Harbour List


The Status of All Species Recorded in Christchurch Harbour

For more detailed records of scarce and rare species, click here

Red-throated Diver

Frequently seen in winter and passage period, mostly sightings are fairly distant flight views from Hengistbury, although can be seen on the water in the right conditions. Rarely seen in the harbour.

Black-throated Diver

The rarest of the divers in the area. Virtually all records relate to flight views from Hengistbury in winter.

Great Northern Diver

Sightings are frequent in winter and passage periods, most are flight views from Hengistbury, but good views on the water are sometimes possible. Rarely seen in the harbour.

Little Grebe

Common in winter. Main sites are the river between the HHC and Parky Meade Rail.

Great Crested Grebe

Fairly common in winter. Can be seen in the harbour, mainly on the river, and on the sea off Hengistbury.

Red-necked Grebe

Rare winter visitor with only couple of records annually. Most are seen from Hengistbury, but occasionally birds come into the harbour.

Slavonian Grebe

Rare to the area. Usually only a couple of records annually from Hengistbury.

Black-necked Grebe

Rare to the area. Usually only a couple of records annually from Hengistbury.

Northern Fulmar

Frequently seen from Hengistbury between February and August, occasionally over the harbour.

Cory's Shearwater

Vagrant to the area.

Sooty Shearwater

Very rare Autumn visitor. All records are on the sea from Hengistbury, usually after strong south-westerly winds.

Manx Shearwater

Can be seen from Hengistbury between April and October, but usually only after strong south-westerly winds.

Balearic Shearwater

Can be seen from Hengistbury June to October, but usually only after strong south-westerly winds.

Little Shearwater

Vagrant to the area.

European Storm-petrel

Seen annually from Hengistbury in mid-summer. Usually only after south-westerly winds. In some years birds will linger in relatively large numbers for a week or so. Can also occur after south-westerly autumn gales.

Leach's Storm-petrel

Not recorded annually. Most records are in winter during or shortly after south-westerly gales.

Northern Gannet

Can be seen from Hengistbury in all months of the year, but commoner in summer period.

Great Cormorant

Common in all areas of the harbour throughout the year.

European Shag

Common in winter off Hengistbury.

Great Bittern

Very rare winter visitor, although probably goes unrecorded. Most likely to be seen as a result of cold weather approaching from the east.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Vagrant to the area.

Squacco Heron

Vagrant to the area.

Cattle Egret

Vagrant to the area, but frequency of records have increased since 2000.

Little Egret

Vagrant prior to 1990, but has colonised since. First bred 1998, now around 5 pairs breed annually. Present all year.

Great Egret

Vagrant to the area, but frequency of records have increased since 2000.

Grey Heron

Common resident. Breed on Hengistbury.

Purple Heron

Vagrant to the area.

White Stork

Vagrant to the area.

Glossy Ibis

Vagrant to the area.

Eurasian Spoonbill

Recorded annually, but usually no more than a couple of sightings, mainly flying birds in autumn.

Mute Swan

Common resident, but less than 5 pairs normally breed. Mid-summer sees a large gathering of non-breeding, moulting birds which are flightless for a number of weeks.

Tundra Swan

Very rare winter visitor, not recorded annually.

Whooper Swan

Very rare winter visitor, not recorded annually.

Pink-footed Goose

Vagrant to the area.

Greater White-fronted Goose

Formerly frequent in winter, however, with the demise of the Avon Valley wintering population this species is now a very rare winter visitor.

Greylag Goose

A large feral population exists in the Avon Valley and birds from this are seen on occasion around the area.

Canada Goose

Surprisingly, visits the area only infrequently. In recent years a large group has roosted in the harbour during early the autumn.

Barnacle Goose

Very infrequently seen in the area with no firm pattern of sightings, all of which are undoubtedly feral birds from the Avon Valley.

Brent Goose

Winter resident with occasional stragglers through the summer. Birds appear in mid-September and are present until April. Typical numbers are around 100 birds throughout the season. The birds spend the day in the harbour, but appear to head to Poole Harbour after dusk to roost.

Egyptian Goose

Vagrant to the area.

Ruddy Shelduck

Vagrant to the area with the escape question always present.

