The UK birding year 2005 (Archive)

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | UK Bird News | Bird News for United Kingdom 2006  | Bird News England (Archive) |  The UK birding year 2005 (Archive)

2005 highlights

10/11/05 Following last winters fantastic arrival of Waxwings it looks like we are in for some more! Over the last 10 days Waxwings have been seen in Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles and slowly they are filtering onto the mainland. Listen out for their distinctive 'trill' call.
There has been an amazing arrival of Laughing Gulls and Franklin's Gulls into south-west Britain and south Wales. These species usually live in North America and occasionally reach our shores. The arrival of these coincides with the deep depressions that crossed the Atlantic following Hurricane Wilma. We've also seen a good number of Chimney Swifts in Ireland and a few elsewhere.Redwings and Fieldfares continue to arrive, although many BTO BirdTrack recorders have noted that Fieldfares are in short supply so far.

28/10/05 Redwings, Fieldfares and Bramblings feature amongst many lists submitted to the BTO over the last week. In addition, good numbers of Goldcrests, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes continue to be seen.
Peak counts of Fieldfare include 1100 in Merseyside (26th), 120 in Rhondda Cynon Taff (27th) and 112 in Cheshire (26th). The highest Redwing number came from Cumbria (1000!) and Rhondda Cynon Taff (620) on the 27th and Wiltshire (500) on the 26th.

Other interesting sightings include an Common Tern in Hampshire, 100 Long-tailed Duck at a site in Highland and two Wheatears in South Gloucestershire on the 26th. On the 26th there was an Arctic Tern in Kent, a Black-throated Diver in Shropshire, a Lesser Whitethroat in Essex, a Smew in East Riding of Yorkshire and Ring Ouzels in Devon, Isle of Wight and Stoke-on-Trent.

24/10/05 A small number of Waxwings were seen over the weekend in Shetland and there was one record from the Western Isles too.Winter thrushes continue to feature in the lists of many BirdTrack recorders. A good count of 160 Fieldfare came from Stirling on the 23rd. Departing Ring Ouzels were seen in many areas over the weekend, including an impressive 11 at a site in Gloucestershire. Other records came from Kent, West Yorkshire, Bournemouth, Dorset, Essex, Devon, Durham, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Suffolk and Worcestershire.
There has been a movement of Little Auks off the east coast on Sunday and Monday, with birds heading north - probably re-orientating after being blown south in the windy conditions on Saturday?

Swallows and House Martins continue to be reported with a count of 90 Swallows in Kent and 34 on the Isle of Wight on Saturday 22nd. Hobby were seen in Suffolk and the Isle of Wight.

19/10/05 It was a superb weekend for the arrival of Redwings; large numbers were recorded across Britain. In addition to Redwings, good numbers of Song Thrush and Blackbirds arrived. A feature of the east coast was the good number of Goldcrests around. Incredibly a Goldcrest ringed in Lithuania was caught at Gibraltar Point Bird Observatory near Skegness.
On Saturday 15th October the peak counts of Fieldfare were 70 in Lincolnshire and 50 in Shropshire whilst the peak Redwing counts at sites included 3000 in Derbyshire, 2000 in East Riding of Yorkshire, 866 in West Yorkshire, 430 in Hertfordshire, 350 in Norfolk and 300 in Cambridgeshire. Top counts of Goldcrest included 100 at a site in Lincolnshire, 60 In Suffolk and 40 in Norfolk. Elsewhere 100 House Martin were recorded on the Isle of Wight and good numbers of Chiffchaffs still being reported.
Sunday 16th produced a count of 3000 Redwing in Newport, 500 in Staffordshire and 400 in North Yorkshire. An late Garden Warbler was on the Isle of Man, an Osprey in Swindon, 20 Swallows in Dorset and 18 on the Isle of Wight and 40 House Martins in Dorset.
Tuesday saw a late Tree Pipit recorded in Merseyside. Winter thrushes continue to arrive, along with smaller numbers of Brambling.

