Sightings for July 2017
Sedge Warbler – Alan Crockard
The wind shifted to the south and lessened, so looking for passerines was a little more feasible this morning; at least until the breeze strengthened. From 6:00 to 7:30, a total of 14 Willow Warbler and 15 Whitethroat were west of the Wood on Hengistbury, while a couple of juvenile Firecrest were in it and a Dartford Warbler briefly sang. The pick of the customary Mudeford Quay seawatch was a juvenile Kittiwake, but also a party of two adult and 14 young Shelduck that arrived from the east. In addition, 10 Common Scoter, a Great Crested Grebe, 4 Mediterranean Gull, 4 Common Tern and 35 Sandwich Tern were logged, as well as a Common Sandpiper and 3 Turnstone. The in-harbour waders, meanwhile, came to: a further 3 Common Sandpiper, 4 Whimbrel, 5 Ringed Plover, 21 Dunlin and 2 Turnstone; plus 4 Common Tern with them around Stanpit Bight. Finally, the juvenile Little Grebe on the Ironstone Quarry is developing well.
Stonechat – Clinton Whale
On the south coast it’s difficult to get enthused by north-west winds and the pessimism didn’t go without foundation. During a hopeful seawatch from Mudeford Quay, which was perhaps more focussed on looking for marine mammals, there was actually something of a high-point when a group of 6 Shag, a species seemingly in decline in Christchurch Bay and not at all usual in summer, was picked out offshore; with them a female-type Common Scoter. Otherwise, however, it was just 2 Mediterranean Gull and modest numbers of the two expected terns. Inside the harbour, there was a better tern count – 73 Sandwich Tern and a couple of Common Tern – while the Spoonbill was present on the tip of South Marsh. Wader-wise, between Stanpit and the sandspit, the totals came to: a Greenshank, 8 Common Sandpiper, 8 Whimbrel, 3 Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plover, 14 Dunlin – four of them juveniles – and 3 Turnstone. To make up the numbers, 129 Canada Goose and 49 Cormorant were logged.
Spoonbill in Holloway's Dock – Leo Pyke
The Spoonbill remains on site – being initially seen at Stanpit, then later in Holloway’s Dock before it was spooked by a helicopter. Waders were logged from Mudeford Quay, Stanpit and Barn Bight, with the maxima being: a Greenshank, 5 Common Sandpiper, 8 Whimbrel, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Ringed Plover, 15 Dunlin, several of those juvenile birds, and 3 Turnstone. A total of 50 Sandwich Tern was reckoned – split 50:50 between resting birds in Holloway’s Dock and offshore feeders – plus a dozen or so Common Tern and 4 Mediterranean Gull. A modicum of wildfowl interest came from a Shoveler that teamed-up with a Mallard in The Run and 100 or so Canada Goose in Stanpit Creek. For the second day in succession, a pod of around 10 Bottlenose Dolphin was seen early on from the quay and, today, later in the morning from Hengistbury.
The remaining four cygnets of the Mudeford 'Polish' Mute
are now quite well grown – Clinton Whale
Rain and a south-westerly wind meant the shelter of Mudeford
Quay was sought by most of the day’s field visitors. From there, a
juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was seen passing west, as were 16
Common Tern, while 3 Mediterranean Gull and 21 Common Scoter were
also logged. A flock of five arriving waders comprised a
Sanderling plus 4 Turnstone and a skein of 12 Canada Goose headed
into the Solent. Elsewhere, the Spoonbill was again in Stanpit
Creek at low tide and a Lesser Whitethroat was on the Long Field.
Adult and juvenile Water Rail – Alan Crockard
Most of day’s news comes from Hengistbury and includes: a
Grasshopper Warbler, a close-in Arctic Tern, a juvenile
Yellow-legged Gull, a Grey Plover and a Shoveler. Meanwhile, a
couple of Kingfisher were around Parky Meade Rail, Stanpit, where
a Sparrowhawk was seen to breakfast on a Reed Warbler.
Sanderling – Clinton Whale
Turnstone – Clinton Whale
Ringed Plover – Clinton Whale
A day of almost constant rain which was blown along by a south-westerly breeze. Waders about the sandspit were the most notable event and included: 5 Knot, 12 Sanderling, a Whimbrel, 3 Ringed Plover and 6 Turnstone. Meanwhile, 23 Teal, 31 Common Scoter, 22 Common Tern and 27 Sandwich Tern moved generally west offshore. Finally from the part of the area, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was on the tip of the sandspit for some time. At Stanpit, a Yellow Wagtail passed over, a Garden Warbler was settled and 20 Sedge Warbler were estimated.
