Sightings for October 2013

October 31st

A rather cloudy, grey and sometimes damp day saw the Roseate Tern again patrolling The Run on a couple of occasions at least. Otherwise, however, the rest of the news comes from the afternoon at Fisherman’s Bank, where 11 Grey Plover, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Ringed Plover, 15 Dunlin, 20 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall and a Kingfisher were the most notable. 

October 30th

Sure enough, it was perfect for a mass-movement of pigeons - clear skies and almost zero wind - but there was one hitch, no birds! Presumably, conditions further back on their route means they haven’t quite reached us yet. As it is, the only news involves the 2 Raven and a Kingfisher on Mudeford Quay, 9 Black-tailed Godwit north over Hengistbury and a very small number of Blackcap. 

Additional news: a Wheatear was on Crouch Hill.

October 29th

Bat Box
Bat Box
The siting of bat boxes along the River Stour, which have been sponsored by the
Captain's Club Hotel, in conjunction with CHOG,
and kindly installed by Bournemouth Borough Council
Redshank
...and Redshank in Barn Bight – Clinton Whale

The day saw clear skies throughout, while a north-westerly breeze made it feel quite cold indeed. In fact, with the air temperature dropping now it's dark, a frost could well be expected tomorrow - as well as perhaps some pigeons? Back to today, however, when the Roseate Tern was still being seen on-and-off from Mudeford Quay and a Firecrest was on Wick, along with 3 Greenshank in Holloway’s Dock. 

Additional news: an adult and first-winter Bearded Tit were seen at Stanpit.

October 28th

Stormy Sea
We were hoping for pictures of seabirds,
but we'll have to settle for the sea off Mudeford Quay – Chris Chapleo
Turnstone
Turnstone
Turnstone
...and some fine shots of Turnstone – Alan Crockard

As predicted, the wind came and then lessened, but brought precious little with it. The highlights from the Beach Huts were packed into 10-minutes of a 3-hour stint, when 6 Kittiwake, a Red-throated Diver and a Razorbill passed west. Other than that, however, the entire watch produced just a further Razorbill, 3 Mediterranean Gull and 3 Gannet! Also present during this time was the Roseate Tern, which ranged from Mudeford Quay to the Long Groyne, as well as the three settled, female-type Common Scoter. Elsewhere, the floods at Wick made Snipe conspicuous, 10 birds there, but also a Jack Snipe flushed from alongside the footpath; the Shoveler at Stanpit increased to thirty-two - a notable count for the area; and Raven were seen over Wick and once more attending the anglers at the tip of the sandspit. 

Additional news: a Firecrest was on Hengistbury and 2 Wheatear were on-site.

October 27th

Roseate Tern
Roseate Tern
Roseate Tern
Roseate Tern over The Run – Peter Moore

If there is going to be a re-run of the Atlantic seabird bonanza of 1987, then things need to start happening. A 2-hour spell from both Mudeford Quay and the Beach Huts this morning could muster just 4 Gannet and 4 Common Scoter! Incredibly, small flocks of Linnet were manfully crossing Christchurch Bay into the westerly blast and for a short time attracted a hunting Merlin. Meanwhile, the Roseate Tern was commuting between the Black House and Avon Beach. The day’s best record came from the end of Hengistbury, however, where a Yellow-browed Warbler was in the bushes at the southernmost end of the huts. The pick of the waders on the WeBS count was a single Ruff, but also a Greenshank, 3 Sanderling, 3 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 46 Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Ringed Plover and 25 Dunlin. Also counted were 293 Brent Goose with a really high content of young birds, 14 Shoveler, 639 Wigeon and 118 Teal, along with 48 Little Egret and 11 Little Grebe. Back on the quay, the pair of Raven were desperately trying to snaffle an angler’s valuable catch of bass; a Peregrine was sat on South Marsh, Stanpit, and a couple of Kingfisher were about the area. 

Additional news: a Wheatear was on Crouch Hill and a female Blackcap was in the North Scrubs.

