SPOTS - PEAK TIMES - GOOD BIRDING
Tern - breeding colony on Foulney Island, Apr. - July
Avocets - a few breeding pairs just over the
county border at Silverdale, May - July.
Barnacle Goose - the Solway Marshes may hold
10000 - 20000, Oct. - March.
Bar-tailed Godwit - South Solway and Duddon Estuaries,
July - March.
Black Grouse - North Pennines around Alston and
Geltsdale/Hartside have lekking areas;
Black Guillemot - a few birds may breed at St.
Bees Head, May - July
Brent Goose - around 50 overwinter in the Rampside/Foulney
area of Furness, Oct. - March.
Common Gull - large roosts on Haweswater and
Ullswater, Sept. - March.
Common Scoter - a flock of 200+ often found off
Silecroft, Nov. - Feb.
Common Tern - breeding colonies at Hodbarrow
and Rockcliffe, Apr. - July
Corn Bunting - may appear along the Solway coast,
but sadly lost from around Carlisle and disappearing rapidly from
the county; thrives in Lancashire! May?
Crossbill - occurs and breeds in conifers, mainly
Border Uplands but also Grizedale Forest and north-west Lakes.
Dotterel - central Lakes fells on passage, late
April - May; breeding now largely ceased.
Eider - resident and breeding in the Foulney/Walney
area, all year.
Fulmar - breeding colony at St. Bees Head, April
Gadwall - small numbers turn up in autumn on
passage, particularly down the west of the county.
Gannet - quite large counts off Walney and Hodbarrow,
June - September.
Goldeneye - Windermere holds significant numbers
but also at Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite and coastal estuaries,
Nov. - Mar.
Golden Eagle - one pair at Haweswater in summer.
Golden Plover - breeds in small numbers on northern
Pennines (e.g. Geltsdale); large winter flocks move around fields
on the Solway and in the Duddon/Walney area, but moving to the
coast in hard weather, Sept. - March.
Goshawk - resident and breeding in the Border
Forest; also foothills of south Lakes.
Grasshopper Warbler - summer visitor mostly to
coast, but also Bassenthwaite/Derwentwater; rarely seen and best
heard in early morning/late evening.
Great Black-backed Gull - breeding colony of
50 - 60 on South Walney, May - June.
Greenshank - passage birds at South Walney, Aug.
Green Sandpiper - rare, but most likely from
Solway and West Coast on autumn migration, July - August.
Grey Partridge - scattered distribution, mainly
in north and west coast; parties sometimes seen at North &
South Walney and Sandscale.
Grey Plover - winter on the Solway and in the
Duddon, Walney, Rampside areas, Sept. - March.
Greylag Goose - many feral populations but upto
2000 wintering wild birds in the Eden Valley (e.g. Salkeld/Watersmeet),
Oct. - March.
Guillemot - breeding colony at St. Bees Head,
May - June.
Hawfinch - elusive but resident in the Rusland
- Windermere - Sizergh triangle; also Woodwell, Silverdale.
Hen Harrier - much persecuted, breeds North Pennines,
coastal in winter.
Honey Buzzard - recent addition to county breeding
list; several pairs now likely in Lakeland in summer.
Kittiwake - breeds at St. Bees Head and gas platforms
in Irish Sea!
Kingfisher - Eden Valley, Bassenthwaite and Ulverston
hold breeding birds, April to July. Movement to coast in winter
e.g. head of Morecambe Bay around Arnside and Silverdale.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - elusive, try Grizedale
Lesser Whitethroat - increasing summer visitor;
prefers hedgerows and scrub of coastal lowlands e.g. Eskmeals,
Hodbarrow and Furness Peninsula.
Little Egret - several birds have been wintering
in the Walney area in recent years, often feeding in the pools
at low water in the channel between the island and the mainland.
Little Grebe - good wintering numbers at Cavendish
Dock and Hodbarrow, Nov.- Feb.; breeds mainly in South Lakes and
Furness on lowland waters and a few sites in the north .
Little Tern - breeding colony at Hodbarrow, Apr.
Mandarin - sightings of feral birds possible between Esthwaite
Water and Windermere.
Manx Shearwater - good numbers off-shore from
Walney to St. Bees Head, especially May - July.
Merlin - breeds on moorland in North Pennines
and sparsely in north Lakes, winters on coastal marshes. Best
chance of seeing them is Sept. - Oct. at Foulney/Walney and Solway
Mute Swan - large moulting flocks on Cavendish
Dock and Longtown Pond worth seeing, July/August.
