Sightings for July 2005
The last day before the month that really heralds the autumn migration, although there was evidence of it being underway already - a few Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and at least 1 Lesser Whitethroat in the North Scrubs providing the basis for the statement. After a good day of coverage yesterday, today was relatively light. During the morning, it was almost windless but around midday a slight south-westerly picked up. On a falling tide around Stanpit Bight, there were only around 150 Dunlin, a sharp decrease from yesterday's tally; but also 4 Common Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank and 2 Whimbrel, while Black-tailed Godwit still numbered 25 or so. A juvenile Mediterranean Gull feeding off South Marsh was joined by an adult, which arrived from over Crouch Hill. The Yellow-legged Gull was throwing its weight around with the roosting terns on South Marsh. A change of shift at lunchtime yielded a further 3 Mediterranean Gull, 2 juveniles and 1 first-summer, making a day total of 5. The wader selection increased by 1 each of Grey Plover and Knot, and 9 Ringed Plover; while the Dunlin rose to 270 as more birds arrived. A good presence of resting terns comprised 117 Sandwich Tern and 96 Common Tern, also 1 Gadwall recorded. A late addition is an Osprey that spent 20 minutes over the harbour from 9:00 this morning.
A dawn deluge sent at least one regular back to his bed, however, it was a false alarm and things dried up by around 6:00. Shortly after that, what was possibly last night's Green Sandpiper was seen high over the harbour from the HHC. Slightly earlier, 2 groups of migrating Common Tern, comprising 16 and 14 birds respectively and all adults, had passed west. Also in the airspace early on, were a Peregrine and a duck Shoveler, while 5 Gadwall were settled on the water off Speller's Point. In spite of the moderate south-westerly, seawatching was a non-event with 2 Fulmar west being the only marine species of note. Only other worthwhile records from the 1 hour watch were 11 Sanderling, 7 Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpiper. On the walk back to breakfast it became obvious a few passerine migrants were around the Ironstone Quarry, at least 25 Willow Warbler were estimated, along with 2 Redstart. Meanwhile, an errant dog flushed a Nightjar. In the Barn Bight area, there were 3 Common Sandpiper in Brewer's Creek, a Kingfisher perched on fence wire and a Great-spotted Woodpecker headed towards Wick. Now up from his slumber, the absentee headed for Stanpit, where 4 Greenshank and 1 Snipe were on Priory Marsh. The wader count from Stanpit Bight was 195 Dunlin, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plover and just 2 Black-tailed Godwit. As the tide fell this afternoon, there had been a large arrival of Dunlin, 450 birds were present, including 11 juveniles. Also making it into the notebooks were 5 Sanderling, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Knot, 3 Whimbrel, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank and 22 Black-tailed Godwit. This underlines the turnover of birds in the harbour and goes to show it's worth visiting on all tidal opportunities. Final record is of a Hobby seen from Priory Marsh this afternoon.
A breezy day from the south-west, during which Stanpit got the hours. This morning, on a falling tide, there was a flock of 9 Greenshank on Priory Marsh, which were seen to leave, while a further 3 birds were on East Marsh. Around Stanpit Bight, there were 3 Whimbrel, 300+ Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plover, also 18 Sandwich Tern on the mud. Some more wildfowl interest was provided by 2 Tufted Duck flying up river, also 7 Gadwall recorded. On a fairly static neap low tide this afternoon it was interesting to compare the wader numbers. The Dunlin had pretty much halved, but Ringed Plover and Greenshank increased to 9 and 5 birds respectively, and there was a flock of 11 Sanderling off South Marsh. Also apparently new in were 4 Common Sandpiper and 1 Turnstone. The Yellow-legged Gull was present on both visits and a Common gull was seen in the morning. A late piece of local quality from one of our very own dogwalkers. There was a very vocal Green Sandpiper over the Batters, Hengistbury, at 9:00 this evening.