October 26th

With the wind gathering pace ahead of what is forecast, the sea was given a couple of hours’ attention this morning but was largely disappointing - the exception being a Black-throated Diver that came out of The Solent and settled on the water off the end of the head. Otherwise, over a couple of hours, the best-of-the-rest were: a Red-breasted Merganser, a Great Crested Grebe, 7 Razorbill, 3 Mediterranean Gull and 7 Common Scoter; all west, but for three of the scoter that were settled. Meanwhile at Stanpit there was a decent selection of waders, not least a Ruff, but also the Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, a Grey Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 36 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Ringed Plover and 12 Dunlin. 

October 25th

Pallid SwiftPallid Swift
Pallid Swift
Pallid Swift – Brett Spencer

The Pallid Swift was present until 1:00, when it was seemingly taken by a Sparrowhawk. For most of its time the bird was showing well over Russell Drive and Disraeli Road, and our thanks to the residents there for their accommodation. Technically speaking, the mentioned streets are not within the recording area, but it was easy to see the bird from the adjacent Ashtree Meadow, which is. The other news comes from Mudeford Quay and is pretty decent in its own right. A session between 9:00 and 10:00 produced a Velvet Scoter, 12 Common Scoter, an Arctic Tern and 9 Sandwich Tern west, while this afternoon the Roseate Tern was again present and 2 Red-throated Diver moved down-channel. For those of you that spotted the error in last night's arithmetic statement, it is now corrected.

October 24th

Pallid Swift
Pallid Swift – Jean Southworth
Pallid Swift
Pallid Swift
Pallid Swift
...more of the Pallid Swift – Steve Smith

Just under eleven years ago, on November 22nd 2002 when a bobolink was also on-site, Lawrie Chappell found a Pallid Swift. Today, he repeated that feat when early this morning he noted a bird over Stanpit car park. Fortunately, the bird remained around the north-eastern fringes of the area, being seen most often from Two Riversmeet car park, until just before dusk. Best views, however, could be had from Russell Drive. Otherwise, the only other news is of some modest visible migration over Hengistbury, which comprised: 130 Goldfinch, 110 Linnet, 3 Siskin, 12 alba Wagtail, 95 Meadow Pipit and 30 Skylark. 

October 23rd

Another quiet day was enlivened by the return of the Roseate Tern to Mudeford Quay for a while this afternoon, when a couple of Swallow passed east over Hengistbury. Also at sea, 2 Sandwich Tern west and a lingering Guillemot. At Stanpit, yesterday’s mass influx of Black-tailed Godwit had reduced to around 260 birds, with the only other news for the day involving a Little Grebe on the Ironstone Quarry. 

October 22nd

The morning was once again disrupted by some very heavy rain, hence the only report was from Mudeford Quay, where 2 Woodlark passed over heading west and 2 Knot left the harbour in the opposite direction. After lunch, a visit to Stanpit produced an excellent count of 730 Black-tailed Godwit on South Marsh and a Ring Ouzel on the east side of Crouch Hill; also 2 Wheatear there. The Spotted Redshank was present together with a single Greenshank, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 5 Grey Plover. Wildfowl of note included 12 Gadwall and 6 Shoveler.

October 21st

This morning's heavy rain certainly put paid to any field activity with the only birding from the shelter of the car at Mudeford Quay. The results, however, were disappointing with just a Red-breasted Merganser entering the harbour over The Run and an Arctic Skua east.

October 20th

Dunlin & Knot
Conditions throughout the day seriously hampered photography, but this shot of mainly Dunlin does illustrate there were at least 2 Knot in the area that weren't recorded otherwise
– Alan Crockard

After a night of extremely heavy rain it was mercifully dry throughout the morning, but just after midday there was heavy precipitation that lasted a good couple of hours. A very high spring tide meant Stanpit was severely under water until mid-afternoon, so the best report from there concerns the 2 Knot pictured above. Earlier, the only activity was sea-watching from the Beach Huts and Mudeford Quay, which between them produced 7 Shelduck west, 12 Shoveler arriving, four lingering Sandwich Tern and 150 or so Gannet, 2 Common Gull and 17 Razorbill, all west. The now seemingly resident Raven was again hanging around the quay.

