July 2012 Sightings

Period: 
Sunday, 1 July 2012 to Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Bassenthwaite Lake: The Osprey pair successfully fledged their single chick. A flock of 20 Crossbills was seen at Dodd Wood.

Furness: A Little Egret and at least five Mediterranean Gulls, three adults, a second-summer and a first-summer, were at Rampside with another first-summer Mediterranean Gull at Ulverston. A Marsh Harrier was seen at Aldingham (28th) while Foulney Island produced seven Whimbrel.

Hodbarrow: A Manx Shearwater actively feeding on the lagoon (29th) was an extraordinary sighting while a Scaup was part of an influx of aythea ducks (29th).

Curlew Sandpiper with Dunlin, Port Carlisle, Darren Robson
Curlew Sandpiper with Dunlin, Port Carlisle, Darren Robson
Little Egret, Port Carlisle, Craig Shaw
Little Egret, Port Carlisle, Craig Shaw

Inner Solway: Three unseasonable Barnacle Geese drifted past Bowness-on-Solway and a Goldeneye appeared at Old Sandsfield (8th). Up to two Little Egrets frequented Port Carlisle (from 29th). A Marsh Harrier over Campfield Marsh (8th) was followed by three more (29th). Wader highlights were limited to an adult Curlew Sandpiper at Port Carlisle (29th-31st), two Little Ringed Plovers at Old Sandsfield (8th), Black-tailed Godwits (max. 15 at Bowness Railings) and small numbers of Greenshank and Whimbrel. Mediterranean Gulls consisted of at least one adult and a second-summer at Anthorn and an adult at Bowness Railings.

Kent Estuary: A Honey Buzzard flew over Heversham Moss (9th) and there were regular sightings of Osprey and Marsh Harrier. Little Egret numbers began to build (max. 11). Waders included a Greenshank and small numbers of Common Sandpipers. An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Arnside Marsh (5th).

Yellow-legged Gull, Allonby, Craig Shaw
Yellow-legged Gull, Allonby, Craig Shaw
Mediterranean Gull (Stumpy), Workington, Craig Shaw
Mediterranean Gull (Stumpy), Workington, Craig Shaw

Outer Solway: A Spoonbill was a brief visitor to Soddy Gap (10th), an unseasonable ringtail Hen Harrier was seen near Beckermet (31st) and a third-summer Yellow-legged Gull was a good find at Allonby (15th). Seawatching produced a Pomarine Skua (17th), up to three Arctic Skuas, a Black Guillemot and 300 Common Scoters off Nethertown, two Little Gulls past St Bees Head (9th) and Storm Petrels (max. four), a Great Skua and an adult Mediterranean Gull at Workington, where ‘Stumpy’, the one-legged adult Mediterranean Gull, also reappeared (23rd). Elsewhere, a Hooded Crow was at Whitehaven.

Walney Bird Observatory. Highlights over the sea were limited to a Black Guillemot (7th) and Puffin (21st) along with three Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua. Common, Arctic and Sandwich Terns were all regularly seen early in the month, amongst reasonable numbers of Manx Shearwaters (max. 150 on 18th) and Common Scoters (max. 440 on 23rd). The first Red-throated Diver reappeared (28th) and the first Little Egret returned (6th) while a Short-eared Owl continued to summer and a Marsh Harrier hunted over the island (26th). A Goosander (21st) was the pick of the wildfowl and waders included 28 Whimbrel, 11 Greenshank, 10 Black-tailed Godwits and four Common Sandpipers. The first southbound migrants involved Reed Warbler (7th), Redstart (14th), Wheatear (28th) and perhaps three different Cuckoos.

Other sites: A drake Common Scoter inland at Killington (12th) was followed by another four birds at the same site plus a single at Longtown (23rd). A Little Egret was on the Esk Estuary near Ravenglass, a first-summer Mediterranean Gull was in the Lyth Valley (23rd) and Thacka Beck N.R., Penrith hosted its first Short-eared Owl.