A strong easterly backed south during the early part of the morning and Hengistbury produced a really good variety, given it is still only July. The harbour gets only a handful of Goosander records a year, but this month has a good track record, presumably as birds wander a little south from the Avon breeding population. A redhead flew over the harbour and back up river just after dawn, and a couple of Great-crest Grebe did exactly the same thing. The sea saw hundreds of birds, mainly heading east, and these were counted at 450 Gannet, 350 Common Tern and 300 Sandwich Tern, during a 90 minute sample. Also at sea were 2 Little Tern, and an Arctic Skua, 2 Balearic Shearwater and 21 Common Scoter west. Seen coming in off was a group of 7 Crossbill, while earlier, 4 Redpoll had circled the HHC. A reasonable movement of Swift and Sand Martin was observed, 495 and 350 respectively, going into the wind. Mediterranean Gull totalled a heady 9 birds today - 3 adults, 3 juveniles and 3 of intermediate age. Also of larid interest were the first returning Common Gull, these were 2 adult birds. Stanpit was well covered from 7:45 right through to lunchtime. The best record was a single Ruff, but there was good mixture of other waders. The day list includes 7 Greenshank, 6 Whimbrel, 4 Sanderling, 4 Common Sandpiper and 1 Turnstone; as well as 360 Dunlin, 25 Black-tailed Godwit and 7 Ringed Plover. Further wader reports from Hengistbury could well relate to different birds and comprise 3 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel and 6 Common Sandpiper, while 7 Sanderling moved past the Beach Huts. Also on Hengistbury, a Great-spotted Woodpecker was in the Nursery and an adult male Peregrine was overhead, while back on Stanpit, the Yellow-legged Gull was multi-observed for most of the day. Please check back to yesterday for a couple of addenda.
Despite what the weathermen said, the morning was fairly dry with the dampness only setting in around lunchtime. In a light north-easterly, around 90 minutes were put in at the Beach Huts; from where a pale phase Arctic Skua was seen heading west. Everything else went in the opposite direction and included 55 Common Tern, 45 Gannet, 25 Dunlin, 7 Sanderling and 6 Common Scoter. On the way down to the sea, there were single Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin in Barn Bight; also 5 Common Sandpiper there, with an additional 3 birds on the groynes.
Late news: Stanpit was visited in the early afternoon and added a further 3 Common Sandpiper to the day total, also 25 Black-tailed Godwit counted. Dunlin numbers seemed to be down, with only around 40 being visible, however, 60+ Oystercatcher is a good number. The peace was shattered around 3:30, when a Peregrine, probably a juvenile, came through from the west, flushing all in its path. A small group of 3 Swallow were seen to leave southwards.
Some more late news from Stanpit in the morning. A juvenile Mediterranean Gull was seen, also 10 Ringed Plover, 4 Sanderling, 1 Knot and 1 Grey Plover. From Mudeford Quay, 17 Sanderling could be seen on the sandspit.
An overcast and breezy day with drizzle all afternoon. This comes ahead of 48 hours of forecast rain. The information services provided the best report of the day - a Wood Sandpiper over Priory Marsh at 09:10. Also in that posting was mention of 3 Knot, 2 Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel and 35 Black-tailed Godwit, all these presumably around Stanpit Bight. The direct reports for the morning period include Greenshank on both Priory Marsh and Parky Meade Rail, a single Knot on the HHC sandbar, 1 Turnstone on Blackberry Point, 3 Common Sandpiper and 200+ Dunlin. Limpy, the Yellow-legged Gull, was also seen. This evening, on another very high tide, there were 20 Dunlin in the uncharacteristic location of Priory Marsh, also 1 Snipe and Limpy over there. One species that seems to have had very good season is Black-headed Gull. Although not a breeder in the recording area, the closest nearby colonies are Poole and Pennington, there is currently a very high presence of juvenile birds.
A relatively better day weather-wise: dry, but with a moderate breeze varying in direction. A Grasshopper Warbler in the last gorse bushes on South Marsh, Stanpit, is the record of the day; while a Yellow Wagtail overhead provided further passerine interest. Early in the morning, the wind was from the east and Swift were moving into it, then, as it swung 180 degrees, 550 birds were counted going in the opposite direction. The high spring flood tides have made Water Rail very conspicuous, not least on Priory Marsh. Today's figure is an impressive 17 birds - 14 adults and 3 juveniles - across the marsh. The wader variety around Stanpit Bight is considered to be early and comprised: 211 Dunlin with a breeding plumaged Knot, 10 Whimbrel, 6 Turnstone, 3 Sanderling, 2 Greenshank and 1 Snipe. Yesterday's Mute Swan upping penned 370 birds, which is a record. This was down to most of the birds in the harbour being concentrated around Blackberry Point just prior to the round-up. Only around 50 birds were missed and of those controlled around 50% already carried rings.