Common Shelduck

2-3 pairs normally breed in the area. A common winter resident, but rare late summer when virtually all leave to moult, presumably in Holland.

Mandarin Duck

Usually at least one bird recorded annually.

Eurasian Wigeon

Common winter visitor with around 400 using the area. Occasionally single birds summer.

American Wigeon

Vagrant to the area.

Gadwall

Seen regularly during the winter months. Occasionally in summer. Apparently bred in 2004.

Eurasian Teal

Common winter visitor with an estimated 250 using the area.

Green-winged Teal

Vagrant to the area, but multiple records of a bird present intermittently in the winter of 2000/2001.

Mallard

Common resident throughout the year. Breeds.

Northern Pintail

Seen regularly in the winter months.

Garganey

Small numbers recorded annually during the spring and autumn passage periods.

Blue-winged Teal

Vagrant to the area.

Northern Shoveler

Seen regularly throughout the winter months. Occasionally in summer.

Red-crested Pochard

Vagrant to the area with the escape question always present.

Common Pochard

Recorded infrequently during the winter months and passage periods

Ferruginous Duck

Vagrant to the area.

Tufted Duck

The commonest of the Aythya birds to occur in the area, but still infrequent. Mainly recorded during the winter months and passage periods.

Greater Scaup

Occasionally recorded in winter. Most at sea, but can also be present in the harbour, particularly during cold weather.

Common Eider

Frequently recorded at sea during the winter.

Long-tailed Duck

Occasionally recorded at sea in winter.

Black Scoter

Recorded at sea in all months with peak numbers during the passage periods. A small wintering flock, averaging 20 birds, is off Hengistbury most years.

Surf Scoter

Vagrant to the area.

Velvet Scoter

Occasionally recorded at sea during the winter. Sometimes joining the Common Scoter flock.

Common Goldeneye

A regular, but decreasing winter visitor in the harbour, generally arriving November and departing by March. Nowadays, usually less than 10 birds. Occasional records from the sea.

Smew

Not recorded annually and always associated with cold weather.

Red-breasted Merganser

Most records are of passing birds at sea. Recorded only occasionally in the harbour and rarely actually on the sea.

Goosander

Recorded annually. Now breeds a few miles north and records probably relate to that population. In winter, may occur in association with cold weather.

Ruddy Duck

Not recorded annually and now less so since the Ringwood population has reduced.

European Honey Buzzard

Recorded almost annually usually during May, August or September.

Black Kite

Vagrant to the area.

Red Kite

Isolated records are now almost annual, as would be expected with the nationally increasing population.

Eurasian Marsh Harrier

Very small number recorded annually.

Hen Harrier

Recorded annually. November tends to hold the most records with presumably wintering bird from mainland Europe passing through, but in very small numbers.

Montagu's Harrier

Not recorded annually. All records in spring and autumn passage periods.

Northern Goshawk

In line with the New Forest population increase, records are increasing and can be assumed annual, usually late summer.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

At least 2 pairs usually breed in the area. Can be seen during all months of the year.

Common Buzzard

Rare in the harbour airspace, but can be easily seen by scanning north towards the Avon Valley, especially on warm still days. Most over-harbour records are in passage periods.

Rough-legged Buzzard

Vagrant to the area.

Osprey

Small number pass through in passage periods. April, August and September being the most likely months for records. Autumn birds may use the harbour to feed, usually then heading north back up the Avon.

Common Kestrel

A common resident using the harbour for hunting, but breeding just outside the recording area.

Red-footed Falcon

Vagrant to the area.

Merlin

Recorded occasionally during the winter months.

Eurasian Hobby

Small numbers recorded during the spring passage period, but more frequently seen visiting the harbour to feed during late summer. Small numbers recorded in the autumn passage period.

Peregrine

Recorded frequently during all months of year. The species is believed to breed just north of the recording area. IOW birds also visit the harbour to hunt.

Red-legged Partridge

In recent years recorded annually, usually between March and May.

Grey Partridge

Former resident, now considered a rarity in the area.

Common Quail

A rarity to the area with records spaced years apart.

Common Pheasant

Resident in the Wick Fields and Hengistbury where the species breeds, but is seen only infrequently. Can be encountered occasionally in most other parts of the harbour.