October 19th

Sandwich Tern
Sandwich Tern
Close-up views of Sandwich Tern resting on moorings inside the harbour,
as seen from the bird-boat this morning – Robin Harley

A southerly wind of some strength, which persisted all day, makes it difficult to pull together too many moments of interest. The best was a Ring Ouzel over the end of the head and off down the sandspit, while 8 Redwing moved through Wick. Other than the Roseate Tern, which now seems to have re-appeared after five days’ absence, the first 90-minutes of daylight at the quay were fairly uneventful. For example, just 6 Common Scoter and a Great Crested Grebe past, plus a few arriving Wigeon and Teal, but a Razorbill was on the water off Double Dykes and 3 Red-breasted Merganser moved west there. A further 3 Sandwich Tern were inside the harbour, as were 3 Shoveler, the regular 2 Raven sorted through last night’s fast-food discards on Mudeford Quay early on, a Kingfisher was on Wick and a light passage of Linnet, Goldfinch, Swallow and Meadow Pipit was noted but not counted. Finally, although a common winter bird on the sea, Shag are almost mythical in status within the confines of the harbour, so one that ventured up The Run almost as far as the Black House is well worth a mention.

October 18th

Brent Goose
A fine illustration of the mix of juvenile to adult Brent Goose
- the birds of the year sporting the 'white chevrons' and limited white collars  – Clinton Whale

In a south-easterly wind, Mudeford Quay provided interest for most of the day. Early on, a Little Gull lingered and an Arctic Skua passed west, while a Roseate Tern was around throughout. In addition, singles of Great Northern Diver and Red-breasted Merganser passed west. The gull tally for the day was eight species - the five expected, the previously mentioned ‘minutus’, a Mediterranean Gull and a Kittiwake east. At Stanpit, the were just 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Ringed Plover and 12 Dunlin, a Wheatear was on Hengistbury, and 3 Pintail and 7 Shoveler were inside the harbour. 

October 17th

There is very little to report for today, the most notable being a Tufted Duck again on the Ironstone Quarry, where a Little Grebe looks perhaps set to spend the winter. 

Additional news: a lone Wheatear was on Hengistbury by the Gulley, while some overhead passage was noted of Goldfinch, Linnet and Meadow Pipits. Settled Chiffchaff were estimated at twenty-five or so and a few Goldcrest were on the Batters.

October 16th

Grey Plover
Grey Plover - captured showing the key, underwing identification feature – Alan Crockard

Weather-wise, the day started awfully, likewise in terms of birds. However, after just a Mediterranean Gull and 6 Common Tern in the first 2-hours at Mudeford Quay, things perked up considerably in the continuing south-easterly wind and rain when a juvenile Long-tailed Skua passed by and headed towards the Needles. Also seen around lunchtime were: a Grey Phalarope and a Pomarine Skua from Hengistbury: and 2 Little Gull, a Common Tern and a handful of auks from the quay. At the end of the head, a vocal Yellow-browed Warbler was amongst a roving flock of birds that contained 3 Firecrest, but there was no other passerine news for the day. As the conditions improved, a few reports came in from Stanpit, where the Spotted Redshank, 5 Grey Plover and 41 Black-tailed Godwit were the best counts made. 

October 15th

Brent Goose
Brent Goose – Alan Crockard

In general the day was extremely quiet, but did feature a Woodlark and 2 Brambling at Stanpit, along with a Ring Ouzel on Wick that flew up from the central path. Also, 3 Redwing on Wick and 10 Song Thrush over. Meanwhile, the only other flight record for the morning involved 2 House Martin, but up to 20 Chiffchaff were settled, as were 2 Wheatear and 5 Stonechat on Stanpit. On Hengistbury, a Buzzard was once again knocking around in the Wood and 2 Raven passed over; waders at Stanpit included 38 Dunlin and 16 Ringed Plover; and 3 Little Grebe were in Barn Bight, with a couple of vocal Water Rail in the adjacent reeds.

Additional news: an Osprey was seen fishing in the harbour.

