Review of rare birds in Berkshire in 2006

30 January 2007 (revised 31 January 2007) | Marek Walford

This report only covers the rarer species reported in Berkshire in 2006. These records may not have been verified or subjected to scrutiny by the relevant rarities committee. Reports of possibles/probables have been excluded. Every effort has been made to ensure the information is correct but if you notice any mistakes please let me know.

Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata

One was at Queen Mother Reservoir from 24th to 26th December (C. D. R. Heard).

Great Northern Diver Gavia immer

A juvenile was at Queen Mother Reservoir from 1st December into 2007 and was joined by a second bird from 8th (C. D. R. Heard et al). Another bird was at Theale GP on 6th December (R. Burness).

Great Northern Diver

Great Northern Diver : Queen Mother Res. (Photo: Jerry O'Brien)

Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus

One was picked up by a non-birding member of the public from a shop doorway on Kings Road in Reading on 19th September. It was taken to the Child Beale Trust but sadly died on 21st.

Manx Shearwater

Manx Shearwater : Reading (Photo: Tim Pegg)

Leach's Storm-petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa

One was at Queen Mother Reservoir on 7th December (R. Dryden et al).

Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus

An immature flew north and then west over Woose Hill on 2nd February (P. B-Thomas).

White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons

Seventeen were at Pingewood GP on 4th and 5th February (K. E. Moore et al).

White-fronted Goose

White-fronted Goose : Pingewood GP (Photo: Ashley Stow)

Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris

A drake was at Theale GP from 24th March to 1st April (K. E. Moore et al). A female was at Moor Green Lakes on 19th November. Seventh and eight records.

Ring-necked Duck

Ring-necked Duck : Theale GP (Photo: Marek Walford)

Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus

An adult female flew west over Caversham Heights on 1st May (T. Ball). A juvenile flew north, then east over Lavell's Lake on 14th September (P. B-Thomas). Another, or the same juvenile flew north-east, then south over Theale GP on 15th September (K. E. Moore). Two dark phase birds flew low over the A4 between Reading and Maidenhead on 9th October, probably grounded by torrential rain (D. N. T. Rimes).

Goshawk Accipiter gentilis

An immature male flew low south-west over Greenham Common on 15th August (N. Cleere).

Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus

A first-summer female was at Moor Green Lakes from 9th to 19th July, although it's identity wasn't confirmed until 15th. Seventh record.

Red-footed Falcon

Red-footed Falcon : Moor Green Lakes (Photo: Jerry O'Brien)

Crane Grus grus

Two were reported flying low over junction 5 of the M4 heading towards Datchet on 7th August.

Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima

One was at Queen Mother Reservoir on 26th December (C. D. R. Heard et al). Fourth record.

Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus

A dark morph juvenile was at Queen Mother Reservoir from 9th to 17th September (C. D. R. Heard et al). Enterprising sailors organised pelagics to see the bird, starting at 5 a trip but rising to 10 by the end of the birds stay! Third record.

Long-tailed Skua

Long-tailed Skua : Queen Mother Reservoir (Photo: Michael McKee)

Laughing Gull Larus atricilla

The adult, first found on 2nd December 2005, was last seen on 29th March. After only showing distantly in the gull roost at Moatlands its day time haunt was finally discovered on 11th February. After a hard days birding M. Walford and F. Cottington had retired to MacDonalds at Reading Gate Retail Park. Marek was looking out of the window and said "Wouldn't it be great if we saw the Laughing Gull here?". Thirty seconds later it flew right past the window and landed 50 feet away in the car park! It remained faithful to the Retail Park for the rest of its stay, providing excellent views to hundreds of birders. First record. See this article.

Laughing Gull

Laughing Gull : Reading (Photo: Michael McKee)

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides

A second-winter was at Moor Green Lakes on 5th February (G. Randall).

Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus

A first-winter was at Queen Mother Reservoir on 26th December (C. D. R. Heard).

Alpine Swift Apus melba

One was in Maidenhead from 15th to 18th April (B. D. Clews et al). Another flew north over Greenham Common on 23rd April (T. Ball). Third and fourth records.

Alpine Swift

Alpine Swift : Maidenhead (Photo: Jerry O'Brien)

Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus

One was feeding on Rosehips at Harvest Hill, Bracknell on 21st April and also reported "earlier in the week" (M. Collings).

Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus

A pair were seen feeding on Reedmace in an overgrown ditch at Horton GP on 7th November (C. D. R. Heard).

Twite Carduelis flavirostris

One circled over Slough SF at 15:00, landed briefly, then flew off north-east on 18th November. It was later relocated on waste ground at Cippenham, but only in flight and was not heard to call (C. D. R. Heard).

Mealy Redpoll Carduelis flammea

Singles at Sonning on 7th February (H. R. Netley), Brimpton GP on 12th February (R. H. Stansfield) and Aston on 21st February (C. D. R. Heard).