Sightings for August 2007


August 31st

Probably at the precise moment I elected to take the morning off work, the wind swung abruptly to the west. The worst possible migration scenario and one which can be sensibly dealt with in chronological order. Dawn at the HHC saw 28 Yellow Wagtail lift out of their reedbed roost and head towards Wick and it was assumed that most of the subsequent calls related to these birds, as they spread across the recording area. Little else on Hengistbury, other than 5 Wheatear and 5 Whinchat on the Barn Field, 26 Whitethroat, 16 Sedge Warbler, with at least 4 trapped, and 2 Blackcap, with 5 Tree Pipit over. Wick Hams and Brewer's Creek held 3 Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher or two were also around there. With the spring tide rapidly flooding the harbour's mud, a decision was made to cut the losses and get over to Stanpit, where the best was a juvenile Roseate Tern and both adult and juvenile Arctic Tern, resting on the fast disappearing sand. On arrival to the marsh, there were around 200 small waders, 75% of them Dunlin, with most of the remainder being Ringed Plover, but also 4 Sanderling. As the water rose, most of these could be seen to either push on west or head to Mudeford sandspit, where they would attempt to roost. The other waders included the Spotted Redshank, 5 Knot and 3 Greenshank. A couple of Grey Wagtail headed across the harbour and 3 Wheatear were about South Marsh. When the mud was finally covered, the 'shanks and Lapwing moved onto East Marsh to rest. However, within minutes, over 30 of the former were spooked by three canoes containing 7 people that passed way too close, while 50 of the latter decided it was best to leave northwards, as a person crossing East Marsh headed straight towards them. By 4:30, the waters were ebbing and another visit to Stanpit was made. Initially, around 100 Dunlin were already crowded onto the small area of mud off the tip of South Marsh, but as more became available, birds could be seen flying low across the harbour from the direction of sandspit. Given the season, it's unlikely they had been able to roost there, so were almost certainly passers-by taking advantage of the newly exposed feeding opportunity. The number eventually reached the 200 mark, with 20 or so Ringed Plover. The Spotted Redshank performed well, along with a single Knot. Also in the bight, 3 Greenshank, 5 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Whimbrel, along with 6 Yellow Wagtail moving around East Marsh. Finally, don't underestimate the Snipe photo. Seeing one of these in the open is a far from simple task!

Omissions: a party of 4 Pintail over west were the first for the autumn, while 2 Lesser Whitethroat were left off the Hengistbury passerine lists.


August 30th

Far fewer terns today, but a count of 285 Common Tern west is still well worthy of note, as was the presence of Knot. At least 28 were in the harbour this morning, with a further 37 seen passing west over Hengistbury. Doing the same thing were 4 Golden Plover and 46 Ringed Plover, while 6 Bar-tailed Godwit pitched in, as did 7 Black-tailed Godwit to join 3 already present. A, presumably "the", Spotted Redshank was recorded from Hengistbury, along with a Pochard, 21 Teal, 5 Shoveler and 9 Wigeon, with a further 5 Wigeon still settled in on Stanpit. There were 8 Common Sandpiper in the HHC/Wick Hams area, along with 5 Snipe, a Whimbrel and a Greenshank. This year has seen numbers of Snipe appearing quite early, so, save for high counts, they will no longer get a mention. It wasn't a great day for passerines, other than a single Redstart; just 3 Wheatear, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whinchat, 28 Whitethroat, 11 Blackcap and 14 Sedge Warbler were on Hengistbury, although 19 birds were caught. Meanwhile, overhead, went 26 Yellow Wagtail and 3 Tree Pipit. Moving over to Stanpit, where there were 120 or so Dunlin throughout the day, but Ringed Plover dropped from 30 in the morning to 10 by late afternoon. Other records from Stanpit Bight include: 2 Sanderling, 2 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Common Sandpiper, with a paltry 3 Yellow Wagtail around there and 2 Wheatear on Crouch Hill. An evening crake vigil across Parky Meade Rail at low water didn't bag the intended quarry, but 6-8 Water Rail, including 2 juveniles, were skulking about in the reeds. Finally, the 2006 Report should be popping through letter boxes tomorrow morning, if not already. This year's edition takes another step forward and our thanks have to go to Leo Pyke for the many, many hours that she has put into it.


August 29th

The undoubted highlight of the day was the tern passage through the harbour, which, numerically speaking, belonged to Common Tern. In a two-and-a-half hour spell this morning, over 950 were counted heading west. Rarity-wise though, star billing goes to a White-winged Black Tern seen very well passing by South Marsh, Stanpit; while the quality species from Hengistbury came from 2 Black Tern, a Roseate Tern, an Arctic Tern and 1 Little Tern. It was another good day for wildfowl, with Goosander topping the most sought after list, as 2 birds headed west. Also, 32 Teal, 25 Wigeon, 14 Gadwall, 8 Shelduck and 3 Shoveler. Best of the waders was a Ruff, but also 7 Knot, 7 Greenshank, 2 Golden Plover, 27 Snipe and 63 Ringed Plover recorded from Hengistbury, all of these in flight. Also airborne, were 106 Yellow Wagtail, other than 6 in Wick Hams, 12 Tree Pipit, 9 Grey Wagtail and 2 Raven. Keeping on Hengistbury, the settled passerines, mostly between the HHC and the Barn Field, but also a few on the Batters, included: 29 Wheatear, 10 Whinchat, 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Garden Warbler, 51 Whitethroat, 12 Willow Warbler, 11 Sedge Warbler and 8 Blackcap. A similar number of Common Sandpiper were by Barn Bight, as was a Kingfisher. Stanpit received some unprecedented coverage throughout the day, so trying to piece together the numbers is fraught with the risk of duplication, so here is the best estimate. The popular Spotted Redshank remains, with another bonus being the day's second Roseate Tern in the afternoon. The highest wader figures were: 120 Dunlin, 28 Ringed Plover, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Knot, 4 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 3 Greenshank, a Sanderling and a Turnstone. Also, 6 Yellow Wagtail by the cattle on East Marsh, including an adult male bird, 4 Wheatear, 5 Wigeon and a Kingfisher. Finally, confirmation has now been received of Sunday's information services reports, including the Corncrake.