Golden Pheasant

Just one record from 1976. Origin unknown.

Water Rail

Resident and breeds, but rarely seen. Best option is low tide in Parky Meade Rail, especially July to September.

Spotted Crake

Very small numbers recorded almost annually, mainly August and September.

Little Crake

Vagrant to the area.

Corn Crake

Vagrant to the area.

Common Moorhen

Common resident in most area of suitable habitat.

Coot

Numerous in winter with several hundred using the harbour. A few pairs breed.

Common Crane

Vagrant to the area.

Eurasian Oystercatcher

Common during all months. Formerly bred and nowadays may attempt to do so.

Black-winged Stilt

Vagrant to the area.

Pied Avocet

Recorded very occasionally during spring and autumn passage periods.

Stone-curlew

Very rare passage visitor to the area.

Little Ringed Plover

Recorded infrequently during the spring passage period. Records are more numerous in July and August, presumably after local breeding dispersal.

Ringed Plover

Recorded all months with peak numbers in August and minimum numbers during the two mid-year months. Winters in small numbers.

Kentish Plover

Formerly recorded annually, now a very rare spring or autumn passage visitor.

Dotterel

Very rare. Records from spring and autumn passage periods.

American Golden Plover

Vagrant to the area.

Pacific Golden Plover

Vagrant to the area.

European Golden Plover

Recorded only occasionally. Peak time is November with small numbers of overhead birds recorded.

Grey Plover

Fairly common winter resident, also seen during passage periods.

Northern Lapwing

Numerous winter visitor. Most leave in early spring, but odd birds inspect the area for breeding. Breeds close to the area, with birds returning June onwards.

Red Knot

Recorded during passage periods with greater numbers in autumn. Rare at other times.

Sanderling

Recorded during passage periods with greater numbers in autumn. Occasional in winter.

Little Stint

Numbers vary from year to year. Most records come in August and September and involve juvenile birds. Recorded very occasionally in spring.

Temminck's Stint

Recorded barely annually, mainly in late summer.

Baird's Sandpiper

Vagrant to the area.

Pectoral Sandpiper

Nowadays recorded annually anytime between August and October. A single bird has wintered.

Curlew Sandpiper

Recorded frequently during the July to October period. Firstly adult birds, then the juveniles. Rare in spring.

Purple Sandpiper

Five to ten birds normally winter on the groynes around Hengistbury. Occasional records from July onwards.

Dunlin

Common winter resident. Also common during passage periods.

Broad-billed Sandpiper

Vagrant to the area.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Vagrant to the area.

Ruff

Recorded infrequently during spring and autumn passage periods, March sometimes providing the maximum numbers. Occasional seen in winter, mainly in association with the Lapwing.

Jack Snipe

Small numbers winter, mostly in Central Marsh.

Common Snipe

Fairly common, but reducing, winter visitor. Birds depart around April and start to return during August.

Dowitcher sp.

Vagrant to the area.

Eurasian Woodcock

Recorded very rarely in late autumn. Extreme weather can lead to an increase in occurrence.

Black-tailed Godwit

Now a fairly common winter and passage visitor. Birds commute between the harbour and the lower Avon Valley.

Bar-tailed Godwit

Fairly common passage visitor and occasionally winters.

Whimbrel

Common passage visitor.

Eurasian Curlew

Common winter resident. Nearly all desert the area by April, but trickle back June onwards.

Spotted Redshank

Recorded annually, mostly in late summer , but rare in the area.

Common Redshank

Present during all months. Lowest number in June with peak numbers in August. Formerly bred.

Marsh Sandpiper

Vagrant to the area.

Common Greenshank

Frequently recorded between July and October, less frequently in spring. Rare at other times.

Lesser Yellowlegs

Vagrant to the area.

Green Sandpiper

Recorded annually, but only occasionally, mostly between July and September.

Wood Sandpiper

Annual records almost exclusively between July and September.

Terek Sandpiper

Vagrant to the area.

Common Sandpiper

Common during the passage periods. Winter records are rare.

Spotted Sandpiper

Vagrant to the area.

Ruddy Turnstone

Small numbers winter, mainly around Hengistbury and Mudeford Sandspit. Recorded frequently from the same areas and in the harbour during the passage periods.

