Sightings for November 2016
In continuing cold weather, the month finished quietly. The best for today being a Jack Snipe, the Marsh Harrier and 14 Skylark, the latter possibly the result of some cold-weather movement, at Stanpit.
Snipe at Stanpit – Clinton Whale
The wind shifted a few degrees to the east overnight, which meant the Beach Huts offered little shelter against its chill. To counter, there was a warm sun but this hampered visibility when scanning into the Solent. Nevertheless, 7 Red-throated Diver were logged - a group of three and one east, and three singles west - as well as the Eider, 30 Common Scoter and 2 Great Crested Grebe settled, plus six further scoter east. There was some evidence of late migration, with a Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrest moving along Wick Hams; while charms of Goldfinch were frequently heard passing over, but only 30 could be seen in the clear blue sky, as were 6 Linnet. The Marsh Harrier was seen hunting Wick Hams before sunning itself on a wind-sheltered post in the same area.
With the wind again just east of north, there was more to be seen at sea this morning; mainly from the Beach Huts, but also from Mudeford Quay. Other than a Velvet Scoter that passed west, from the rather mixed directions it may be that most other movements were fairly local. As a indication, here are the records from a two-hour period as they occurred, i.e. no attempt to consolidate: a drake Red-breasted Merganser east; Red-throated Diver 3, 1, 1 and 1 west, 1 east; a diver species west; Common Scoter 15, 4, 1 and 1 east, 8, 3, 2 and 1 west; 2 Wigeon and a Pintail east, all together; a Razorbill and a Guillemot in tandem east; 3 Shelduck east; 2 Great Crested Grebe east; and a Gannet west. In addition, there were 4 Eider settled and 15 or so Common Scoter, not accounted for previously, held station. Meanwhile, a redhead Goosander came in over the Barn Field and eventually settled on the river, and a party of 3 Grey Plover moved high over Whitepits. There was also a modicum of passerine migration, including a Pied Wagtail in-off from far out to sea; 4 Redwing north and 38 Goldfinch and 11 Chaffinch east.
Mute Swan at dusk – Emma Pounds
The moment of a definitely better-than-average seawatch from Mudeford Quay came around 9:30, when a skein of 22 Barnacle Goose was seen coming in from the east. The birds moved straight on through, however, and later spent a short time in the north-west corner of Poole Harbour, at Swineham. There were again multiple Eider offshore - six in total, including an adult or near-adult drake in a group of three that settled off Highcliffe - while at least 10 Common Scoter and 2 Great Crested Grebe were also on the water. Red-throated Diver were seen on at least six occasions, heading in a number of directions, and a Pochard moved into the Solent; as did 3 Shelduck. The Marsh Harrier spent a good deal of the morning hunting the Wick reeds and 5 Fieldfare passed north over there.
The regular Marsh Harrier – Roger Howell
There were a fair few pieces of wildfowl around this morning. At
first, mainly due to the presence of dabbling duck on the sea, it
was thought this could be the result of birds being displaced by
wildfowling; however, a total of 7 Pochard at Stanpit suggest
there may have instead been a genuine arrival. Clearly on the move
though were Avocet, with four passing east at sea and ten settled
at Stanpit. Also on the marsh, a Water Pipit on Grimmery Bank and
2 Marsh Harrier, while a Black Redstart was amongst the huts at
the southern end of the sandspit. Completing the duck story, there
were: 3 Eider, 30 Common Scoter, 5 Gadwall, 15 Wigeon and 2 Teal
settled off the Beach Huts; 3 Red-breasted Merganser and four
west; 3 Shelduck east; and 7 Pintail, 6 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall and 9
Shelduck inside the harbour. Three sets of wader counts were
received from Stanpit, with the peaks being: a Knot, plus three
more arriving over the sandspit, 2 Grey Plover, 15 Black-tailed
Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover, 86 Dunlin and a Turnstone. The last few
days have seen Red-throated Diver start to appear in bays off
Hengistbury - a minimum of eight reckoned for this post.
Meanwhile, the only other bird news involves a Grey Wagtail on
Fisherman’s Bank, but the Grey Seal was again just offshore.
Please check back to yesterday for some additional news.