Additional news: a couple of hours at Stanpit prior to dusk saw: the Spotted Redshank, 150 Dunlin, 30 Ringed Plover, 8 Common Sandpiper, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 or 4 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel and a reduction in the Knot to 2. An estimated 25 Yellow Wagtail were about the area and a Little Tern was on the flats.


August 28th

Much quieter today, but still some variety. By the pond in the "No Dogs" Wick Field, there was a pocket of birds that contained 6 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Garden Warbler, all showing well; while, overhead, 2 Siskin represented the start of the finch passage. Black-headed Gull, although not counted, could still be observed moving west, as were 9 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 juvenile Shelduck. On Hengistbury itself, passerines were sparse, just 4 Wheatear, a Whinchat, 19 Whitethroat and a single Garden Warbler. A group of 11 Yellow Wagtaill were on the path to the sea that borders the Barn Field, with 7 more on Wick Hams, along with 9 Snipe, 3 Common Sandpiper and 2 Greenshank. A party of 5 Black-tailed Godwit were seen checking-in and another was on the HHC bar; Kingfisher were noted on 4 occasions and 2 Raven headed towards the Nursery. The information services report Little Stint, Garganey and Spotted Redshank from Stanpit and please check back to yesterday for some additional news from there.

Additional news: the Stanpit Knot have reduced to 5 birds, but the Spotted Redshank remains. Also present, a Little Tern, around 75 Dunlin, 30 or so Ringed Plover, 7 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Whimbrel, while a party of 5 juvenile Shelduck were new in. The birds previously classed as information services reports have now been confirmed.


August 27th

A northerly wind of varying strength literally blew it hot and cold at Hengistbury this morning, bringing wildfowl and waders with it. A total of 62 Black-tailed Godwit, including a flock of 28 with an accompanying Ruff, were seen passing west or pitching into Stanpit; however, by the afternoon the number there had dropped to just 8. Also seen over the harbour were 32 Knot, 2 Golden Plover, 3 Grey Plover and 7 Greenshank, while a Green Sandpiper was heard in flight, as were Ringed Plover on numerous occasions, but rarely seen. Best of the ducks was a Pochard, but also 5 Shoveler, 4 Wigeon, 7 Teal and 2 Gadwall. Other visible migration came courtesy of gulls, with 470 Black-headed Gull, 75 Lesser Black-backed Gull and 2 juvenile Mediterranean Gull moving purposefully west. Terns were less abundant, with only 31 Common Tern west, but over 50 were feeding offshore this afternoon. Yellow Wagtail numbers are difficult to assess, as they were constantly heard about the area. The largest groups were 30 over Wick Fields and 18 feeding on Wick Hams, suggesting a day total in excess of 80. Other big numbers came from Wheatear and Willow Warbler, with 72 and 125 respectively, being the most accurate assessment. A Grasshopper Warbler showed well by the HHC for a short while, a Pied Flycatcher was on the Batters, Lesser Whitethroat totalled 11, 8 of them in Wick Ditch, a Garden Warbler was by Double Dykes and 9 Spotted Flycatcher were noted. To round off the passerines, there were also 90 Whitethroat and 40 Sedge Warbler. At least 3 Raven were over Hengistbury, a Great-crested Grebe circuited then left west, 2 Grey Wagtail were on the HHC slip and a Kingfisher was in Barn Bight. Moving to Stanpit, the Spotted Redshank was present this afternoon, as were 3 Greenshank; and with further visits currently being made, additional news seems likely.

Additional news: Stanpit in the evening produced a good count of 150 Dunlin, along with 30-40 Ringed Plover. More impressive, however, was the Knot total of 30, which included an arriving flock of 25 birds. Also, the Spotted Redshank, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank and Turnstone in Stanpit Bight, and 15 Wheatear on Crouch Hill. In the morning, there were 2 Red-legged Partridge in the normal spot on Wick and a further Spotted Flycatcher.


August 26th

Despite the species haul of yesterday, there are always some that appear just 24 hours too late. For example, a Great-crested Grebe that had been present Monday to Friday, could not be seen yesterday, but it frustratingly popped up again this morning. Others that missed the record list were: 2 Peregrine over the harbour and 7 Avocet seen descending onto Stanpit. The whole atmosphere was a little more relaxed today, meaning fewer numbers of birds were actually logged. However, a group of 21 Arctic moving west over Hengistbury provided a highlight, while 77 Common Tern did much the same thing. There were good numbers of Spotted Flycatcher again, a total of 12 between the HHC and the Barn Field, also 5 Garden Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat, but Whinchat and Wheatear could muster just 2 of each. Also noted were: 40 Whitethroat, 25 Willow Warbler, 7 Reed Warbler and 1 Sedge Warbler. Overhead, Yellow Wagtail were heard on two occasions, but 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipit and a Swift could be seen. The fine weather saw raptors on the wing, the best being 4 Hobby at various points over the area, with 15 Buzzard and 9 Sparrowhawk mainly in the airspace over the lower Avon Valley. The rapidly drying Wick Hams was still attractive to 6 Snipe, 4 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank and a Whimbrel; 3 Raven passed high over; and a Kingfisher and a Greylag Goose were on the river. The good numbers of raptors continued in the afternoon, when a female-type Marsh Harrier was over Wick, with further singles of Hobby and Peregrine. The Spotted Redshank, which is fast being suspected as last winter's individual, remains in Stanpit Bight; along with 10 juvenile Knot, 2 Greenshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel. The Dunlin and Ringed Plover flock remained largely out of sight on the far slope of Blackberry Point, but there were perhaps up to 100 birds out there. Also, 3 Yellow Wagtail on South Marsh. Finally, another of yesterday's teasers, namely the Wick driving range Red-legged Partridge, casually wandered about there this afternoon, despite the golfing activity and the presence of a large mower!

Additional news: by the evening, the Knot on Stanpit had risen to 13, still all juveniles; also 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a Redstart and a Garden Warbler in the North Scrubs.

This morning, the information services carried a mega report of a Corncrake calling on Central Marsh, Stanpit, but there are no further details known to CHOG. Also in that message, a Wood Warbler in the North Scrubs, with Garganey and 5 Avocet in Stanpit Bight.

29th August update: confirmation has now been received on all the information services reports, including the Corncrake.

30th August update: a Little Stint, Sanderling and Turnstone were with the commoner, small waders off South Marsh.