There were plenty of Sandwich Tern inside the harbour this morning – Clinton Whale
Natterjack toadlets – Clinton Whale
Gatekeeper – Barrie Taylor
A Stone Curlew, still present at 20:30 on East Marsh, was first discovered just after 9:00 on Blackberry Point. The bird is colour-ringed, so we’ll post details as and when we get them. Also at Stanpit, the Spoonbill which seems to favour Stanpit Creek over low water, the first 2 Green Sandpiper of the autumn and a Little Ringed Plover, while a Hobby passed over. During the morning, a good count of 51 Sandwich Tern was made from Fisherman’s Bank, with 8 Common Tern and 2 Mediterranean Gull also inside the harbour and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull returned from Mudeford Quay. Moving back to waders, namely 12 Whimbrel, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Ringed Plover and 13 Dunlin being the maxima of the day’s counts. Early at Hengistbury, a ringing session produced 3 Willow Warbler and 15 Sedge Warbler.
Herring Gull – Alan Crockard
Whimbrel – Clinton Whale
Adder – Gary Foyle
A northerly wind made for calm seas off Mudeford Quay this morning, from where the settled drake Common Scoter, around 30 Sandwich Tern and 5 Common Tern were feeding offshore. In addition, a further 37 scoter passed by and a drake Tufted Duck left the area towards the Solent. Meanwhile, at least 20 Swift, 10 Sand Martin and 3 Raven moved into the breeze. This afternoon, a Spoonbill was found at Stanpit around 3:00 and was still off Fisherman’s Bank a few hours later. Waders about the area throughout the day included: 3 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel and 17 Dunlin. Mediterranean Gull were absent early on, but five were in the harbour after lunch.
There were 3 Little Grebe on the Ironstone Quarry this
so suggesting another discreet but successful breeding attempt –
Adult Sparrowhawk; note the ring – Gary Foyle
Speckled Wood – Clinton Whale
Common Lizard – Gary Foyle
It was a windless start to the day, but an increasing westerly
breeze eventually brought some rain with it. There was the merest
of hints of return passerine migration; for example, a Willow
Warbler and 3 Sedge Warbler trapped and ringed, and an
out-of-place 'phyllosc' on Stanpit. In contrast though,
both Reed Warbler and Blackcap are still in quite purposeful song.
A male Marsh Harrier seen briefly as it descended into the Wick
reeds looked likely to be the local bird, while a single
Black-tailed Godwit and a Kingfisher were in Parky Meade Rail.
That was pretty much it for inside the harbour, other than three
or four Whimbrel in Stanpit Creek, but a Common Sandpiper and 3
Turnstone were about The Run. The sea was quiet, although the
offshore flock of Sandwich Tern perhaps reached 30 birds, with
just the settled Common Scoter and 6 Mediterranean Gull of any
note. Of mammal interest, the Grey Seal was seen from Mudeford
Quay again this morning, as has been the case for most of the
The wind lessened more than expected during the hours of
darkness, meaning the sea wasn’t as lively as hoped for. There was
a brief interlude of interest this morning, when a brace of adult
Arctic Skua – pale and dark individuals – harried terns off
Mudeford Quay before being seen heading west past the Gully.
Otherwise, however, the combined totals from both sites came to: 6
Common Tern, 6 Mediterranean Gull, a Whimbrel, a Great Crested
Grebe and fewer than 10 Gannet. In addition, a Common Scoter that
was very close to The Run before lunch appeared to enter the
harbour over the quay later in the day. Waders about the sandspit
and the Salt Hurns included 6 Common Sandpiper, 5 Sanderling, 5
Whimbrel, a Turnstone and 2 Dunlin, while 14 Whimbrel and 2 Common
Sandpiper were inside the harbour. Of breeding interest, at least
two juvenile Firecrest on Hengistbury may confirm the
strongly-held suspicion and a Treecreeper there also begs a
question; a Reed Warbler was still in song in the afternoon wind
and showers on Stanpit; and the adult Sparrowhawk continue to make
regular feeding trips over the quay and along the sandspit.
Peregrine on Christchurch Priory – Clinton Whale
Sanderling on the sandspit – Clinton Whale
Omission: a Goosander moved west at sea.
