Highlights: The county and Northwest England’s first Red-eyed Vireo was a stunning discovery at Walney Bird Observatory (4th) completely overshadowing the arrival of another two Yellow-browed Warblers, singles at Snab Point, Walney and Westfield Point N.R. Rampside on the same day. A Rough-legged Buzzard was reported at Cardurnock (8th) while a Great Grey Shrike took up residence at Dalton Crags (from 20th) and another was found near Hawkshead (24th).
Esk/Irt/Mite complex: The Esk hosted an unseasonable Common Sandpiper (24th) two Little Egrets and an adult Mediterranean Gull was found in nearby fields, while up to eight Greenshank were on the Mite.
Furness: A Water Pipit was seen intermittently at Roa Island with a late Sandwich Tern in the nearby Walney Channel (10th).
Hodbarrow: Wildfowl included nine Whooper Swans and 29 Gadwall while pick of the waders was a Spotted Redshank. A Short-eared Owl frequented Hodbarrow Mains. Nearby, the Duddon hosted a Water Pipit and four dark-bellied Brent Geese at Lady Hall (6th), a late Marsh Harrier over the mosses (5th) and 10 Little Egrets on Green Road Marsh while a Snow Bunting visited Silecroft car park (27th).
Inner Solway: Wildfowl included thousands of Barnacle Geese on the saltmarshes and 1200 Teal on Wedholme Flow. At least 11 Little Egrets roamed the area. A Short-eared Owl was near Port Carlisle (18th) and at least two Hen Harriers hunted the area. Waders included a presumed overwintering Common Sandpiper at Glasson Point (11th) and Rockcliffe (28th), 230 Snipe on Wedholme Flow, a Jack Snipe on Border Marsh and Black-tailed Godwits (max. 16 at Campfield Marsh). Twite included 150 on Newton Marsh, 40 on Burgh Marsh and 25 at Anthorn.
Kent Estuary: Small numbers of Whooper Swans were seen and a female/immature Long-tailed Duck appeared briefly at Arnside (4th) while at least 38 Little Egrets were present. Two juvenile Marsh Harriers appeared regularly along with a ringtail Hen Harrier and several Peregrines and at least one Merlin. Waders included two Ruff and three Black-tailed Godwits. At least 80 Twite roamed between Kents Bank and Meathop while a Black Redstart was found at Humphrey Head (30th).
Outer Solway: A Black-throated Diver (14th & 23rd), two Slavonian Grebes, a drake Long-tailed Duck (11th) and two late Arctic Skuas (14th) were all off Nethertown. At least one Bittern was at Siddick Pond along with a late Swallow (14th) and six Purple Sandpipers were at Workington.
Walney Bird Observatory: Offshore highlights were few but included up to 16 Shags and single Great Northern Diver and Mediterranean Gull (8th), a late Sandwich Tern (10th) and Gannet (30th). A late Osprey moved through (16th) while Peregrine, Merlin and Barn Owl were regularly logged. Up to 69 Little Egrets and four Water Rails were also recorded. A total of 523 Pink-footed Geese and 141 Whooper Swans headed south while up to 156 pale-bellied Brent Geese, 72 dark-bellied Brent Geese and 37 Barnacle Geese were prominent. A Long-tailed Duck was present all month and was briefly joined by a second bird (21st), 12 Shoveler were seen (12th) and two Gadwall lingered. Waders included 10,000 Oystercatchers and 3,000 Knot along with 16 Greenshank, five Purple Sandpipers and two Black-tailed Godwits while two Woodcocks were seen (2nd) and four Jack Snipe were amongst 28 Snipe (30th). Passerines included single Black Redstart (4th), Snow Bunting (5th), Lapland Bunting (14th) and Yellowhammer (23rd). The Twite flock steadily increased to 130. Diurnal migration produced good numbers of thrushes including 555 Fieldfares (8th), 100 Redwings (5th) and eight Mistle Thrushes (5th). Also seen were 1,200 Jackdaws (5th) along with totals of 260 Tree Sparrows, 13 Lesser Redpolls, six Stock Doves, six Siskins and two Bramblings. Two Jays were seen (16th) and a Hooded Crow lingered (1st-8th). The last of the southbound migrants involved Wheatear (2nd), Blackcap (4th), House Martin (5th), Swallow (9th) and Chiffchaff (30th).
Other sites: Two drake Common Scoters were inland on Talkin Tarn (1st) and a female Red-crested Pochard remained on Whinfell Tarn (1st) while a Ruff was at Thacka Flash, Penrith (15th). Black Redstarts were seen at Carlisle airport (28th), Great Broughton (5th) and Low Parkamoor, near Coniston (16th) with a late Ring Ouzel near Tindale (4th). At least 30 Crossbills frequented Whinlatter while several were in song on top of Raven Crag, Thirlmere. Hawfinches included six at Barkbooth Lot and four at Sizergh Castle and single Snow Buntings were on Skiddaw and High Street.