Sightings for November 2004
A very cold morning, which belied the actual temperature of 5ºC. November had become a real grind by mid-month, however, Stanpit this morning signed off the period with some mild interest. A female Merlin was seen chasing Starling over South Marsh and was probably successful. A Ruff, presumably the same bird as Sunday, was roosting with the Redshank on East Marsh and Grey Plover have risen to reasonable 20 individuals. Another good local count was 9 Common Gull around Stanpit Bight, but, in contrast, Black-tailed Godwit numbered just 2.
Another quiet day on Hengistbury. This morning, 4 Gadwall in Barn Bight were the only birds of note. A one hour seawatch from Whitepits at lunchtime was rewarded with very close views of a Great-northern Diver resting just offshore. The bird ultimately drifted west towards Southbourne. Also seen were a single Purple Sandpiper on the groynes, 7 Common Scoter west and 3 Razorbill on the water. This afternoon, as the tide fell, waders on the Sandspit included another Purple Sandpiper, 1 Grey Plover, 2 Turnstone, 50 Ringed Plover (where were they yesterday?) and 5 Dunlin. There always seem to be more birders out than reports to the site. Despite getting over 120 hits per day, actual sightings submissions tend to come from a group of less than 10 regulars. All information is welcome, especially counts from Stanpit of the waders, ducks and geese.
After a mild start a cold north-easterly wind got up and strengthened throughout the day, making things rather unpleasant this afternoon. Before the detail of the WeBS count, the limited highlights. A Ruff was on East Marsh this morning, before departing north with the Lapwing; a wintering Chiffchaff was active and vocal around the kissing gate at the northern end of the North Scrubs; and Hengistbury today hosted 4 Purple Sandpiper. Now the bread and butter stuff. Lapwing are still thought to number 1300, but they are extremely skittish, flushing at the mere sight of a crow or heron. A total of 551 for Wigeon is notable, this species has certainly increased its presence in recent years; however, way down this year are Black-tailed Godwit, just 14 this morning. Dunlin aggregated 394, while 370 is around average. Snipe were sparse on Stanpit, but a wisp of 35 over Wick Fields goes some way to explaining this. Other totals included: 137 Teal, 103 Mallard, 94 Brent Goose, 6 Grey Plover, 4 Little Grebe and 3 Kingfisher. At dusk, the missing Black-tailed Godwit appeared, a total of 210 birds arriving from the north after having presumably spent the day in the Avon Valley. The Ringed Plover had also increased to 28 birds by that time.
Another mild day with little weather to remark upon. Top spot goes to a couple of Bullfinch around the HHC early on, later heard again on the Batters, and 2 Golden Plover flushed off South Marsh before circling the harbour and heading west. Gadwall seem to have re-appeared: a total of 12 being noted today, also 5 Tufted Duck briefly over the harbour. Some short looks at the sea produced 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Common Scoter and an auk sp., there was also a single Purple Sandpiper on the Long Groyne. As first light broke, Redwing and Fieldfare could be heard, and later showed themselves as 4 and 3 respectively. Tomorrow is the WeBS count and some early prospecting on Stanpit yielded 1300 Lapwing, 342 Dunlin, 350 or so Wigeon, 89 Brent Goose and 9 Grey Plover. Best result of the day was City winning two games in a row!
A steady improvement. This morning a first-winter Little Gull went east past the Beach Huts, as did a Black-throated Diver. Going the opposite way, were 2 Red-throated Diver, 9 Common Scoter, 2 Razorbill, 3 Wigeon and 2 Shelduck. Earlier, there had been 7 Redwing and 1 Fieldfare feeding in the Nursery, which also currently hosts an overnight Wood Pigeon roost of 400+ birds, along with 20 or so Stock Dove. The Wood was also busy with 21 Goldcrest, a slight increase over the previous few days. This afternoon, a female Merlin was around Stanpit before crossing the river and passing over the HHC. A small, grey goose was also seen in flight, distantly, on both sides of the harbour. Evening update: during the afternoon a single Purple Sandpiper and 5 Turnstone were on the Sandspit around groyne S6. Thanks to Graham Armstrong for a great talk on New Zealand birds this evening. Some of his slides, not least the seabirds, were stunning. Redwing were heard over the HHC before and after the meeting.