The forecasters got it just about right. Overnight, heavy rain and strong south-south-easterly wind developed. Conditions in which the only really possible viewing was from the car on Mudeford Quay. In a 1 hour watch between 09:30 and 10:30, there were two sightings of Balearic Shearwater, one of which involved a bird literally skimming the groynes on the Sandspit. Gannet could be just about made out in the mirk, but in a clearer 15 minute period, it became obvious there was a large easterly movement taking place, with 84 birds being counted in that short time. A Grey Plover left over The Run directly into the wind and rain, and a single Whimbrel moved east. As conditions improved, a further 90 minutes, from around 11:00, were put in at the Double Dykes. The first 20 minutes were the most fruitful with 2 Arctic Skua and a single flock of 27 Kittiwake west, also 58 Common Tern, 9 Fulmar and 27 Common Scoter, all east. An incredible number of small waders were on the move at sea, but heading east, rather than the expected west. Perhaps these were birds displaced by high spring tides, as opposed to longer distance migrants. A total of 130 Sanderling and 70 Dunlin were recorded. By early afternoon, an hour at Whitepits showed it was pretty much over. A later visit to Stanpit provided 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, the first for a while, along with 6 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpiper and 43 Black-tailed Godwit. A further 2 Whimbrel have arrived over Stanpit Village in the last few minutes. This evening, a Red-legged Partridge was again on Wick Fields, in the enclosure where the cattle now are.
The day started with almost no wind and low cloud, but a south-westerly breeze did pick up later. On the mirror calm sea, it was possible to see the reflections of the feeding Gannet and a Balearic Shearwater afforded excellent views from Hengistbury, before it settled on the water at 08:25. The bird was called in to Birdguides at the time, but, disappointingly, the information didn't appear for another 6 hours. Also off the head was a notable presence of Common Tern, around 50 were feeding and another 46 headed west, as did a single Fulmar, while a total of 18 Common Scoter went in mixed directions. A couple of Kittiwake were also recorded, 1 west through the harbour and 1 in the opposite direction at sea. It was another good day for Mediterranean Gull: a juvenile was on the HHC sandbar early morning; an adult with a trailing juvenile went east past the Long Groyne; and a further, different juvenile was on South Marsh this afternoon. Both the Little Gull and Yellow-legged Gull were recorded from Stanpit in the morning. Surprisingly, a Yellow Wagtail was on the ground on the Long Field side of Double Dyke around 10:00, but was soon disturbed. Waders continue to feature - there were 7 Sanderling recorded today, 2 in the harbour, 2 east and 3 west; 2 Whimbrel were in Stanpit Bight and 2 birds were seen moving; a Grey Plover arrived, 4 Greenshank were at Stanpit, a Turnstone was in Barn Bight; and there were 135 Dunlin and 30 Black-tailed Godwit. Finally, a couple of Snipe over the HHC makes a good July record and a Kingfisher was in the same area. Tomorrow is the annual Swan upping in the harbour. This is when the moulting, hence flightless, Mute Swan are rounded up, weighed and measured. Personally, I have never really fathomed a reason for this tradition. If a population census is required then it is far easier to count the birds from the top of Hengistbury, as CHOG do each month, thereby avoiding wide scale disturbance to the other wildlife in the area. The round-up starts at 14:00, so if you're planning to bird at Stanpit tomorrow, it's probably better to do so in the morning.