August 25th

The attempt on the harbour big day record ensured maximum coverage on a glorious late summer's day. The effort was duly rewarded with a magnificent new record, a total species count of 123, which beats the previous record by 9. It's interesting to note that by 10:00am the count had reached 121, meaning only 2 species were added in the next 8 hours! The highlight was undoubtedly a female Montagu's Harrier moving east, seen from the clifftop by three fortunate observers. The supporting cast included Hobby, Roseate Tern, Turtle Dove, Grasshopper Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Yellowhammer and, over on Stanpit, both Little Stint and Spotted Redshank. Reasonable numbers of common migrants were logged throughout the day, counts being 80 Wheatear, 60 Yellow Wagtail, 55 Whitethroat, 45 Willow Warbler, 20 Whinchat, 18 Spotted Flycatcher, 15 Grey Wagtail, 15 Tree Pipit, 12 Goldcrest, 10 Sedge Warbler, 6 Redstart, 6 Blackcap, 5 Reed Warbler, 4 Garden Warbler, 3 Swift, 3 Coal Tit and 2 Lesser Whitethroat. There were 5 Raven about the area, 3 Kingfisher, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker and also 3 Mistle Thrush on Wick. With the exception of the harrier, the sea was fairly uninspiring with 5 Arctic Tern, 2 Little Tern, 2 Kittiwake, 1 Fulmar and an unidentified auk, all moving west. Two first-year Mediterranean Gull were seen plus 4 Common Gull, while 2 Yellow-legged Gull were on Stanpit. Harbour wader counts were 44 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin, 24 Common Sandpiper, 10 Sanderling, 6 Knot, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Green Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank and 2 Whimbrel. A further 3 Knot moved east, also 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 1 Grey Plover. Singles of Pochard, Gadwall and Shoveler were noted, the juvenile Shelduck was still present and 11 Wigeon were around Stanpit.

Additional news: a Turtle Dove was seen from Priory Marsh in the morning.


August 24th

Apologies for this rather rapid fire summary, but Sopley is experiencing a prolonged power-cut and I'm rushing before the batteries on the PC expire. Best from Hengistbury this morning was a Wryneck, the second of the week, on the grass behind the HHC and a couple of Goosander, the first for the year, touring the harbour. A Wood Warbler was on the Batters, as were 8 Spotted Flycatcher, and a Ruff, or more accurately a reeve, was on Wick Hams. Highlights from Stanpit in the afternoon were an Avocet and an adult Spotted Redshank, both showing well in Stanpit Bight, along with the Yellow-legged Gull, Limpy. Back to the morning and the numbers from Hengistbury: 85 Wheatear, 25 Whinchat, 43 Willow Warbler, 11 Sedge Warbler, 7 Redstart and 3 Coal Tit; while overhead, 53 Yellow Wagtail, 27 Tree Pipit, 4 Grey Wagtail and 2 Swift were logged. Passing waders, mostly east, numbered 21 Knot in a single flock, 6 Sanderling, 5 Grey Plover and 3 Golden Plover; also of passing interest were 15 Shelduck, all west, in groups of 10 and 5. Little else from a two hour seawatch though. This afternoon, Stanpit held 61 Dunlin, 46 Ringed Plover, 4 Snipe showing well on the mud, 3 Knot, 3 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, 3 Sanderling, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel and a Turnstone. Also 10 Wigeon and a few Teal, around 12 Yellow Wagtail about South Marsh and a couple of Wheatear by Stride's boatyard on Fisherman's Bank. Tomorrow sees a full, co-ordinated day in the field, with an attempt to beat the harbour's day total record being made.

Additional news: a Garganey on Stanpit in the evening had almost certainly been overlooked in the afternoon.


August 23rd

It was moving wildfowl and waders that dominated the scene at Hengistbury this morning, as the sometimes cold north by north-east wind continued. A lone Garganey moved through, as did another in a group of 5 Teal, which numbered 114 in all, including one flock of 42. Next best was a Tufted Duck, but also 10 Shoveler, 5 Wigeon and 4 Gadwall. The premier waders were a Green Sandpiper with 7 Common Sandpiper on Wick Hams, a Spotted Redshank west and a Little Stint seen arriving; while the supporting cast, all generally west or checking-in, included: 66 Dunlin, 21 Ringed Plover, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel and 1 Grey Plover. A total of 16 Swift moved over, along with 20 Yellow Wagtail, 10 Tree Pipit and a Grey Wagtail. On the deck, there were 7 Wheatear, 4 Whinchat, a Redstart, 12 Reed Bunting in uncharacteristic places, a Lesser Whitethroat, 25 Whitethroat and 2 Blackcap. Another sizeable hirundine passage comprised: 1700 Swallow, 1000 Sand Martin and 450 House Martin; and there are still many hundreds, mainly Sand Martin, over Wick Fields tonight. The early evening on Stanpit produced 6 Yellow Wagtail on South Marsh, with over 12 Wheatear also there, and a Spotted Flycatcher in the North Scrubs. A group of 8 Wigeon were seen to join 30 Teal, 4 Gadwall, a Shoveler and the juvenile Shelduck in Stanpit Bight, where there was also a juvenile Knot, 30 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin, 5 Greenshank and 3 Black-tailed Godwit. Please check back to yesterday for some additional news.


August 22nd

Another bird-filled day, with the evening providing the highlight, hence the slightly later than normal post. After a fruitless scan of Stanpit Bight, I returned to join my wife, who was blackberry picking in the North Scrubs, to see a Wryneck sat in a bush next to her! The bird is still showing now, at 7:15, and there will be photographs later. A female Redstart also appeared in the same area and a party of 3 Ruff descended onto East Marsh. Earlier in the day, the marsh had held a Garganey, with 3 Teal, on East Marsh, while 2 Little Ringed Plover were seen from Hengistbury. Migrants over that part of the recording area were plentiful: for example, 29 Tree Pipit heading into the northerly wind towards Wick; also 4 Spotted Flycatcher, a total of 36 Yellow Wagtail over the harbour and a Turtle Dove seen going into the Nursery. An adult Little Gull and 8 Arctic Tern passed through west, as did 100+ Sandwich Tern and 78 Common Tern, and a Arctic Skua was at sea. Waders were being watched from both sides, so to avoid duplication, the higher numbers have been taken. These included: 67 Ringed Plover, 176 Dunlin, 18 Snipe, 1 Greenshank, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Golden Plover, 6 Common Sandpiper and 2 Whimbrel. Meanwhile, a further 14 Whimbrel moved purposefully west, as did 28 Knot and 31 Curlew. Crouch Hill again held the lion's share of Wheatear, around a dozen, with half that amount on Hengistbury making 18 for the day; also 2 Whinchat, 1 on each site. The Cuckoo was again on Wick, 2 Raven passed over and a Peregrine hunted about Stanpit. Returning wild duck were headed by 79 Teal, 4 Shoveler and, as ventured a day or so ago, 3 Wigeon. The early start on Hengistbury saw 22 Grey Heron and 32 Stock Dove leave the Nursery roost, and 98 Canada Goose departed Stanpit.