October 14th

Little Egret
Little Egret – Alan Hayden

With the exception of a couple of Ring Ouzel - one on the top of the head and one on the Batters - and a Black Redstart on the sandspit groynes, I’m afraid this post is going to be a bit of a list of fairly routine birds. In total, 270 Meadow Pipit, 150 alba Wagtail, 3 Brambling, 5 Redpoll, 155 Chaffinch, 280 Goldfinch, 320 Linnet, 32 Reed Bunting, 23 Swallow, 3 House Martin and 22 Skylark headed east over Hengistbury, while 2 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing and 16 Song Thrush travelled north. The only other bird of any note was a lone Wheatear. 

October 13th

Rain threatened for most of the morning but didn’t actually set in until around midday, from when it remained firmly in place. After the quite incredible numbers of Ring Ouzel recorded in East Sussex yesterday, one could be forgiven for expecting more than the two we actually got today - one north along Wick and one at the end of the head. Also, 11 Redwing, 53 Song Thrush and 100 Blackbird, including a cluster of forty at the tip of Hengistbury. Wick produced another highlight, this time 14 Crossbill in flocks of twelve and two, but little else. For the first time all week, terns aside, the sea came up with some interest; in the form of 4 Velvet Scoter, a Great Skua attacking Gannet and a settled Razorbill. Overhead counts, all east, came to: a Tree Pipit, 180 Meadow Pipit, 75 alba Wagtail, 430 Linnet, 160 Goldfinch, 90 Chaffinch, 43 Siskin, 21 Reed Bunting, 26 House Martin and Swallow; while singles of Buzzard, Peregrine and Raven were all directly over Hengistbury, and for the second time in a week a female-type Tufted Duck, so not resident male, rested up on the Ironstone Quarry. 

October 12th

Wigeon
Wigeon – Alan Crockard
After an early build-up in numbers to just under five hundred,
the northerly blast of the last couple of days seems to have encouraged many to move
away, as there are now far less birds using the harbour.

The wind certainly moved to the east overnight, but brought some nasty rain with it. However, despite that irritation, there were a good few bits-and-pieces to be had this morning, although all of them very briefly and all in the morning. A Serin overflew the Wooden Bridge on Wick and headed towards Stanpit; a Yellow-browed Warbler was heard in a flock of tits and ‘crests that also included a Firecrest on the Batters; the Roseate Tern, along with an Arctic Tern, was seen from Mudeford Quay; 2 Merlin came in-off the sea and another passed over Wick; and a Jack Snipe also went over Wick. Thrushes remain at a premium, but the first 5 Fieldfare of the season were logged over Wick Fields, with 2 Mistle Thrush, 16 Redwing and 18 Song Thrush noted elsewhere. Once again, general overhead passage was light - two late Tree Pipit the best - but also: 95 Meadow Pipit, 145 Goldfinch, 110 Linnet, 85 Siskin, 65 Chaffinch and 2(!) Swallow. Meanwhile, other than the previously mentioned warbler, there were just fifty or so scattered Chiffchaff to remark upon in terms of grounded migrants. The sea produced nothing of real note, but there was enough variety to maintain a couple of hours’ interest, such as: a Red-throated Diver, a Great Crested Grebe, 43 Common Scoter, 7 Pintail, a Teal, 46 Brent Goose, 2 Mediterranean Gull and around 5 Sandwich Tern, all west. Inside the harbour, there were 7 Shoveler and a further 120 Brent Goose, along with 7 Grey Plover and 40 or so Dunlin; and to round-up, 5 Snipe arrived, a Peregrine hunted and a Buzzard appeared to head south. 

October 11th

Stonechat
Stonechat – Alan Crockard

Disappointingly, the wind held its north-west vector overnight but did move to the north-east by mid-morning. While the rest of the country is swathed in Redwing, we managed just twenty-three this morning - eighteen of them on Wick - so upholding the area’s tradition of generally being pretty rubbish for thrushes. There were, however, 25 Song Thrush recorded. Overhead passage was gauged as being slightly better than yesterday, with 180 Meadow Pipit, 190 alba Wagtail, 410 Goldfinch, 260 Linnet, 65 Chaffinch, 26 Siskin, 75 Swallow, 16 House Martin and 9 Skylark all on the move to the east. Conversely, there were less birds settled - just a single Wheatear and a handful of Chiffchaff. The Roseate Tern again spent its morning in Christchurch Bay, viewed from Mudeford Quay, while 17 Pintail, a Shoveler, a Tufted Duck, 23 Brent Goose, a Red-breasted Merganser and 12 Common Scoter headed west over the waves; and a further Tufted Duck was taking a rest in the strange location of the Ironstone Quarry. At Stanpit, the waders included: 2 Avocet, the Spotted Redshank, 4 Grey Plover, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit, 34 Black-tailed Godwit and around 40 Dunlin. This evening, a Grey Seal was watched for some time from Mudeford Quay. 

