August 2012 Sightings

Period: 
Wednesday, 1 August 2012 to Friday, 31 August 2012
Melodious Warbler, Walney, Tony Phizacklea
Melodious Warbler, Walney, Tony Phizacklea

Highlights: A Melodious Warbler found at Snab Point, Walney Island (19th) was the first in the county since 2003.

Furness: At least six Mediterranean Gulls, four adults, a second-summer and a juvenile, frequented the coast between Bardsea and Rampside. A Short-eared Owl hunted Foulney Island (20th).

Hodbarrow: A Slavonian Grebe appeared on the lagoon (30th). A Little Egret was on Haverigg beach. Waders included five Greenshank. Nearby, Silecroft hosted a Hooded Crow (1st-4th).

Black Tern, Fingland, Darren Robson
Black Tern, Fingland, Darren Robson
Osprey, Anthorn, Craig Shaw
Osprey, Anthorn, Craig Shaw

Inner Solway: Two Little Egrets were in the area while the unseasonable Goldeneye lingered at Old Sandsfield. An Osprey visited Anthorn (13th) and up to three Marsh Harriers frequented Campfield Marsh. Wader highlights included a Little Ringed Plover at Port Carlisle (26th), an adult Curlew Sandpiper and an adult Little Stint at Anthorn (5th) followed by up to two juvenile Curlew Sandpipers (from 26th) and a juvenile Little Stint (from 24th) at Port Carlisle, a Wood Sandpiper at Abbeytown (8th), an adult Spotted Redshank at Port Carlisle (10th), Ruff (max. 16 at Abbeytown), Black-tailed Godwits (max. 28 at Abbeytown) and small numbers of Greenshank (max. five at Abbeytown) and Whimbrel. A second-summer Mediterranean Gull was at Grune Point and a juvenile Black Tern hawked over a flash near Fingland (31st).

Kent Estuary: There were regular sightings of Osprey. At least 23 Little Egrets were present. Waders included small numbers of Whimbrel and Common Sandpipers. At least one adult Mediterranean Gull was seen (3rd-6th).

Outer Solway: Bird of the month was a juvenile Roseate Tern that briefly visited Sellafield (29th). A female Marsh Harrier was at Beckfoot (12th) as were a Little Egret and a Little Gull (11th). Seawatching produced a Pomarine Skua (3rd) off Sellafield, an Arctic Skua off Nethertown (22nd) and two Black Terns off Workington (26th). At Workington, ‘Stumpy’, the regular one-legged adult Mediterranean Gull remained in residence while a total of 11 birds were counted between Workington and St Helens (21st).

Walney Bird Observatory. A juvenile Black Tern (28th) led sightings over the sea which also included six Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua amongst small numbers of Gannets, Manx Shearwaters (max. 100 on 20th), Common Scoters, Kittiwakes, Sandwich Terns, Guillemots and Razorbills. Little Egret numbers began to build with at least five birds present by the month’s end, single Kingfishers were logged (5th & 20th) and a migrant Short-eared Owl joined the summering bird (from 14th). A Marsh Harrier hunted over the island (4th), a Buzzard soared overhead (9th) and the first Merlin was back in residence (from 14th). The first Teal (13th) and Wigeon (20th) returned and waders included up to 14 Black-tailed Godwits, seven Whimbrel, six Greenshank, two Common Sandpipers, two Ruff (19th) and a Green Sandpiper (19th). Migration began to build in the second half of the month and, though the first few Goldcrests appeared (from 21st), warbler numbers were in general low with Willow Warblers (max. 50 on 19th), Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats all well below average. A reasonable passage of Wheatears (max. 25 on 31st) included single Whinchats (23rd & 26th) and Redstart (30th & 31st) while a total of 10 Spotted Flycatchers (max. six on 18th) were accompanied by a Pied Flycatcher (19th). Additional sightings included several Cuckoos and two Jays (22nd) – the latter still remain an unusual sight on the island. A flock of 500 Swifts screamed over the centre of the island (4th) before diurnal migration began to build at the month end when a Tree Pipit (30th), 10 House Martins (30th), a Grey Wagtail (30th), two Yellow Wagtails (31st) and six White Wagtails (31st) were amongst a trickle of Swallows and Sand Martins.

Other sites: Whinfell Tarn hosted a female Mandarin and a male Common Scoter appeared at Tarn House Tarn (25th). Little Egrets included eight on Flookburgh Marsh and singles on the Esk Estuary near Ravenglass and on the Duddon at Borwick Rails. A second-winter Mediterranean Gull was in the Lyth Valley and an adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the Esk near Ravenglass (26th), with a Hooded Crow in nearby fields (12th). Ospreys were at Killington Reservoir, Whins Pond near Penrith and Dalston. A Dotterel on Kirk Fell, Wasdale (20th) was a notable autumn record. A Common Tern appeared inland at Sunbiggin Tarn (25th).