Review of the Week: 9th-15th June 2005

Trumpeter Finch: Dungeness, Kent. (Photo: John Malloy) Trumpeter Finch: Dungeness, Kent. (Photo: Eoin Jennings)
Trumpeter Finch: Dungeness, Kent. (Photo: Nic Hallam) Trumpeter Finch: Dungeness, Kent. (Photo: Martyn Hall)

As expected there were further Trumpeter Finch records, both in Kent. One was seen briefly at North Foreland on Thursday 9th and another was at Dungeness from Saturday 11th-15th. These are the 3rd and 4th British records this summer and, with further records in northwest Europe, it is likely there are still more to come, though observers with vested interests in their county list might wish for Kent to share the load a bit!

Balearic Woodchat Shrike: Uphill, Somerset. (Photo: Bob Hazell) Balearic Woodchat Shrike: Uphill, Somerset. (Photo: Paul Bowden)
Balearic Woodchat Shrike: Uphill, Somerset. (Photo: Rich Andrews) Balearic Woodchat Shrike: Uphill, Somerset. (Photo: James Packer)

A Woodchat Shrike of the subspecies badius (known colloquially as Balearic Woodchat Shrike) proved a tempting proposition for 'insurance' listers at Uphill (Somerset) from Saturday 11th onwards. With so many races nowadays mooted as potential splits of the future, listers often adopt a 'better safe than sorry' approach to such discernible races - just in case! The breeding range of the race is restricted to islands in the western Mediterranean and it winters in West Africa from Ivory Coast to northern Cameroon. It was only admitted to the British list last year on the basis of one at Portland (Dorset) on 10th May 1986. Additional records from Kent and Norfolk in July 1995 took the total of accepted records of this race to three, and it is possible that further delving into the archives will reveal a few more. The key feature for identifying the race are the absence of (or a greatly reduced) white patch at the base of the primaries, a feature present on other races. Other features are slightly less black on the forehead and a slightly heavier bill, though such features are not always so obvious as the wing patch in the field. For good comparison 'normal' Woodchat Shrikes were present at Rimac (Lincs) on 9th and Richmond Park (London) on 12th.

Woodchat Shrike: Rimac, Lincs. (Photo: Dean Eades) Woodchat Shrike: Richmond Park, London. (Photo: Chris Turner)
Rose-coloured Starling: East Prawle, Devon. (Photo: Andrew Cunningham) Rose-coloured Starling: East Prawle, Devon. (Photo: Mike Lockyear)
Red-backed Shrike: East Chevington, Northumberland. (Photo: Alan Gilbertson) Red-backed Shrike: East Chevington, Northumberland. (Photo: Alan Gilbertson)
Crossbill: Willingham Woods, Lincs. (Photo: Dean Eades) Crossbill: Willingham Woods, Lincs. (Photo: Dean Eades)

A Black-headed Wagtail was at West Charleton Marsh (Devon), having first been seen on 31st May, though it has been elusive. A Great Reed Warbler was at Conwy RSPB (Conwy) and the long-staying individual at Willington GPs (Beds) was last reported on Thursday 9th. A Rustic Bunting was on Fair Isle (Shetland) on Monday 13th and a Red-throated Pipit over Bartinney Down (Cornwall) the same day. A Rose-coloured Starling was at Horden (Durham) on 13th and the popular East Prawle (Devon) adult remained to 11th. A Short-toed Lark was on Bryher (Scilly) on 9th and a Serin at Portland (Dorset) also on 9th. There were half-a-dozen each of Red-backed Shrikes and Golden Orioles, a Marsh Warbler in Worcestershire and Common Rosefinches in West Sussex and Kent. Dazzling Bee-eaters included two at Lower Beeding (W. Sussex) on 12th with perhaps the same two over Sandwich Bay (Kent) on 13th. One was at Kelling/Cley (Norfolk) on 14th, another at Tamworth (Staffs) on 15th and one on Guernsey on 10th. An Alpine Swift was over several sites in Suffolk on 14th and another in Edinbugh (Lothian) on 15th, with a report of this species over Oundle (Northants) on 11th. In South Yorkshire the Dartford Warbler continued to reward patient observers at Blacka Moor to the 11th. Although not a scarcity, reasonable numbers of Crossbills were a pointer for how to spend those long late summer days during the lull period before the early autumn migration - if such a lull in the birding calendar still exists nowadays!