October 10th

Dartford Warbler
Dartford Warbler
Dartford Warbler flycatching in the shelter of the Ironstone Quarry – Alan Crockard

As expected, the northerly wind hit with a vengeance, although there is currently still an element of west in it to dampen the real excitement. Consequently, it was a pretty poor morning on Hengistbury, the highlight being a Woodlark over the Ironstone Quarry; as well as a Yellow Wagtail, 65 alba Wagtail, 125 Meadow Pipit, 170 Goldfinch, 85 Linnet and 10 Swallow. Movement over the sea came to 14 Brent Goose and a Coot that was sat just off the end of the head. However, a further twenty or so ‘brents’ arrived and settled off Mudeford Quay late in the day. Earlier, 3 Mediterranean Gull were offshore and 3 Raven made themselves known in the Wood, while 8 Greenhank, 8 Grey Plover, 21 Ringed Plover and 8 Dunlin were at Stanpit. The Roseate Tern was off the quay early morning and late afternoon, plus off the Long Groyne and Fisherman’s Bank in between. 

October 9th

The Roseate Tern was seen for most of the day - this morning the bird was fishing off Mudeford Quay until around 9:00, when it entered the harbour and seemingly spent until around 4:00 there before heading back to the waters just off the sandspit, where it remained until at least 6:00. The other notable event of the day was a Red-legged Partridge heard calling from the Batters. However, this is not a first-for-the-year, as one on 28th of last month has been inexcusably omitted from the website. The first signs of the predicted, cold northerly winds came around an hour after first light, so making it a little chilly on the top of Hengistbury. As it was, overhead passage was very patchy, the best being: a late Tree Pipit, but also 115 Meadow Pipit, 2 Grey Wagtail, 165 alba Wagtail, 135 Linnet, 80 Goldfinch, 32 Swallow, 2 House Martin and a confused looking Mistle Thrush. Most movement, pipits and wagtails excepted, was west. There didn’t seem to too much settled although ringing records suggest there were perhaps more Chiffchaff around than noted in the field, otherwise it was just 2 Wheatear. The waders at Stanpit weren’t generally counted, but the Dunlin were totalled at just 4 birds, while on the converse a slight influx of Black-tailed Godwit, at least thirty, was reckoned. Finally, the sea, where 3 Mediterranean Gull moved west and a Guillemot was looking somewhat vulnerable to an assembled party of large gulls. 

Additional news: the Bar-tailed Godwit at Stanpit were counted to be twelve.

October 8th

Macrolepiota excoriata
Last night's photo seems to have set something of a trend...
Macrolepiota excoriata
– Angela Trew

The day was salvaged by an adult Roseate Tern feeding up inside the harbour late this afternoon - the bird at times offering extremely close views in Stanpit Bight. Slightly earlier, a Common Tern had been off Mudeford Quay and an adult Mediterranean Gull passed through. The least said about the morning the better, with just 30 settled Chiffchaff, 3 Wheatear, a Yellow Wagtail and a token movement of Meadow Pipit, alba Wagtail and commoner finches to remark upon. The fine, settled weather of the last couple of days has encouraged Dartford Warbler into sub-song with at least six birds dotted about the Hengistbury, while a Little Grebe and a Kingfisher were both feeding in the Ironstone Quarry. Waders at Stanpit were not counted, but included a Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover and Dunlin. 

