Highlights: A Black Stork circled over Portinscale (23rd) while up to 13 Glossy Ibises graced the Kent Estuary at High Foulshaw (from 28th) and another flew east over Drumburgh Moss (29th). A first-winter Red-breasted Flycatcher trapped and ringed at Walney Bird Observatory (20th) was the first in the county since 1988. An adult American Golden Plover was reported on three occasions at Anthorn (20th-27th).
Esk/Mite/Irt complex: The Esk produced an adult Yellow-legged Gull (30th) and three Little Egrets. Meanwhile, an Osprey (27th), a juvenile Little Stint (11th) and an adult Spotted Redshank were all on the Irt Estuary with four Greenshank on the nearby Mite.
Hodbarrow: Pick of the waders were single Greenshank and Black-tailed Godwit. Up to seven Sacred Ibis of unknown origin lingered at Haverigg while a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was on the beach at Haverigg (30th) and a Spotted Redshank, an adult Mediterranean Gull and two Little Egrets were at nearby Borwick Rails.
Furness: A flock of 12 adult light-bellied Brent Geese were off Foulney Island (22nd) while 4505 Eider were counted around Foulney/Outer Leven Estuary. Up to nine Little Egrets, three Curlew Sandpipers and four adult Mediterranean Gulls were seen at Rampside.
Inner Solway: Up to five Little Egrets were seen. Wildfowl included the first southbound Pink-footed Geese (8th). A female/juvenile Marsh Harrier put in regular appearances. Waders included juvenile Curlew Sandpipers (max. two at both Port Carlisle and Grune Point), Black-tailed Godwits (max. 17 at Anthorn), Ruff (max. four near Port Carlisle) plus small numbers of Greenshank and the odd Green Sandpiper. A scattering of Mediterranean Gulls consisted of an adult and a second-winter at Anthorn, an adult near Port Carlisle and a second-summer at Grune. Seawatching produced five Pomarine and eight Great Skuas at Bowness-on-Solway (15th).
Kent Estuary: A Shag at Arnside (16th) was unusual. At least 35 Little Egrets were present. There were occasional sightings of Marsh Harrier and Osprey while wildfowl included 787 Greylag Geese, two feral Snow Geese and 239 Pintail. Juvenile/first-winter Mediterranean Gulls were at Arnside (2nd & 21st) and the juvenile Black Tern lingered (to 1st) while waders included a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper at Mid Foulshaw (22nd), five Sanderling, Black-tailed Godwit (max. 16) three Ruff and a Greenshank.
Outer Solway: Seawatching highlights included a Sooty Shearwater, a juvenile Sabine’s Gull and two Arctic Skuas off Nethertown (17th), a Leach’s Petrel past Maryport (17th), a juvenile Pomarine Skua and a pale-bellied Brent Goose at Workington (17th) and then two Pomarine Skuas, three Arctic Skuas and a juvenile Sabine’s Gull off Nethertown (18th). An early Bittern returned to Siddick Pond (5th) and a Hobby was seen at St Bees Head (28th). Mediterranean Gulls consisted of two adults, including the returning ‘Stumpy’, at Workington.
Walney Bird Observatory. Highlights over the sea involved three Leach’s Petrels and a Black Tern (17th), a total of five Arctic Skuas and up to five Shags. Also seen were good numbers of Common Scoters (max. 1005 on 7th), Razorbills (max. 165 on 29th) and Red-throated Divers (max. 14 on 18th). In addition, small numbers of Fulmars and Manx Shearwaters continued to be seen (to 17th) while Sandwich Terns were present all month (max. 114 on 19th) along with three Common Terns (7th) and two Arctic Terns (16th). A total of 1750 Pink-footed Geese flew through (from 18th) and the first 11 pale-bellied Brent Geese reappeared (19th). Additional wildfowl involved the first Goldeneye (7th) and 62 Pintail (29th) while three Shoveler lingered all month. Waders included 10 Curlew Sandpipers (8th), 580 Sanderling (22nd) plus single Ruff (8th-10th), Whimbrel (to 19th) and Spotted Redshank (4th and 12th) while a Black-tailed Godwit and up to 20 Greenshank were present throughout. Several Water Rails were logged (5th-13th) and Little Egret numbers built steadily to seven. Single Osprey (8th) and Marsh Harrier (24th) flew through and an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen (2nd). Grounded passerines included Redstart (5th), Reed Warbler (to 12th), Sedge Warbler (to 14th), Willow Warbler (to 22nd), Spotted Flycatcher (to 24th) and Whitethroat (to 25th) along with 33 Wheatears (6th), three Whinchats (9th) and 30 Robins (26th) amongst a steady Chiffchaff passage. However, in contrast, Goldcrest numbers were very low with few birds logged. Diurnal migration produced 50 House Martins (4th), 40 Tree Sparrows (14th), a total of eight Yellow Wagtails (to 17th) and five Siskins, four Tree Pipits (to 21st) and two Lesser Redpolls amongst good numbers of Meadow Pipits (max. 4000 on 29th), Skylarks (max. 540 on 28th), Swallows (max. 505 on 29th) and Pied/White Wagtails (max. 155 on 26th). A Hooded Crow also put in an appearance.
Other sites: Ospreys comprised two at Killington Reservoir, where two drake Common Scoters also appeared (23rd), and one at Tindale Tarn. Up to five Ruff were in the Lyth Valley. A Long-tailed Duck appeared on the River Eden near Linstock (26th-28th).