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Sightings for the current month

July 23rd

Avocet at Stanpit last night – Alan Hayden
Black-tailed Godwit
...likewise, these adult Black-tailed Godwit – Alan Hayden

The moment of another gloriously warm day came at 10:20 this morning, when a dark, adult female Honey Buzzard soared over Two Riversmeet. Other than that, it’s mainly about waders, with: a Little Ringed Plover, 2 Green Sandpiper, 4 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Snipe and Ringed Plover being turned in from Stanpit. After yesterday’s Common Gull record, there was an even less frequently seen plumage example seen in the area today - a juvenile at Stanpit over lunch - as well as 3 Mediterranean Gull. Passerine interest was modest to say the least, just a single Yellow Wagtail amongst the marsh ponies. 

If you would like some dates for your diary, the winter Indoor Meeting programme is now taking shape.

Tides July 24th: L03:15 | H08:00 | H11:15 | L15:35 | H20:30 | H23:30

July 22nd

There were fifteen species of wader recorded inside the harbour this morning - the following list in notional order of interest: a Wood Sandpiper over Fisherman’s Bank, a Little Ringed Plover over Crouch Hill, 2 Avocet around all day, a Knot likewise, 5 Common Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 9 Whimbrel, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Snipe, a Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin and then uncounted Redshank, Curlew, Lapwing and Oystercatcher. In addition, a couple of Whimbrel passed by westward at sea. The best of the gulls, for the date that is, was a first-summer Common Gull, as well as a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, but just one Mediterranean Gull, an adult. The water meadows on Wick hosted singles of Grey Wagtail and Yellow Wagtail, while 3 Shoveler were at Stanpit. 

Tides July 23rd: L02:25 | H07:25 | H10:20 | L14:45 | H19:50 | H22:40

July 21st

The first Mullet-hawk, i.e. Osprey, of the year was recorded today, when a bird passed high to the south-west over the north of the area. There were also further signs of returning passerines - 3 Whinchat, an adult and two juveniles, were on Priory Marsh, 3 Willow Warbler and a Garden Warbler were in Smithy’s Field, and ignoring those birds still singing around 35 Sedge Warbler fed up in the reeds. In addition, around a hundred each of Swift, Swallow and House Martin travelled west, ditto an unkindness of 7 Raven, while the Mudeford Quay resident was rifling through last night’s trash early on. After a few days of not being seen, the Glossy Ibis was in Stanpit Bight for some time this morning, when a Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Snipe and 4 Shoveler were also logged. The remaining news involves at least 9 Bearded Tit at Stanpit. 

July 20th

Great Green Bush-cricket
Great Green Bush-cricket - very popular with the local Kestrels – Chris Dresh

Another scorching day saw the first returning Wheatear of the ‘autumn’, a female-type bird that spent most of the day on Crouch Hill; also an adult Yellow Wagtail around there in the morning, before heading over towards Wick Hams. Although the wader selection was down on yesterday, there was still a modicum of interest - not least from an adult Curlew Sandpiper with the Dunlin and a 2 Little Ringed Plover over Crouch Hill - but also: 17 Common Sandpiper, thirteen of those on the sandspit, 3 Greenshank, 6 Whimbrel and 63 Dunlin. A juvenile Sandwich Tern in Stanpit Bight was the first of the year, while the Little Gull, 7 Mediterranean Gull, five of them juveniles, and 3 Common Tern were also inside the harbour. The end of the sandspit again hosted Raven, but it does now seem to be just a single bird. 

July 19th

Lightening over Mudeford Quay
Lightening over Mudeford Quay
Mudeford Quay at around 1:30 this morning – Chris Dresh

Firstly,  a piece of news from yesterday on a bird that was understandably treated with some caution. Late in the morning, a warbler song full of mimicry was heard for around 15-minutes from the hedge that runs from Stanpit car park alongside the sea scouts building. Although suspicions were deep as to the species involved, it wasn’t until some recordings had been circulated that a Marsh Warbler was confirmed. The bird was listened for yesterday evening and from first light this morning, but it does seem to have gone. Back to today and an incredible wader-fest. This was initially headed by 10 Curlew Sandpiper, all adults and all still in full breeding-plumage, amongst the Dunlin on Stanpit; but these were then somewhat eclipsed by an early afternoon build-up of Greenshank to thirty-nine birds on Blackberry Point, from where they left on the flooding tide. Meanwhile, the ‘curlew-sands’ remained and there was a further, single Greenshank, so making a neat forty for the day. In addition, 4 Sanderling, 7 Whimbrel, 11 Common Sandpiper, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Turnstone, a Snipe, a Ringed Plover and 58 Dunlin were on-site. The best of the terns were 2 Little Tern at Stanpit, as well as 18 Common Tern logged, while the Little Gull and 3 Mediterranean Gull were present. To round up, East Marsh hosted 47 Little Egret and a Fulmar was noted at sea.