Omission: the morning saw quite a north-easterly hirundine movement, totalling 1800 Sand Martin, 1000 Swallow and 500 House Martin.

Additional news: extra goodies included a female-type Marsh Harrier over Stanpit in the morning and 7 Golden Plover north over there in the late afternoon. Also, a Grey Wagtail, 2 Redstart, a Garden Warbler, a Sanderling, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Turnstone and 2 Black-tailed Godwit on the marsh.


August 21st

Despite a north-westerly wind, there was quite a bit about today and, rather encouragingly, the wind has veered to the north-east already. After some blank years, we were treated to the second Kentish Plover record of the period - 2 birds in fact, on Stanpit this morning, but seemingly unable to fully settle. Also on Stanpit was a Little Stint, with a further sighting in Barn Bight being potentially the same individual. The morning also saw 2 Spotted Redshank and 2 Garganey, however, by late afternoon these had gone. Nevertheless, the quality continued, as a Wood Sandpiper showed down to 3 metres on South Marsh, but disappeared before the photographers arrived; and slightly later, a female-type Marsh Harrier patrolled Wick for several minutes, before gaining height over the harbour and moving on. Just after lunch, there was a really good count of 65 Ringed Plover from Argyll Road. During the afternoon, these reduced to around 30, when there were also 20 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling, 2 Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, a Turnstone, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. Around the same time, Crouch Hill was jumping with "tacking" Wheatear, over 15 in all, also a Whinchat. To round off at Stanpit, a Little Tern in the harbour was accompanied by 40 Sandwich Tern and 6 Common Tern. Hengistbury was addressed in the morning, when 2 Raven went over, and 4 Common Sandpiper and a Gadwall were in Barn Bight. The sea saw just 21 Common Tern, but 5 Turnstone were gathered together on one of the groynes. In the early evening, hundreds of hirundines, Swallow in the main, were congregating over Wick Fields.


August 20th

No reports from Hengistbury today, so it's over to Wick for the passerine migrants, which included a Cuckoo, a Goldcrest, 2 Tree Pipit, presumably over, and a single Wheatear this morning; while there were 6 more of the latter on Crouch Hill, Stanpit. Best of the waders on the marsh was a Golden Plover that circled for several minutes before heading off and a Wood Sandpiper calling somewhere in Central Marsh. Other bits and pieces included: just 7 Dunlin, 14 Ringed Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, this could be the same bird that's been around for over a fortnight now, a Greenshank and 4 Whimbrel. Shelduck have been absent for several weeks, as they frequent their favoured moulting areas on mainland Europe. However, the exception has been a juvenile that keeps on showing up, as does the summering drake Wigeon, although the next few days should see more of these returning from their breeding grounds. More wildfowl notes involve 9 Canada Goose on the river, then heading up the valley. The regular, late summer roost is now ongoing, with up to 50 birds spending the nights in the harbour. Additional reports are likely, which will be posted either this evening or early tomorrow.

As suggested, here is the rather significant later post. Passerine migrants were plentiful in Smithy's Field and the North Scrubs, where there were 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Redstart, 2 Garden Warbler, 4 Tree Pipit, 8 Blackcap, 8 Whitethroat, 18 Sedge Warbler, 18 Willow Warbler, but also a Mistle Thrush and Nuthatch. An extremely pale Buzzard toured very low over the area and encouraged 142 Dunlin, 9 Common Sandpiper, a Curlew Sandpiper and 7 Greenshank to reveal themselves; while 5 Black-tailed Godwit sat tight in Parky Meade Rail and 28 Snipe were seen arriving. An Arctic Tern was in the harbour, with just over 50 Common Tern, as well as a lone Shoveler. Finally, 7 Swift passed over.

Additional news: a Hobby headed south, out to sea, over Mudeford Quay in the late afternoon and, from Hengistbury in the morning: 25+ Whitethroat, 8 Willow Warbler, 8 Sedge Warbler, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank and a Swift.


August 19th

With the wind starting from the west, but veering to the north through the morning, it was a surprise anything of note was recorded. However, although numbers were low, variety was reasonable. An adult, pale Arctic Skua was seen on 3 occasions, harrying terns off the Long Groyne, before heading purposefully west; while other goodies over the water included a Balearic Shearwater and a juvenile Arctic Tern, also a Great-crested Grebe. Terns were omni-present on the sea, but the only counts made were 230 Common Tern and 120 Sandwich Tern west over 2 hours, along with a further 100 Sandwich Tern inside the harbour. Singles of Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail and Heron moved over, as did 5 Swift; a Grasshopper Warbler was at the northern end of the Double Dykes and 2 Wheatear were on the Barn Field. A good mix of waders about Hengistbury was led by 14 Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight and Brewer's Creek, a superbly plumaged Turnstone on the Long Groyne, 32 Ringed Plover on the sandspit, 9 Dunlin over the Wood and 3 Whimbrel. A Yellow-legged Gull was in Barn Bight and looking towards Stanpit saw 4 Black-tailed Godwit, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 20 or so Dunlin. There is still plenty of breeding activity: a pair of Swallow are still feeding young in the Barn, Sand Martin burrows remain occupied and an adult Little Grebe was carrying food on the Ironstone Quarry.  1-0!

Additional news: a Peregrine took prey from Stanpit back to The Priory tower; also 3 Wheatear and a Greenshank on the marsh.