Gadwall – Alan Crockard
The wind continued from the north-east, but brought little with it. A one-hour, on-and-off look at the sea from Hengistbury produced just ten settled Common Scoter and a Great Crested Grebe. Meanwhile, the Marsh Harrier was seen several times until 9:30 at least, a couple of Chiffchaff were in the area and the Red-legged Partridge was on a fence by the Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre.
Additional news: the Marsh Harrier was at Stanpit, as were a couple of Pintail, 14 Shoveler, 2 Grey Plover and 34 Black-tailed Godwit.
Redshank – Steve Hogan
In an easterly wind, there were some moments of interest at sea over a 2.5-hour period this morning, from the Beach Huts, including: a Little Auk and 7 Red-throated Diver west; and an Eider and 15 Common Scoter on the water. In addition, a couple each of Brambling and Redpoll moved over. As is becoming the norm, Thursdays see some prolonged coverage at Stanpit, where the best were a Goosander north-west and the Marsh Harrier. Meanwhile, the waders came to: 3 Grey Plover, a Knot, a Bar-tailed Godwit, around 30 Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Ringed Plover and 70 Dunlin; with other above-average wildfowl represented by 2 Pintail, 9 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall and 2 Shelduck. Finally, there was a good count, for winter that is, of 3 Mediterranean Gull and the same number of Common Gull.
A pair of Shoveler on Stanpit today – Clinton Whale
At Hengistbury this morning 2 Firecrest and 9 Goldcrest were in the Wood, while 3 Bearded Tit were by the HHC and the Black Redstart was still around. On the other side of the harbour, a couple of Crossbill passed over Ashtree Meadows. To sum up, the Kingfisher was by the Wooden Bridge, a Razorbill was on the sea off the cliffs, 6 Shoveler, a drake and five duck, were on Stanpit and a total of 5 Snipe was logged.
Wigeon in Holloway's Dock – Clinton Whale
Although the weather had mellowed somewhat this morning, it was thought that the sea was worth a look so both the Beach Huts and Mudeford Quay were covered for a time. The highlight was a Great Skua that moved west, but there was very little else, just singles of Guillemot and Red-breasted Merganser, also west, while two each of Purple Sandpiper and Ringed Plover were on the sandspit. A Merlin moved through Stanpit, where there were 50 Dunlin, 30 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Gadwall.
Late news: from Mudeford Quay mid morning there were singles of Black-throated Diver, Red-throated Diver, Red-breasted Merganser, Kittiwake and Razorbill plus 35 Gannet, all west, also 23 Common Scoter on the sea off the sandspit.
Rock Pipit – Clinton Whale
After the foul overnight weather and the dire forecast for today, Mudeford Quay was the only option this morning. A couple of hours from dawn yielded very little, however, with just a Peregrine heading into the harbour over The Run, an unidentified diver moving west and around 20 Common Scoter off the sandspit.
The Long Groyne is a popular haunt of Purple
Sandpiper, but not this morning!
Instead, six birds, of which these are two, preferred the calm of
S8 – Clinton Whale
Storm Angus blew up overnight, but delivered very little in the
way of seabirds. Just over two hours at the Beach Huts from first
light saw: 4 Kittiwake, a diver sp., a Razorbill, 19
unidentifiable auks and 12 Common Gull; all west. As mentioned
above, the peak Purple Sandpiper figure from the sandspit was six.
Black-tailed Godwit – Clinton Whale
Mudeford Quay experienced something of a purple patch this afternoon, when 2 Velvet Scoter, a Black-throated Diver and 2 Red-throated Diver were all seen heading west, while around 25 Common Scoter were settled. Earlier, before the rain took hold, it was Stanpit that saw most of the activity with the wader estimates headed by: a Jack Snipe, 6 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 45 Black-tailed Godwit, plus a further 15 in Barn Bight, 46 Ringed Plover and 120 Dunlin. Meanwhile, 6 Pintail and 5 Shelduck were around Stanpit Bight, where 536 Wigeon and 138 Coot were also counted. The Marsh Harrier was seen on and off, a couple of Raven overflew and Kingfisher were seen in a few locations. Chiffchaff are still lingering about the area - three on each side of the harbour today.
