February 26, 2024

Review of the week: November 20-26, 2023

In the past few days, the icy tentacles of winter appeared for the first time. This left much of Britain and Ireland with a light coating of ice, as overnight temperatures reached -5°C in parts of southern England – a trend that appears likely to continue for the next few weeks at least. .

For many, a steady week in November was once again punctuated by the trill of energy Waxwing flocks. This week, 590 reports were produced from approximately 240 locations, with triple-digit flocks gracing at least 13 locations. Recent reports from southern England mean that, as of the 26th, only six English counties were still awaiting the first birds from the current influx – Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Worcestershire, Surrey and West Sussex (although the last of these marked the first birds today ). [27 November]). However, Waxwings have yet to arrive en masse in Ireland and Wales. Anywhere with a cluster of berry bushes – perhaps a local supermarket parking lot or a housing estate – is probably worth a look.


Waxwing, Glasgow, Clyde (Steven Mcgrath).

Mealy Redpol is another species that appears poised for a productive winter on these islands. Leicestershire and Rutland in particular have enjoyed a number of sightings this week, with at least six in a large flock of Lesser Redpoll at Normanton le Heath, as well as five trapped and banded at additional sites and a further four at Rutland Water. The Ringers enjoyed most of the birds, with no fewer than 13 captured in mist nets – including four during a single session at Budby Common, Nottinghamshire, on the 22nd. It is likely that many more remain undiscovered in redpoll herds across the world. country, and no doubt as winter progresses the number of reports will increase.


Mealy Redpoll, Luffenham Aerodrome, Leicestershire and Rutland (Tim Collins).

The most revealing news of the week concerned the late announcement of a American kestrel in Irish waters, approximately 280 km southwest of the coast of Co Cork, on 1 October. He joined the MV Aurora cruised on his return trip from a month-long east coast trip in St John’s, Canada, on September 28 and was observed hunting passerines during his four-day stay. This species has a controversial history of vagrancy on the European continent, with its abundance in captivity and frequent escapes clouding the picture. There are currently eight accepted records from the Western Palearctic: four in the Azores, two in Great Britain and singles in Denmark and Malta.

Another transatlantic visitor, Scilly’s Cape May Warblercontinued to attract admirers to Bryher throughout the week.


Cape May Warbler, Bryher, Isles of Scilly (Mark Dowie).

A man Eastern Yellow Wagtail at Carlton Marshes, Suffolk, on the 26th, it was probably a returning bird, having spent about six months there last winter. On the same day, there was a probable record at nearby Benacre Broad. In another place, Savings were in Derbyshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, six Great gray shrikes were seen and a torticollis was still in Skokholm, Pembrokeshire. On the Isles of Scilly, St Mary’s welcomed a surprise singer European Serin on the 25th. The first winter male Red Bunting at Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire, continues to improve every week. Shore Larks in six locations included one still in Mull, Argyll. The juvenile Pale Fast left Winterton-on-Sea, Norfolk, after 21st. Further north, two Black-bellied Dippers were on mainland Shetland and a Northern Creeper was arrested and surrounded in Finstown, Mainland Orkney.


Red Bunting, Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire (Andy Hood).


Pale Swift, Winterton-on-Sea, Norfolk (Jonathan Farooqi).

A Dark Warbler at Dungeness RSPB, Kent, on the 23rd was not relocated, but the Hume’s Leaf Warbler remained at Fetlar, Shetland, and a Barred Warbler at The Cunnigar, Co Waterford, was new on the 26th. Pallas’s warblers they were at Sandwich Bay, Kent, and Dawlish Warren, Devon.


Hume’s Leaf Warbler, Tresta, Fetlar, Shetland (Paul Macklam).

At least three Pale Harriers have been reported this week, including only the fifth for Wales over Skokholm, Pembrokeshire, on the 23rd, with probably the same bird later at Marloes Mere. Two were in Norfolk – a ringtail north past Waxham and the regular bird at Warham Greens – with one possible in Dorset. O Northern Harrier was still in Co Wexford.


