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


The week at a glance:

Little Crake: Slimbridge, Glos (photo: Richard M).

An excellent week with something for everyone: an east-coast fall, seawatching and still good numbers of Nearctic waders. The highlight however, which doesn't really fall into any of the above categories, was the juvenile Little Crake found at WWT Slimbridge (Gloucestershire) on Wednesday 14th and which showed well on and off all day from lunchtime onwards. A Yellow Warbler also showed well at Quendale, Shetland on 15th and was still present on 16th. A brief Little Swift at South Gare (Cleveland) on 13th would have been very popular had it stayed around, as would the Yelkouan Shearwater that flew north past Hartlepool (Cleveland) on Friday 9th.

Baird's Sandpiper: Chasewater, Staffs (photo: Neil Stych). Baird's Sandpiper: Boulmer, Northumbs (photo: Alan Gilbertson).
Buff-breasted Sandpiper: Colliford, Cornwall (photo: Rob Laughton). Buff-breasted Sandpiper: Cemlyn, Anglesey (photo: Marc Hughes).
Pectoral Sandpiper: Walmsley Sanctuary, Cornwall (photo: Derek Julian). Red-necked Phalarope: Old Hall, Essex (photo: Sean Nixon).

Nearctic waders still featured heavily this week with 9 species reported including 5 American Golden Plover, all in the north and west, 3 Lesser Yellowlegs in Ireland, a Wilson's Phalarope at Union Hall (Co Cork) on 9th-10th, a Long-billed Dowitcher at Shannon (Co Clare) on 14th and Semipalmated Sandpipers at Ballycotton on 8th-10th and Shannon (Clare) on 14th. There were at least 36 Pectoral Sandpipers reported, along with 30 Buff-breasted Sandpipers, 5 Baird's Sandpipers but just a single White-rumped Sandpiper, on North Ronaldsay (Orkney) on 12-14th. Other waders of note were the Kentish Plover still at Coalhouse Fort (Essex) to 11th, a Marsh Sandpiper reported briefly at Leighton Moss RSPB (Lancs) on 11th-12th, a Great Snipe at Blakeney Point (Norfolk) on 10th-11th, a Red-necked Phalarope at Old Hall Marshes RSPB (Essex) on 14th and 11 Grey Phalaropes including 8 past Labost, Lewis (Outer Hebrides) on 14th.

The colour-ringed Great White Egret remained at Blashford Lakes HWT (Hants) all week as did the Cattle Egret at Brampton (Cambridgeshire), while 2 known escapes continued to tour the Norfolk coast.

A Blue-winged Teal was at Smerwick Harbour (Co. Kerry) on 11th-13th, Ring-necked Ducks remained at Avonmouth (Somerset) and Tresco (Scilly) and the drake King Eider was still at Wester Quarff (Shetland), while of slightly more suspect origins were Ferruginous Ducks at Vane Farm RSPB (Perth/Kinross) on 8th and Chew Valley Lake on 10th-12th. 19 Honey Buzzards were reported during the week along with a single Black Kite at Southwood (Hants) on 10th, Montagu's Harrier at Wilsic (South Yorks) on 10th and a Red-footed Falcon at Capel Fleet (Kent) on 13th. There were 11 Spotted Crakes reported, including 2 at Marazion RSPB (Cornwall) on 8th.

White-winged Black Tern: Crosby, Lancs (photo: Steve Round). White-winged Black Tern: Crosby, Lancs (photo: David Gradwell).
White-winged Black Tern: Lamington, Clyde (photo: John Anderson). White-winged Black Tern: Lamington, Clyde (photo: John Anderson).

Seawatching produced a total of 90 Great Shearwaters and 16 Cory's Shearwaters including several east-coast records of each. Totals of 105 Leach's Petrel and 70 Storm Petrel were reported, with a maximum of 73 of the former past Labost, Lewis (Outer Hebrides) on 14th. At least 60 Long-tailed Skuas were recorded, including what was possibly the same juvenile bird on the River Thames off Cliffe Pools RSPB (Kent) on 11th and Reculver (Kent) on 12th. The total of 30 Sabine's Gulls included an almost-twitchable juvenile ranging along the River Thames between East Tilbury and Tilbury Power Station in Essex from 9th-11th. A 1st-winter Laughing Gull off Filey on 9th was a good east-coast find. There were 12 Ring-billed Gulls, including 2 old friends at Westcliff-on-Sea (Essex) and Isle of Dogs (Greater London). At least 9 but probably 10 juvenile White-winged Black Terns were seen during the week, including 3 together at Rutland Water (Leicester and Rutland) from 8th-12th and one north of the border on the River Clyde near Lamington (Clyde) on 14th.

