Eagle which toured Guernsey on the 9th-10th would have been another crowd-puller had it continued its journey northwards but unfortunately it was not to be. The controversial yellow-billed tern remained at Cemlyn (Anglesey) throughout but doubts about its identity continued to grow, with most observers now believing that it is not a pure Cayenne Tern. The now-expected early-summer Wilson's Storm-petrels began to appear on pelagics from the Isles of Scilly with 3 seen c.10km south of St Mary's on 11th. A Gull-billed Tern was seen flying east at Goring-by-Sea (W. Sussex) on 11th and later northeast over Hastings. Elsewhere seawatchers picked up a Caspian Tern flying west at Sandy Point (Hants) at 13:00 on 10th which was then seen at Taddiford Gap (Hants) heading towards The Needles at 18:45. Guernsey continued its little purple patch with a 1st-summer Franklin's Gull at Vazon Bay on 11th. Just one Laughing Gull was reported this week, but unusually it was an east-coast record of an adult at Hunstanton (Norfolk) on 11th. Similarly the only Ring-billed Gull was the long-staying 1st-summer at Nimmo's Pier (Galway) throughout.

Night Heron: Tacumshin, Wexford (photo: Eric Dempsey).
Purple Heron: Old Moor, S. Yorkshire (photo: John Galletly). White Storks: Smeale, Isle of Man (photo: Chris Wormwell).

The 1st-summer Night Heron remained at Tacumshin (Wexford) throughout and nearby a possible Cattle Egret was seen briefly in flight at the Swords Estuary (Dublin). The long-staying Purple Heron remained at College Reservoir/Argal Reservoir (Cornwall) to at least 13th and another was at Old Moor RSPB (S. Yorks) on 13th. Single Great White Egrets were seen in East and North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Cheshire but several of these reports may refer to just one mobile individual. A Black Stork flew over Marshside RSPB (Lancs) on 8th and 2 White Storks were at Smeale (Isle of Man) on 10th with other singles of unknown origin in Northumberland on 8th, Durham on 9th and Isle of Man again on 14th. At least 15 Spoonbills remained this week with a maximum of 4 at Shell Ness/Swale NNR (Kent) on 12th. The drake American Wigeon was still at Cardiff Bay (Glamorgan) to at least 10th and there was a drake Green-winged Teal at Inner Marsh Farm RSPB on 11th. A drake Ring-necked Duck found at Loch Leven (Perth/Kinross) on 9th was relocated at Vane Farm RSPB from the 11th. Elsewhere in Scotland the drake King Eider was at Irvine (Ayrshire) again to at least 12th and the drake Surf Scoter was still off Musselburgh Lagoons; also to the 12th.

Red-footed Falcon: Marston Vale CP, Beds (photos: Steve Blain).

An obliging 1st-summer male Red-footed Falcon was a good find at Marston Vale Millennium CP (Beds) on 10th and was still present at the time of writing. Other Red-footed Falcons were on Bryher (Scilly) on 8th, Brow Marsh (Shetland) on 10th, Spurn (E. Yorks) on 11th, Collafith (Shetland) on 12th and Fladdabister (Shetland) on 13th. Four wandering Montagu's Harriers were reported between Kent and Cleveland and a white-phase Gyr Falcon initially set pulses racing on Tiree (Argyle) on 10th until it was noted that it was still wearing the remnants of jesses.

Lesser Yellowlegs: Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire (photos: Russell Hayes).
Black-winged Stilts: Martin Mere, Lancs (photos: Dave Winnard, Adrian Dancy).

A Marsh Sandpiper at Coldharbour Lagoon (Kent) on 11th may have been the same bird as the one at Dungeness RSPB on 14th. Unfortunately late news of a rare spring Baird's Sandpiper inland at Aston-on-Trent GPs (Derbyshire) on 7th meant it could not be enjoyed by the masses. Unidentified pratincoles were reported briefly at Warton Marsh (Lancs) on 8th and Caxton Gibbet (Cambs) on 9th. The Lesser Yellowlegs at Freiston Shore RSPB (Lincs) relocated to Gibraltar Point (Lincs) on 9th where it remained throughout. Red-necked Phalaropes were seen at Cemlyn (Anglesey) on 8th and Eyebrook Reservoir (Leicestershire) on 13th-14th. A single Pectoral Sandpiper was at Saltholme Pools (Cleveland) on 11th-14th and 4 Temminck's Stints were reported, all from east-coast locations in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Angus/Dundee. The pair of Black-winged Stilts remained at Martin Mere WWT (Lancs) all week.

Paddyfield Warbler: Skaw, Whalsay (photo: Jon Dunn). Marsh Warbler: Skaw, Unst (photo: Micky Maher).

A Paddyfield Warbler trapped at Skaw on Whalsay (Shetland) on 12th was the pick of the new passerines this week as the Iberian Chiffchaff remained on territory but elusive near Postbridge (Devon) to at least 10th. A Great Reed Warbler at Loch of Kinnordy RSPB (Angus/Dundee) from 11th was only 6 miles from Forfar Loch where another or possibly the same had been present to 15th May. Is it possible that such a potentially noisy species could have gone undetected in the area for almost a month? The only other scarce warblers reported were a Subalpine Warbler at Spurn (E. Yorks) on 8th, three Icterine Warblers between Filey (N. Yorks) and the Northern Isles and 3 Marsh Warblers between Spurn (E. Yorks) and the Northern Isles. Yet another inland Woodchat Shrike was reported from Crown Lakes CP (Cambs) on 7th with up to 10 Red-backed Shrikes scattered between Suffolk and the Shetlands and a female Red-breasted Flycatcher was trapped and ringed at Portland (Dorset) on 12th. A male Rustic Bunting was yet another excellent find on Guernsey at Perelle Bay on 11th with another at Overstrand (Norfolk) on 9th. Short-toed Larks were on Fair Isle (Shetland) on 12th and Noirmont Point (Jersey) on 13th and Grey-headed Wagtails were at Musselburgh Lagoons on 10th and Aberlady Bay (Lothian) on 11th. Dazzling Bee-eaters included 2 at Gulberwick (Shetland) on 12th and singles at Codnor Park (Derbyshire) on 10th, Spurn (E. Yorks) on 11th and Cullivoe, Yell (Shetland) on 13th. Just one Hoopoe was reported belatedly from Winterbourne Steepleton (Dorset) on 7th. The 2 Red-rumped Swallow reports could not have been much further apart on the mainland with singles at Polgigga (Cornwall) on 8th and Mey (Highland) on 11th and a probable Pallid Swift flew south at Spurn (E. Yorks) on 11th during a movement involving 2170 Common Swift. Other typical late spring migrants reported during the week included a Serin at Portland on 12th-13th and a total of 7 Common Rosefinches and 5 Golden Orioles.

Peregrine Falcons: Falls of Clyde, Clyde (photo: Ian Fulton). Great Spotted Woodpecker: Rowlands Gill, Durham (photo: Jerry Davies).
Woodcock: Upper Teesdale, Durham (photo: David Brown). Common Sandpiper: Reaveley, Northumberland (photo: Alan Gilbertson).
Pheasant: Kindrogan, Perth/Kinross (photo: Fraser Simpson). Avocet: Inner Marsh Farm, Cheshire (photo: Mike Atkinson).
Willow Warbler: Astbury Mere, Cheshire (photo: Mike Atkinson). Common Redstart: Dallowgill, N. Yorks (photo: Sean Gray).
Curlew: Baltasound, Unst (photo: Mike Pennington).
Redstart: Wyre Forest, Worcs (photo: John Robinson).
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: 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: Tim Barker