I'd forgotten how dull settled weather in November could be, it's almost worst than the dreaded month of June, but at least the weather's nice then. The sea provided the only real interest today, a brief 20 minute watch from the Beach Huts saw 1 Red-breasted Merganser and 4 Common Scoter go east; however, the bird of the day remained unidentified, as a small grebe flew west before settling distantly on the sea. A Kingfisher was feeding around the Noddy Train terminal on the Sandspit. Don't forget the Indoor Meeting tomorrow evening. As ever, some late news, a Merlin was seen perched at Stanpit late morning.
Slightly more went on today. There were 3 Purple Sandpiper seen on the Sandspit this morning, around groynes S11 and S2, also 40+ Dunlin and 25+ Ringed Plover there. Off Double Dykes, there were 3 Razorbill on the sea, a Redpoll was over Hengistbury, a Great-crested Grebe remains in the harbour and the Wick Hams Sparrowhawk was again on its favourite post. Birds were counted at Stanpit, where the best were a pair of Gadwall. Brent Goose have risen to 90 and Dunlin to over 300, but Black-tailed Godwit number a paltry 10. Grey Plover remain fairly stable, 11 at Stanpit and 8 from Hengistbury were presumably all different birds. Only other total was 375 Wigeon. A late item of significance, a Red-throated Diver was on the sea off Whitepits this afternoon.
It's becoming a real struggle to generate the enthusiasm for this and having to mention Cormorant doesn't help. Today, the Stanpit birds were counted at 51! Sparrowhawk are very common locally, so also don't warrant frequent entries onto the site; but just recently a birds has been seen sitting for long periods around the Wick Hams reedbed. Shelduck are now starting to return to the area, today saw 3 birds arriving over the Common. Just as I was about to post this report, some later news has been received and provides sparks of interest. A small, high-tide wader roost on Mudeford Sandspit this morning held 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, never common in winter, 26 Ringed Plover, 23 Dunlin, 1 Turnstone and 1 Grey Plover. There were also a healthy number of 7 Purple Sandpiper.
Lean times indeed. Only birds of any note at Hengistbury this morning were a few late finches. A couple of Redpoll were seen, along with very small numbers of Linnet and Goldfinch, the latter may be wintering birds however. From the head, the Stanpit Brent Goose were counted at 56; the overall numbers are certainly reduced this year, but there is a good ratio of first-winters. The airborne Lapwing were estimated to be around 750. Belatedly, a Bar-tailed Godwit from Stanpit is a good November record.
A slight, but not dramatic improvement in the weather today, although the wind had shifted to the south-east. Biggest surprise was a Little Auk sat on the calm sea off Double Dykes this afternoon. After the large numbers in the North Sea, local sightings were expected, but not quite so soon. Other than that, however, it is only Stanpit that can offer anything more. A couple of Golden Plover arrived there this morning, a Chiffchaff was feeding in the reeds behind the rusty boat and 3 Shoveler headed south; while at least 2 Kingfisher were around Central Marsh.
The forecast could not have been more wrong. The expected, "early morning frost and later clear skies," translated to cold, wet and constant drizzle, which has persisted all day, seemingly getting more miserable as the hours wore on. Not surprisingly, the weekly Hengistbury congregation was reduced, likewise the time in the field. For a short period, it looked as if wildfowl might brighten up the day, when 4 Tufted Duck toured the harbour, 5 Red-breasted Merganser went west at sea and a further, single Tufted Duck circled before leaving in the same direction. Alas, that was the extent of it. The only other interest at sea was 4 Common Scoter, 1 Razorbill and Great-crested Grebe, while another was in the harbour, along with a Little Grebe in Barn Bight. A Kingfisher was also hunting around there. Earlier, a single Redwing had passed over the area. Late migrants comprised just a few Goldcrest in the Wood.
Just a light frost which was nowhere near as cold as forecast and, thankfully, far more to report than yesterday. Hengistbury was visited either side of lunch. Early on, at least 2 male Yellowhammer were ranging the area, at one time they sat on adjacent Beach Huts calling to each other. Also vocal were Bearded Tit in the HHC reedbed. A walk along the Salt Hurns edge of the Wood kicked up a Woodcock, while also alarmed was a kit of 6, mainly hen, Pheasant around the Ironstone Quarry. A seawatch was a non-event apart from a large flock of 35 Shag approaching from the Isle of Wight and joining the local birds to give a sizeable total of 51 birds. Bird of the afternoon on the Sandspit was a Black Redstart on the Beach Huts, also 3 Purple Sandpiper on the groynes. A high tide wader roost included 61 Oystercatcher, 40 Ringed Plover and 30 Dunlin, and Holloway's Dock hosted 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 31 displaced Redshank. A late report has been received of 2 Gadwall in Holloway's Dock.