14/10/05 .Finches have been moving in good numbers of the last few days, particularly Goldfinch, Siskin and Redpoll.
Dungesness Bird Observatory 13th October 2005 :-
"Despite early morning rain and overcast skies all day only small numbers of migrants were grounded and a few passed through overhead. The best of the grounded migrants were five Wheatears, nine Blackcaps, 17 Chiffchaffs, 27 Goldcrests and six Firecrests whilst visible migrants included 40 House Martins, 22 Tree Sparrows, 95 Chaffinch, two Bramblings, 370 Goldfinches, 290 Siskins, 20 Redpolls and 40 Reed Buntings"
Of particular interest, is the large number of 'continental' Coal Tits they have recorded, with up to 100 on 7th October and 60 on 8th. These are of the race ater and tend to show steely blue-grey mantles.

12/10/05 Over the last week there has been an exceptional arrival of Yellow-browed Warblers on the east coast, with smaller numbers found on the south and west coast too. Cape Clear in Ireland recorded 12 on 8 October and a staggering 33 Firecrest on the 5 October!
Many people have also recorded Jays on the move. At this time of year, Jays make local movements looking for acorns and can often be seen in small flocks. Sometimes larger numbers are seen and it throw up the question of whether these are migrants or not. A sighting from Burton Bradstock in Dorset on October 11, made by birdwatchers carrying out visible migration counts reported the following:
"The highlight of the overhead movement however was not the single Golden Plover or the Grey Heron, but the extraordinary sight of flocks of Jays flying in off the sea, the flock was very high - over 50 counted!".
05/10/05 With the persistent westerly airflow over the last week, the BTO received many seawatching records of interest. Some highlights submitted included 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Pomarine Skuas and 1,080 Gannet in Cornwall (1 October), 79 Leach’s Storm-petrels and a Great Northern Diver on the Western Isles (1 October), a Long-tailed and a Pomarine Skua in Kent (2 October), and Grey Phalaropes in Ceredigion and Isle of Man (both on 1 October) and Merseyside (3 October).
A flock of 5,000 Pink-footed Geese in East Lothian (and 4,000 in Norfolk) Other goose arrivals included 600 Pale-bellied Brent Geese in Dublin (2 October) with only 20 Dark-bellied Brent Geese in Lincolnshire (2 October)

30/09/05 It's been an exciting few days with birds turning up from all directions. From the west, nearctic vagrants have been found in the south-west and northern isles, such as Blackpoll Warbler on the Isles of Scilly and Veery on Shetland. From the east, Yellow-browed Warblers, Barred Warblers and Common Rosefinches have arrived. There has also been good passage from Iceland, with a good arrival of Pink-footed Geese and Meadow Pipits.

Summer migrants continue to be seen, mostly in the southern half of Britain and Ireland. A Wheatear in Moray on the 27th was still far north.
Highlights from Tuesday (27th) include Fieldfares in Lincs (1) and Northants (12), 200 Swallows in Kent, Jack Snipe in Lincs and Hobby in Herts and Bucks.
On Wednesday (28th) 70 Dark-bellied Brent Geese were in Lincs, Swifts in Norfolk and Kent, a count of 2026 Meadow Pipits during a visible migration count in West Yorkshire. The largest House Martin counts came from Durham (100), Hampshire (170) and Surry (250). Golden Plover numbers are also building up with 550 in Essex, 1000 in Lincs and 1200 in Norfolk.

Thursday (29th) saw a Grey Phalarope in Cardiff, Honny in Hants and West Berkshire and peak House Martin counts of 60 in West Berkshire, 130 in Surrey and Herts.
26/09/05 Siskins have been arriving over the last 10 days and are starting to build up in small flocks. Reports have been coming in of Siskins visiting gardens, which is quite early. In a garden in Brandon, Suffolk on Sunday, an amazing total of 59 Siskins were caught in an hour and a half! Some of these were local birds as they had been ringed nearby on a previous occasion. Small numbers of Redpoll have also been reported, again quite early for this species to be arriving.