August 18th

A marked southerly wind was far from expected and made birding extremely difficult. Rather surprisingly, the sea was poor early on and encouraged most to give up fairly quickly, which proved a mistake as 2 Balearic Shearwater appeared almost immediately off the Beach Huts to entertain the two who stuck it out. Also this morning at sea, 5 Sanderling west, 2 Kittiwake and 4 Common Scoter. Despite the afternoon drizzle, a second attempt was made and proved far more fruitful. At least 400 terns, a mixture of Sandwich Tern and Common Tern, were feeding off the Long Groyne, something which attracted 6 Arctic Skua. Also during the 60 minute watch, were a further 3 Balearic Shearwater, making it 5 for the day. On Wick, a Cuckoo was a good August record, but there is little else to report in terms of passerine migrants. Waders on the south side of the harbour included 7 Common Sandpiper and Greenshank, while a Gadwall overhead and a Peregrine sheltering on The Priory provided other interest.


August 17th

The best three birds were encountered early on, as a Wood Sandpiper spent a short time on the flooded Wick Hams before heading off west; and Green Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank were heard on Stanpit from across the river at the HHC. Passerines were sparse, with a Whinchat on Wick, 12 Wheatear on the Barn Field and 70 Willow Warbler spread across Hengistbury. Overhead, 3 Tree Pipit, 1 over Wick and 2 over Hengistbury, were the only visible, long distance movers, while 2 Raven and a juvenile Peregrine were just touring the area. Common Sandpiper numbers dipped slightly, with just 6 in Barn Bight, also a Greenshank and 4 Dunlin there, with a further Common Sandpiper, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel in Holloway's Dock; but no other waders were recorded today, see why later. Of course, after yesterday, Brewer's Creek was given a good grilling, but only produced 3 adult Water Rail. This afternoon, Stanpit Bight suffered some of the worst disturbance ever witnessed. Three kite-surfers were actually in the bight, intermittently landing on South and East Marshes, while two more and their inflatables were on the tip of South Marsh. There was not a gull, wader, tern or Cormorant in the harbour!

Additional news: things thankfully settled down at Stanpit by the afternoon and, in conjunction with two evening trips, the following aggregate numbers were recorded: 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 5 Common Sandpiper, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, 6 Ringed Plover and 28 Dunlin. Also 84 Sandwich Tern, 10 Common Tern and 4 Wheatear.


August 16th

With this website once quoting Stanpit as being perhaps the best place in the UK to catch up with Spotted Crake, the last four summers have made that claim something of an embarrassment, as I'm frequently reminded! However, a degree of credibility was restored today, but only partially, when Hengistbury very briefly served up the goods. An individual seen in flight across Brewer's Creeks, which is only 5m wide at most, was then glimpsed making its way through the bordering reeds. Despite the unfavourable wind direction, west to north-west, passerines were plentiful, an event no doubt inspired by the generally improved conditions. The Barn Field held an impressive 32 Wheatear with others around the head giving a total of 53 birds. On the Batters, there were 4 Pied Flycatcher, a Grasshopper Warbler was by the HHC, while the Barn Field also housed a Redstart and 5 Whinchat. A total of 10 Tree Pipit were recorded, 5 of them on the old pitch and putt course that is now returned to natural grassland, also 5 Yellow Wagtail moving over, and 140 Willow Warbler and 2 Lesser Whitethroat on the eastern part of Hengistbury. Wader movement is now well underway; for example, 43 Ringed Plover moved past, as did 4 Knot, 2 Greenshank were in the harbour and 11 Common Sandpiper were between the HHC and Barn Bight. The tern passage is currently much reduced when compared to the recent few days, just 66 Common Tern and 2 Arctic Tern for the day's notes. Finally, a couple of Swift passed over, as did a Raven and 2 Peregrine.

Additional news: a Black Tern was circling over Hengistbury in the morning, while a late afternoon scan from Fisherman's Bank produced a mere 4 Dunlin and a single Greenshank.

Stanpit update: there were a healthy 32 Ringed Plover, also 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 21 Dunlin, along with 7 Wheatear on Crouch Hill and 66 resting Sandwich Tern.


August 15th

In today's much more favourable conditions, strengthening south-westerlies and very little rain, the sea was watched from the Beach Huts at Hengistbury from 6:30am to 11:00am. Large numbers of birds were moving in a westerly direction the highlights being 4 Storm Petrel, 9 Arctic Tern, 3 Black Tern, 1 Roseate Tern and a Little Stint. Counts included 550 'commic tern', 365 Common Tern, 190 Sandwich Tern with just a single Little Tern, plus 225 Gannet, 6 Kittiwake and a Greylag Goose. Despite the numbers of tern only one skua, an Arctic Skua, was drawn into the bay. Waders were also on the move with 93 Dunlin, 24 Sanderling, 18 Ringed Plover, 3 Turnstone and a Common Sandpiper logged. Around the harbour were another 11 Common Sandpiper, 7 of which were on Wick Hams together with 12 Dunlin. A Whimbrel was in Holloway's Dock with another 4 on Stanpit where a Little Ringed Plover was on a flooded area below Crouch Hill and 4 Black-tailed Godwit were present. Needless to say, passerines were thin on the ground with just 1 Wheatear, 1 Pied Flycatcher in the Wood and a Grasshopper Warbler by the HHC, while only 7 Swift were seen today. Finally, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was on Stanpit and a juvenile Great Crested Grebe was on the river.

Evening update from Stanpit: a summer-plumaged Knot was a new arrival, also seen were 12 Ringed Plover, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpiper and one each of Bar-tailed Godwit, Sanderling and Greenshank. Around 70 Sandwich Tern were on the marsh plus a Common Gull and 4 Wheatear on Crouch Hill.


August 14th

Seawatching from the car on Mudeford Quay was the preferred option today with strong southerly winds bringing persistent heavy rain for most of the day. A single Little Tern, 3 Kittiwake and 58 Common Tern moved west while a half hour count of Gannet produced 45 east. Three small flocks of Common Scoter were noted with 13 east and 6 west. On the Mudeford Sandspit 5 Turnstone sought shelter amongst the rocks.