Pheasant – Jimmy Main
There was a real mixture of interest this morning, when: a Black-throated Diver passed west over Mudeford Quay and across the harbour; a Water Pipit was on Grimmery Bank; singles of Firecrest were in Stanpit Scrubs and the Wood; and the regular Marsh Harrier was seen a couple of time along the Wick side of the river. Meanwhile, there were apparent influxes of Black-tailed Godwit, Shelduck and Jay - 70+, 8 and 8 respectively - all at Stanpit, where there was also a brace of Knot, a Dartford Warbler on Crouch Hill, an adult Mediterranean Gull passing north and a hunting Peregrine. Over on Hengistbury and Wick, at least 10 Chiffchaff were reckoned and a Great Crested Grebe was on the sea.
Stonechat – Clinton Whale
The strong, south-westerly wind prompted some seawatching from Mudeford Quay this morning, when a 3-hour watch produced: 2 Black-throated Diver, a Red-throated Diver, an unidentified diver, 15 Kittiwake, 13 Common Gull and 5 Common Scoter, all west; plus 5 Purple Sandpiper, a Grey Plover, singles of Razorbill and Guillemot, and 12 other sightings of auks. In Barn Bight, there were a couple of Goosander, while throughout the morning, at Stanpit, the following were logged: 3 Jack Snipe, a Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 30 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Snipe, 7 Ringed Plover and 83 Dunlin; as well as 4 Pintail, three of them drakes, a Shoveler, a Mediterranean Gull and 16 settled Common Gull. Meanwhile, both Marsh Harrier and Peregrine hunted the area. Rounding up, 4 Chiffchaff and 7 Goldcrest were on Hengistbury; and please check back to yesterday for some additional news.
A fine morning that initially had an 'end-of-season' feel about it, was enlivened by some real quality birds and backed up by a half decent sea watch. Around 9:00, three Crane were picked up, from Hengistbury, flying over the extreme eastern side of Stanpit. The birds headed north-west and were lost to view beyond the RIBS Marine complex. Then a little later, another very high tide forced a Bittern out into the open on Central Marsh. Earlier, a Great Northern Diver had passed through the harbour and over the HHC in a south-westerly direction. The sea watch found a strong westerly movement of birds, in particular Kittiwake with 103 logged, also 58 Common Gull, a Red-throated Diver and 57 auks, of which only 5 Guillemot and 2 Razorbill could be identified with any certainty. There were 3 Firecrest on Hengistbury and 2 Fieldfare on Wick, also a single Grey Wagtail and 15 Chiffchaff, while Wick Hams held Bearded Tit and Kingfisher. The best of the rest were 15 Purple Sandpiper on groyne S9 and 3 Raven west.
Additional news: the Black Redstart was again on the sandspit, a
Great Northern Diver moved east off Mudeford Quay and, just before
dark, a couple of Marsh Harrier were at Stanpit.
Blackbird – Steve Hogan
There was another Yellow-browed Warbler this morning, a bird seen briefly in Double Dykes, near the Hengistbury Head visitor centre. Earlier, just after 7:00, a couple of Spoonbill moved north over the harbour while on the sandspit the Black Redstart was by the cafe and a single Purple Sandpiper was on groyne S9. On Stanpit, there were 25 Black-tailed Godwit and 12 Snipe plus singles of Bar-tailed Godwit and Knot, also a pair of Pintail.
The only news from a fairly quiet day is of a Woodlark and 3 Brambling west over Stanpit, while 3 Fieldfare and 4 Redwing passed over Wick. A couple of Chiffchaff were along Roebury Lane, a flock of 22 Common Scoter were settled on the sea off the Beach Huts and the Red-legged Partridge remains in residence at the Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre.
Kingfisher – Jimmy Main
There was a marked, overnight improvement in the weather - today
being dry and fairly warm throughout. A Yellow-browed Warbler by
the pool in the north-west corner of the Horse Paddock on Wick was
a nice surprise and easily the best of the day; although the
Spotted Redshank was at Stanpit, where the Marsh Harrier also
showed well. The best of the wildfowl on WeBS day were 3 Pintail,
5 Shoveler and 5 Gadwall, but also 529 Wigeon and 170 Brent Goose;
with the more notable waders coming to 2 Grey Plover, 23
Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Ringed Plover and 100 Dunlin, as well as a
Lapwing estimate of around 250.
