March 2015

Period: 
Sunday, 1 March 2015 to Tuesday, 31 March 2015
Great Grey Shrike, Binsey, Steve Dutton
Great Grey Shrike, Binsey, Steve Dutton
Great Grey Shrike, Dalton Crags, Roger Ridley
Great Grey Shrike, Dalton Crags, Roger Ridley

Highlights: A rather elusive Richard’s Pipit was seen intermittently near Lowca Rugby Club (8th-18th). A drake Green-winged Teal was found at North Plain Farm (23rd) and a new Great Grey Shrike appeared near Binsey north of Bassenthwaite (22nd-29th). Meanwhile, the Great Grey Shrike reappeared at Dalton Crags where it was joined by a second bird (from 18th-31st).

Slavonian Grebes, Hodbarrow, Ian Kinley
Slavonian Grebes, Hodbarrow, Ian Kinley

Hodbarrow: Two Slavonian Grebes graced the lagoon at Hodbarrow (14th-31st) while wildfowl included 10 Gadwall and three Scaup and pick of the waders were eight Black-tailed Godwits.

Esk/Irt/Mite complex: The Esk hosted three Little Egrets and a Greenshank with a Greenshank also on the Mite.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, Roa Island, Lou Cross
Scandinavian Rock Pipit, Roa Island, Lou Cross

Furness: At least half a dozen Rock Pipits, considered littoralis, lingered at Roa Island.

Inner Solway: Whooper Swans included 186 in the Kirkbride area and an Egyptian Goose was near Rogersceugh. At least three Little Egrets roamed the area. Single Jack Snipe were seen at Finglandrigg and Silloth. Bowness-on-Solway produced a Fulmar and up to 77 Kittiwakes.

Kent Estary: Northbound Whooper Swans included 23 at Arnside while other wildfowl included 15 Gadwall at Ulpha Meadows. At least 10 Little Egrets were present. Two Marsh Harriers and a ringtail Hen Harrier continued to be seen. The Water Rail still appeared occasionally at Foulshaw Moss. Waders included a spectacular 440 Black-tailed Godwits near Arnside where a Waxwing put in a brief appearance (11th).

Outer Solway: A juvenile Glaucous Gull appeared in Allonby Bay (19th) along with two Mediterranean Gulls, a first-summer and a second-summer, while a single adult was at Workington.

Walney Bird Observatory: The sea was generally quiet with 105 Kittiwakes (1st), 24 Red-throated Divers, two Sandwich Terns (21st) and two Gannet (28th) the highlights along with six Shags and small numbers of Common Scoters, Razorbills and Guillemots. At least 21 Little Egrets were still present and a Water Rail was logged (22nd) while both Merlin and Peregrine put in regular appearances. Wildfowl included flocks of 53 Barnacle Geese (5th-6th), 180 pale-bellied Brent Geese (21st), 65 dark-bellied Brent Geese (27th), two Scaup (to 18th) and a long-staying Long-tailed Duck. While totals of 1042 Pink-footed Geese (max. 860 on 22nd) and 183 Whooper Swans (max. 128 on 22nd) headed north. Waders included: 25 Purple Sandpipers, six Greenshank and three Black-tailed Godwits. Although the first Chiffchaff (13th) and Wheatear (14th) arrived on cue, migration generally stalled thereafter with only small numbers moving through amongst a trickle of Goldcrests. Diurnal migration also proved to be slow with just two Grey Wagtails and single Tree Sparrow, Siskin and Lesser Redpoll amongst a light passage of Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails. The long-staying Hooded Crow put in several appearances and the small wintering flocks of Tree Sparrows (max. 19 on 19th) and Twite (max. 100 on 18th) remained.

Other sites: Inland Whooper Swans were limited to 12 on Coniston Water while Scaup included two on Bassenthwaite Lake and two near Linstock. Little Egrets included 19 in the Lyth Valley where a Marsh Harrier and four Whooper Swans were also seen. A flock of 12 Bar-tailed Godwits flying over Hallbankgate (3rd) was a very unusual inland record. A juvenile Iceland Gull was found in a field at Micklethwaite near Wigton (12th) and, more mundanely, an adult Mediterranean Gull was at Holme (2nd). A Waxwing appeared briefly at Oxenholme station (23rd). The male Black Redstart remained at Carlisle airport (to 6th). Up to four Hawfinches frequented Sizergh Castle while Snow Buntings included 35 on the Calf in the Howgill Fells and six on Blease Fell, Blencathra.

Migrant arrivals: Sand Martin, Bowness-on-Solway (12th); Wheatear, Halforth (13th); Chiffchaff, Walney (13th); Ring Ouzel, Kershope Forest (27th);