Pale Harrier, Skokholm, Pembrokeshire (Richard Brown/Skokholm Director).

This year could see Cory’s Shearwater registered in December? This week one flew north past Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire, on the 26th. Big Shearwaters remained off Cornwall and Scilly, with other maritime observation records, including two Leach’s Storm Petrels and seven Gray Phalaropes. A youngster Sabine Gull remained at Dungeness, Kent, on the 20th and a solitary White-billed diver flew north along the Aberdeenshire coast. Two Bonaparte’s Gulls have been in Ireland: the first winter was at Aughris Head, Co Sligo, and an adult at Drains Bay, Co Antrim.

The discovery of no less than four Lesser Scaup at Slapton Ley, Devon, of the 25th perhaps explains where part of Cornwall’s recent record herd disappeared, with another still at Northam Burrows. There was no sign of the young people head-to-head in Co Antrim after 22nd, but East Yorkshire Blue-winged teal and Essex Back screen both remained. Other counts numbered six American wigeonSeven Surfereight Green-winged teal and 18 Ring-necked duck. Norfolk boasted two Ferruginous Duck together in the Broads, with the woman in Cambridgeshire moving to Berry Fen for the weekend.

Canvasback, Abberton Reservoir, Essex (Shaun Ferguson).


Green-winged teal, Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire (Roger Hardie).

A noteworthy snow goose The record saw an adult white morph roaming St Kilda, Outer Hebrides, on the 22nd, while two more were still in Co Wexford. At least two Richardson’s Cackling Geese continued on Islay, Argyll, and a Todd’s Canada Goose he was in Lancashire again. Phoenix Park, Co Dublin, hosted a Grey-bellied Brant on the 23rd and Brant Black were in three locations. A juvenile Red-breasted goose at Montsale, Essex, on the 23rd, perhaps the Norfolk bird is on the move, with the adult Argyll also still present.


Todd’s Canada Goose, Hundred End, Lancashire (Pete Kinsella).

Several Nearctic shorebirds remained in the penultimate week of November: Long-beaked dowitcher, Lesser Yellowlegs It is American Golden Plover all numbered three each, with a White Sandpiper in Gloucestershire still attracting attention. The comeback Kentish Plover was in Somerset again.


Long-billed Dowitcher (left), Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex (Ian Chivers).


American Golden Plover, Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset (John Wall).

Western Palearctic

An excellent discovery in Spain concerned the first Swainson’s Thrush in an urban park in A Coruña from the 23rd. Elsewhere, a Brown Booby passed by Cape Matxitxako and the long stay American Black Duck continuous. A Sudan Golden Sparrow, Semipalmated Plover It is Blue-winged teal were in the Canary Islands.

A stunning adult drake Surfer in Lake Geneva, Switzerland, has become an unexpected national novelty. France scored an adult Cream colored courser in Hyères, the second Rüppell’s Vulture finished Rose, and a Lesser Scaup was back in Kannsee, Germany, for a second winter. Some Martins Eurasian Cliff were in Holland and the two Ross Geese remained in Belgium.

Surf Scoter, Cologny, Geneva (Florian).

A Dark-eyed Junco in Reykjavík, Iceland, the garden is believed to be a bird fed aboard a ship from America that arrived in the city the previous week. Rare news from Sweden included a Stejneger Scoter, Pacific diver, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Black-throated Thrush It is Redstart Negro Orientalas Northern Harrier still in Denmark.

News from the Azores included a Blue Heron, Wood duck It is Spot-billed Grebe in São Miguel, Green Heron in Faial, and Spot-billed Grebe on Third. São Vicente, Cape Verde, held a Hudsonian Whimbrel it is a Red-fronted Serin was in Cyprus. A European fuck in Tripoli, on the 21st and 22nd, it became the first Lebanese record.

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