Wilson's Phalarope

Vagrant to the area.

Red-necked Phalarope

Vagrant to the area.

Grey Phalarope

Recorded almost annually. As expected, most records are after late summer and autumn storms.

Pomarine Skua

Recorded in very small numbers annually off Hengistbury. Most records are from May.

Arctic Skua

The most frequently recorded skua, but still rare. Nearly all sightings are during passage periods.

Long-tailed Skua

The rarest of the genus, with less than annual records.

Great Skua

Recorded annually off Hengistbury in passage periods, may also be seen rarely in winter months.

Mediterranean Gull

Frequently recorded in most months of the year.

Little Gull

Most records are at sea in autumn, especially after stormy weather. The species does, however, occur infrequently in the harbour.

Sabine's Gull

Vagrant to the area. Records exclusively related to autumnal south-westerly storms.

Bonaparte's Gull

Vagrant to the area.


Black-headed Gull

Common in all months.

Ring-billed Gull

Vagrant to the area.

Common Gull

Occurs in relatively small numbers in the winter.

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Present in all months.

Herring Gull

Present in all months.

Yellow-legged Gull

Occasional to the area, mainly late summer.

Iceland Gull

Recorded far less than annually. Most records are from the winter.

Glaucous Gull

Recorded far less than annually. Most records are from the winter.

Great Black-backed Gull

Present in all months.

Ross's Gull

Vagrant to the area. A bird amazingly summered in 1974.

Black-legged Kittiwake

Can be recorded in all month at sea, but in varying numbers. Peaks occur after late-year south-westerly storms. Occasionally seen in the harbour.

Gull-billed Tern

Vagrant to the area.

Caspian Tern

Vagrant to the area.

Lesser Crested Tern

Vagrant to the area.

Sandwich Tern

Common summer visitor to the area. Does not breed, but juveniles from local colonies appear in July. Very rarely recorded in winter.

Roseate Tern

Recorded occasionally between April and September, both at sea and in the harbour.

Common Tern

Common passage visitor.

Arctic Tern

Infrequent passage visitor.

Little Tern

Becoming a less common passage visitor.

Whiskered Tern

Vagrant to the area.

Black Tern

Recorded in small numbers annually. Most records are late summer, especially after stormy weather.

White-winged Black Tern

Vagrant to the area.

Common Guillemot

Can be recorded in all months. Patterns are difficult to establish, but certainly more frequent during spring and early summer.

Razorbill

Can be recorded in all months. Patterns are difficult to establish, but certainly more frequent during spring and early summer.

Black Guillemot

Very rarely recorded, mainly in winter with records spaced years apart.

Little Auk

Recorded almost annually, with most sightings in November.

Atlantic Puffin

Now very rarely recorded with records spaced years apart.

Stock Dove

Common resident with pairs breeding on Hengistbury. Many also roost there. Hundreds migrate over the area in the company on Wood Pigeon during November.

Common Wood Pigeon

Common resident, but with a spectacular November overhead migration comprising tens of thousands of birds. Numbers peak after clear, still nights.

Eurasian Collared Dove

Resident in selected areas of the harbour.

European Turtle Dove

Rare passage migrant.

Rose-ringed Parakeet

Vagrant to the area.

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Vagrant to the area.

Common Cuckoo

One or two normally breed on Stanpit, otherwise an occasional passage migrant.

Barn Owl

Annual winter records.

Little Owl

Resident just off the area, consequently, encountered relatively frequently, mostly around Wick and Stanpit.

Tawny Owl

Recorded annually in very small numbers. Nearly all records are heard only, and probably emanate from outside the area.

Long-eared Owl

Recorded less than annually with most likely occurrences in the autumn passage period.

Short-eared Owl

Recorded annually in very small numbers . Most records are from late autumn, but a few pass through in spring.

European Nightjar

A pair usually nest on Hengistbury and there are sometime odd birds noted on migration.

Common Swift

Fairly common over the area from late April until early August, only noted occasionally thereafter until mid-September.

Pallid Swift

Vagrant to the area.

Alpine Swift

Vagrant to the area.

Little Swift

Vagrant to the area.

Common Kingfisher

Winter visitor. Birds disappear up rivers to breed from April returning August.

Hoopoe

Recorded almost annually, nearly always in spring.