Despite getting back earlier than expected, there is unfortunately nothing to report.
Slightly more interest this morning with a Yellowhammer over the HHC and a Red-throated Diver passing through the harbour. Late birds included a Sandwich Tern leaving the harbour and, at lunchtime, a Swallow west over the old Council Depot at Stanpit. Other birds of note around the head this morning were 4 Fieldfare, 2 Redpoll and a Peregrine seen causing havoc amongst the waders. A seawatch produced a stunning total of 1 Gannet, 1 Razorbill and 1 auk sp. Wick this afternoon was equally riveting, but did yield an impressive 6 Pheasant, 3 cock and 3 hen. The tedium inspired some distant corvid watching and a group of 100+ Rook could be seen to the north-east of the area. Tomorrow's posting will probably be much later than normal, but given the performance of the last few days, I can't imagine anyone being too upset.
Not a lot to report today. Two hours at Hengistbury from just after dawn produced just a few alba Wagtail, Linnet and Goldcrest overhead, but these could well have been local birds. Around 250 Wood Pigeon seemed to head purposefully east, again perhaps migrants, and the area around the HHC contained a mere handful of Goldcrest. Some late, but good, snippets now added to Sunday's report.
Compared to yesterday a much warmer start, but there was still a chill in the air. Only birding was a morning, high-tide visit to Stanpit where there was a slight increase in some of the commoner birds. Brent Goose numbered 106, that's 40 or so more than yesterday, and Dunlin were estimated at 275, almost doubling overnight. Black-tailed Godwit continue to dwindle however, just 24 today, the Avon Valley is obviously more attractive. There is known to be a colour-ringed individual around, so any details of the combination would be most welcome. Other waders were counted at 17 Ringed Plover and 16 Grey Plover, while the more interesting water fowl included 2 Shoveler in Stanpit Bight and a Great-crested Grebe on the river. A Kingfisher was seen towards Fisherman's Bank and Stonechat numbers also seem to have increased slightly. Finally, at least 1 Dartford Warbler is wintering on Crouch Hill.
The coldest day of the season so far with a frost covering all areas of the harbour and ice forming on shallow puddles. Mainstream migration seems to be over, but, nevertheless, today provided some interesting variety. This morning a Short-eared Owl was seen high over the Batters on Hengistbury, before dropping down towards Wick Fields; and around the same time, 2 Avocet left the harbour to the west. The winter Goldeneye flock seems to be forming, 2 birds were seen flying out of the harbour this morning, but this afternoon a couple were in the harbour just outside Barn Bight. There was a limited Wood Pigeon movement this morning, an estimated 3500 moved west but well north of the area. Other movers included 2 Redwing, while 12 Snipe over Wick Field were also considered to be arriving. A few Chiffchaff linger, with 4 birds reported today. At sea, Sandwich Tern were off the Long Groyne and around the Black House, possibly different birds, and a Kittiwake was close inshore off the Beach Huts. The high tide wader roost on the Sandspit held 30 Ringed Plover, 3 Turnstone and 1 Grey Plover, and a further 18 Grey Plover were around Stanpit Bight this morning, as were 3 Knot, an excellent November number. Otherwise, Stanpit can contribute just a pair of Tufted Duck up and down the river a few times, 1 Grey Wagtail on Grimmery Bank and a single Shoveler in Stanpit Bight; however, 2 Little Egret in trees by Purewell Stream was also interesting. Finally, there seems to be a marked influx of Kingfisher with multiple sightings of birds from all areas of the harbour, it is possible up to 6 individuals were involved.
Late addition from Hengistbury. A Snow Bunting flew north over Warren Hill at 3:40 in the afternoon and slightly earlier a single Purple Sandpiper was on the Sandspit groynes.