October 7th

Hare's Foot Inkcap
Whilst it's a little quiet on the bird front, we thought we'd feature some funghi.
This, we believe, is Hare's Foot Inkcap – Mark Andrews

As the photograph suggests, it was a little light on birds this morning. The best were a Black Redstart that settled on the Coastguards building briefly, a couple of Mistle Thrush that visited and a Golden Plover circling a few times. On the ground, a small concentration of vocal Goldcrest in the gorse by the Natterjack Pond was about it, while overhead migrants included a Sand Martin, a few Swallow, 130 Meadow Pipit,  a Yellow Wagtail, 95 alba Wagtail, 210 Linnet, 85 Goldfinch, 10 Siskin, 40+ Reed Bunting and 12 Song Thrush. Most movement was east, other than the ‘alba wags’ in the opposite direction and the thrushes north. At Stanpit, the Brent Goose now number number around a hundred with 3 Shoveler amongst them, plus a Sanderling, a few Greenshank, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, around 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin and 3 Snipe. To round off, a Little Grebe remains on the Ironstone Quarry, 2 Mediterranean Gull passed west, the seeming pair of Raven lingered on-site and a Kingfisher zapped around the Long Field. Offshore, a pod of 10 or so Bottle-nosed Dolphin lingered for at least 30-minutes. 

October 6th

Clouded Yellow
Clouded Yellow – Mark Andrews
Wheatear
Some of the 50 Wheatear on Crouch Hill mid-morning – Clinton Whale

All roads to Hengistbury were closed this morning for an event in Bournemouth, meaning coverage on that side of the area was somewhat reduced - although from the early morning reports received, it does seem it was generally quiet. That said, a sudden arrival of 50 Wheatear onto Crouch Hill at 10:00, when there had only been a single bird an hour earlier, does make one wonder whether something went on later on the day? As it was, 25 Chiffchaff, 20 Blackcap, a Whitethroat and a Yellow Wagtail were turned in, as well as observations of a steady north-westerly passage of Meadow Pipit and Swallow throughout the morning, but the blue skies made it difficult to put numbers to the sounds. Otherwise, a couple of Kingfisher, a Raven, a Common Tern, 4 Greenshank and 30+ Turnstone are all that can be mustered to fill this post from a bird perspective. Some butterflies were on the wing, however, including a Clouded Yellow and small numbers of Red Admiral.

Footnote: this evening, there was just one Wheatear on Crouch Hill.

October 5th

As well as good numbers of commoner migrants, there were moments of quality right throughout the day. This morning, a juvenile Long-tailed Skua lingered for some time off the Long Groyne; while in the afternoon, a juvenile Glossy Ibis spent 30-minutes or so on Central Marsh, Stanpit, where an exceptionally late Roseate Tern, an adult still with tail-streamers, was also present. Earlier, a suspected ‘rosy’ had been off Mudeford Quay. The best of the grounded migrants was a Ring Ouzel at Stanpit, along with a Spotted Flycatcher there, that looking like a very recently fledged juvenile, and a Whinchat. Most of the day’s Blackcap, sixty-two in fact, were on the marsh side of the area, as well as a further twenty-five on Hengistbury and Wick. Other combined totals came to 85 Chiffchaff, 8 Wheatear and 12 Yellow Wagtail, the latter feeding under the ponies on Crouch Hill. The morning’s visible-migration watch produced the first Brambling of the season, as well as: 5 Tree Pipit, 610 Meadow Pipit, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Grey Wagtail, 260 alba Wagtail, 1200 Swallow and 1500 House Martin, the first time this year that martins have been higher in number, 630 Linnet, 280 Goldfinch, 162 Siskin, 56 Chaffinch, 115 Reed Bunting and 16 Skylark. Much smaller numbers of pipits and wagtails continued to travel in the afternoon, when there was a steady movement of very high-flying Lesser Black-backed Gull, at least 100 birds noted, to the south-west. Waders at Stanpit were not without interest and included: the Spotted Redshank, a Ruff, 4 Greenshank, 8 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 22 Bar-tailed Godwit and 16 Black-tailed Godwit. Meanwhile, Hengistbury chipped in with 16 Sanderling and, to conclude a good all-round day, singles of Peregrine and Shoveler visited the site. 

 Additional news: a Willow Warbler was also in the North Scrubs.

