UK Bird Photos 2000 - 2004

Sora Porzana carolina
Attenborough NR, Notts, Dec. 2004.

A very rare late autumn/winter visitor to the UK, with only a handful of records. This smart bird showed very well in the frosty conditions.



Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
Rutland Water, Leics., Sep. 2004.

A winter plumage adult bird.


Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
Rutland Water, Leics., Sep. 2004.

This juvenile showed well but distantly on Lagoon 1, with Redshank, Spotted Redshank and Ruff present nearby for company.

Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis
Edderthorpe Flash, South Yorkshire, Sep. 2004.

A very smart birds present with Eurasian Teal, the latter still in eclipse plumage. Note the vertical white breast stripe, and lack of yellow lining between the red and green on the face. 



Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus and Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Aug. 2004.

The East Cosast Mecca for Med Gulls. Up to about 40 birds were reported mid- August on the seafront. I came across about 20 in two visits. Five birds were colour ringed. GREEN RINGS: 63U, 3PC0 and 25K; WHITE RINGS: 12W,& 3AT. A colour ringed 1st summer GBB Gull was present sporting an orangering with green lettering 0952. It was rung at Gerrards Cross, UK in January 2004.

Med Gulls with green rings:
63U (shown top left)- this adult winter was rung as a pullus in Belgium in 2001, and visited southern Spain later that year. In 2002 it was seen in both France and at Great Yarmouth, being observed in France and Gt. Yarmouth again in 2003, with this sighting the first at Gt. Yarmouth since November 2003.

3PC0- this 1st summer moulting into 2nd winter was rung as a pullus in Belgium in 2003 and then visited Gt. Yarmouth and Folkestone later that year. It spent March 2004 in France before this next recorded sighting at Gt. Yarmouth.

25K- adult that was rung in its 3rd CY in Belgium in 2001. It has been observed on many occasions wintering at Gt. Yarmouth and has visited France, Belgium and Holland. 



Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Burgh Castle, Norfolk, Aug. 2004.

At last on my Norfolk lisit. Dipped one by minutes at 2 locations on the Norfolk coast in 1992! This bird at Burgh Castle was elusive but showed well, eventually! A lot easier to see than when it frequents Berney Marshes RSPB.  


Wryneck Jynx torquilla
Spurn Point, East Yorkshire, Aug. 2004.

At least 5 of these cryptic and elusive peckers were at Spurn during the week of the fall. 


Hooded Crow x Carrion Crow Corvus cornix x Corvus corone
Burgh Castle, Norfolk, Aug. 2004.

Quite a surprise when this bird showed amongst the castle ruins. I didn't know that a hybrid and next generation hybrids were present in the area. This adult bird may have been the original adult. Whilst at first glance it looked good for a Hoddie, the large amount of black reaching down its breast shows it to be a hybrid.



Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Wombwell Ings, South Yorkshire, July 2004.

A flock of 19 birds (1 juv) flew in on a grey day with a light easterly breeze. One adult was colour-ringed on both legs above the knees. Red above orange-left, red above green-right. This adult has spent a lot of time wintering in France, but only a few days before this sighting, it was seen in Iceland.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Lowestoft, Suffolk, July 2004.

A cracking adult at the eastern most point of the UK. It favoured the groynes and nearby Birds Eye factory roof-tops. Note the pale yellow legs, dark grey mantle, lack of white in the primaries, bright red spot on the bill, and the clear red-coloured orbital ring around the eye.  


Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Cley, Norfolk, April 2004

One of 2 present along the East Bank. Excellent comparison with nearby Curlew possible.


Shorelark Eremophila alpestris
Cley, Norfolk, April 2004

I was lucky enough to find two Shorelarks late afternoon on St. George's Day.



Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Cley, Norfolk, April 2004

A typical sleeping bird!


Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor
Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbys. April 2004

One of a few birds moving back to northern Europe, typical at this time of the year.


Buffelhead Bucephala albeola
Pugneys CP, West Yorks., April 2004

The Nottingham drake of 10 or so years ago appeared at this time of the year.


Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
Scalby Mills, Scarborough, North Yorks. April 2004

This 1st summer showed well on the rocks with Herring Gulls.


Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
Wombwell Ings, South Yorks., April 2004

A very infrequent visitor to the Wath area. Resting on the back of the Ings.


American Robin Turdus migratorius
Grimsby, Lincolnshire, Jan. 2004.

The second American Robin of the winter, following on from a 1st Winter female (like the one here) seen in


Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus
Llanfairfechan, Wales, December 2003.

The sea was like a millpond. Two winter plumaged Slavs came close to the shore on the incoming tide.


Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus
Sheffield, Meadowhall, December 2003.

A decent influx to the UK produced 255+ birds at Sheffield Meadowhall Retail Park.

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
King's Lynn, Norfolk, August 2003.

As per usual a beautiful well confiding individual. It fed on a small pond by the old beet factory just off of the river Great Ouse.

Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus
Deeping Fen, Lincolnshire, August 2003.

A cracker. Usually 1st summer birds are sighted in May. Now in advance plumage, as can be seen with lots of blue to the underparts.

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Bowling Green Marsh RSPB, Topsham, Devon,
August 2003.

The long staying immature showed distantly with Little Egrets on the spit.


Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
Helston, Cornwall, August 2003.

A good spot for "Ring-bills". This long-stayer is nearly in 2nd winter plumage. Good comparison here with a Herring Gull (right).



Sabine's Gull Larus sabini
Lowestoft, Suffolk, July 2003.

A summering adult that is now moulting out of breeding plumage. It was very tame on the beach feeding at the water's edge. It shoved a few of the Black-heads" around, but why did a youngster have to chuck sand at it?

Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii
Dungeness, Kent, May 2003.

A cracking 2nd summer bird (first for Britain!) that spent a couple of days or so patrolling the beach by the nuclear power station. Not the best of shots.



Rose-coloured Starling Sturnus roseus
RAF Cranwell, Lincs., Dec. 2002

Showed ok, but it had a cold.


American Wigeon Anas Americana
Scarborough, North Yorks. September 2002.

Present off shore with returning Wigeon.

Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria
Spurn, East Yorkshire, September 2002.

A remarkably showy bird that would give good views feeding on the berries.


Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva
Whitburn, County Durham, September 2002.

A cracking moulting adult bird. It spent much of its time showing really well, only occasionally joining the 100+ flock of Golden Plovers. Whilst watching this bird a few Barnacle Geese were moving in off the sea, including a flock containing a lone small-race Canada Gosse.  


Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii
Whitley Bay, Tyneside August 2002.

More than 25 birds were present at this site. I managed to see 3 or 4 adults and a couple of juvs. Note the paleness of the upperparts compared with nearby Common Terns.



Long-eared Owl Asio otus
Elmley RSPB, Kent August 2002.

Whilst waiting for the sub-adult male Pallid Harrier to perform this beauty drew the crowds as well.


Ross's Gull Rhodostethia rosea
Scarborough, North Yorkshire, April 2002.

A nice Yorkshire tick on Easter Friday. This adult winter gave distant views on the sea with one or two brief close-up views as it flew along the promenade.

Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
Greenwich, London, March 2002.

A small adult feeding with the Common Gulls on the Thames.


Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea
Porthmadog, Wales, February 2002.

A bumper winter for Ivory Gulls with this well appreciated individual attracting many observers.


Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus
Wells, Norfolk, February 2002.

A confiding individual that fed in the harbour with a group of Little Grebes.


Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
Titchwell, Norfolk, November 2001.

A nice Norfolk tick of this now scarce visitor to the UK. A late date for this species. It spent much of its time hunting over ploughed fields inland of the RSPB reserve.


Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis
Flitcham, Norfolk, November 2001.

A cracking adult wintering with the hordes of Pinkfeet in Norfolk. Is it a wild one?