Clear skies and a light north-westerly held overnight making it perfect for pigeons. Before they appeared however, a Whooper Swan was seen arriving from the south-west, overflew the harbour and seemed to leave. But 30 minutes later, it re-appeared and settled on the river for a further half-hour before leaving towards Coward's Marsh, where it was subsequently re-found and photographed. During its stay, the bird made it onto at least 5 harbour life-lists. The Wood Pigeon movement started strongly, but died away quite quickly. A total of 12200 moved west, but well north of the area. Just after dawn, a Yellowhammer went west over the HHC, as did 2 Fieldfare with an additional 3 noted later. A redhead Goosander was seen heading south and presumably the same bird later headed the opposite way, towards the Avon Valley. The high spring tide flushed a Jack Snipe from the fringes of Barn Bight, there were single Firecrest and Redpoll in the Wood, and a hen Pheasant was seen from the Batters. The sea was unsurprisingly quiet, but very pleasant to watch as the morning sun gathered height. At least 2, but probably 3, Sandwich Tern were close off the Beach Huts, and a Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Common Scoter headed west. Frustratingly, 2 grey geese also went the same way, but were too distant to put a definite name to. A rare excursion to the end of the Sandspit produced 15 Turnstone on the extremity, but little else. Reports from Stanpit involve 6 Water Pipit on Priory Marsh and Jack Snipe.
Having just returned from a few days in Holland and northern Germany, I'm not sure what the weather was like this morning. However, Holland was cold and that may have been the catalyst for today's large, by local standards, thrush movement over Hengistbury. Seen arriving off the sea and heading north-west were: 150 Blackbird, 119 Fieldfare including a flock of over 80 birds, 79 Redwing, 33 Song Thrush and 6 Mistle Thrush. A similarly directed passage of 160 Starling was also noted. A Snow Bunting was heard on two occasions over the head, while 3 Firecrest, 2 at the far end and 1 by the HHC, provided further interest. Other late migrants or potential winterers included 67 Goldcrest, 5 Chiffchaff and 1 Blackcap, but 67 Linnet east and 3 Brambling were certain emigrants. Also during the morning, an adult Mediterranean Gull arrived over the HHC, 5 Purple Sandpiper were on the Sandspit, favouring groyne S12, and a Red-throated Diver passed at sea.
A clear sky and very little wind this morning meant that Wood Pigeon were on the move again; for just over an hour 3600 birds headed west but the movement stopped abruptly at around 8:30. An Avocet was briefly in Stanpit Bight before it left the Harbour high to the south-east. There were two each of Brambling and Redpoll overhead with just a few Linnet and Goldfinch. There was also another Brambling with about a dozen Chaffinch in the North Scrubs. At high tide a late Sandwich Tern was in the roost on East Marsh. Then around lunchtime either that bird or a second Sandwich Tern was seen off Solent Beach; also 1 Sanderling there. A Purple Sandpiper was on the Sandspit.
This morning's early cloud cover accompanied by strengthening north-westerly winds didn't promise too much but in the event there were a few good birds around. The highlight was another Woodcock, always a difficult species in the harbour; this bird was flushed a yard or two from the main road through the woodland. A flock of 41 Golden Plover and 1 Ruff circled Stanpit before heading north. A Raven over Warren Hill landed briefly before moving east; 6 Rook also moved east. Passerines continued to trickle through with 4 Brambling, 3 Redpoll, 1 Redwing and 1 Yellowhammer noted. There were also 2 Black Redstart around the Beach Huts. Wildfowl today included 6 Pochard north with another in Barn Bight, 3 Shelduck west and 2 Gadwall in Stanpit Bight whilst the Brent Geese numbered 52. The most frustrating sighting involved 14 grey geese seen at sea heading east but they were much too distant to identify. Amongst the Wood Pigeon leaving the Nursery soon after dawn 46 Stock Dove were noted. Finally a Merlin was seen again today.
Today was even quieter than yesterday with just a few finches on the move; Brambling and Siskin were once again heard over the HHC. A female Red-breasted Merganser left the harbour and headed south-west over Double Dykes.
Late News from Sunday: There were two sightings of Woodcock on Sunday; the first was in the cattle field on Wick whilst the second, later in the afternoon, was seen flying over the west field.
Another gloomy morning at Hengistbury produced very little in terms of visible migration; both Brambling and Siskin were heard, 2 Redpoll headed west and a Fieldfare was in the first field on Wick. On Stanpit a Merlin, having put the waders to flight, made a number of unsuccessful sorties through the panic stricken birds before settling on East Marsh. Counts today included 175 Dunlin, 47 Ringed Plover, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 1 Sanderling, 1 Turnstone and there were 5 Shoveler in Stanpit Bight. A Kingfisher was also seen from Crouch Hill.