Nightjar - now a very rare summer visitor to
county; mosses in south Cumbria.
Osprey - sightings possible central Lakes, breeding
at Bassenthwaite, April - July.
Pink-footed Goose - 1000+ around the Duddon and
more on the Solway around Campfield/Rockcliffe Marshes peaking
in March as northwards migration occurs - Oct. - March.
Pintail - large numbers on the Kent Estuary,
smaller numbers on the Leven and Duddon Estuaries, Oct. - Feb.
Puffin - a few birds breed at St. Bees Head,
May - July
Purple Sandpiper - Workington Harbour, Parton
beach and Biggar Bank, Walney, Nov. - March.
Quail - a few breeding pairs possible in summer
on northern Coastal Plain, but numbers fluctuate.
Razorbill - breeding colony at St. Bees Head,
May - July
Redstart - woodland between Kendal and Keswick
and other wooded valleys are likely spots in summer; avoids lowlands
and prefers wooded upland adjacent to farmland.
Red-throated Diver - frequently seen feeding
off-shore from Walney/Foulney and in the Solway, Oct.- Feb.
Red-breasted Merganser - breeds inland but significant
numbers all year at Cavendish Dock and Hodbarrow.
Reed Warbler - late arriving migrant and scarce
breeder on suitable reedbeds e.g. Siddick Pond, Bassenthwaite,
Rydal Water, Cavendish Dock and Urswick Tarn; April - Sept.
Rock Pipit - has bred on slag banks at Workington;
feed on shore south to St. Bees, May - June. Numbers in winter
increase as birds come in from Scandinavia and other areas like
Walney,Foulney, and the Roa Island causeway become hotspots.
Ring Ouzel - although Cumbria (North Pennines
and Lakes Fells) is a key breeding stronghold in Britain, numbers
seem to be declining; April - August.
Ruff - mostly from Solway (sometimes overwintering)
and, to a lesser extent Walney, on autumn migration, August -
Sanderling - wintering birds on Solway, Walney
and Duddon Estuary shores; Oct. - Apr., peak in spring.
Sand Martin - breeding colonies at Walney and
Bassenthwaite, May - July
Sandwich Tern - breeding colony at Hodbarrow, Apr. - July.
Scaup - the Solway is Britain's premier wintering
site for this species, Oct. - March.
Siskin - small numbers at garden bird feeders,
especially March - April.
Snow Bunting - small flocks on Lake District
peaks, Nov. - March.
Stonechat - numbers have built up after mild
winters. Now abundant around the coast at St. Bees, North Walney
and on lowland heaths in the south of the county.
Tree Pipit - summer visitor to scrub and new
fell areas, but numbers seem to be declining - lovely call and
gliding parachute flight, May to July.
Tree Sparrow - uncommon and now limited to farmland
of coastal plains in Solway and Furness and Eden Valley. The Leece/Dendron/Gleaston
area in the Furness Peninsula is a stronghold.
Turnstone - main wintering area South Walney,
Roa Island and Biggar Bank, Aug. - April with peaks in autumn
Twite - breeds on Pennines; erratic but flocks
of upto 200 regularly recorded on Walney and around Askam, Nov.
Water Rail - now very elusive in county; possible
at North Walney, Bassenthwaite and Sunbiggin Tarn (but Leighton
Moss estimated to have around 100 territorial males).
Whimbrel - passage migrant, especially in spring,
Solway, Duddon and Morecambe Bay; late April - early May.
Whooper Swan - small flocks around Rockcliffe
and Kirkbride on the Solway and the Langwathby area in the Eden
valley, Nov. - March.
Wigeon - large numbers in Morecambe Bay, Sept.
Willow Tit - much scarcer than Marsh Tit and
confined to northern half of county, especially Solway marshes
Woodcock - easily over-looked; strongholds in
South Cumbria( roding birds possible in April Rusland, Grizedale,
Brigsteer, and Angerton Moss), Bassenthwaite/Derwentwater and
Wood Warbler - increasingly scarce summer visitor
to woods of higher Eden valley, but strongest to west of a line
from Cockermouth to Kendal e.g. usually breeds in Torver Common
woodland and edges of Grizedale Forest, May - July.
Yellow Wagtail - now few breeding birds in county;
Eden valley around Appleby and Kent valley in south now most likely
spots in summer or Heversham Moss in the south.