Juvenile (front) and adult Dunlin – Gary Foyle
A north-westerly wind made for a poor day. At Stanpit, there was a Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel and 17 Dunlin, while the only returns from Mudeford Quay were singles of Mediterranean Gull and Grey Heron west.
The pick of the birds from this morning's sea watch was a Great Skua that moved west off Mudeford Quay shortly after 7:00. Otherwise it was fairly standard fare with totals of 30 Sandwich Tern, 10 Common Tern, 6 Common Scoter and an adult Mediterranean Gull, all west, with another 21 Common Scoter east; also 11 Gannet offshore. Inside the harbour, 8 Mediterranean Gull were present. Waders today on Stanpit included 8 Dunlin and 5 Greenshank, plus singles of Ringed Plover and Turnstone on the sandspit. In the early afternoon, there was an adult Yellow-legged Gull on the sandbar off the quay, while a juvenile bird was present earlier. The first hint of passerine migration was provided by a male Whinchat on Crouch Hill this morning and a Yellow Wagtail overhead. The Peregrine was again on The Priory Tower.
Please check back to yesterday for late news.
With the wind more east than north this morning, there was a moderate movement of Common Tern and Gannet past Mudeford Quay with counts of 34 and 38 respectively, also 10 Dunlin, 9 Swift and 5 Common Scoter, all these east, while another 9 Common Scoter moved west. On Stanpit, there were 88 Redshank on site plus 15 Dunlin, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Whimbrel and the first Turnstone of the 'autumn'. The only report from Hengistbury was of a Common Sandpiper on the river.
Late news: a Roseate Tern moved east past Mudeford Quay.
There was just enough of a breeze this morning to warrant a look at the sea. Hence, from Mudeford Quay, 17 Common Scoter were logged plus 20 Sandwich Tern and 7 Common Tern; also 45 Gannet lingering in the bay. From Fisherman's Bank, another 4 Sandwich and 2 Common Tern were off South Marsh, as the tide dropped. On East Marsh, in the high tide roos,t were fourteen, mainly adult, Mediterranean Gull but also two birds-of-the-year. There were 4 Whimbrel and a Black-tailed Godwit, the latter still in its summer finery, while the counts of Redshank and Curlew were 49 and 25 respectively. The Peregrine was on The Priory Tower once again and the unseasonable Brent Goose was on Stanpit.
Whitethroat – Alan Crockard
Jay – Matthew Barfield
It was a close, grey day which could have done with a bit of
thunder to clear the air. The only news comes from Wick and the
western end of Hengistbury. A Goosander overflew Wick Fields and
headed towards Stanpit, while a Whimbrel and 18 Redshank were in
This adult Lesser Black-backed Gull spent quite some time this morning quartering, harrier-like, over Central Marsh – Alan Crockard
Whimbrel in the algae, taking its place
amongst the numerous gulls it attracts – Alan Crockard
A Bearded Tit that flew from Wick Hams to Stanpit is probably the best report of the day, although the Brent Goose from Thursday was relocated on South Marsh. Generally, however, there were very slim pickings in a north-westerly breeze, save for 5 Whimbrel, the Peregrine on The Priory and 2 Kingfisher about Parky Meade Rail. Meanwhile, a few birds are still in song – not least Reed Warbler by the Bailey Bridge and Whitethroat on Crouch Hill, with Reed Bunting trying to join in from Central Marsh.
This Brent Goose, which should really currently be in
was on the sandspit yesterday – Gary Foyle
Firstly, please check back to yesterday for some additional news
of mid-summer interest. This morning, however, was fairly routine
– the on-site waders being highlighted with 3 Whimbrel, 12 Dunlin
and a good count of 43 Redshank, all the latter in Barn Bight.
There seemed to be a few more Common Tern about – around ten
passing through the area – but the Mediterranean Gull count came
to just three birds. A Grey Wagtail was heard a few times from
Fisherman’s Bank, but couldn’t be picked out, while a couple of
Peregrine, one of them the tower bird, jousted over there.
Rounding up, a Kingfisher flew past the Wick viewing platform.
The summer weather returned and brought a few waders with it, including 6 Whimbrel and 23 Dunlin at Stanpit, while a further four and five respectively passed west and east; as well as a couple of Ringed Plover on the marsh. The pair of Common Tern were again seeming to court off Argyle Road, a Mediterranean Gull moved west, the Peregrine was on the tower and a few Swift were about.