August 13th

A brisk westerly breeze was about for most of the day and made for a very impressive Stanpit this afternoon. One regular observer described it as, "One of the best days I can remember." This remark was made on the basis of the tern presence - around 500 were in the harbour, split evenly between Common Tern and Sandwich Tern, both with good numbers of juveniles. Accompanying this melee were a Roseate Tern and up to 8 Arctic Tern. This visit also saw the best waders of the day, a couple of Curlew Sandpiper, along with 4 Turnstone, a Mediterranean Gull and a Common Gull. A more detailed wader count was carried out on the morning flood tide and included: 55 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover, 6 Greenshank, 2 of these actually on Priory Marsh, 6 Whimbrel and 2 Black-tailed Godwit. A further 14 of these passed through west, being seen from both sides of the harbour, and 17 Snipe were seen from Hengistbury. Wheatear were also on both main areas, with 5 in total; but the bulk of the passerine migrants were on Hengistbury, particularly in the Barn and Long Fields, which saw 42 Whitethroat, 36 Willow Warbler and 5 Sedge Warbler. A couple of Raven and an adult Hobby traversed the airspace, as did 5 Swift moving east.

Omission: perhaps one of the day's best records, 3 Green Sandpiper west over Hengistbury, has been missed in the main report, also 3 Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight.


August 12th

Terns were again present in good numbers, the best being a Roseate Tern seen from Mudeford Quay entering the harbour. Also a couple of Arctic Tern sightings from Hengistbury in the morning. Regarding actual numbers of Sandwich Tern and Common Tern, it's difficult to rule out duplication from the multiple reports received. For example, at least 150 Common Tern were feeding offshore, many of these juveniles, and 30 were seen to pass through more hastily. Applying the same criteria to Sandwich Tern gives 200 and 30 respectively. However, there is also a comment of, "Hundreds of both species off Mudeford Quay," so the figures above are probably well on the conservative side. Related interest from Hengistbury comprises: 2 adult Common Gull on the beach, 2 juvenile Mediterranean Gull west; also 5 Sanderling and 2 Greenshank west. A juvenile Peregrine failed to catch anything at Stanpit, with several botched attempts, but a short time later was successful on Hengistbury. Although the prey was not seen for sure, a Great-spotted Woodpecker suddenly went very quiet and was not to be seen again. A Hobby was over Wick and a further bird, a juvenile, hung in the wind above the Coastguards for several minutes before plunging towards its intended victim over the same area. Passerine migrants are barely worth mentioning, a Lesser Whitethroat in Wick Ditch being the best; however, the resident Dartford Warbler were out and about, as two families, totalling 10 birds in all, were both well seen. Raven continue to flirt with the area, at least 2 briefly about this morning. On Stanpit, on the rising tide, there were 3 Common Sandpiper seen, but the constant calls from many hidden creeks suggested far more. Other numbers include: 50+ Dunlin, 30 Ringed Plover, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Greenshank, as well as 2 Shoveler. By the afternoon, as the water receded, the Dunlin rose to 75 and the Whimbrel to 4, while 2 Sanderling and Turnstone were freshly arrived. It's also worth noting, there were 140 Sandwich Tern and 50 Common Tern resting in the harbour - some of the previously mentioned birds, or newcomers?


August 11th

On a still morning, the insects by the HHC were intolerable and the only sanctuary seemed to be on the riverbank, where a very light breeze kept them down. As it turned out, this temporary relocation from the normal spot proved to be particularly worthwhile. From there, a group of 5 Garganey were watched as they inspected just about every part of the harbour before returning north; a juvenile Spoonbill suddenly appeared over the river and headed west and group of 5 Avocet also went the same way. Common Tern passage was again very conspicuous with 300+ moving west over the harbour prior to 11:00. Most flocks averaged 20 or so birds, but a wave of 80 passed through at one point. Mixed in were 2 certain, but possibly far more, Arctic Tern and a juvenile Kittiwake. All of these were seen from the immediate area of the HHC and Hungry Hiker. At sea, there were further birds forming a large, very close, mixed feeding flock of Sandwich Tern and Common Tern, but also an adult and juvenile Roseate Tern, and hundreds of gulls, including 2 juvenile Mediterranean Gull; while attracted to the throng, throughout the course of the day, were at least 5 Arctic Skua. Another notable sight at sea were two migrating flocks of Grey Heron, right on the horizon, numbering 35+ and 25+ respectively. Other movement involved 50 Swift and 2 Tree Pipit over Hengistbury; a Tufted Duck and Gadwall upriver; and settled singles of Lesser Whitethroat and Garden Warbler. Waders from Hengistbury include: 7 Greenshank, 16 Snipe, a Grey Plover and 2 Common Sandpiper; and a Great-crested Grebe was on the river. After yesterday, an afternoon stop at Stanpit was rather disappointing, with just 70 Dunlin, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpiper and a Sanderling in the bight, along with the familiar Yellow-legged Gull, up to 100 Sandwich Tern and 20 Common Tern.

Additional news: a Spotted Redshank and Turnstone were over Wick in the evening, while a Raven was over the Wood in the morning and two were seen over the harbour in the afternoon.


August 10th

A reasonable morning's migration was usurped by the discovery of a juvenile Kentish Plover in Stanpit Bight just after 1:00, which remained until 5:00, at least, and is probably still there. Once more than annual, this is the first record since May 2005, reflecting the species overall decline. Photographic attempts are currently being made. An adult Curlew Sandpiper was present in the morning, but 3 further birds, all juveniles, were with it during the afternoon, when there were also: 9 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 3 Snipe, 2 Turnstone, 2 Greenshank, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 60+ Dunlin, scattered about the, at times disturbed, bight. The morning passage was dominated by terns. At least 125 Common Tern, 13 of them juveniles, passed over the recording area to the west; also 10 Arctic Tern with one of them being a youngster. Inside the harbour, around 80 Sandwich Tern were settled, as were, later in the day, a Little Tern and 10 Common Tern. Juvenile Mediterranean Gull also featured throughout, with a certain 3, but maybe 4, about Stanpit. Back to the morning and Smithy's Field, where there was a Grasshopper Warbler and 2 Garden Warbler, while 25 Sedge Warbler were dotted about the marsh complex. Willow Warbler topped the numbers on Hengistbury, over 50 recorded, along with 15 Chiffchaff, a Garden Warbler and 6 Whitethroat. On Wick, however, it was sylvia warblers that headed the cast, with 30 Whitethroat and 15 Blackcap estimated, but also 20 Chiffchaff. A young female Peregrine was over Wick Fields, the Wigeon and a Shoveler were in Stanpit Bight, and a Great-crested Grebe was on the river. Check back to yesterday for some additional news.