Bee-eater

Vagrant to the area.

Eurasian Wryneck

Recorded annually in very small numbers, mainly in autumn passage period, but can occur in spring.

Green Woodpecker

Fairly common resident on both sides of the harbour.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Small numbers winter across the area, bird start to appear in July and numbers peak during the autumn passage period.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

A few records annually with most in winter.

Greater Short-toed Lark

Vagrant to the area.

Woodlark

Recorded annually in very small numbers, almost always as fly-over birds in autumn.

Skylark

Common resident. Breeds on both sides of the harbour with small flocks gathering in winter.

Horned Lark

Vagrant to the area.

Sand Martin

Common breeder with birds present Marsh to August. Passage birds then recorded until late September.

Barn Swallow

Common over the area during the spring, summer and autumn. Occasionally breeds.

Red-rumped Swallow

Vagrant to the area.

House Martin

Frequently seen in spring and summer, but most common on the autumn migration when the species can pass through in large numbers.

Richard's Pipit

Single birds recorded almost annually, mainly during autumn.

Tawny Pipit

Single birds recorded almost annually, but becoming rarer. Most records are late summer to autumn.

Tree Pipit

Recorded frequently as a fly-over migrant during both passage periods.

Meadow Pipit

Common resident and very common passage migrant with thousands passing over the area.

Red-throated Pipit

Vagrant to the area.

Rock Pipit

Breeds in small numbers with more birds present during the winter.

Water Pipit

Scarce winter visitor. Peak time for the species is early spring.

Yellow Wagtail

Common passage migrant. Most records are overhead, but some do settle, especially in the autumn when small groups may roost in the reedbeds.

Citrine Wagtail

Vagrant to the area.

Grey Wagtail

Reasonably common passage migrant with a few birds wintering.

White/Pied Wagtail

Common year round as resident and passage migrant.

Bohemian Waxwing

Vagrant to the area.

Winter Wren

Common throughout the year.

Hedge Accentor

Common throughout the year.

European Robin

Common throughout the year.

Rufous Nightingale

Recorded less than annually, almost exclusively as a spring migrant.

Bluethroat

Vagrant to the area.

Black Redstart

Recorded annually in varying numbers. Winter and early spring hold the most records.

Common Redstart

Recorded frequently during both passage periods.

Whinchat

Recorded frequently during both passage periods.

Stonechat

Common throughout the year as breeder and winter visitor when numbers increase.

Northern Wheatear

Common passage migrant in both periods.

Ring Ousel

Uncommon passage migrant.

Common Blackbird

Common throughout the year.

Fieldfare

Frequently recorded as autumn passage migrant. Occasional in spring.

Song Thrush

Common throughout the year.

Redwing

Frequently recorded as autumn passage migrant and occasional winter visitor.

Mistle Thrush

Breeds just outside the area and occasionally encountered within. Small number recorded during the autumn passage.

Cetti's Warbler

Common throughout the year.

Zitting Cisticola

Vagrant to the area.

Common Grasshopper Warbler

Recorded occasionally during the spring passage, mainly in April. Fewer records in autumn due to reduced vocal activity.

Savi's Warbler

Vagrant to the area.

Aquatic Warbler

Recorded less than annually, normally in August. Past records were more frequent, probably due to greater ringing activity.

Sedge Warbler

Common breeder in the area, present between April and September. Peak numbers pass through in August.

Marsh Warbler

Vagrant to the area.

Eurasian Reed Warbler

Common breeder in the area, present between April and September.

Great Reed Warbler

Vagrant to the area.

Icterine Warbler

Recorded less than annually, mainly in late summer.

Melodious Warbler

Recorded almost annually, mainly in late summer.

Dartford Warbler

Common resident in the area.

Subalpine Warbler

Vagrant to the area.

Barred Warbler

Recorded almost annually, mainly in September.

Lesser Whitethroat

Breeds in very small numbers and passes through as a migrant in spring and autumn.

Common Whitethroat

Common breeding bird and passage migrant, present April to September.

Garden Warbler

Recorded frequently during spring and autumn passage periods.

Blackcap

Usually present all year. Breeds and passes through as migrant, with very small numbers wintering.

Greenish Warbler

Vagrant to the area.