On the coast, a few Snow Bunting and Lapland Bunting have been recorded. Look out for them, particularly along the east coast.
Swallows are still here and we've just heard that fledglings from a third brood have been ringed. In most years, Swallows are still present in small numbers throughout October and into early November.
This is a fascinating time of year with an easterly airflow bring migrants like Yellow-browed Warblers from the far east and depressions coming across the Atlantic bringing American species.

22/09/05 Pink-footed Geese continue to arrive in the country from their breeding grounds such as Iceland.
Warblers, such as Blackcap and Chiffchaff are still reasonably common, but others like Willow Warbler have largely departed. Few Swifts have been reported in recent days - please continue to record all those you see. Swallows are still present in reasonable numbers at some roost sites.

16/09/05 Northerly winds on Friday produced some excellent seawatching off the north-east coast with large numbers of Sooty Shearwaters recorded, plus the odd Leach's Petrel, Long-tailed Skua and Sabine's Gull. Winds for Saturday are easing off but may still produce some interesting seabirds.
Wigeon are starting to arrive and are often a feature of sea-watches at this time of year. Records of Wigeon over the last few days include 85 Essex (14th), 200 Lincolnshire (15th) and 66 Dublin (16th). Pink-footed Geese continue to arrive with 310 Highland, 100 Merseyside and 15 Angus (15th) and 53 Fife and 200 Moray (16th).

Numbers of migrant warblers, except Chiffchaff and Blackcap, have really dropped off over the last week with just small numbers of Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat recorded. There have been a few sightings of Hobby too; West Sussex (16th), four Hertfordshire, one Powys (15th).

12/09/05 It's an exciting few days with a north-easterly airflow bringing a good selection of migrants to the east coast including good numbers of Whinchats, Redstarts, Wheatears and Pied Flycatchers. More unusually, there has been a good scattering of Wrynecks (including 15+ at Spurn on Sunday!), Greenish Warblers, a few Red-breasted Flycatchers and Red-backed Shrikes.

Visible migration has been good in the west with 985 Meadow Pipits and 531 Swallow counted at a watchpoint in Lancashire on Sunday. There was a steady stream of Swallows moving along the east coast on Sunday.

Other highlights include two Dotterel in Kent (10th) and Cornwall (11th), 600 House Martins in Cambs (11th), 500 Swallows in Angus (11th), 29 Wheatear in Cornwall (11th), 2000 Swallows in Cumbria (10th) with 160 in North Yorks and 140 in Hampshire on the same day.

The first Fieldfare of the autumn were seen at Great Yarmouth Cemetery on Sunday and Pink-footed Geese were recorded at several sites over the weekend.

06/09/05 There were reports of Redstarts from many sites, and the odd Wryneck in the north. A few Wheatears were also reported, with a peak count of just 12 from East Sussex, though this site did also have the surprise combination of Saker Falcon and Red-tailed Hawk! Other more genuine raptor sightings included 13 Buzzards in Warwickshire and 6 Hobby in Kent.
Other summer migrants are still around in good numbers, with counts received of 700 Common Tern in Merseyside and 35 Swift in the West Midlands.
Passage of waders continued unabated, with peak concentrations reported of 1,000 Black-tailed Godwit in Kent (and 320 in Lancashire), 45 Greenshank in Lincolnshire and up to 8 Green Sandpipers at sites in East Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Warwickshire.
02/09/05 Small numbers of Swifts continue to be reported; in most years they are seen in one and twos throughout September and well into October.
It's been a good week for Whinchats, with good numbers recorded along the east coast mid-week. With the weather forecast for the weekend suggesting south-easterlies, turning east by Sunday, there ought to be a new arrival of migrants. Despite northerly winds in the north, new birds have continued to arrive.

31/08/05 The last few days has seen a good passage of Curlew Sandpipers down the east coast and an arrival of Buff-breasted Sandpipers to Norfolk, Scotland and the Isles of Scilly. There have also been a few Barred Warblers at eastern and northern localities. More unusually, there was a Sabine's Gull at a reservoir in Oxfordshire!

