August 2013

Thursday, 1 August 2013 to Saturday, 31 August 2013

Highlights: A Wryneck at Torver Low Common (31st) was a good inland find.

Bassenthwaite Lake: The Ospreys successfully fledged their two young. Other sightings included a drake Common Scoter.

Hodbarrow: Wildfowl included 78 Mute Swans. Pick of the waders were single Ruff and Greenshank. Both Common and Little Terns at least enjoyed some limited breeding success. Up to six Sacred Ibis of unknown origin frequented the beach at Haverigg (from 24th) where an Osprey was also seen (24th).

Furness: An Osprey flew over Cavendish Dock (27th).

Curlew Sandpipers, Drumburgh, Darren Robson
Curlew Sandpipers, Drumburgh, Darren Robson

Inner Solway: Up to five Little Egrets were seen. Wildfowl included an unseasonable Whooper Swan at Old Sandsfield and 600 Teal at Wedholme Flow. A female Marsh Harrier visited Drumburgh Moss on occasions. Waders included an extraordinarily early juvenile Curlew Sandpiper at Bowness-on-Solway (1st) followed by seven more at Drumburgh on a more normal date (25th) and two unaged birds at Wedholme Flow (26th), at least one Wood Sandpiper at Drumburgh Moss (6th-8th), Greenshank (max. six at both Port Carlisle and Border Marsh). Black-tailed Godwits (max. 22 at Anthorn), four Ruff at Anthorn and Green Sandpipers (max. four at Drumburgh Moss). Two adult Mediterranean Gulls were at Silloth. A Black Guillemot off Bowness-on-Solway (19th) was very unusual, with an Arctic Skua also there. A passage Yellow Wagtail visited Campfield.

Kent Estuary: At least 37 Little Egrets were present. There were occasional sightings of Marsh Harrier and Osprey. The first Pintail returned (27th) and waders included Black-tailed Godwit (max. seven) and a Greenshank, while three Mediterranean Gulls, an adult and two juveniles, and, much more unusually, a juvenile Black Tern (30th) were also seen.

Outer Solway: Five Arctic Skuas were off Braystones (2nd) with a single off Workington (20th). Mediterranean Gulls consisted of four at Workington. A Black Guillemot flew south past Nethertown (21st).

Walney Bird Observatory. A quiet month offshore was enlivened by the presence of a total of 26 Arctic Skuas and single Great Skua (3rd) and Shag (28th) along with good numbers of Sandwich Terns (max. 500 on 24th), Common Scoters (260 on 3rd, 290 on 24th), Manx Shearwaters (max. 136 on 1st) and Gannets (max. 120 on 17th) and smaller numbers of Fulmars, Red-throated Divers (from 17th), Little Terns (to 4th), Common Terns (to 17th) and Arctic Terns (to 24th). Up to eight Little Egrets had returned to the island, the first Water Rail reappeared (31st), a Marsh Harrier lingered (23rd-27th) and the first Merlin of the autumn was in residence. Wildfowl began to increase with the first Wigeon logged (24th) and five Shoveler also present while waders included Little Ringed Plover (1st & 5th), Black-tailed Godwit (max. seven on 21st), Whimbrel (max. 17 on 10th), Greenshank (max. 21 on 24th), Ruff (two on 24th) and Spotted Redshank (one on 27th). Migration was generally slow with just a light passage noted, highlights of grounded birds included at least three Cuckoos, five Whinchats, three Spotted Flycatchers, two Redstarts and a Pied Flycatcher with peaks of 26 Wheatears (25th) and 14 Willow Warblers (26th). Diurnal migration was also slow with 13 Swifts, eight Grey Wagtails, seven Tree Pipits and five Yellow Wagtails amongst a trickle of Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins.

Other sites: Common Scoters turned up inland with a female at Killington Reservoir and three birds at Castle Carrock. Adult Yellow-legged Gulls were found at Watchtree N.R. (28th) and the Esk Estuary near Ravenglass (10th) which also hosted two Little Egrets and a Greenshank while the nearby Irt Estuary held a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper (27th), Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank. Seven Black-tailed Godwits were inland at Thacka Beck N.R. Penrith.