Terek Sandpiper: Fetlar, Shetland. (Photo: Ashley Grove) Terek Sandpiper: Fetlar, Shetland. (Photo: Dougie Preston)

Black-winged Stilt: St. Mary's, Scilly. (Photo: Martin Goodey)

Collared Pratincole: National Wetlands Centre, Carmarthen. (Photo: Steve Evans) Collared Pratincole: National Wetlands Centre, Carmarthen. (Photo: Steve Evans)

Several Wilson's Storm-petrels 3 miles southwest of Bishop Rock on Tuesday 14th turned thoughts towards the Scilly pelagic season, and seawatchers logged Balearic Shearwaters in Kent and Lothian and a Sooty Shearwater in Co. Cork. A Gull-billed Tern over Landguard (Suffolk) on 14th continued the run of sightings for this species this year. A Terek Sandpiper was at Funzie, Fetlar (Shetland) from Friday 10th at least 13th, and a Collared Pratincole at the National Wetlands Centre (Carmarthen) from Tuesday 14th was only the 3rd Welsh record and the first to linger; in Norfolk the Collared Pratincole was last seen at Blakeney Freshmarsh on 9th. A Black-winged Stilt on St. Mary's (Scilly) from Friday 10th was the first on the islands since 1990 and a Glossy Ibis at Stubb Mill (Norfolk) on 14th was perhaps the bird from earlier in the year. A Red-necked Phalarope was a good local find at Greenlaw Moor (Borders) from 12th-13th. On the Outer Hebrides an immature male Snowy Owl was on Benbecula and another immature male was on Lewis, whilst the Red-footed Falcon remained at Hickling (Norfolk) with others reported briefly in Dorset and Lancashire, and several flyover Black Kites were noted. In Aberdeenshire the Rough-legged Buzzard remained at Loch of Strathbeg and another was over Unst (Shetland) on 14th.

Crane: Norfolk. (Photo: Anne Wilkinson)

White Stork: Middlezoy, Somerset. (Photo: Andrew Cunningham)

Night Herons were at Brading Marsh (Isle of Wight) and Aldford (Cheshire) on 9th, a Great White Egret flew over Denmead (Hants) on 11th and a Purple Heron was still at Minsmere (Suffolk) on 9th with others at Moreton-in-Marsh (Glos) and Tophill Low (E. Yorks) on 12th. Two White Storks over East Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset and then Somerset may have referred to the same birds, and several singletons of unknown origin were also reported. The Barrow's Goldeneye at Loch of Strathbeg continued to provide a popular diversion for birders on their Scottish holidays, and there were two Surf Scoters and a King Eider in Aberdeenshire for good measure. Another King Eider was in Ayrshire, the Lesser Scaup remained in Shropshire and Ring-necked Ducks were in Somerset and on Scilly. A Green-winged Teal was in South Yorkshire and an American Wigeon in Angus/Dundee. The American Herring Gull was still in Co. Kerry, and scarce gulls included a Ring-billed Gull in Co. Kerry and Caspian Gull in Cambridgeshire.

Surf Scoter: Blackdog, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: Chris Jones)

Lesser Scaup: Monkmoor Pool, Shrops. (Photo: Ian Butler) King Eider: Blackdog, Aberdeenshire. (Photo: Andrew Whitehouse)
Dunlin: Salthouse, Norfolk. (Photo: Will Bowell) Long-eared Owl: Cambs. (Photo: Tony Mills)
Kittiwake: Bempton, E. Yorks. (Photo: John Dickenson) Arctic Tern: Farnes, Northumberland. (Photo: Sean Grey)
Grasshopper Warbler: Leighton Moss, Lancs. (Photo: Sue Tranter) Spotted Flycatcher: Llangollen, Clwyd. (Photo: Steve Round)
Dartford Warbler: Blacka Moor, S. Yorks. (Photo: Darren Ward) Reed Warbler: Dumbarton, Clyde. (Photo: John Anderson)
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://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/
Lee Dingain: http://www.leedingain.co.uk
Jon Dunn: http://www.surfbirds.com/blogs/Stercorarius/
Andrew Easton: http://home.clara.net/ammodytes/
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
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
Chris Wormwell: http://www.iombirding.co.uk
Dylan Wrathall: http://www.planetthanet.org
Written by: Russell Slack