Greenish Warbler: Spurn, E. Yorks (photo: Steve Morgan).Booted Warbler: Scarborough, N. Yorks (photo: Dave Mansell).

Good autumn fall conditions over the weekend produced excellent numbers of migrant warblers along the east coast, with some species reaching as far as southern Ireland. Up to 32 Greenish Warblers were seen during the week, with at least 20 present on 11th alone including 3 at Flamborough Head (East Yorks). There were 4 Western Bonelli's Warblers between the Shetlands and the Scillies, a Booted Warbler at Scarborough (North Yorks) on 10th, 2 Arctic Warblers on the Scillies on 8th, 2 Subalpine Warblers on the Farnes (Nothumberland) and at Catterline (Aberdeenshire) on 10th, 4 Melodious Warblers, 14 Icterine Warblers and a single Aquatic Warbler on St. Martin's (Scillies) on 12th. A Yellow-browed Warbler was a good inland find at Draycote Water (Warwickshire) with only about 11 others reported along the coast. Not surprisingly, Barred Warblers also fared well with at least 50 reported during the week.

Citrine Wagtail: Alnmouth, Northumbs (photo: Alan Gilbertson).

There were 2, possibly 3, Citrine Wagtails reported, including one at Alnmouth (Northumberland) from 10th-12th, and a Richard's Pipit was at Easington (East Yorks) on 12/9. There was a Tawny Pipit at Bockhill Farm NT (Kent) on 10th, one or possibly 2 Red-throated Pipits in the Kilnsea/Easington (East Yorks) area on 10th-11th and single Grey-headed Wagtails at Flamborough (East Yorks) 11th and Felixtowe Ferry (Suffolk) on 14th.

Red-backed Shrike: Staines Moor, Surrey (photo: Chris Turner).Red-backed Shrike: Newbiggin, Northumbs (photo: Bryan Rains).

The Bee-eater remained at Helendale (Shetland) for yet another week but a skulking Thrush Nightingale at Brae on the same islands was only seen on 8th. An early Great Grey Shrike was reported at Aberlady Bay (Lothian) on 8th, a juvenile Woodchat Shrike was on St Martin's (Scillies) on 12th-13th and an influx of Red-backed Shrikes brought at least 24 reports, including inland birds at Staines Moor (Surrey) and Rainham Marshes RSPB (Greater London).

Wryneck: Horwich, Gtr Manchester (photo: Sue Tranter). Wryneck: Horwich, Gtr Manchester (photo: Tom Gradwell).
Wryneck: Spurn, E. Yorks (photo: RJP). Wryneck: Slapton Ley, Devon (photo: Dave Stone).
Rose-coloured Starling: Low Newton, Northumbs (photo: Alan Gilbertson). Little Bunting: Fetlar, Shetland (photo: Dougie Preston).

Another species which appeared in good numbers during the week was Wryneck, with in excess of 100 birds reported including 12 at Spurn (East Yorks) on 11th and an unusually high number of inland reports; singles were in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Hertfordshire and Derbyshire with two each from Suffolk and Staffordshire. Of the 8 Rose-coloured Starlings recorded, only one was an adult, at Kirkwall (Orkney) on 14th. Four Little Buntings were seen, including one trapped and ringed at Druridge Pools (Northumberland) on 11th. At least 15 Red-breasted Flycatchers were reported from typical locations.

Merlin: Minsmere, Suffolk (photo: Mike Parker). Parrot Crossbill: undisclosed site, Aberdeenshire (photo: Lindsay Cargill).
Curlew Sandpiper: Peterhead, Aberdeenshire (photo: Chris Jones). Common Sandpiper: Greenbooth Reservoir, Gtr Manchester (photo: Dave Winnard).
Ruff: Musselburgh, Lothian (photo: John Anderson). Little Stint: Salthouse, Norfolk (photo: Peter Simpson).
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
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/
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
Deryk Shaw/FIBO: http://www.fairislebirdobs.co.uk
Tom Shevlin: http://wildlifesnaps.com/
Matt Slaymaker: http://www.freewebs.com/slaymaker
Oliver Smart: http://www.smartimages.co.uk
George Spraggs: http://www.bird-watching.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