16/12/2004
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Review of the Week: 9th-15th December 2004

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Sora: Attenborough NR, Notts. (Photo: Steve Tomlinson)

Sora: Attenborough NR, Notts. (Photo: Roy Harvey) Sora: Attenborough NR, Notts. (Photo: Roy Harvey)

An adult Sora was a surprise find at Attenborough NR (Nottinghamshire) on Sunday 12th. Still present at the time of writing, this bird may repeat the performance of the last British visitor, when one at Stover CP (Devon) remained from January to April 2000 and in the same year an adult was at Tacumshin (Wexford) for several days in early August. With just 12 previous British records and three Irish records, this smart Nearctic crake is an extreme rarity in Europe. At times obliging, this individual has not surprisingly proved to be a popular draw given the ease of access to the location. Previously, well-watched birds have included: St Agnes (Scilly), from 26th September to 9th October 1973; in West Sussex at Paglesham Lagoon from 24th October to 26th December 1985; St Mary's (Scilly) from 15th October to 1st November 1991, though probably since 4th; and the previously-mentioned Devon bird in 2000.

Arctic Redpoll: Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk. (Photo: Major Wildlife) Arctic Redpoll: Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk. (Photo: Major Wildlife)

Desert Lesser Whitethroat: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: Pete Morrison)

Desert Lesser Whitethroat: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: Pete Morrison) Desert Lesser Whitethroat: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: Pete Morrison)

In Suffolk another Dusky Warbler was located, this time an unringed individual at Bawdsey on Wednesday 15th, whilst the Kessingland (Suffolk) bird was last reported on the 13th. A Northern Long-tailed Tit was in Abderdeen on Thursday 9th and the Desert Lesser Whitethroat was still present in Aberdeen throughout the week. A Yellow-browed Warbler was at Ernsettle (Devon) recently, but the popular Barred Warbler was last reported at Covenham Reservoir (Lincs) on 10th. Richard's Pipits were at Staines Moor (Surrey) on Saturday 11th and Kinmel Bay (Clwyd) on Sunday 12th, whilst two were still present at Mereclough (Lancs) through the week and in Cornwall the Blyth's Pipit remained at Land's End and a possible Red-throated Pipit was reported from St. Agnes Head on Tuesday 14th. The exilipes-race Arctic Redpoll was present at Titchwell RSPB (Norfolk) during the week, as was the Bluethroat at Loch of Strathbeg (Aberdeenshire), the latter attracting a rather excessive amount of media coverage for some reason! Around 11 Great Grey Shrikes were noted, a few more Northern Bullfinches were identified at inland locations and Waxwings continued to frequent a large number of cities and towns.

Great Grey Shrike: Belvide Reservoir, Staffs. (Photo: Steve Nuttall) Waxwing: Ruthin, Clwyd. (Photo: Steve Round)

Forster's Tern: Skerries, Dublin. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly) Forster's Tern: Skerries, Dublin. (Photo: Paul and Andrea Kelly)

Ivory Gull: Kyle of Tongue, Highland. (Photo: Nigel Blake) Ivory Gull: Kyle of Tongue, Highland. (Photo: Nigel Blake)

Caspian Gull: Meadowhall, S. Yorks. (Photo: Martin Garner) Caspian Gull: Meadowhall, S. Yorks. (Photo: Pete Wragg)

A Forster's Tern was at Skerries (Co. Dublin) from Thursday 9th onwards and a 1st-winter American Herring Gull at Cobh (Co. Cork) on Sunday 12th. There were 15 each of Caspian Gulls, Iceland Gulls and Glaucous Gulls, plus an adult Kumlien's Gull was at Calne (Wilts) on 11th and Chew Valley Lake (Somerset) on 12th and 8 Ring-billed Gulls were reported. In Highland the 1st-winter Ivory Gull was again at Kyle of Tongue. Gyr Falcon reports included a white-phase bird on Islay (Argyll) on Thursday 9th and Bennachie (Aberdeenshire) on Sunday 12th. The Lesser Yellowlegs remains at Stiffkey (Norfolk) and a Grey Phalarope was off Filey Brigg (Yorks) on Sunday 11th.

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King Eider: Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk. (Photo: John Lambourne) King Eider: Titchwell RSPB, Norfolk. (Photo: John Lambourne)

Ring-necked Duck: Long Eaton GPs, Derbys. (Photo: Simon Wilson) Lesser Canada Goose: Loch of Spiggie, Shetland. (Photo: Roger Riddington)

New 1st-winter drake Lesser Scaups were at Abberton Reservoir (Essex) and Loch Leven (Perth and Kinross) from Saturday 11th onwards, whilst the long-staying 1st-winter drake is still at Scotney GPs (E. Sussex) and the female at Dozmary Pool (Cornwall). A 1st-winter drake King Eider off Titchwell RSPB (Norfolk) from Saturday 11th onwards was a good local find and an immature drake was in Cruden Bay (Aberdeenshire) on Monday 13th. Drake Ferruginous Ducks were at Craigavon (Co. Armagh) and Coole Lough (Co. Galway) and a female was at Bawdsey (Suffolk) plus the regular female remains at Elstow GPs (Beds). Drake and female Black Ducks were on Scilly on Tresco and St. Mary's, respectively. Other wildfowl included 9 Ring-necked Ducks, 5 Surf Scoters, 5 American Wigeons and 7 Green-winged Teal. Long-stayers include the Redhead in Glamorgan, American Coot in Shetland, the Great White Egret is still in Hampshire, the Cattle Egret in Wiltshire was last reported on 13th and the Glossy Ibis in Norfolk on 12th. Good numbers of Tundra Bean Geese are still at large with around 230 noted during the week including a flock of 60 at Fodder Fen (Cambs) and 55 at Shingle Street (Suffolk). A neck-collared bird in Berkshire had been ringed in The Netherlands and the same group of birds is now in Staffordshire.

Rough-legged Buzzard: Whitley Bay, Northumbs. (Photo: Tom Tams) Rough-legged Buzzard: Whitley Bay, Northumbs. (Photo: Tom Tams)

Rough-legged Buzzard: Whitley Bay, Northumbs. (Photo: John Malloy) Rough-legged Buzzard: Whitley Bay, Northumbs. (Photo: Alan Gilbertson)

Bittern: Ladywalk, Warks. (Photo: Brian McGeough) Bittern: Ladywalk, Warks. (Photo: Brian McGeough)

Great Northern Diver: Cheddar Reservoir, Somerset. (Photo: Simon Mackie) Great Northern Diver: Cheddar Reservoir, Somerset. (Photo: Simon Mackie)
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
Steve Blain: http://www.steveblain.co.uk
Nigel Blake: http://www.nigelblake.co.uk
Will Bowell: http://www.geocities.com/wbowell/
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
Mark Caunt: http://angusbirding.homestead.com/
Kit Day: http://www.kitday-uk.com/
Lee Dingain: http://www.leedingain.co.uk
Jon Dunn: http://www.surfbirds.com/blogs/Stercorarius/
Sean Gray: http://www.grayimages.co.uk
Peter Hadfield: http://www.manxbirdphotography.co.uk
Josh Jones: http://www.geocities.com/blgp_birder
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
Jerry O'Brien: http://www.BirdsofBerkshire.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
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
Chris Wormwell: http://www.iombirding.co.uk
Dylan Wrathall: http://www.planetthanet.org
Written by: Russell Slack