Additional news: on the rising tide, the Kentish Plover was seen to leave with 3 Ringed Plover, to the west around 6:30. By this time, the afternoon Dunlin, which had also been watched departing, had been replaced by 50 or so more; while a further 10 Ringed Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Sanderling were also new in. Meanwhile, an Arctic Tern was resting in the harbour.

Late news: a Raven was over the harbour.


August 9th

In spite of a reasonable north-west wind, it felt much warmer this morning and this encouraged more birds to show themselves. There was a good count of Tree Pipit, particularly around the Barn Field, with the day total being 12, including a flock of 7. Other migrants spread from the HHC to the Long Field, numbered: 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 7 Wheatear and 3 Lesser Whitethroat; also, 102 Willow Warbler, 86 Whitethroat and 17 Sedge Warbler. Of 32 Common Tern that passed over west, 6 were juvenile birds, while 4 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Grey Plover also moved that way. There were more Raven today, 4 birds over Hengistbury, also at least 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker about the place. A marauding Peregrine caused mayhem over Stanpit, thereby revealing 56 Dunlin, 21 Snipe and 2 Greenshank. Of these, the Dunlin were all seen to leave, so 18 birds later arriving were certainly additional. Final interest came from 11 Shoveler, 7 Gadwall and 4 Teal, along with a Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight and a Great-crested Grebe on the river. Check back to yesterday for late news.

Early evening update from Stanpit: around 50 Dunlin were in Stanpit Bight together with 2 Sanderling, 2 Greenshank, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Ringed Plover; also 75 Sandwich Tern and 4 Common Tern plus 2 Teal, while 5 Swift were over Fisherman's Bank. Also, 5 Canada Goose and the drake Wigeon.

Additional news: 2 Garganey went over Wick Fields in the evening and a Wheatear was on the adjoining school field.


August 8th

It was actually a chilly dawn at Hengistbury, but as the sun gained height the temperature soon picked up. A group of 3 Garganey that pitched into the harbour for short time provide the headline species; while the best of the smaller migrants were a Pied Flycatcher on the Batters, 3 Lesser Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler by the HHC, and a Yellow Wagtail over. Other totals from across the head comprise: 41 Whitethroat, 7 Blackcap, 7 Wheatear, most on the Barn Field, 6 Willow Warbler and 5 Sedge Warbler. A couple of Raven passed over and some second broods of Sand Martin seem to have emerged, as 120 or so birds, acting like local breeders, were zapping around the cliffs. Little Tern have been so sparse recently, that it was even ventured there may be no further records for the year; however, a single bird this morning put paid to that suggestion. Also 135 Sandwich Tern noted. Further duck interest came from 30 Teal, 3 Shoveler and a Gadwall, all in flight; as were 21 Dunlin, 15 Ringed Plover and 3 Snipe, with 6 Whimbrel, 5 Greenshank and 2 Common Sandpiper being more settled. A count from Fisherman's Bank this afternoon may include repetition, but for completeness, 22 Dunlin, 4 Whimbrel, and 2 Greenshank were totalled; as was a Bar-tailed Godwit, not previously seen this week, and a figure for 129 Oystercatcher is locally significant.

Late news from Wick: a Red-legged Partridge was on the driving range, also Grey Wagtail and Lesser Whitethroat nearby.


August 7th

A relatively quiet day, resulting in nothing more than a modicum of common migrants on Hengistbury, including a Garden Warbler, 15 Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler and 2 Sedge Warbler. A Balearic Shearwater was lingering south of the Barn Field and, earlier, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull entered the harbour over The Run. A passage of over 150 Swallow contained just 1 House Martin, while singles of Common Sandpiper, Whimbrel and Great-crested Grebe were in or around Barn Bight. There was a Greenshank off Fisherman's Bank this morning, but two this afternoon, along with a Common Sandpiper. Also, around 25 Dunlin hanging around in Stanpit Bight.


August 6th

Another summery day saw a nice selection of migrants on Hengistbury, with the majority of the reports coming from the Wick field adjacent to the HHC. Tree Pipit are not often seen on the deck in the area, so 4 settled birds were a nice surprise; while other interest came from 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler and a Redstart. More numerous and perhaps expected were 32 Whitethroat, 25+ Willow Warbler, 11 Sedge Warbler, 3 Blackcap and 2 Reed Warbler. Overhead, singles of Yellow Wagtail, Little Ringed Plover and juvenile Mediterranean passed through. The Beach Huts haven't been visited for a couple of weeks, but a trek down there today was rewarded by an Arctic Skua east. A total of 7 Common Sandpiper were in Barn Bight, along with a Whimbrel, 1 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin. Over on Stanpit, around 50 Sandwich Tern were estimated.

Additional news: a Green Sandpiper was over Stanpit Recreation Ground at just after 8:00 night and, slightly earlier, 2 Whimbrel, a Greenshank and around 50 Dunlin were seen roosting on East Marsh.


August 5th

Two scorching days in succession - summer must finally be here! The feature of the morning was a south-easterly movement of Swift into the breeze, with 370 counted moving through, dragging a few Swallow with them; while a siege of 4 Grey Heron passed over to the west. There was also a reasonable number of Sandwich Tern about - 60 from Hengistbury and up to 100 resting inside the harbour, sometimes making an awful racket. A few passerines were in the first Wick Field, now known as the School's Paddock, including a Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat amongst small numbers of Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler. A Great-crested Grebe was on the river, as were 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Greylag Goose, and 3 Common Sandpiper were in Barn Bight. From Hengistbury, 3 Grey Plover were seen and a further individual was just off East Marsh, Stanpit. Other waders in the bight included 56 Dunlin, 3 Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank and 2 Whimbrel. The regular Yellow-legged Gull was again bullying anything it felt comfortable with and a Great-spotted Woodpecker was in the North Scrubs. Throughout the morning, there was a series of ant hatches around the recording area, attacting an estimated 6-10 000 Black-headed Gull.

Stop press: morning news just in from Wick, where there was a Nuthatch in the trees bordering the fields, a Red-legged Partridge on the driving range and a Mediterranean Gull heard in the overhead gull congregation.

