July 2014

Period: 
Tuesday, 1 July 2014 to Thursday, 31 July 2014
Glossy Ibis, Milnthorpe, Darren Robson
Glossy Ibis, Milnthorpe, Darren Robson
Little Egret, Milnthorpe, Darren Robson
Little Egret, Milnthorpe, Darren Robson

Highlights: The first-summer Glossy Ibis remained in residence on the River Bela just south of Milnthorpe all month, relocating briefly to Ulpha Meadows (6th). A Great White Egret flew down the Kent Estuary past New Barns Bay (21st).

Bassenthwaite Lake: The Ospreys fledged one of their two young, the other lagging behind but still progressing.

Esk/Irt/Mite complex: The Esk hosted a first-summer Little Gull (23rd) and at least two Little Egrets.

Spotted Redshank, Port Carlisle, Darren Robson
Spotted Redshank, Port Carlisle, Darren Robson

Inner Solway: A summering Whooper Swan remained near Rockcliffe and four Little Egrets lingered. Returning waders included an adult Spotted Redshank at Port Carlisle (from 20th), two Ruff at Rockcliffe, Whimbrel (max. 12 at Port Carlisle) and Green Sandpipers at Carr Beds and Port Carlisle, plus small numbers of Black-tailed Godwits. A brisk westerly produced a Great Skua, an Arctic Skua, four Manx Shearwaters, a Fulmar and three Gannets at Bowness-on-Solway (30th).

Kent Estuary: The Foulshaw Moss Ospreys successfully fledged three young. There were several sightings of wandering Marsh Harriers and at least 20 Little Egrets were present. Waders included up to 13 Avocets at Arnside Marsh, the largest flock ever seen in Cumbria, six Little Ringed Plovers at Arnside (5th), a Wood Sandpiper at Ulpha Meadows (28th), up to 13 Common Sandpipers, four Black-tailed Godwits, two Whimbrel and single Ruff and Greenshank. An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Sandside (25th).

Mediterranean Gull, Workington, Steve Dutton
Mediterranean Gull, Workington, Steve Dutton

Outer Solway: An Arctic Skua and 120 Common Scoters were seen off Nethertown (27th). ‘Stumpy’ the adult Mediterranean Gull returned to Workington for the sixth successive year (6th) with at least four other adults also present while, nearby, nine birds were seen at Siddick shore and a further three off Crosscanonby. A Little Egret on the River Ellen at Maryport was unusual and a Green Sandpiper visited Soddy Gap.

Walney Bird Observatory: Calm seas and generally easterly winds did little to inspire when it came to checking the sea and consequently the sole highlight was a dark phase Arctic Skua (20th). However, good numbers of Common Scoters were on the move (max. 560 on 9th) and Little Tern numbers increased (max. 70 on 20th). Reasonable numbers of Manx Shearwaters (max. 116 on 13th), Gannets (max. 135 on 5th) and Sandwich Terns (max. 120 on 31st) were also logged and the first few Red-throated Divers reappeared (from 8th). The presence of two juvenile Water Rails provided evidence of breeding and up to seven Little Egrets had returned by the end of the month. The first Teal and Shoveler returned and a Pintail remained in residence all month. Wader numbers steadily increased and included 1960 Curlews, 70 Bar-tailed Godwits, 80 Dunlin, 51 Golden Plovers, 50 Sanderling, 33 Grey Plovers, 27 Whimbrel, 21 Black-tailed Godwits, 21 Greenshank and three Common Sandpipers while a juvenile Little Ringed Plover (10th-30th) proved to be the highlight. Although a newly formed hirundine roost built up to 450 Swallows and 50 Sand Martins before dispersing and good numbers of Sedge Warblers were logged obvious evidence of southbound movement was otherwise limited to a Cuckoo (5th), a single Chiffchaff amongst a light Willow Warbler passage and a few Wheatears (from 25th).

Other sites: Selker produced up to 500 Manx Shearwaters. Quail were heard at Renwick and Cliburn.