Woodcock yesterday at Wick - quite stunning! – Jimmy Main
As expected, rain dominated the day and only really gave way midway through the afternoon. Before then, the best had been 5 Red-breasted Merganser and 8 Common Scoter, all west, from Mudeford Quay. This afternoon, however, a juvenile Kittiwake came close to the sandspit and 4 Chiffchaff were on Hengistbury.
Kestrel – Clinton Whale
A record shot of 2 Marsh Harrier at dawn – Chris Chapleo
It was a glorious day from start to finish and one to make the most of ahead of tomorrow’s forecast washout. The best bird by far was an exceptionally late and rather sickly-looking Willow Warbler that showed very well around the pool at the eastern end of Hengistbury Head. Nearby, a Black Redstart was on the beach huts adjacent to the Noddy Train Terminus. For the second day in succession, 3 Marsh Harrier were seen together - this time from Hengistbury just after dawn. Two then gained height together and seemed to leave to the south west, while the regular bird remained all day. This evening, however, there were two birds around Priory Marsh. The dawn also saw a notable count of Raven - 15 around the Nursery; from where around 1200 Woodpigeon and a handful of Stock Dove exited. There were a couple of secretive wader records, namely a Woodcock in a ditch on Wick and 2 Jack Snipe at Stanpit; where a Grey Plover, 25 Black-tailed Godwit and 63 Dunlin were present. Also on the marsh, a Water Pipit and 3 Tufted Duck. At least 6 Redpoll were the best of a small passage of finches, which also included 110 Goldfinch, all east; with 2 Fieldfare and 3 Redwing coming off the head to the north-west and 250 Woodpigeon travelling west. Meanwhile, around 5 Chiffchaff were decked. A female-type Eider was again off the sandspit, as is a growing flock of Common Scoter, 22 counted this morning; when the Grey Seal was breakfasting just offshore.
Spoonbill last week at Stanpit – Jimmy Main
Mute Swan in the sunrise – Steve Hogan
There was a total of 3 Marsh Harrier in the area today - at one time all being seen together at Stanpit, but also as a two over the Batters - including the regular, young male. The sea was watched for a couple of hours in the afternoon and came up with: a Black-throated Diver east, plus a female-type Eider, 2 Kittiwake, 2 Razorbill, 5 Guillemot, 2 Common Scoter and 3 Common Gull; while an impressive 24 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit. Inside the harbour, meanwhile, there were 5 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover and 100 Dunlin. A party of 7 Egyptian Goose littered the area for some time but thankfully left to the north; 6 Pintail west were of more genuine interest, however; and 5 Shoveler, but only 25 Brent Goose, were at Stanpit. Moving back to the other side of the area, a Firecrest was in the Wood, 8 Chiffchaff were spread about, a return of 25 Blackbird hinted at an influx, and 3 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing and 2 Redpoll headed over Wick. A Peregrine was watched pursuing a Dunlin which it lunged at twelve times but still went hungry, a Kingfisher was on Wick Hams and 2 Common Gull were settled.
The air temperature was a lot warmer this morning, but a northerly wind certainly chilled things. A Black Redstart was on the sandspit, on the huts close to the Beach House cafe, and a Firecrest was in the Wood, where a single Blackcap was also logged. Otherwise it really was just bits and pieces: the Marsh Harrier was about Wick at 7:20, a Grey Plover was on the Salt Hurns, a couple of Black-tailed Godwit were in Holloway’s Dock, 12 Turnstone were on the sandspit, 8 Shelduck arrived and 4 Little Grebe were in Barn Bight.
Reed Bunting – Steve Hogan
The morning saw a reasonable selection of above-average birds for the area. A Black Redstart was at the base of the cliffs around 100m west of the Gully; a redhead Goosander passed west at sea; a Mistle Thrush came off the head at first light; a Brambling passed over the HHC; an Avocet spent some time in the harbour; Bearded Tit were heard in Wick Hams; and the Marsh Harrier, first up and about at 7:00, spent the next two hours at least in the area. Meanwhile, the Woodpigeon no-show continued - just 300 west in not bad-looking conditions - very modest numbers of Goldfinch and Chaffinch moved east, as did 3 Siskin, and 4 Chiffchaff were logged. Stanpit saw an increase of Black-tailed Godwit, perhaps 60 birds today, along with 5 Grey Plover, 12 Snipe, 25 Ringed Plover and 150 Dunlin; whereas yesterday the ratio of the latter two was reversed. It was reckoned the Wigeon and Coot have increased in the last 48 hours, but there were only 40 Brent Goose on site - five young birds amongst them. Finally, a Peregrine was seen over Stanpit.
