September 2011

Period: 
Thursday, 1 September 2011 to Friday, 30 September 2011
Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Arnside Marsh, Craig Shaw
Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Arnside Marsh, Craig Shaw

Highlights: A juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper, the first in the county since 1998, frequented Arnside Marsh (24th-30th) where it was joined by two juvenile Pectoral Sandpipers (28th-30th). The Great White Egret remained at Kents Bank all month.

Hodbarrow: Waders included a juvenile Spotted Redshank (4th), while a Little Egret and 238 Sandwich Terns assembled on Haverigg beach (4th).

Great Skua, Bowness-on-Solway, Darren Robson
Great Skua, Bowness-on-Solway, Darren Robson
Arctic Skua, Bowness-on-Solway, Darren Robson
Arctic Skua, Bowness-on-Solway, Darren Robson

Inner Solway: Six Whooper Swans appeared at Whitrigg (30th) and other wildfowl included 50 Shoveler at Campfield Marsh. At least three Little Egrets roamed the area. Two Marsh Harriers hunted Campfield Marsh (13th) and an Osprey was seen at Grune Point (28th). Seawatching at Bowness-on-Solway produced a Storm Petrel (12th), a Leach’s Petrel (13th), several Arctic Skuas, two Great Skuas (12th) and a few Fulmars, Gannets and Kittiwakes. Waders included Curlew Sandpipers (max. 11 at Port Carlisle), Little Stints (max. three at Port Carlisle), Ruff (max. 19 at North Plain), Black-tailed Godwits (max. 16 at Campfield), four Green Sandpipers at Carr Beds and small numbers of Greenshank. Two adult Mediterranean Gulls were at Bowness-on-Solway and a Snow Bunting appeared at Grune Point (28th).

Ruff, Inner Solway, Darren Robson
Ruff, Inner Solway, Darren Robson
Gannet, Bowness-on-Solway, Darren Robson
Gannet, Bowness-on-Solway, Darren Robson

Kent Estuary: Little Egrets remained in good numbers (max. 12). At least two Ospreys were seen early in the month. Waders included up to seven Curlew Sandpipers and three Little Stints while a Little Gull frequented a flooded field near Halforth and a juvenile Black Tern was at Sandside (6th).

Outer Solway: A juvenile Sabine’s Gull was found at Sellafield (23rd). Seawatching at Workington produced single Leach’s Petrels (12th & 14th), a Pomarine Skua (14th), at least four Arctic Skuas, Red-throated Divers (max. 14), an adult Little Gull (20th) and modest numbers of Fulmars, Gannets and Kittiwakes. A Grey Phalarope also paused briefly at Workington (15th) and at least six Mediterranean Gulls, four adults and two first-winters, were present.

Walney Bird Observatory: Mid-month gales produced a flurry of seabirds with 10 Leach’s Petrels, three Sabine’s Gulls and a Storm Petrel the pick of the sightings along with 15 Great Skuas, 14 Arctic Skuas, up to four Shags and single Black Guillemot (12th & 23rd) also seen amongst the usual commoner species. A total of 1785 Pink-footed Geese flew south (from 15th) and waders included up to three Curlew Sandpipers and single Green Sandpiper, Little Stint and Ruff amongst 44 Greenshank and four Black-tailed Godwits. An Osprey flew through (5th) and Merlin sightings became more regular. The first Water Rail reappeared (14th) and Little Egret numbers began to build. Chiffchaffs were prominent throughout the month with a daily turnover of birds (max. 30 on 4th); however Goldcrest and Robin numbers were below strength. Up to two Yellow Wagtails lingered (to 12th), a Redstart appeared (9th) and diurnal passage included 109 Siskins, 52 Grey Wagtails, 42 Lesser Redpolls, 12 Tree Sparrows and six Tree Pipits. Additional migrant departure dates involved Garden Warbler (4th), Arctic Tern (9th), Little Tern (12th), Tree Pipit (14th), Lesser Whitethroat (15th), Whitethroat (19th), Sedge Warbler (19th), Sand Martin (25th) and Willow Warbler (26th).

Other sites: A drake Mandarin appeared on Thacka Pond, Penrith (23rd). The radio-tagged Osprey remained in the Dalston area early in the month and one visited Tindale Tarn (15th) as, more unusually, did a Gannet (13th). The flooded field near Crosby-on-Eden continued to attract Ruff (max. four) along with two Spotted Redshanks, a Curlew Sandpiper and a Black-tailed Godwit...