July weather started with a westerly airflow but changed to a north easterly airflow in the second week, often with blisteringly hot conditions. The 18th July turned out to be the second hottest ever day in the UK's history of weather records. From the 24th to 31st, the weather changed to a westerly direction.
THE FIRST notable seabird of the month was a Long-tailed Skua off the Lizard on the 2nd, presumably a non breeding Bird. Out of season ducks included a Greater Scaup at Stithians and Red-breasted Merganser at Carnsew Pool on the 3rd.
Returning waders started to trickle through from the 5th July. Stithians is always a good place to search as the water level drops quickly here in the summer. Two Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, two Common Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper were found here on the 5th. Tresemple Pool hosted 35 Redshank and three Greenshank on the 6th. The non breeding female Marsh Harrier continued its summer at Walmsley.
A Quail was heard singing at Pentire on the 9th and a dark morph female Honey Buzzard was seen flying over Nanjizal. An adult Purple Heron was also seen here on the 11th (5th record this year). Two more returning Little Ringed Plovers were seen in the Foxhole area on the 13th. The species doesn't breed in the county but certainly passes through in respectable numbers.
A small Cory's / putative Scopoli's Shearwater was photographed at distance off the Scillonian, near Wolf Rock on the 13th. Three photo's suggested a Scopoli's based on the small size, smallish bill and a relatively large amount of white in the primaries. Its unlikely to progress further though as the photo's weren't conclusive.
An adult Honey Buzzard flew over Devoran on the 16th and Purple Heron at Nanjizal the same day were the scant highlights of pretty barren week. 21 Gadwall fledged at Nanjizal pools. Wader passage continued in small numbers at Drift with Little Ringed Plover, two Green Sandpiper and three Common Sandpiper.
Presumably the same non breeding Purple Heron seen at Nanjizal on the 11th and 16th was seen flying eastwards over Sennen on the 18th at 08:50 and later at Porth Reservoir at 10:50. At least five Purple Herons have been seen this year in the county. The numbers reflect a general increase across the UK. Somerset now has breeding birds on the Levels.
Northern Wheatears appear to have done well locally with fledged young birds reported at The Lizard, Kenidjack, Pendeen and Porthgwarra.
The wind shifted briefly to south west on the 19th and a Cory's Shearwater was promptly seen off Mousehole. Four Balaeric Shearwater and a Sooty Shearwater were seen off Porthgwarra on the 23rd.
The wind strengthened from the south west on the 24th. Porthgwarra was again the place to be. The highest single day count for the last ten years of around 370 Cory's Shearwater was logged. In addition, 26 Sooty Shearwater, 12 Balearic and six Great made for a memorable day. Just one skua though surely reflects the unfolding bird-flu disaster happening at the top of the food chain.
|Cory's Shearwater, pic by Steve Rogers.
|Least Sandpiper, Drift, July 2022, picture by Joe Jones.