July 18th

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull – Alan Hayden
Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper – Alan Hayden
The thunder and lightening came overnight, along with some quite heavy rain and a strengthening of the wind. As a consequence, the sea off Hengistbury was given some attention, but was deathly quiet until just after 7:30, when things picked up significantly. Over the next hour or so, the following were all seen heading west: an adult Roseate Tern, an Arctic Skua, 2 Great Skua very close in, 140 Common Scoter, a Golden Plover, 3 Grey Plover, 3 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a flock of 22 Mallard, those surely as wild as we’re ever likely to experience. Meanwhile, 3 Black-tailed Godwit came into the area and there was the bizarre sight of a Peregrine attacking a Gannet over the water, before a Herring Gull joined in to see off the falcon and escort it back to shore! A little earlier, at least 22 Mediterranean Gull were about the eastern side of Stanpit, but in-harbour waders were somewhat limited; while other points of note included a flock of 22 Skylark that lifted up from the Barn Field and a Raven on Mudeford Quay.

July 17th

As the humidity builds ahead of the thunder storms that are forecast for this coming weekend, it was altogether quieter around the area today. Singles of Kingfisher were seen in Parky Meade Rail and Stanpit Creek, while at least 8 Bearded Tit were spread across Stanpit and over 40 young-looking Sedge Warbler were in the Great Spires reeds. Waders were probably slightly down on yesterday - 8 Common Sandpiper, 5 Greenshank and a Snipe being the only ones of note - but there were 3 Tufted Duck and 2 Shoveler around. Mediterranean Gull were thin on the ground early on, but a late afternoon ant hatch saw 20+ taking advantage directly over Two Riversmeet. However, with the swarm and its accompanying gulls right around the periphery of the harbour there were surely far more out there.

Additional news: 19 Mediterranean Gull were pre-roosting in the harbour this evening.

July 16th

There were just 3 Mediterranean Gull logged today; but one, in second-summer plumage, was carrying a colour ring. A little subsequent searching on the web confirms the bird was ringed in 2012 as a chick in the nest in Lithuania - so, as suspected, some of the birds currently passing through the area are of East European origin. In terms of species interest, a flock of 4 Crossbill that overflew Stanpit this morning is the pick of the news; but also a Hobby, the first since the incoming birds of the spring, over the marsh. A decent list of waders is headed by a Little Ringed Plover and then: 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Greenshank, 8 Whimbrel, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Dunlin and 2 Snipe. To wrap up, the Little Gull was seen first thing and a couple of Common Tern were around slightly later.

July 15th

Curlew – Clinton Whale

The early morning routine saw the Glossy Ibis and Little Gull on the mud at Stanpit - the latter, despite its obvious size disadvantage, trying to pirate food from the Black-headed Gull. Otherwise, it's just a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 6 Whimbrel and 4 Black-tailed Godwit to remark upon.

July 14th

Sandwich Tern
Sandwich Tern – Clinton Whale

Although the sunshine made it blisteringly hot, a brisk westerly wind tempered the actual heat. It’s not often that game birds lead the post, but Quail records are obviously an exception - one was flushed from Priory Marsh this morning and then circled that area before descending into the morass of vegetation on the golf course embankment. Also of interest was a Garganey that ended up with 5 Shoveler and 3 Teal on Priory Marsh, after first being seen around Stanpit Bight, where a Pochard was probably an even better record for the date. In addition, the customary post-dawn sightings of Glossy Ibis and Little Gull make the post, while an adult Cuckoo perched in trees on the Wick side of the river is perhaps a little late to still be in the country. Talking of leaving, and Swift will certainly be thinking about that - for example, around 130 birds heading west over a 60-minute period in the morning - as well as a Little Ringed Plover over the marsh, the Avon Valley gravel pits now seeing their birds moving away. The rest of the waders for the day included an estimated 18 Common Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank, 6 Whimbrel, 9 Black-tailed Godwit and 7 Dunlin. After a false dawn on Saturday, Mediterranean Gull have become almost absent - just one logged today. 

Additional news: 3 Snipe were at Stanpit.