During the course of the day, the wind swung around from north to south-west. The first Wheatear of the autumn passage, a female, was on Crouch Hill this morning. A stark reminder that we are already a month after mid-summer. Stanpit was visited twice today and the early tally included the regular Yellow-legged Gull and the equally familiar first-summer Little Gull. Also 2 Sanderling in breeding plumage, 5 Whimbrel, 4 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 103 Dunlin and 31 Black-tailed Godwit. This afternoon, a party of 3 Avocet had arrived and the Dunlin increased to 175 birds. A Turnstone was also a newcomer, but only 2 Whimbrel and 1 Greenshank could be seen. The Yellow-legged Gull remained faithful to South Marsh. A third, later report from the marsh produced a further Greenshank, and confirmed the Wheatear, Little Gull and 2 Common Sandpiper were still present.
The year list took another increment this morning, as a Wood Sandpiper was heard from various parts of Stanpit before eventually being seen high over East Marsh and then descending into Parky Meade Rail. Further highlights came courtesy of 2 Crossbill overhead and the bizarre site of 9 Gannet heading east actually over the harbour. There were 2 Little Gull present today, with a moulting adult bird joining what was presumably the summering second calendar year bird. Also an adult Mediterranean Gull on site. A good seasonal day total of Whimbrel, 9 birds moving through and up to 5 birds settled; other wader interest came in the form of 4 Common Sandpiper, 3 Turnstone and 3 Greenshank. Redshank are not often mentioned, but a count of 112 is certainly worthy of note. The Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwit were at 260 and 34 respectively. A Hobby was in harbour airspace for a while, a few Willow Warbler and Sedge Warbler are starting to trickle through and a Great-spotted Woodpecker was seen heading east along the Sandspit! This evening, there was a Hobby over Wick Fields.
This morning saw a westerly wind of varying strength. From the Beach Huts, a Balearic Shearwater was watched as it lingered in the area and settled on the water on several occasions. It was supported by 6 Manx Shearwater heading west, also 55 Gannet, 1 Fulmar, 1 Common Scoter and 4 individual Curlew in the direction. Around the same time, from the Point House Café, a juvenile Kittiwake was seen moving east; also noted off Hengistbury were 1 Arctic Tern and 4 Common Tern east, and a Little Tern hanging around. Holloway's Dock doesn't attract too many waders, so 5 Greenshank there were a bonus, as were 2 Common Sandpiper, with a further of the latter in Barn Bight. Another evening trip to Stanpit produced a Hobby and an increase in Dunlin - 231 being counted. Other waders were: 28 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 1 Greenshank and 1 Ringed Plover.
Last night's promised seawatch did not come to fruition and by this morning conditions had calmed significantly. As a result, only 40 Gannet and a couple each of Common Tern and Sandwich Tern were recorded. On Stanpit late this afternoon, there were 2 Knot is pristine plumage, also 4 Whimbrel and 150+ Dunlin. The Yellow-legged Gull was also there. An evening excursion to Stanpit produced 2 Mediterranean Gull, an adult and a younger bird, 3 Common Sandpiper, 26 Black-tailed Godwit and a visiting photographer reported an Avocet.
The weather eventually turned early afternoon today, as a stiff breeze brought about showery rain. Stanpit received cover throughout the day and early on 4 Tufted Duck were a good site record. The wader variety was slightly down with 4 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel and 1 Greenshank, while the more numerous included 130 or so Dunlin and 27 Black-tailed Godwit. This evening, just before 6:00, a group of 24 Curlew and 1 Whimbrel were seen to leave south. Limpy, the Yellow-legged Gull, was present for the whole day. There is a rare evening seawatch in interesting conditions taking place, so a late update may follow.