Constant overnight drizzle brought migration to a sudden halt. A couple of hours at Hengistbury produced a mere 3 Fieldfare and 1 Redwing over the HHC. At times, the Wood was deathly quiet, with just 1 tit flock of mainly Blue Tit containing a few Goldcrest, there were also a couple of Chiffchaff in the same area. The Sandspit fared slightly better with 2 Purple Sandpiper and a very good count of 25 Turnstone; while an adult Mediterranean Gull on the river off the HHC provided further, but brief, interest. Jay are very obvious at Hengistbury right now, one bird can often be seen caching acorns on the western part of the Batters. Stanpit was busy with birds, but there is not much change: 3 Water Pipit were on Priory Marsh, Limpy, the Yellow-legged Gull, was on South Marsh and the Knot was in Stanpit Bight, but the best offering was 2 Raven following the Avon northwards. Kingfisher were again seen and a pair of Mallard in Barn Bight were leaving it much too late in the season. But even more bizarre was a strange call heard on Stanpit, which was solved when a woman was spotted with a type of parrot on her shoulder as she proceeded to walk around the entire marsh!
A cloudier day than yesterday with a light north-westerly wind. Jewel of the morning was a Pallas' Warbler in a tit flock on the first bend by the Nursery. The large flock also contained a Firecrest, a Coal Tit and 20 or so Goldcrest. Despite the cloud cover, Wood Pigeon were on the move early on, today's total was 6-7000, with one huge flock numbering around 2500 birds. However, only 26 Stock Dove were recorded. As is normal, all went west. Above average number of Golden Plover were recorded; a wing of 12 birds was watched from both sides of the harbour as it closely inspected Stanpit, while, earlier, 2 birds had headed north. Duck seen in flight from Hengistbury included 4 Shoveler, 2 Pintail, 1 Red-breasted Merganser and 1 Tufted Duck. November is very late for Sandwich Tern, so a single bird over the Common is notable indeed. By local standards, thrushes were prominent today with a total of 19 Redwing and 5 Fieldfare over and around Wick Fields. Finch movement was quiet though, only 60 Chaffinch and 12 Redpoll, but a Bullfinch over the Batters and into the Nursery was some consolation. A Greenshank continues to hang around Stanpit, as does the Knot, and 3 Water Pipit look to spend the winter on Priory Marsh. Also from that side of the harbour were 2 Swallow, a Peregrine overhead and 6 Grey Plover. Lapwing numbers remain steady at 500 or so, but this should soon start to increase. Back to Hengistbury, 5 Turnstone were on the Sandspit and another was on the Long Groyne, and a Kingfisher was hovering over the Barn Bight creek.
The clear skies held and, as hoped, brought on the massed ranks of Wood Pigeon. An estimated 8-10000 birds passed directly over or just north of the harbour before 9:00 this morning, when movement of all birds stopped abruptly. All headed west in flock sizes varying from 50 to 700 birds. Even accounting for the non-glamorous nature of the species, the spectacle is well worth seeing. The pigeon flocks also contained 82 Stock Dove and a single Golden Plover! This apart, it was a fairly routine day, with slight interest provided by a Firecrest in the Wood near the Doreen Anne Lewis bench. Although, perhaps more notable were a couple of House Martin over Hengistbury. A lone Sanderling came in off the sea and 3 Pochard were around the harbour. A small thrush passage comprised 15 Fieldfare and 3 Redwing. Other movement in a mixture of directions included: 170 Chaffinch, 160 Greenfinch, 135 Linnet, 82 Goldfinch, 65 Skylark, 60 Meadow Pipit, 34 Reed Bunting, 19 Redpoll and 3 Brambling. On the ground, Goldcrest numbers are well down, but 2 Blackcap were noted. Also reduced are the Black-tailed Godwit on Stanpit, just 60 birds today. Other reports from there involve both Peregrine and Merlin over, and 1 Knot and 1Turnstone around Stanpit Bight. A Kingfisher was in Mother Siller's Channel this afternoon and Common Gull, never numerous here, totalled 13 birds. A high tide wader roost towards the end of Mudeford Sandspit contained 142 Dunlin, 45 Ringed Plover, 5 Turnstone and a Sanderling. Pheasant also seem to be more conspicuous, possibly birds displaced by the commencement of the shooting season.