July 13th

Peacock – Clinton Whale
Canada Goose
...and a couple of dubious looking Canada Goose, or is that genuine head moult?
Not surprisingly, details on eclipse or moult plumages of this species is rather scant
– Clinton Whale
Wader interest notched up a little today, when a juvenile Stone Curlew was found on the tidal mud in Stanpit Bight. The bird was present for around an hour from just after 7:30, but then seemed to melt into the vegetation on the tip of South Marsh. Equally out of place was a Dartford Warbler that was first heard calling from a small bramble bush adjacent to the Argyle Road slip, but which then worked its way north along Fisherman's Bank, where it could have made quite a species for a garden list. At one point, the Glossy Ibis was side-by-side with the thick-knee and the Little Gull was logged early on. Initially there were no Mediterranean Gull in the harbour, but a flock of five that arrived from the east contained an adult and four juveniles. From early observations, it would seem that both this species and Black-headed Gull have had a good breeding season. Meanwhile, also travelling west was an Arctic Skua at sea off Hengistbury. Back to waders and there was a minimum of 3 Greenshank, 6 Common Sandpiper, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 14 Dunlin turned in from both the bank and Barn Bight.

Additional news: a Peregrine and 2 Common Tern were at Stanpit.

July 12th

The end of this month last year saw an unprecedented build-up of Mediterranean Gull, over 300 individuals, so today’s peak count - thirty-seven around Stanpit Bight on the afternoon low tide - could be the start of a similar event. The birds were all adults, save for singles of each of the other three distinguishable plumages, with one carrying a green ring which we believe precludes it from being of British origin. The morning produced 2 Little Ringed Plover - an adult and a juvenile - frequenting the shingle on Grimmery Bank, while other wader counts throughout the day came to: 5 Greenshank, 5 Common Sandpiper, 6 Whimbrel, 2 Grey Plover and 2 Black-tailed Godwit, plus an increase of Lapwing to around fifty. Early on, the Little Gull was present, the Glossy Ibis left to the north after spending some time feeding off South Marsh, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was on the HHC bar before settling for a period on Crouch Hill and a small flurry of Swift passed over the area. After being heard in Central Marsh, a party of 5 Bearded Tit took to the air and circled at some height over the river to eventually come down in Wick Hams. Meanwhile, Stanpit was alive to the song of acrocephalus warblers from nearly every suitable location for nearly all of the morning. To complete the post, 4 Common Tern were inside the harbour and singles of Peregrine were seen on two occasions.

July 11th

Great Black-backed Gull
Adult Great Black-backed Gull – Clinton Whale
Black-headed Gull
...and recently fledged Black-headed Gull – Clinton Whale

With the tidal cycle now producing mud at first light, the Glossy Ibis is back on the agenda - being seen today at Stanpit just after 5:30. Meanwhile, wader interest continues to improve with the best from a couple of visits, morning and afternoon, being a Green Sandpiper, 5 Common Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, 38 Dunlin and 39 Redshank. A Cuckoo at Stanpit was a good record and there are now ten singing Sedge Warbler across the marsh; the latter, somewhat surprisingly, seeming to have picked up in numbers in the last week or so. Returning wildfowl again featured, with 2 Shoveler and 4 Teal, but 4 Shelduck were perhaps on the way to their traditional moulting grounds in Friesland. To round up: 4 Mediterranean Gull were logged; a Peregrine was plucking prey on Stanpit; around 40 Swift were making good use of an ant hatch; and at least 12 Water Rail were reckoned to be calling.

Omissions: at least one Bearded Tit was on the Wick side of the river and 2 Dartford Warbler, presumably dispersing juveniles, were on Speller's Point.

July 10th

Although we haven't yet got to what is normally the warmest month of the year and the fine weather rolls on, there was the the first sign of winter this morning when 9 Wigeon, all in female-type plumage, were at Stanpit. The wader selection is likely to only get better from now-on-in and a Little Ringed Plover on tip of South Marsh was an indication of that; while also around Stanpit Bight were a Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, 3 Common Sandpiper, a Ringed Plover and 22 Dunlin. In addition to the Little Gull and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, the larid interest was enhanced by a couple of Yellow-legged Gull on the sea off Double Dykes. To round up, Raven were again vocal in the Wood on Hengistbury, despite the heavy-duty, summer-season rubbish receptacles on Mudeford Quay now depriving them of an an easy breakfast.

July 9th

With the settled, warm weather still very much dominating, all the day's bird news comes from inside the harbour and includes: the Little Gull, a Greenshank, a Whimbrel, a single Black-tailed Godwit and 8 Dunlin; as well as an adult Mediterranean Gull and 4 Teal. Incredibly, given how busy it is on the sandspit, the Grey Seal is still around for what is at least its fifth day.

