Compiled by Barry Nightingale and Harry Hussey

This summary of unchecked reports covers the period from early April to early May 2023.

Headlines Remarkably, there were two firsts for Britain in this period – a long-anticipated Black-shouldered Kite, in Montgomeryshire, and a less-expected Grey-headed Lapwing, in Northumberland. Other highlights included a Stejneger’s and three White-winged Scoters in Fife, an Elegant Tern and a Forster’s Tern in Dorset, an American Bittern in Co. Kerry, Squacco Herons in Co. Cork and Cornwall, a Scops Owl in Co. Cork, an Isabelline Wheatear in Norfolk and a Pine Bunting in Orkney. Nearctic visitors included a White-crowned Sparrow in Sussex, a Dark-eyed Junco in Shetland and a Blue-winged Teal in Lincolnshire. There were also impressive influxes of Hoopoes, Black-winged Stilts, Glossy Ibises, Purple Herons and, in particular, Night Herons.

Blue-winged Teal Spatula discors Frampton Marsh (Lincolnshire), 1st–3rd May. American Wigeon Mareca americana Records from Fife and Orkney. Black Duck Anas rubripes Long-stayer, Cross Lough (Co. Mayo) to 8th April. Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca Long-stayers Norfolk (up to three to 2nd May) and Staffordshire (to 23rd April). Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis Long-stayers Clyde, Outer Hebrides, Oxfordshire and Somerset; others Fife, Greater Manchester, Co. Sligo and Staffordshire. King Eider Somateria spectabilis Records from Fife, Lothian, North-east Scotland and Shetland. White-winged Scoter Melanitta deglandi Musselburgh (Lothian), long-stayer to 15th April; Lower Largo (Fife), 28th April, then three 29th April, two to 1st May, one to 4th May. Stejneger’s Scoter Melanitta stejnegeri Lower Largo, 28th April to 4th May. Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus Esthwaite Water, 8th April, Kendal 10th, then Whinfell Tarn (all Cumbria), 17th April to 4th May.

Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba Records from 12 English, seven Irish, one Scottish and four Welsh recording areas, and the Isle of Man.

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus Records from 16 English (including at least ten in Cornwall), 13 Irish (including at least ten in Co. Cork), four Welsh and one Scottish recording areas. Grey-headed LapwingVanellus cinereus Low Newton-by-the-Sea, 1st–2nd May, then Long Nanny (both Northumberland), 2nd–4thMay. Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus Summer Leys (Northamptonshire), 11th–14th April; Elmley (Kent), 19th April; Holkham (Norfolk), 20th April; The Naze (Essex), 2nd May. Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus Long-stayers Cheshire & Wirral to 2nd May, Norfolk to 4th May, Orkney to 22nd April. Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes Budleigh Salterton (Devon), 6th–15th April.

rr 001.jpg

224. Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus, Low Newton-by-the-Sea, May 2023. 

Mark Rayment

Bonaparte’s Gull Chroicocephalus philadelphia Long-stayer Hayle Estuary/Marazion (Cornwall), to 4th May; Teign Estuary (Devon), 9th April; Ballydehob (Co. Cork), 13th–29th April; Tagoat (Co. Wexford), 21st April, then Tacumshin, 25th April; Loch of Hillwell, 2nd May, then Loch of Spiggie (all Shetland), 4th May.Ross’s Gull Rhodostethia rosea Kinnaird Head/Cairnbulg (North-east Scotland), long-stayer to 19th April. American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus Fort William area (Highland), long-stayer again 9th April. Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica Records from Cheshire & Wirral, Cornwall, Devon, Nottinghamshire, Scilly and Suffolk. Elegant Tern Thalasseus elegans Lodmoor (Dorset), 24th April. Forster’s Tern Sterna forsteriLong-stayer Inishroo (Co. Galway), 22nd–29th April; Poole Harbour, 23rd April to 4th May, also Hengistbury Head (all Dorset), 4th May. White-winged Black Tern Chlidonias leucopterus Rainham Marshes (4) (Greater London), 4th May; Hanningfield Reservoir (2) (Essex), 4th May.

White-billed Diver Gavia adamsii Records from one English and six Scottish recording areas (including 14 in Moray & Nairn).

Double-crested Cormorant Nannopterum auritum Doon Lough (Co. Leitrim), long-stayer to 27th April.

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Records from 13 English recording areas. American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus Lough Gill (Co. Kerry), 8th April. Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus Exminster Marshes (Devon), 18th April. Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax Records from 18 English, three Scottish and two Welsh recording areas and from at least 25 sites in Ireland. Peaks of eight, Drinagh (Co. Wexford), four in both Skibbereen (Co. Cork), and St Kilda (Outer Hebrides), and three in each of Dorset, Leicestershire & Rutland, Scilly and Sussex. Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides Dobwall, 26th April, presumed same Lanreath (both Cornwall), 29th April to 4th May, Ballyteige (Co. Wexford), 5th May. Purple Heron Ardea purpurea Records from 12 English, eight Irish and two Welsh recording areas.

rr 002.jpg

225. Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax, Ossett, Yorkshire, April 2023. 

Mark Rayment

Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus Glanmule (Montgomeryshire), 18th April. Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus Gibraltar Point (Lincolnshire), 1st May; Spurn then Holmpton (all Yorkshire), 2nd May; North Ronaldsay (Orkney), 3rd–4th May; Aberlady Bay (Lothian), 4th May; Balnakeil (Highland), 4th May. Black Kite Milvus migrans Records from seven English and one Irish recording areas.

Eurasian Scops Owl Otus scops Near Mizen Head (Co. Cork), 4th April.

Hoopoe Upupa epops Records from 21 English, eight Irish, five Scottish and four Welsh recording areas. European Bee-eater Merops apiaster Kenidjack (5), then Botallack (both Cornwall), 3rd May. 

Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus Scousburgh (Shetland), 18th April; Stodmarsh (Kent), 4th May.

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator Records from Cornwall (4), Dorset, Scilly (7) and Yorkshire; four in Ireland.

Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus Oare Marshes (Kent), 22nd April, two 23rd April to 1st May; Seamer Carr (Yorkshire), 24th–25th April.

Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla St Mary’s (Scilly), 26th–29th April.

Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica Records from six English, one Irish and one Welsh recording areas.

Hume’s Warbler Phylloscopus humei Folkestone (Kent), long-stayer to 9th April. Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus Ham Wall (Somerset), 28th April to 4th May. Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta Brook (Isle of Wight), 22nd–23rd April. Savi’s Warbler Locustella luscinioides Burton Mere (Cheshire & Wirral), 10th–14th April. Western Subalpine Warbler Curruca iberiae Easington (Yorkshire), 18th April; Ballinacarraige (Co. Cork), 19th April. ‘Subalpine Warbler’ Curruca iberiae/cantillansPenmaenmawr (Caernarfonshire), 20th April; St Just (Cornwall), 24th April.

Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla Fan Bay, 7th April; St Margaret’s at Cliffe (both Kent), 8th April.

Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina West Runton (Norfolk), 21st–23rd April.

Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis Carlton Marshes (Suffolk), long-stayer to 1st May. Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris St Mary’s, sporadically 9th–20th April. Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni Fair Isle, 3rd May.

European Serin Serinus serinus Records from eight English and one Welsh recording areas.

Pine Bunting Emberiza leucocephalos Papa Westray (Orkney), 29th April to 2nd May. Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis Walls (Shetland), 7th–10th April. White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys Seaford Head (Sussex), 22nd–29th April.


Issue 6
Start Page: 
Display Image: 

Stay at the forefront of British birding by taking out a subscription to British Birds.

Subscribe Now