The hot spell enters its second week and shows no sign of immediately ending. Today saw the welcome return of Limpy, the Yellow-legged Gull - first recorded August 2002, but not seen since February, the bird traditionally returns in the high summer and usually remains into the winter. The best place to look is on South Marsh, where it is frequently the only large gull. The upperpart grey is a noticeable shade darker than Herring Gull, although the biggest give away is the gait or the trailing leg in flight. The legs are not yellow, instead they remain pink, even though the plumage is now full adult. Up to 8 Mediterranean Gull were recorded today: this morning, there were adult birds in Stanpit Bight and East Marsh; and this afternoon, 4 adults and a first-summer were at sea, and a first-summer was over Crouch Hill. Finally on larids, the first-summer Little Gull was reported by the information services. A nice wader variety on comprised 5 Whimbrel, 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank and a Knot, also 132 Dunlin and 30 Black-tailed Godwit. There were also 3 Sanderling on the beach at Hengistbury
Amidst the post-breeding dispersal period, a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker was a welcome, but not wholly unexpected addition to the annual tally. The bird was seen distantly flying over the Coastguards and pitching into the all too dense upper Batters, where there was little hope of relocation. Also, at least 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker seen today. Another first for the year was a juvenile Mediterranean Gull west over the HHC. On the basis of its heading, it is fair to assume it may have just left one of the breeding colonies around The Solent. Earlier, a party of 3 Tufted Duck briefly toured the area and a total of 370 Swift moved west during the three hour watch. From over on Stanpit, a Greenshank could be heard and a male Peregrine was seen flushing waders. Also from Stanpit comes an information services report of an adult Yellow-legged Gull, the Brent Goose, a Barnacle Goose, probably feral from the Avon Valley, and 45 Black-tailed Godwit. After lunch, as the breeze stiffened, a seawatch from Hengistbury produced the second Balearic Shearwater of the year feeding offshore before it moved west; heading in the same direction were 2 Arctic Skua and 2 Fulmar.
Another good day for mid-July. A remarkable record for any time of year is 10 Shoveler, all in female-type plumage, but possibly a family party, that spent the day in the harbour. Initially seen arriving from the Avon Valley, they circled the harbour and appeared to head out to sea. However, a short while later, they reappeared, settled, and then spent the rest of the day in Stanpit Bight. Summer seems barely upon us before Swift start to move, this is made even more poignant by their late arrival dates. Today, a total of 1112 were counted heading west in 3 hours. Conversely, Sand Martin are one of the earlier arrivers, so one expects to see them leaving. During the same time period, 320 birds headed west and earlier 300 had been roosting in reeds by the HHC. While scanning the skies for hirundines, 3 Arctic Tern were seen over the harbour, and 4 Gadwall and a Green Sandpiper were also spotted. A few passerine migrants are also starting to trickle back through, a Yellow Wagtail was over Stanpit and a Spotted Flycatcher was on Hengistbury; while local post breeding dispersal came courtesy of 3 Great-spotted Woodpecker, a Kingfisher and a Mistle Thrush. A Bearded Tit in Priory Reeds further suggests breeding has occurred for this difficult to detect species. At least 29 Black-tailed Godwit were in the area today, also 220 Dunlin, the flock containing at least 2 juvenile birds, 5 Common Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank and 1 Ringed Plover. Finally, the Little Gull was again seen about Stanpit throughout the morning.
Weather still the same, but a new species for the year as a flock of 6 Crossbill flew high north over Crouch Hill this morning. The Dunlin took another step up with 123 counted, unfortunately though, such numbers so early in the "autumn" probably indicates a high rate of breeding failure. These are all adult birds returning south from their northern nesting grounds. In all, there was an excellent variety to be had around Stanpit. The first-summer Little Gull was in Parky Meade Rail, as was a female Tufted Duck; over South Marsh a couple of Little Ringed Plover were recorded, and 3 Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel and 6 Ringed Plover were around Stanpit Bight. More numerous were Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew, totalling 37 and 25 birds respectively, while a healthy figure of 52 Little Egret was noted. Also on the increase are Mediterranean Gull sightings, five birds of varying ages seen today, but no juveniles yet. Priory Marsh is drying out rapidly, only the main pool is now holding water, but there was single Snipe, Common Sandpiper and adult Water Rail there this evening.
Same conditions and similar reports from another sweltering day. Interestingly, during the late afternoon, a heavy sea mist descended onto the whole recording area. Stanpit this morning held 3 Greenshank and 3 Whimbrel, a Ringed Plover was off Fisherman's Bank, and 40 Dunlin and 37 Black-tailed Godwit were counted. An adult Great-crested Grebe in breeding plumage on the river was a different individual to yesterday.
