September 2014

Monday, 1 September 2014 to Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Highlights: A Common Crane was found at Barton Fell near Brampton (7th) a juvenile Nightjar was trapped and ringed in an Allonby garden (10th).

Esk/Irt/Mite complex: The Esk hosted three Little Egrets, a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, three Black-tailed Godwits and two Greenshank. The long-staying Hooded Crow was seen again on the Irt.

Hodbarrow: A Slavonian Grebe graced the main lagoon (16th) where it was joined by a second bird (18th), at least one of which remained to the month end. Waders included two Curlew Sandpipers (30th), two Black-tailed Godwits and a Greenshank. An early Whooper Swan (18th), a ringtail Hen Harrier (18th) and 17 Red-throated Divers (30th) headed south past nearby Silecroft.

Inner Solway: The first southbound Pink-footed Geese (7th) were followed by the first returning Barnacles (22nd) while other wildfowl included 1400 Pintail at Rockcliffe. At least 10 Little Egrets roamed the area. Marsh Harriers were seen at Drumburgh Moss, Rockcliffe Marsh and North Plain Farm. Waders included two juvenile Little Stints at Bowness Railings (23rd), a few juvenile Curlew Sandpipers (two at Grune Point, Rockcliffe, Port Carlisle and Anthorn plus one at Bowness-on-Solway) along with Ruff (max. 18 in the Rockcliffe area), Black-tailed Godwits (max. 98 at Rockcliffe) and Greenshank (max. three at Rockcliffe). An adult Mediterranean Gull was at Bowness-on-Solway (23rd).

Kent Estuary: Osprey (to 9th) and Marsh Harrier (to 22nd) continued to be seen while other raptors included a ringtail Hen Harrier (22nd), Merlin and Peregrine. A Spoonbill flew over the saltmarsh at Humphrey Head and a minimum of 31 Little Egrets were present. Waders included up to four Little Stints, two Ruff, an impressive 128 Black-tailed Godwits and two Greenshank. A juvenile/first-winter Mediterranean Gull was at Sandside (3rd).

Outer Solway: Single Pomarine Skua and Arctic Skua were seen off Nethertown while up to 17 Red-throated Divers were noted off Workington and no less than 15 Mediterranean Gulls frequented the Workington/Siddick Pond area.

Walney Bird Observatory: Offshore highlights were scant in the settled conditions with two Arctic Skuas (3rd) and up to two Shags the highlights amongst good numbers of Common Scoters (max. 306 on 9th), Sandwich Terns (max. 180 on 2nd) and Gannets (max. 48 on 8th). A late Manx Shearwater was logged (28th).A total of 4073 Pink-footed Geese headed south (from 12th), the first Brent Geese reappeared (13 on 25th) and Wigeon and Teal numbers began to build. Waders included up to five Little Stints (3rd-14th), Wood Sandpiper (3rd), up to four Curlew Sandpipers (3rd-13th) along with 21 Greenshank and 10 Black-tailed Godwits. Three Water Rails were in residence (29th), an Osprey headed south (13th) and a ringtail Hen Harrier hunted the island (21st) while Merlin and Peregrine were recorded regularly. A large fall of Wheatears produced 163 birds across the island (6th) while good numbers of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests were logged. Diurnal migration was steady with a total of 175 Tree Sparrows and peaks of 4000 Meadow Pipits (16th & 21st), 300 Skylarks (29th), 150 Swallows (29th) and 80 Pied/White Wagtails (27th). Migrant departure dates included Pied Flycatcher (4th), Whimbrel (10th), Whinchat (10th), Reed Warbler (11th), Sedge Warbler (13th), Spotted Flycatcher (18th), Whitethroat (19th), Willow Warbler (21st) and Tree Pipit (21st)

Other sites: The first southbound Pink-footed Geese were noted over the Leven Estuary (7th) while the first Barnacle Geese, at least 350 over Tindale Tarn (22nd), were followed by 180 at Haweswater (23rd). A Red-throated Diver turned up well inland near Alston (16th) but had to be taken into care. A Little Ringed Plover was at Sunbiggin Tarn () and an adult Mediterranean Gull was at Rampside (25th). Up to five migrant Ring Ouzels at a time visited Eddy Scale quarry, Torver High Common. Six Hawfinches were seen at Barkbooth Lot.