Snowy Egret Egretta thula
Oban, Scotland, November 2001.

An anticipated first for Great Britain. Brilliant views were had of this bird during its trip to Scotland. It was still present (on Arran) at the end of March 2002.


Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
Cley, Norfolk, August 2001.

The usual suspects. They always turn up in East Anglia in late summer/early autumn. Apparently this year there was an invasion of Ruddies from the east into Scandinavia.


Sabine's Gull Larus sabini
Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon, August 2001.

An adult almost in full breeding plumage present in Oxfordshire for a few days. It was very obliging as can be seen with these snaps.

Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii
Filey Brigg, North Yorkshire, August 2001.

Tern watching in the afternoon/evening of 16th August 2001 produced, at first this single adult Roseate Tern from 5.10 pm. Compare with the adult Common Tern to its right. Note the pale upperparts and dark outer primary of the Roseate. It is also a slender looking bird with more black on the nape. Not obvious here, but the bill shape differs, more decurved towards the tip on the Roseate and at least 1/2 of the bill was black with a dark red base.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
Cley, Norfolk, July 2001.

Finally caught up with one in Norfolk. It flew in  with about 100 LBB's at lunchtime. Note the long bill and dark marks near the tip. This bird was a 2nd summer having extensive grey upperparts. The grey was lighter in tone when compared with 2nd summer Yellow-legged Gulls (see below) and a shade darker than Herring Gulls that were present.


Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
Melton, Woodbridge, Suffolk, April 2001.

This 1st summer, which was the 2nd ever? record of this species in Suffolk, proved elusive on my visit in April 2001. After a few hours it flew in, took the bread and promptly disappeared.


Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus
Portland, Dorset, September 2000.

September 2000 will be remembered in British birdwatching circles for the great Honey Buzzard invasion. This juvenile flew low over the Verne at the northern end of Portland in the late afternoon. It then gained height as it moved south out to sea. Note the "hanging" secondaries.


Great White Egret Ardea alba alba
Welney, Norfolk, July 2000.

A flight shot of the adult that toured around East Anglia.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
King's Lynn, Norfolk, July 2000.

Oh dear! Is it a "heuglini", "cachinnans", odd "michahellis" or some "large gull" hybrid or integrade? Thought to be a large Caspian Gull. The bird in question is at the top left (first photo). There is a 1st summer-type Yellow-legged Gull (michahellis) at the bottom right of the photograph.



Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
Broomhill Flash, South Yorkshire, May 2000.

An influx of this species to the eastern half of Britain included this splendid bird that appeared at my old local patch. Unfortunately it was too distant to get a decent photograph.


Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris
Kelling, Norfolk, May 2000.

Well it was reasonably wary, apparently had a full set of wings, and was unringed. So was it a wild one?


Sora Rail Porzana carolina
Stover Country Park, Newton Abbot, Devon, March 2000.

A record shot of this long staying bird (ca. 3 months).


Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
Drift Reservoir, Cornwall, March 2000.

This 1st summer drake arrived from North America the previous autumn. A nice comparison with Greater Scaup Aythya marila (lower). The black restricted to the nail of the bill of the Lesser Scaup is clearly visible.

Franklin's Gull Larus pipixcan
Radipole Lake, Weymouth, Dorset, February 2000.

This 2nd winter plumaged individual had a routine of flying into Radipole Lake to bathe with the other gulls one hour before dark. Later it would fly off to roost nearby in Weymouth Bay. I was lucky to get a nice selection of photos despite the windy and overcast conditions in the late afternoon.




White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla
Docking, Norfolk, January 2000.

This elusive adult was located in a tree on farmland to the north west of Docking. It had eluded birders all morning, many of whom had gathered 5 miles west at Brancaster. One hour later it flew low southwards and appeared to land in a nearby copse. After a quick drive to the back of this copse the bird flew out from the trees and slowly gained height as it again drifted southwards. As it flew towards me I quickly changed from 'scope to camera. I was very lucky to get a couple of decent flight shots.