Not much to comment about the consistent weather, but still an increasing selection on Stanpit. The Dunlin have leapt to 40 and included a Knot with them in the flock. The 2 Greenshank remained from last night, as did a single Whimbrel. On the HHC sandbar, there were up to 39 Black-tailed Godwit, a Cuckoo was around Parky Meade Rail and a Great-crested Grebe was on the river. Check back to yesterday for some late news.
The fine weather continued and so did the gradual increase in wader interest. On Stanpit this morning, as the tide rose, a couple of Greenshank off South Marsh were definite new arrivers and the Dunlin total crept up to 16 birds. Meanwhile, there are still 31 Black-tailed Godwit. A casual attempt to count the Little Egret was made, around 25-30 were on East Marsh and in Stanpit Bight, and a further 6 were elsewhere around the marsh. In the early evening, there were 2 Green Sandpiper over Priory Marsh, and 6 Whimbrel and 2 Greenshank on the main part of Stanpit. Later, a female Nightjar was seen on Hengistbury, but the male was silent.
An absolutely scorching day with very high temperatures and a varying breeze. If one reviews the last few days, the wader variety is smally, but surely, building up, and today a breeding plumaged Knot added to the miscellany. The bird was seen in Stanpit Bight both morning and evening. A family party of Great-crested Grebe flew downriver off Grimmery Bank. Firstly, 3 birds were seen then a minute later a further 2, and 1 juvenile remained. The nearest breeding site is just north of the area at Coward's Marsh. It is interesting to compare the early and late day wader totals, either side of high water. This morning, a total of 6 Dunlin was considered good, but this had increased to a heady 12 birds later. Black-tailed Godwit also increased from 25 to just over 35, but most of these appeared to leave west as the tide ebbed this evening. As mentioned earlier, the Knot remained all day, as did the Whimbrel, but there were 2 Common Sandpiper in Stanpit Bight in the later period. Faithful throughout was the Brent Goose. It was good to see the brood of 14 Shelduck all nearly adult sized, just losing 1of the original 15 is a remarkable achievement for the parents. Also seen, was the younger brood of 2 from 5.
The wind had swung to north-east, so didn't hold too much promise. The highlight on Hengistbury was a Sand Martin passage. Early on, just a couple of hundred of birds seemed to be present and were presumed to be locals. However, in a ten-minute spell just before 9:00, a wave of 1100 birds passed eastwards over the head. A trickle continued and at 10:15, there were still over 300 feeding above Whitepits. Also seen in good numbers were Common Sandpiper - 8 in Barn Bight as the tide rose; but even better were 4 Greenshank in Mother Siller's Channel, also a Whimbrel noted. Other waders are still largely absent, the Dunlin "flock" remaining constant at 2 birds and 22 Black-tailed Godwit still hanging around. At sea, a single Gadwall went east and at least 30 Common Scoter went west. Also a reasonable figure for Common Tern, with 40 individuals fishing by the Long Groyne, and 4 Little Tern were off Mudeford Quay. The Wood on Hengistbury held no surprises, but Great-spotted Woodpecker was seen over Priory Marsh and in the North Scrubs. Elsewhere on Stanpit, the Little Gull was in Parky Meade Rail and the Brent Goose was also seen. A few Water Rail were heard and 2 juveniles were seen with an attendant parent. Later news: an adult Mediterranean Gull headed west over Wick Fields at 8:00 tonight and a Peregrine, seemingly a young male, was hunting overhead, and was then seen, during the same phonecall, carrying a meal over Stanpit village.
Although warm, the weather wasn't as scorching as forecast. On Stanpit this morning, we saw a doubling of the current Dunlin population - a fine total of 2 birds present today! Also there, the Brent Goose, a couple of Common Sandpiper in Stanpit Bight and 19 Black-tailed Godwit on the HHC sandbar. This afternoon, a returning Whimbrel broke the Curlew monopoly and 3 Common Tern were present all day. A group of 3 adult Grey Heron were seen to arrive from the east and 27+ Little Egret were counted. The first juvenile Greater Black-backed Gull from the nearby factory roof breeding colonies was on the wing over Fisherman's Bank. Hopefully, the remaining birds of this and the other two large gull breeding species will soon leave the nests. I need to reduce the monthly outgoings at the car wash and the workplace is starting to resemble Bass Rock.