Omission: a total of 10 Shoveler and 2 Gadwall were seen from the HHC in the morning.

There is yet more: a couple of adult Common Gull were on Stanpit this evening, along with the slightly leucistic Wigeon, 6 Ringed Plover (these are new in for the day), 2 Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Common Sandpiper and 2 Whimbrel.


August 4th

A fair portion of the morning was spent trying to pin down a black bird with a red head, which had been seen to descend into the HHC reeds. Despite sorties into the seven foot high phragmites, the culprit could not be encouraged out, but some subsequent referrals to South American literature identified it as the appropriately named Scarlet-headed Blackbird. This bird no doubt received so much interest, as there was little else about. For example, the sea was scoured from 5:15 until 10:00, but produced just a single Balearic Shearwater heading into Bournemouth Bay, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull, 4 Common Scoter, 50+ Gannet, 1 Common Tern and a steady trickle of Sandwich Tern, all of these west. Another Mediterranean Gull, this time a juvenile, was seen from the HHC, as was something of a wildfowl collection, including: 29 Canada Goose, 6 Teal, 5 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall and a Tufted Duck. The only real passage of the day came from Common Tern, a total of 62, including the year's first 9 juveniles, moved west over the harbour throughout the day, with one group pulling an adult Roseate Tern along with it. A couple of adult Common Gull and 4 Cormorant also passed through to the west, while 2 Common Sandpiper, a Snipe and a Whimbrel were about Wick Hams. Passerines were very sparse in the morning, however, just after lunch, a party of 5 Wheatear suddenly appeared on Solent Meads golf course and small numbers of Willow Warbler were seen around Ashtree Meadow on Stanpit. The only wader records from Stanpit involve 65 Dunlin, 8 Ringed Plover and 6 Black-tailed Godwit flushed by a trio of Sparrowhawk. Earlier, at dawn, 52 Little Egret had been counted leaving the Nursery roost.

Additional news: a juvenile Shelduck was seen in the harbour.


August 3rd

Stanpit saw the pick of the migrants today, with the Priory Marsh/Smithy's Field section serving up: 2 Grasshopper Warbler, a Wood Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 48 Sedge Warbler and 27 Willow Warbler. The spring tides of the week have irrigated Priory Marsh, thereby encouraging the first returning Teal to settle, a couple of birds there this morning; also 3 Shoveler, while 3 Jay moved over. Also seen from the northern end of Stanpit was a female Marsh Harrier, initially heading south towards recording area airspace, but then veering off east. On a mirror-like sea, 2 Balearic Shearwater could be picked out as they rested; and a cracking Whinchat, along with a Wheatear, was on the Barn Field. Stanpit Bight still held lots of Dunlin from last night's influx, also a Greenshank and 2 Ringed Plover.

Additional news: an evening sojourn onto Stanpit produced a nice wader selection, comprising: 5 Sanderling, 3 Ringed Plover, 3 Greenshank, 5 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit and around 60 Dunlin. There were also 40 or so Sandwich Tern and had been 2 Wheatear on Crouch Hill.


August 2nd

A much quieter morning, with relatively little to talk about. A Wood Sandpiper was heard from the HHC around 4 or 5 times as it called about Stanpit. From the Double Dykes, a single Balearic Shearwater was hanging around and 2 Common Scoter went west. Sadly, it's Canada Goose that feature next, as it's getting towards the time of year when, for a few weeks, the Avon Valley birds inexplicably night roost in the harbour - today saw 15 leaving north early on. Also moving upriver were 2 drab looking Shoveler. A couple of Black-tailed Godwit were on the exposed mud in the main river, 2 Common Sandpiper were seen from the HHC slip and 50 or so Dunlin were on Stanpit. Meanwhile, 3 Wheatear and a Lesser Whitethroat were on Hengistbury, along with 16 Willow Warbler and 14 Sedge Warbler; the latter well away from the apparently deserted, presumably aphid-free, reedbeds. A fact underlined by the poor return on ringing effort there, with the only capture of the day being a Garden Warbler.

Additional news: late afternoon, on Stanpit there were 72 Dunlin, 6 Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Ringed Plover and also the 2 Shoveler. By evening the Dunlin flock had built up to 120, there were 8 Whimbrel, 3 Greenshank and the Ringed Plover was still present.

More: earlier in the evening a Hobby and 40 Swift were over Wick Fields; and the autumn's first 2 Snipe had been over the HHC in the morning.


August 1st

A fine morning produced another good haul. A Ruddy Shelduck was seen in flight over the HHC, but could not be relocated. This follows records from Portland and Keyhaven, suggesting either: a mass break-out from a local collection; wandering feral birds from Holland; or something far more interesting. Take your pick. While searching for the duck, an immature Spoonbill was found in Parky Meade Rail, before moving down to the HHC and then leaving east. Also a Little Ringed Plover in Parky Meade Rail. At sea, the highlight was a Bottle-nosed Dolphin breaching the waves as it headed west into Bournemouth Bay while a single Balearic Shearwater was lingering off the cliffs. Meanwhile, a Grasshopper Warbler showed really well in the burnt gorse patch at the northern end of Double Dykes; 10 Shoveler headed north over Priory Marsh and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull was mixed in with a family party of Black-headed Gull in Stanpit Bight. The trees adjacent to the Civic Offices held a remarkable woodland collection, headed by a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker and no less than 5 Great-spotted Woodpecker, also mixed in were Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit and Goldcrest. There were a total of 16 Common Sandpiper in the harbour, 10 on Stanpit and 6 in Barn Bight; also recorded around the former site were 5 Greenshank, 5 Grey Plover, 6 Whimbrel, 3 Turnstone, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 103 Dunlin, along with 124 Redshank and 45 Curlew. The North Scrubs held a reasonable number of migrant warblers, including: 39 Willow Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler; also 21 Sedge Warbler spread around Stanpit and a family of very young Reed Warbler in Smithy's Field, which is some way from the closest reedbed. Overhead, 3 Yellow Wagtail, a Swift and 6 House Martin moved through, while remaining interest comes from 2 Kingfisher and a Great-crested Grebe. Of 23 birds caught and ringed by the HHC, one was a Sparrowhawk.

Additional news: in the evening, a total of 150 Swift moved slowly east over Wick

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