October 4th

By the standard of recent days, it was relatively quiet but there was a bonus in the form of an adult Ring-billed Gull that paused briefly on the shore in front of the Beach Huts, before being moved on by dogs. Other interest came from: a Wryneck still on the Barn Field, but very elusive; a Turtle Dove by the Ironstone Quarry; and a Tawny Owl flying across the path in Wood in the early gloaming. Also, a total of 72 Rook leaving the Nursery roost! The sea was largely uneventful, although 9 Razorbill and 3 Guillemot are worth a mention at this time of year; plus an Arctic Tern, 10 Common Tern, 42 Sandwich Tern, 67 Gannet and 6 Tufted Duck. Meanwhile, overhead passage comprised: 1100 Swallow, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 180 alba Wagtail, 400 Meadow Pipit, 9 Redpoll and 86 Siskin; with grounded birds on Hengistbury including a Spotted Flycatcher, a Whinchat, around 65 Chiffchaff and 5 Greenshank. Please check back to yesterday for some additional news.

October 3rd

On another murky morning Mudeford Quay produced the highlights as just after 7:00 a juvenile Sabine's Gull moved west past there then less than an hour later a Grey Phalarope was on the sea just off the beach; also 8 Mediterranean Gull and a Common Tern west.  On Hengistbury the Wryneck was again on the Long Field but proved very elusive.  For the third day running an Osprey visited the harbour and took a fish; this time the bird landed on Blackberry but not for long as the large gulls and corvids soon saw it off.  The major overhead movers were Swallow and Meadow Pipit with numbers of 900 and 425 respectively, also 70 Linnet, 25 House Martin, 12 alba Wagtail and one Grey Wagtail.  A Whinchat was on the Barn Field but otherwise just a few Chiffchaff and 4 Whitethroat were grounded.  Opposite Fisherman's Bank the Spotted Redshank and 2 Greenshank were on the edge of East Marsh while the Brent Goose now number 48.  Finally, a Hobby moved east over the Batters.

Additional news: a Garganey was at Stanpit in the evening, along with a Spotted Redshank, 6 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, a Greenshank, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Pintail.

October 2nd

Spoonbill
Spoonbill
Nine Spoonbill passing over the harbour at 12:20 today – Tony Adamcik

The early morning Dorset Bird Week walk on Hengistbury witnessed quite a Swallow spectacle - 6600 being the eventual estimate - as well an Osprey that passed low through the area and a Lapland Bunting heard over the Barn Field. Later in the day, a flock of 9 Spoonbill heading west over Stanpit made for quite a sight, while a little earlier Wryneck had been on the Long Field. Also on the move during the morning were: 650 Meadow Pipit, 120 alba Wagtail, 5 Grey Wagtail, including two that settled by the Natterjack Pond, 170 Linnet, 43 Siskin and 80 Reed Bunting. Meanwhile, a Whinchat and 2 Wheatear were decked, as was a Mistle Thrush in the Nursery. The only wader reports for this post concern a couple of Greenshank on the Salt Hurns and eleven scattered Black-tailed Godwit. Otherwise, it’s just 7 Pintail leaving, a drake Gadwall in Barn Bight and the Little Grebe on the Ironstone Quarry to remark upon. 

October 1st

This morning's heavy showers certainly put a dampener on visible migration although an estimated 1200 Swallow were logged in the two hours to 10:00; otherwise just 300 Meadow Pipit, a few alba Wagtail and a couple each of Redwing and Grey Wagtail moved east.  On the ground the only Wheatear was on the Salthurns; also 2 Whitethroat and 35 Chiffchaff mainly on the Lower Batters with another 20 Chiffchaff on the edge of the Stanpit golf course.  A Hobby moved over Fisherman's Bank from where a Garganey was seen in the channel opposite while the only wader of note on Stanpit was a Ruff.  Back to Hengistbury where 4 Snipe arrived from the west and 7 Greenshank were on the Salthurns, also a single bird on Wick Hams.  From Mudeford Quay 20 Sandwich Tern moved east and 22 Brent Geese west, another 15 of the latter left the harbour to the south-west.  This afternoon an Osprey visited the harbour and caught a fish at its first attempt causing mayhem in the process.

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