Black Terns have arrived in reasonable numbers at widespread sites such as 29 at a site in Essex on the 29th. With the winds turning south-easterly, there could be a further arrival by the weekend.
Hiundines continue to gather in good numbers. Recent records submitted to BTO BirdTrack include 350 Swallows in Lancashire on 30th and 200 House Martins in West Berkshire, 164 in Warwickshire and 150 in Greater London, also on the 30th.

23/08/05 The recent winds have produced a good number of Barred Warblers along the east coast, with five today on Fair Isle (Shetland) and others in Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire in the last few days. These are large warblers, in the same family as Garden Warbler and Blackcap, from further east that regularly arrive on the east coast in the autumn during periods when there is a touch of east in the winds.
There has also been a good passage of Curlew Sandpipers over the last few days, with small parties turning up at both coastal and inland sites. A small number of Black Terns have also been passing through inland waterbodies.
The weather forecast looks quite good for seawatching in the south west on Wednesday morning, and perhaps also on the west coast of Ireland and the Outer Hebrides. Very strong winds are forecast for the Western Isles especially. At this time of year large shearwaters like Cory's and Great, can get moved up to the south-west approaches.

There was a small movement of seabirds over the weekend with northerly winds in the North Sea producing suitable conditions at east coast localities. A small number of Balearic Shearwaters were seen around our coastline, but the best seawatching was on the west coast of Ireland where several Wilson's Storm Petrels were seen and even the very rare Fea's Petrel.

Elsewhere, waders are still on the move, particularly at coastal sites. Inland, wader passage is quite poor for the time of year. Small numbers of Golden Plover are being reported from inland locations (even had one fly over the Nunnery lakes this morning!). Spoonbills have been recorded in East Riding of Yorkshire, Kent and Norfolk. Five Brent Geese in Essex are a sure sign that autumn is nearly here!

11/08/05 Over the last few days many BirdTrack recorders have contacted us to say that their Swifts have now departed. Small numbers will linger here well into September. Swallows are now forming sizable roosts at dusk and you may see them gathering over reedbeds, and more recently, over maize fields.

There was an excellent count of 69 Little Egrets in Medway on 10th. In Cheshire, a Spotted Crake has been seen for a few days. This is a good time of year to look for them as they feed at the edge of reed fringed lakes, particularly at dawn and dusk.

There was an unseasonal Scaup in Merseyside on the 9th. Elsewhere there are few migrants around, with the best count in recent days being 20 Wheatears at a site in Cornwall. Inland, wader passage is very slow, although on the coast there is a small passage of Little Stints, Curlew Sandpipers and Whimbrels.

There has been great excitement in Herefordshire with the discovery of a pair of breeding Bee-eaters on the River Wye. A watchpoint was set up and birdwatchers were able to watch the pair feeding young. Sadly the nest was predated by foxes on the night of 29 July.
28/07/05 There has been some good seawatching conditions in the west of Britain and Ireland over the last week and some good counts of Cory's Shearwater and Manx Shearwater made. The passage started on the 16th with 335 Manx Shearwaters in Somerset, 480 off Clyde on the 18th, 115 off the Isle of Man on the 19th and 143 off Anglesey on the 20th. Manx Shearwaters breed on islands off the west coast of Britain and off the coast of Ireland and can make large movements in search of food.
The first hint of a good Cory's Shearwater movement was on the 19th when 121 were recorded past Porthgwarra in west Cornwall. The 'big day' was the 20th with 105 past Godrevy Head (Cornwall), 200 past Pendeen (Cornwall) by lunchtime, 288 past Prawle Point (Devon) and 300 in two hours past Galley Head in Co Cork. Cory's Shearwaters breed on islands in the Mediterranean from the Balearics east to Greece. They are seen in variable numbers each year, typically in the south-west and off Ireland and usually from mid-July through to September.

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | UK Bird News | Bird News for United Kingdom 2006  | Bird News England (Archive) |  The UK birding year 2005 (Archive)

add this






Today' Best Deals
Lizard Bird Diary

Lizard Bird Diary


Compact Mini Rubber 8 x 21 Kids Binoculars



Rare & Collectible Books at

Valid CSS!