Although the northerly wind wasn’t a strong as expected, it certainly felt as cold! This, coupled with clear skies, made for a pretty uneventful morning. A Firecrest was in the Wood and the regular, young male Marsh Harrier departed its roost just after 7:00. Meanwhile, a Fieldfare and 2 Redwing also headed inland, and a Golden Plover passed somewhere over Hengistbury. The only other migrants, however, were 5 Chiffchaff on Wick and a further four on the head. The sea was again a non-event, other than the 5 Common Scoter and a small feeding flock of Gannet, but there were 2 Purple Sandpiper on the groynes at the southern end of the Beach Huts. Finally, a Grey Wagtail was on the roof of the sailing club at Mudeford Quay.
Another cold and frosty morning seemed ideal for Woodpigeon to move in their droves. Presumably, however, it was the slightest of cloud that put them off - or they all passed through South Wales a few days ago! As it was, just 200 or so bothered to make the effort to travel west. There was consolation though, as a Lapland Bunting passed low west over the Coastguards and a Black Redstart was on the slipway at Mudeford Quay. Finch-wise, most of the activity was at first light and reckoned to be birds emerging from a roost in the Wood; these included Brambling heard on three, well-spaced occasions and probably as many as 10 Redpoll. Meanwhile, a male Bullfinch was on Wick and three each of Fieldfare and Redwing headed north-west. Leaving the passerines, there were 7 Chiffchaff around the pool at the end of the head. In addition to a Golden Plover heard over Hengistbury, a couple of Grey Plover were seen to arrive and boost the in-harbour number to six, while the Spotted Redshank, 2 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, 43 Ringed Plover and 116 Dunlin were tallied from South Marsh and Fisherman’s Bank. Of novelty value, a skein of 6 Egyptian Goose arrived over Mudeford Quay and then briefly became a gaggle at Stanpit before leaving for the Avon Valley. A single Kingfisher was at Stanpit.
Pied Wagtail – Steve Hogan
Turnstone – Steve Hogan
Another frosty morning saw a cameo movement of Woodpigeon, but it was so distant and over so quickly that quantifying it is almost impossible. There were, however, a Lapland Bunting west, a Yellowhammer east, a male Bullfinch that settled in the Wood and a Brambling amongst a very light passage of commoner finches. Meanwhile, at Stanpit, there were 3 Spoonbill - one of which, a young bird, had a damaged left leg so if it’s seen elsewhere it would be interesting - which left to the west and the Spotted Redshank; while late in the day 3 Avocet travelled in the same direction past Mudeford Quay and 3 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit. At sea, the 5 Common Scoter, all female types, were again off the end of the head and an adult Mediterranean Gull lingered by the Long Groyne. Otherwise, the only of birds of note were: a total of 7 Chiffchaff on Hengistbury; 2 Grey Plover in Holloway’s Dock; a Kingfisher and 3 Little Grebe in Barn Bight; a female Tufted Duck, as opposed to the regular drake, with Mallard on the Ironstone Quarry; and a Peregrine over.
Ringed Plover – Clinton Whale
Wigeon – Emma Pounds
Quite where today’s rain featured on last night’s forecasts is still something of a mystery, but wet it was for most of the day. Way before first light, a Tawny Owl was heard in the North Scrubs on Stanpit; then at dawn, a redhead Goosander left Barn Bight where it had presumably roosted. Also notable for the day were 2 Golden Plover on South Marsh, where 4 Egyptian Goose put in a brief appearance, and 2 Firecrest on Wick. There seemed to have been a large-scale clearance of Goldcrest, however - just ten across the whole of Hengistbury - while totals of 16 Chiffchaff, mainly from Wick, and 2 Blackcap were returned. Overhead passage was poor, with just 8 Chaffinch, 12 Redpoll, 26 Linnet, 38 Goldfinch, 3 alba Wagtail and 5 Meadow Pipit east in an hour, plus 5 Redwing, a Song Thrush and a Blackbird north-west. The Marsh Harrier was on show at Stanpit for much of the morning and the Purple Sandpiper count peaked at eight this afternoon, on groyne S8, when 28 Ringed Plover were also congregated there. Otherwise, the best of the more-expected waders were a Jack Snipe on Priory Marsh, the lone Grey Plover that calls mournfully to itself each morning, a Knot, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Turnstone and 100 Dunlin. The pick of the wildfowl was 2 Pintail, but also 5 Common Scoter settled off the sandspit and 80 Brent Goose, 400 Wigeon and 30 Teal estimated inside the harbour. The first Gannet for a few days was distantly offshore, a single Raven was at Hengistbury and a Kingfisher was logged. Please check back to yesterday for a very interesting record.