Some of the recent Stanpit summer regulars made it back onto the records this morning. The Little Gull was seen over Crouch Hill heading north and the Brent Goose was again around Stanpit Bight. Only 11 Black-tailed Godwit today, but there was the first Dunlin record for a while. A couple of Gannet were noted off Hengistbury and a Common Sandpiper was in Barn Bight. This evening, on the northern Wick Fields, a Red-legged Partridge was calling incessantly. There have been no records of these for several months.
Overnight, the wind had dropped significantly, meaning the seawatching conditions weren't quite as expected. Nevertheless, a Balearic Shearwater lingered off Hengistbury this morning and was seen on three occasions from the Beach Huts. Also recorded during the watch were an Arctic Tern, 55 Gannet east, 21 Common Scoter west and 4 Eider east. A Hobby was seen to arrive from the sea, exchanging places with a Cuckoo that departed south under the close attention of the Sand Martin. A Green Sandpiper was heard calling somewhere over Stanpit, a Grey Plover was seen to arrive and 3 Common Sandpiper were in Barn Bight. The Black-tailed Godwit were counted at 22 birds and a Great-spotted Woodpecker was by the Nursery.
The westerly wind gathered further momentum throughout the day and by lunchtime the rain set in, making for a miserable afternoon. An early visit to Stanpit beat the weather and caught the last of the mud. A Greenshank in the ditches around Crouch Hill provided interest, otherwise, it's just 2 Common Sandpiper and 22 Black-tailed Godwit to make up the numbers. Slightly later, 5 Common Tern were just off Mudeford Quay. Additions and amendments are already coming in for the Rarity List that was put on-line yesterday. Thanks for the input and please keep further feedback coming in.
The wind continued with some strength from the west and a day punctuated with frequent, heavy hail and rain showers kept most people indoors. Getting caught in the open on Crouch Hill was not an attractive proposition. However, there is one quality report and that is of an Osprey seen from Priory Marsh as it drifted high northwards at 9:15 this morning. Elsewhere on Stanpit, there were 3 Common Sandpiper and still around 20 or so Black-tailed Godwit.
Looking at some other local reports, it seems we drew the short straw today. Probably the biggest mistake was the sea not being watched. The only real effort was put into Stanpit just after noon; where neither of the interesting regulars could be seen, but there were 5 Common Sandpiper making the return journey. Meanwhile, the Black-tailed Godwit numbered around 20 today. For some reason, they particularly favour the HHC sandbar when it is exposed. The Swallow nesting in the Barn on Hengistbury apparently lost their first brood, but they are now raising a second.
Despite a moderate south-westerly breeze, the sea conditions remained slight and the seabirds remained off Cornwall. In a rather truncated Saturday watch period, 2 separate Mediterranean Gull passed by west, one an adult, the other in second-winter plumage. Also noted were 14 Common Scoter, again west. From the opposite end of the recording area, a Little Ringed Plover was over Priory Marsh early on, and a Mistle Thrush in the same area had probably popped over from Wick. Off South Marsh, the regular first-summer Little Gull and the Brent Goose were again recorded, also 2 Common Sandpiper. There seems to have been a significant departure of Black-tailed Godwit with just 15 counted today, conversely, Lapwing and Curlew are increasing. There were also 7 of the latter seen moving west. Also on the wing, were a pair of Gadwall over the harbour and the year's first juvenile Sandwich Tern, from one of the nearby colonies, trailed an adult over Barn Bight.
The corner has been turned, June is over! Although I'm probably being unfair, given the early month wader highlight. Today's reports come from Stanpit on the morning's high water. The Little Gull was resting on the mud off South Marsh, while the Brent Goose was a little further out. A small, westerly Curlew passage was noted over the harbour, with groups of 6 and 2 recorded. Others to note were a single Common Tern and a Cuckoo over Central Marsh. Some later news from Stanpit, where there 3 Common Sandpiper around Mother Siller's Channel and Hobby was scaring the few Black-tailed Godwit.