Great Britain May 12th-16th 2005

This trip wedged a little birding in and around a trip to Britain for my father's 80th birthday. My attempt to find Cirl Bunting and Cetti's Warbler in south Devon on Day 1 was a notable disaster, in part due to high wind (I may have caught a brief glimpse of a Cirl, but it may also have been a Yellowhammer). My traditional trip to the RSPB reserve at Minsmere on Day 3 redeemed things somewhat, picking up Cetti's Warbler right next to West Hide and assorted good birds like Little Egret, Black Tern, Bittern and the obligatory Marsh Harrier. Continued high wind kept much of the passerines under cover, however. Birding in the local area around Lower Holbrook and some luck on the last day (Red Kite flying right over the car) redeemed the list somewhat. I decided to count the 4 Red Kites seen on the western edge of the Chilterns for my GB list, despite them being a reintroduced population. The brief glimpse of a vocal Cetti's Warbler (ID'd by song) at West Hide in Minsmere produced my only world lifer.

Species List

Great Cormorant
Great Bittern 2 at Minsmere, flying
Grey Heron
Little Egret 1 at Minsmere
Greylag Goose Minsmere and Orwell
Barnacle Goose (feral?) several at Minsmere
Common Shelduck
Northern Shoveler
Common Pochard
Tufted Duck
Red Kite Stokencurch, Oxon/M40
(Western) Marsh Harrier 3 at Minsmere
Common Buzzard Devon
Eurasian Kestrel
Ring-necked Pheasant
Common Moorhen
Eurasian Coot
Northern Lapwing
Common Ringed Plover Minsmere
Eurasian Oystercatcher Holbrook Bay
(Pied) Avocet Minsmere
Common Redshank
Common Sandpiper Minsmere
Ruddy Turnstone Minsmere
Black-headed Gull
Mediterranean Gull Minsmere
Common/Mew Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Sandwich Tern Minsmere
Common Tern Minsmere/Holbrook Bay
Little Tern Minsmere/Holbrook Bay
Black Tern Minsmere
Stock Dove
Wood Pigeon
European Turtle Dove
European Collared Dove
Common Cuckoo (h)
Little Owl Lower Holbrook
Common Swift
Eurasian Jay
Eurasian Magpie
Carrion Crow
Bank Swallow/Sand Martin
Barn Swallow
House Martin
Great Tit
Blue Tit
Long-tailed Tit
(Winter) Wren
Cetti's Warbler Minsmere
Sedge Warbler (h) Minsmere
Reed Warbler Minsmere/Holbrook Bay
Chiffchaff (h)
Garden Warbler (h) Minsmere
(Greater) Whitethroat
European Robin
Spotted Flycatcher Prawle Head, Devon
Common Nightingale (h) Holbrook Bay
Stonechat Minsmere
Song Thrush
Pied/White Wagtail
Meadow Pipit Minsmere
Reed Bunting
European Greenfinch
Eurasian Linnet
European Goldfinch