Song Thrush – Emma Pounds
Yet again, the clear skies of the small hours clouded over just as the sun rose. One observer chanced on 3 Yellow-browed Warbler today - two at the end of the head and one by the Nursery - but despite later searching none could be re-located. Also, a tightly-clustered gathering of 55 Goldcrest and a Firecrest, but around 25 Chiffchaff and 3 Blackcap were more widely spread across the site. Bullfinch are something of a scarcity in the area, so a flock of five in the Wood was a very good record; also a single bird over. Also moving over, to the east, were: 3 Brambling, 28 Redpoll, a few Siskin, 95 Linnet, 125 Chaffinch, 160 Goldfinch and 17 Skylark; with 2 Fieldfare, 14 Redwing and 15 Song Thrush north-west; and 820 Woodpigeon west. A flock of 22 Tufted Duck seen from Hengistbury was a remarkable, local record, while a pale-bellied Brent Goose passed west and 2 Pochard, 4 Shoveler and 6 Gadwall toured. A couple of Avocet in Wick Hams were the best of the waders, but also a Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 44 Ringed Plover and 10 Dunlin, a real day-by-day fluctuation in the numbers of these two, 5 Snipe and 2 Turnstone at Stanpit; plus 9 Grey Plover moving into the Solent and 67 Dunlin reported as arriving. Rounding up, the Marsh Harrier was seen a couple of times, a Dartford Warbler was on South Marsh, 7 Common Gull were in the harbour and a Raven passed over.
Additional news: there was a remarkable record from Stanpit of a flock of nine, arriving Jack Snipe - four landed on the tip of South Marsh, while the others headed off towards Holloway’s Dock.
Rock Pipit – Clinton Whale
Great Spotted Woodpecker – Steve Hogan
...and tonight's sunset – Clinton Whale
Despite crystal clear skies over the harbour, there was enough low-lying mirk north and west of the area to put a spoiler on the pigeons - 375 west being the count for the morning. Meanwhile, a Crossbill, a Brambling,115 Chaffinch and Skylark moved east; with 7 Fieldfare and 33 Redwing coming off the head very first thing. A little later, a Marsh Harrier travelled west and an adult Mediterranean Gull headed into the Solent, while a gathering of over 300 large gulls could be made out way offshore. At Stanpit, the more regular Marsh Harrier was around Priory Marsh and the Spotted Redshank, a Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Ringed Plover and 50 Dunlin were in Stanpit Bight, as were 5 Shoveler and a Common Gull. Finally, the day’s Chiffchaff return is just 3 birds.
Additional news: a Woodcock was flushed from the side of the
path by Stanpit Scrubs just before midday and a Knot was at
Mudeford Quay at dusk.
Young Dunnock - we're
rather hoping the Photoshop experts
can do something with the ring – Clinton Whale
As seems to a have been a pattern of late, clear overnight skies clouded over at dawn; today going as far as thick fog for well over an hour. Inevitably, this stopped any overhead passage, although a Brambling, 3 Redpoll and a Fieldfare did move over Hengistbury. Meanwhile, the Wood held 2 Firecrest, 5 Goldcrest and 4 Chiffchaff. After their weekend arrival, the Purple Sandpiper number rose to six - all on the Long Groyne late in the afternoon - with other waders on site including: the Spotted Redshank, a Grey Plover, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Turnstone, 16 Ringed Plover and 70 Dunlin. It’s been hard going this autumn for the visible-migration enthusiasts, but the forecast for tomorrow could mean a bit of a pigeon show.