September has been a decent month for me in the past, and some searching through the records has turned up a little interest out of the little black book.
I have to divert from September to start with the oldest, and note the record of a Lesser Yellowlegs I found on the Eric Morecambe Complex at Leighton Moss on 18 October 1995, this was the first record in our area of this North American wader, it was followed by the second Lesser Yellowlegs found at the same location 2 years later on 12 September 1997 when this time I was in company with John Leedal. These two birds were the first of four more seen over the years....
Banks Marsh 6 February 1999
Eagland Hill 14 September 2002
Glasson Dock 24 September 2011
Conder Green 23 August 2015
September continued to be good for me, in that I found a juvenile Black-necked Grebe on Conder Pool 1 September 2008, this bird obliged for 17 days, and was last seen on Conder Pool on 18 September.
Just 18 days after my Black-necked Grebe, I was coming back down Clougha Pike whilst doing my Stonechat survey of the area, as I reached the top of Birk Bank, on 19 September 2008 a Honey Buzzard gave me 90 seconds of pleasure as it flew by me south.
My sighting was a part of an influx of Honey Buzzard in our recording area in 2008, thought to have been displaced Scandinavian migrants. It was one of 10 records including the first of these, which was of a juvenile female having been ringed and solar-powered satellite transmitter fitted at the nest in Scotland. This bird was known to have roosted overnight on the Cumbria border on 13 September, crossed the English Channel to France, then over the Straits of Gibraltar. It reached southern Morocco by mid-October, but by mid-November the transmitter was still at the same remote location in the Atlas Mountains, suggesting that it had become detached, or the bird was dead.
I spent many hours along with John Leedal staked out in the Rusland Valley in Cumbria watching Honey Buzzard during the early 2000's, mostly fruitless hours, but we did have our days, and we had them close one day on which I made an excellent recording of one bird calling reminiscent of Grey Plover....Halcyon Days.
I was intrigued by the report on LDBWS website, of a Red-throated Diver swimming upstream in the River Conder on Friday morning. I've no doubt this sighting was seen as questionable, but I was in touch with Malcolm Sole about his report, he gave me some more details and further claimed the bird to be in winter plumage. If this wasn't the case, then the question has to be....what did Malcolm see in the creeks at Conder Green on Friday morning?