Dawn broke to a deluge, but this soon passed as a light westerly wind arose. Not before time, a Pallas' Warbler made it onto the list with a single bird seen on the Batters this morning. Number 221 for the year. Also on Hengistbury was a Firecrest in the Wood, while a Woodlark passed over Wick Fields. But for these highlights, it was, however, quiet. Just over 100 Goldcrest were estimated between the Batters and Wick, and 4 Chiffchaff were ringed, which may suggest a small influx. There were three sightings of Great-spotted Woodpecker, probably all different birds, again suggesting an arrival. Overhead, a couple of Brambling traversed Wick with a handful of Linnet and Goldfinch over Hengistbury. A Greenshank remains in Holloway's Dock, it's definitely getting late for these now. A Goosander was seen over Stanpit a couple of times during the morning and a Swallow was over Wick Fields, as was a low flying Buzzard at lunchtime. Tonight's forecast is clear and it's early November, there could be pigeons in the morning!
With the improvement in the weather, there was far more birding activity in today's clear skies and light southerly wind. This morning it was reckoned 2 Short-eared Owl were over the area, 1 in off the sea and north, the other hunting over Stanpit and Wick. The highlights in the Wood were a couple of Fircrest; while Stanpit had 3 Water Pipit on Priory Marsh, a Ring Ouzel in the North Scrubs, a Merlin hunting over East Marsh and a Ruff. Also notable for the time of year were 3 Greenshank, 2 on Stanpit and 1 in Barn Bight. Another interesting record is a Razorbill in the harbour just off Blackberry Point, presumably a sick bird. Migration over Hengistbury was reasonable with most moving south, including: 370 Goldfinch, 285 Linnet, 160 Greenfinch, 132 Meadow Pipit and 48 Reed Bunting. Movement to the north-west also included finches, as well as the expected thrushes. The count comprised: 64 Chaffinch, 32 Song Thrush, 9 Brambling and 3 Fieldfare. Also noted were 2 Siskin and 2 Redpoll. Waders were mobile with 46 Snipe seen arriving, 21 Grey Plover east and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit; meanwhile 2 Red-breasted Merganser moved through and another was in Barn Bight. Birds in the bushes numbered 100+ Goldcrest, 5 Blackcap and 1 Coal Tit, also a Bullfinch heard on the Batters. Black-tailed Godwit on Stanpit have reduced to just over 50 birds, also 6 Grey Plover and a Knot there.
Damp and dreary conditions this morning kept fieldwork to a minumum. Wick Fields and the Barn Field held an estimated 125 Blackbird and 25 Song Thrush, while 5 Fieldfare and 3 Redwing passed overhead. The number of thrushes using the area can only be described as paltry when compared against coastal sites to the west. The reason remains a mystery. Also moving over were 5 Brambling and a Redpoll. On the ground there were just small numbers of Goldcrest and Chiffchaff. The Short-eared Owl was seen again this afternoon. This time at 4:25 over the Batters.
Firstly, by popular demand, some words of explanation about yesterday's Tree Swallow over Wick Village. The bird was seen well for around 5 minutes by Mark Andrews over his garden! This spot is actually just 500 metres outside the current recording area, hence the omission from yesterday's posting. However, the bird was last seen drifting towards the northern end of Wick Fields, from where it would have undoubtedly been seen. On this basis, it becomes the first CHOG record and is only the third for Britain. In hindsight, it would have been better to make mention of the event. My apologies for over zealous application of the "rules" and any confusion that may have arisen. Unfortunately, there was no sign of the bird today. Yesterday's other star, a Great Grey Shrike, was seen on a couple of occasions today, but remained largely elusive. There are now more Lapland Bunting records this year, one over Wick Ditch today, than Tawny Owl. So, one seen closely at 6:40 this morning by the northern stile of Priory Marsh was worthy reward for the fortunate observer. It was actually a two owl day, as a Short-eared Owl was reported from Hengistbury this afternoon; it seems a bird may be lingering with us. The concentrated search around Wick this morning meant that little other birding took place, although a Ring Ouzel was around there and small numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare passed over north, also a couple of Redpoll. Only news from Stanpit is of a Tufted Duck, but also a canoeist who pulled up on South Marsh, flushed everything and then proceeded to undertake a 15 minute Tai Chi routine! Hopefully, wardening may soon resume on the marsh. Tonight Redwing are moving low over the area.