Pallas's Leaf Warbler

Recorded almost annually, mainly in November.

Yellow-browed Warbler

Recorded almost annually, mainly in September or October.

Dusky Warbler

Vagrant to the area.

Raddes Warbler

Vagrant to the area.

Western Bonelli's Warbler

Vagrant to the area.

Wood Warbler

Rare passage migrant with a few recorded annually.

Chiffchaff

Present throughout the year in varying numbers. Breeds. Peak time is the autumn passage, least numbers in occur in winter.

Willow Warbler

Fairly common, but not annual breeder. Common passage migrant during both periods.

Goldcrest

Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Occasionally breeds.

Firecrest

Recorded in small numbers during both passage periods. Occasional birds in winter.

Spotted Flycatcher

Fairly common passage migrant.

Red-breasted Flycatcher

Vagrant to the area.

Pied Flycatcher

Fairly common passage migrant.

Bearded Tit

Probably present in small numbers throughout the year.

Long-tailed Tit

Becoming increasingly common throughout the year.

Marsh Tit

Extremely rare in the area with records spaced years apart.

Willow Tit

Extremely rare to the area.

Coal Tit

Present throughout the year, but in very small numbers. Passage birds also move through.

Blue Tit

Common throughout the year.

Great Tit

Common throughout the year.

Nuthatch

Rare to the area with records barely annual.

Eurasian Treecreeper

Recorded annually, mainly during winter.

Eurasian Penduline Tit

Vagrant to the area.

Eurasian Golden Oriole

Very rare passage migrant, not recorded annually.

Red-backed Shrike

Very rare passage migrant with records spaced years apart.

Great Grey Shrike

Extremely rare autumn or winter visitor. Just two records.

Woodchat Shrike

Vagrant to the area.

Eurasian Jay

Present in small numbers throughout the year with small autumn influxes.

Black-billed Magpie

Common throughout the year.

Eurasian Jackdaw

Common just outside the area, but, within the harbour, occurs only as a passage migrant.

Rook

Common just outside the area, but, within the harbour, occurs only as a passage migrant.

Carrion Crow

Common throughout the year.

Hooded Crow

Vagrant to the area.

Common Raven

Records are increasing, mainly is in spring and autumn.

Common Starling

Common throughout the year.

House Sparrow

Common, but in concentrated areas, throughout the year.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Very rare passage migrant.

Red-eyed Vireo

Vagrant to the area.

Chaffinch

Present in varying numbers throughout the year. Peak numbers occur during the autumn passage. Breeds in small numbers.

Brambling

Fairly common overhead autumn migrant, with a few spring records.

European Serin

Rare spring passage migrant, just a few birds recorded annually.

European Greenfinch

Common throughout the year. Peak numbers during autumn passage.

European Goldfinch

Fairly common throughout the year. Peak numbers during autumn passage. Breeds in small numbers.

Eurasian Siskin

Fairly common overhead autumn migrant, with fewer spring records.

Common Linnet

Common breeder and passage migrant. Rare in winter.

Twite

Rare autumn passage migrant, not recorded almost annually.

Lesser Redpoll

Fairly common overhead passage migrant.

Mealy Redpoll

Rare autumn passage migrant and winter visitor.

Common Crossbill

Recorded annually, mainly in late summer or autumn as fly-over birds.

Common Rosefinch

Vagrant to the area.

Common Bullfinch

Recorded in very small numbers as passage migrant and occasional winter visitor.

Hawfinch

Extremely rare passage migrant with records spaced years apart.

Northern Parula

Vagrant to the area.

Bobolink

Vagrant to the area.

Lapland Bunting

Recorded almost annually as autumn passage fly-over birds.

Snow Bunting

Recorded almost annually as autumn passage migrant and rare winter visitor.

Yellowhammer

Recorded in very small number annually during both passage periods.

Cirl Bunting

Extremely rare with records spaced years apart.

Ortolan Bunting

Recorded almost annually as an autumn passage fly-over bird.

Rustic Bunting

Vagrant to the area.

Little Bunting

Vagrant to the area.

Reed Bunting

Present throughout the year. Peaks during the autumn passage. Fairly common breeder.

Corn Bunting

Former resident, now extremely rare with records spaced years apart.