October 2010

Friday, 1 October 2010 to Sunday, 31 October 2010


Highlights: Yellow-browed Warblers were discovered at St Bees Head (10th), in a Whitrigg garden (16th) and at Walney (6th & 23rd). Grey Phalaropes appeared on flooded fields at Walney (21st-22nd) and near Eaglesfield (30th). A Rough-legged Buzzard (30th) and a Great Grey Shrike (18th) were both at Haweswater. A Great White Egret appeared at Kents Bank (12th-16th) and a drake Green-winged Teal was located at Soddy Gap (29th), both of which were probably returning birds.

 Hodbarrow: Three Little Egrets were at Hodbarrow Point (17th) with another two on nearby Millom Marsh. Pick of the waders was a Spotted Redshank while an adult Mediterranean Gull was on a flooded field just outside Millom (31st). Sightings at nearby Silecroft included a juvenile Pomarine Skua and a Shag (17th) followed by a Great Northern Diver, 16 Whooper Swans and a first-winter Little Gull (31st).

 Inner Solway: Two Spoonbills flew low over North Plain (20th) and at least two Little Egrets roamed the area. Whooper Swans began to appear (max. 68 at Campfield Marsh) whilst an adult Ross’s Goose (5th-26th) and a pale-bellied Brent Goose (20th) associated with up to 14000 Barnacle Geese on Rockcliffe Marsh and other wildfowl included 1500 Pintail off Bowness-on-Solway. At least four Hen Harriers hunted the area along with Merlin and Peregrine. Pick of the waders were two Curlew Sandpipers at Campfield Marsh (24th). An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Kirkbride (18th) and a lateish juvenile Common Tern lingered around Campfield Marsh (to 10th). Returning Twite included 200 at Anthorn and 100 on Skinburness Marsh.

 Kent Estuary: Around 30 Little Egrets remained in residence. Pick of the wildfowl were five Whooper Swans (18th) and 2273 Pintail while waders included two Curlew Sandpipers (22nd), 42 Black-tailed Godwits and two Greenshank. Two Lapland Buntings were found at Kents Bank (10th) while a bizarre looking partial albino Snow Bunting visited Halforth (13th).



Outer Solway: Up to a dozen Whooper Swans visited Siddick Pond and Soddy Gap where two Jack Snipe were also seen. Mediterranean Gulls were to be found in good numbers with at least 10, seven adults, a second-winter and two first-winters between Flimby, Soddy Gap, Workington, Siddick Pond and Parton. A Pied Flycatcher was at St Bees Head (10th).

Walney Bird Observatory: A Black Tern (2nd) and two Slavonian Grebes (28th) led offshore highlights which also included up to two Shags, a Velvet Scoter (15th) and a Black Guillemot (2nd) amongst small numbers of Red-throated Divers, Gannets, Common Scoters, Kittiwakes, Guillemots and Razorbills. A ringtail Hen Harrier was seen (10th-30th), Little Egrets increased to a record count of 53 and several Water Rails were logged. Totals of 2932 Pink-footed Geese and 118 Whooper Swans headed south while Brent Geese involved 48 pale-bellied and 25 dark-bellied birds and a flock of 24 Barnacle Geese lingered. Otherwise a Long-tailed Duck (24th-31st), Goosander (3rd) and eight Shoveler were the pick of the wildfowl sightings. Waders were led by two Curlew Sandpipers (to 6th), 25 Greenshank and a Black-tailed Godwit. Passerine highlights involved single Lapland Buntings (10th and 22nd) and a Mealy Redpoll (31st) while island rarities included Treecreeper (11th), 38 Long-tailed Tits (12th), Bullfinch (24th-30th) and several Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Ravens. Diurnal migration produced 1490 Meadow Pipits, 830 Skylarks, 830 Linnets, 130 alba wagtails, 101 Swallows and 36 House Martins (9th) and 2800 Jackdaws (17th). Also seen were totals of 207 Tree Sparrows, 76 Siskins, 47 Bramblings and 21 Redpolls amongst a strong Chaffinch passage. Migrant arrival dates involved Redwing (8th), Fieldfare (11th) and Twite (12th) while departure dates for summer visitors included Grasshopper Warbler (7th), House Martin (9th), Whinchat (10th), Wheatear (21st), Swallow (29th), Blackcap (31st) and Willow Warbler (31st).

 Waxwings: A sizeable early influx (from 24th) produced 110 in Keswick, 80 in Kendal, 40 in Carlisle, 40 in Penrith, 40 in Dalston, 30 in Wetheral Pasture, 20 in Wigton, 19 in Shap, 18 in Storth, 14 near Birdoswald and four in Kirkby Thore.

 Other Sites: The Esk Estuary near Ravenglass hosted a Little Egret and three Greenshank. Black Terns visited Tindale Tarn (4th) and Longtown Ponds (5th), where a Little Egret and a Long-tailed Duck (25th) were also seen. Crossbills included 20 at Whinlatter, Sizergh Castle hosted four Hawfinches, four Snow Buntings were on Helvellyn (24th) and single Lapland Buntings appeared near Wigton (15th) and at Dalton Crags (31st).