January 2012 Sightings

Period: 
Sunday, 1 January 2012 to Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Red-breasted Goose, Cardurnock, Darren Robson
Red-breasted Goose, Cardurnock, Darren Robson
Snow Goose, Abbeytown, Craig Shaw
Snow Goose, Abbeytown, Craig Shaw
Great White Egret, Campfield, Darren Robson
Great White Egret, Campfield, Darren Robson

Highlights: A first-winter Red-breasted Goose, the fourth county record, was a surprise find among the Barnacle Geese at Drumburgh then Cardurnock (22nd) while a blue morph Lesser Snow Goose accompanied Pink-footed Geese at Abbeytown (3rd-6th). The drake Green-winged Teal lingered at Hodbarrow (to 28th) while others appeared at Campfield Marsh (4th) and Siddick Pond (14th). The Great White Egret reappeared at Campfield Marsh (from 14th) while the long-stayer was seen intermittently at Kents Bank (to 14th).

Iceland Gull, Parton, Tristan Reid
Iceland Gull, Parton, Tristan Reid

Furness: Foulney Island produced a Slavonian Grebe (14th & 25th), 52 dark-bellied Brent Geese and an unseasonable Great Skua (14th). White-winged gulls took centre stage, however, with an adult (17th) and a juvenile (23rd) Iceland Gull at Rampside, perhaps the same juvenile Glaucous Gull at Mere Tarn (9th), Baycliff (16th) and Newbiggin (23rd) and at least four Mediterranean Gulls, an adult, two second-winters and a first-winter, in the Rampside area. Cavendish Dock hosted a Greenshank. A Water Pipit was amongst the Rock Pipits at Rampside.

Hodbarrow: Up to six Little Egrets roosted. Wildfowl included up to 70 Whooper Swans, a Long-tailed Duck (2nd), two Scaup and four Gadwall. Pick of the waders were two Black-tailed Godwits.

Ross's Goose, Skinburness, Darren Robson
Ross's Goose, Skinburness, Darren Robson
Tundra Bean Goose, Blackdyke, Darren Robson
Tundra Bean Goose, Blackdyke, Darren Robson
European White-fronted Geese, Flookburgh, Colin Inman
European White-fronted Geese, Flookburgh, Colin Inman

Inner Solway: Up to seven adult Bewick’s Swans frequented the Abbeytown area while at least 399 Whooper Swans were also present, roosting on Wedholme Flow and flighting out to feed in the surrounding fields. Tundra Bean Geese continued to be seen with at least 29 in the area between Wedholme and Blackdyke while European White-fronted Geese peaked at an exceptional 280 near Old Sandsfield. A maximum of 22 Greenland White-fronts were also present. The Ross’s Goose was seen occasionally anywhere between Rockcliffe Marsh and Grune Point while Barnacle Geese included 12000 on Burgh Marsh. Other wildfowl included 3000 Teal at Campfield Marsh. Three Little Egrets frequented Burgh Marsh. A juvenile Glaucous Gull visited Old Sandsfield (14th). Kittiwakes included 120 over Rockcliffe Marsh. Three Short-eared Owls and a male Hen Harrier hunted Burgh Marsh.

Kent Estuary: Wildfowl included up to 16 Whooper Swans. Little Egrets remained in decent numbers (max. 13). A Marsh Harrier put in an occasional appearance (6th). A first-winter Kittiwake was found in a ploughed field at Meathop (8th).

Glaucus Gull, near Allonby, Craig Shaw
Glaucus Gull, near Allonby, Craig Shaw

Outer Solway: The female Long-tailed Duck remained in residence at Soddy Gap (to 30th) and an amazing 426 Goosander were also counted there, along with two Jack Snipe. At least four Bitterns were present at Siddick Pond. Single Shags were at Whitehaven and Workington where 44 Purple Sandpipers were also to be found. Mediterranean Gulls remained relatively scarce with two, an adult and first-winter, near Allonby and the usual adult at Workington. The highlights, however, were provided by white-winged gulls with at least three Iceland Gulls, two juveniles and an adult, seen between Whitehaven and Maryport (8th-29th) and a juvenile Glaucous Gull on the beach between Crosscanonby and Allonby (31st). At least seven Short-eared Owls hunted near Broughton Dump.

Walney Bird Observatory: The sea produced up to 10 Shags and an out of season Great Skua (14th) along with small numbers of Red-throated Divers, Common Scoters, Kittiwakes, Razorbills and Guillemots. Wildfowl were on the move with 650 Pink-footed Geese and 25 Whooper Swans flying through while additional sightings included: 24 Barnacle Geese, 149 pale-bellied Brent Geese, 61 Pintail, 10 Shoveler, Long-tailed Duck (all month) and Scaup (from 22nd); however, two Black-necked Grebes (14th) and a Goosander (11th-27th) were the rarest sightings. At least 21 Little Egrets were along the eastern shore while 12 Greenshank, 10 Purple Sandpipers, two Woodcocks and a Black-tailed Godwit were the pick of the waders. A first-winter Glaucous Gull appeared (5th) and then reappeared (28th-29th). Around three Short-eared Owls and a Hen Harrier hunted the island along with several Barn and Little Owls with both Peregrine and Merlin also in attendance. Passerine highlights were few but included a Hooded Crow (16th) and a flock of 60 Twite.

Other sites: A Bewick’s Swan was at Longtown (28th-30th) while Whooper Swans included 66 at Longtown and 47 at Kirkby Thore. European White-fronted Geese consisted of 45 at Linstock, accompanied by one Greenland White-front and two Tundra Bean Geese, 110 near Flookburgh along with two Tundra Bean Geese and 41 Barnacle Geese and 140 at Longtown accompanied by a single Bean Goose. The female Mandarin (to 28th) and redhead Smew (to 22nd) both remained at Whinfell Tarn, the latter presumably then relocating to Killington (29th). The Long-tailed Duck lingered at Longtown Ponds (to 15th). The Esk Estuary near Ravenglass hosted two Spotted Redshanks and a Greenshank while a Ruff was near Crosby-on-Eden. At least six Short-eared Owls hunted the Flookburgh Marshes. Crossbills included 27 at Whinfell Forest and eight in Wythop Woods while Hawfnches included six in the Rusland Valley and five at Sizergh Castle. At least 12 Snow Buntings were on Helvellyn.