July 8th

In what is now considered almost a standard occurrence, the Glossy Ibis headed north over Stanpit towards the valley this morning, today at 8:30. Also, the first-summer Little Gull around Stanpit Bight, as well as 2 adult Mediterranean Gull and 5 Common Tern. Common Sandpiper were down on yesterday, five being the figure for this post, but there were 2 Greenshank and 5 Black-tailed Godwit seen from the Argyle Road slip; as well as 3 Teal and 3 Gadwall.

July 7th

There was a clear influx of Common Sandpiper about the area, with a flock of 22 birds on the end of the sandspit, viewable from Mudeford Quay, the largest gathering; but there were a further nine inside the harbour and a singleton at the southern end of the spit. Meanwhile, other waders included 4 Turnstone by the Beach Huts and a Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, which only lingered briefly before continuing east, and 5 Dunlin at Stanpit. At the northern end of Stanpit, a Yellow Wagtail overflew Priory Marsh, a Treecreeper was in Purewell Meadows and a minimum of 6 Bearded Tit were present. Single Glossy Ibis were seen heading towards the valley on two occasions separated by 15-minutes, but it seems probable that just one bird was involved. To round up, the Little Gull was again present, as were 3 Mediterranean Gull and a Common Tern; while of mammal interest a Grey Seal was seen from the quay. 

July 6th

Small Skipper
Small Skipper – Olly Frampton

On another reasonably settled day, a redhead Goosander was on the HHC slip early on and the first-summer Little Gull was around Stanpit Bight. Meanwhile, the state of tide at dawn, which means there is no exposed mud inside the harbour, is presumably the reason for a couple of blank ‘ibis-days’. From Fisherman’s Bank, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull could be seen on East Marsh, while waders from there included a Greenshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Snipe and 5 Dunlin; with 2 Teal being the only other birds of note for the day. 

July 5th

Those seawatching from the Beach Huts and Mudeford Quay had their alert levels raised at 7:30 this morning when news of an albatross, firstly past Portland and then from a boat south of Swanage, broke. Rather inevitably, however, a blank was drawn. Prior to all of this, a young Spoonbill was seen heading west from the quay, as were 3 Great Crested Grebe with a further bird on the water. Meanwhile, both sites logged a down-channel Whimbrel and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, the first of the season, was on the sandspit. The only other point of bird interest, other than a constant presence of Gannet and that now containing a few juveniles, was a light, westerly passage of Great Black-backed Gull. 

Additional news: of mammal interest, a Grey Seal was just off the sandspit.

July 4th

Fox cub – Clinton Whale

Today's news comes courtesy of the Glossy Ibis, the Little Gull and a single Black-tailed Godwit at Stanpit, plus thirty or so Gannet east off Mudeford Quay.

July 3rd

Herring Gull
Herring Gull – Dave Cooke

Just after dawn, the Red-throated Diver was found floating in the water off Fisherman’s Bank, where it had sadly passed away overnight. The corpse was subsequently recovered and then rather respectfully laid to rest under the exposed, intertidal mud. The rest of the news also comes from the bank and involves a half-decent selection of waders; namely, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank, a Grey Plover that arrived and promptly left with two ‘smalls’, 2 Whimbrel and 4 Black-tailed Godwit. In addition, the Glossy Ibis and the first-summer Little Gull were logged, as well as a single Common Tern. 

July 2nd

Stonechat – Olly Frampton

The Glossy Ibis and Red-throated Diver were at Stanpit this morning, as were at least 2 Mediterranean Gull and 31 Little Egret. At sea, a flock of 7 Shoveler moved east past Mudeford Quay. 

Additional news: 6 Common Sandpiper were at Stanpit, 3 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Duck circuited the area, and 120 Sand Martin passed through to the west.

July 1st

Red-throated Diver
Red-throated Diver
Red-throated Diver
Red-throated Diver in Stanpit Creek, Fisherman's Bank – Alan Hayden

The Red-throated Diver was again off Fisherman’s Bank this morning, when it was at times ridiculously close to the shore. The bird’s behaviour and a hint of staining on the breast suggest it is perhaps not in the best of health. That said, it has been fishing actively in the deeper waters of the harbour, so will hopefully make a recovery. The Glossy Ibis, which was seen going to roost at around 8:00 last night, stayed in the area until just after 8:30 this morning, when 2 Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Common Tern were also at Stanpit. Great Spotted Woodpecker have raised two young in the North Scrubs and with birds still being seen on Hengistbury it's likely that breeding has taken place there as well. Meanwhile, there is still a reasonable gathering of Collared Dove at the north end of Wick Fields - eight being logged today.

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report cover 2013 Another excellent production containing:
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