This morning saw a good count of 12 Common Sandpiper together on the end of the sandspit, viewable from Mudeford Quay, as well as a Greenshank in Barn Bight and 5 Black-tailed Godwit north. Also airborne were a few Swift – perhaps 10 or so noted moving into the north-westerly breeze. Otherwise, however, it was relatively quiet with just 4 Mediterranean Gull, a Common Tern and Redshank, those moving east, seen from the quay.
Additional news: there were a further 10 Common Sandpiper off
Fisherman's Bank and the Peregrine was on its gargoyle.
The warm weather finally broke and drizzle, then heavier rain,
dominated the day. From Mudeford Quay early on, a total of 18
Mediterranean Gull – 16 adults and two juveniles – headed west,
while 2 Common Tern arrived, a dozen Sandwich moved west and
Gannet, perhaps 40 birds, were present for around 10 minutes.
Inside the harbour, there was a Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 7
Dunlin and 64 Lapwing, plus a Buzzard that drifted west over East
Marsh. Elsewhere, the male Bullfinch was again on Wick and the
Peregrine was on The Priory tower.
Kestrel - the juveniles are currently spending their time
sat on the sandy slopes
at the western end of Hengistbury – Matthew Barfield
Great Spotted Woodpecker - juvenile just visible in the nest-hole – Jane Pearce
There was a flurry of large, white birds off Fisherman’s Bank
this morning. Firstly, a flock of 6 Spoonbill arrived from the
east, inspected the area without touching down and then carried on
west over Southbourne. Shortly afterwards, a Cattle Egret, still
with touches of breeding plumage, was picked out in the long grass
on East Marsh amongst 20 or so Little Egret. The bird wasn’t seen
after 10:00, however, despite being looked for. Meanwhile, waders
on the marsh included: a Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, three
wonderfully-plumaged Black-tailed Godwit, presumably fresh-in from
Iceland, and a Ringed Plover. A Common Tern fished in Stanpit
Bight and a Peregrine has taken to one of the gargoyles on the
south face of The Priory tower, which has been a favoured spot
going back almost 20 years.
Reed Warbler – Steve Hogan
A combination of little wind, biting insects and stinking weed
made Stanpit a less-than-pleasant early morning venue, when 4
Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel and an adult Mediterranean Gull were
the returns. Over on Hengistbury, at least one Peregrine was seen
around the cliffs.
On another warm morning, Mediterranean Gull were conspicuous – with at least 40 heading generally west through the area. Sticking with gulls, the first juvenile Herring Gull of the year was in the harbour, while the last week has seen some colour-ringed Black-headed Gull, including a ‘white’ adult and some ‘red’ juveniles, but all too distant to get to grips with. Waders were poor, although there were 2 Whimbrel in Stanpit Creek, where a Common Tern fished and a Peregrine passed over.
The first Greenshank of the ‘autumn’ was at Stanpit this morning,
before it left high to the north. Also there, a Whimbrel and 9
Curlew, plus a selection of terns comprising: a Little Tern, a
Common Tern and at least 10 Sandwich Tern. Meanwhile, six adult
Mediterranean Gull were on East Marsh, along with 23 Little Egret.
It was, at times, uncomfortably hot today with the temperatures
hovering about the mid-20s. As such, there is little bird news – a
Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight, a Lesser Whitethroat in song by
the HHC and two juvenile Sedge Warbler by the HHC – but of mammal
interest a Stoat was seen at Stanpit.
Mediterranean Gull – Alan Crockard
The returning waders are trickling by, but as the behaviour of 3 Knot confirms the state of the harbour for them, due to the algae plague, is nothing short of hopeless. These birds came in from high, with a couple of Redshank, circuited a few times and then moved off west. A total of 4 Dunlin did manage to find a pocket of uncovered mud, however. Longer-billed species, such as Whimbrel, are able to cope and there was a single today, while 2 Black-tailed Godwit passed east. Around 4 Mediterranean Gull, including a juvenile were logged and around twelve similarly-aged Black-headed Gull were about. Over on Wick, a Lesser Whitethroat sang in the Bobolink Field.
Linnet – Clinton Whale
There was a total of 5 Common Sandpiper at Stanpit today, along with a couple of Whimbrel. Meanwhile, at least 7 Mediterranean Gull were logged.
Now is the time of year when post-breeding flocks of Starling
frequent the area
– Clinton Whale
Peaccock – Clinton Whale
It was another decent day in terms of weather and one that saw the first juvenile Mediterranean Gull of the year, in the company of an adult. There is little else to report, however, save for 50 Redshank, 20 Lapwing a 6 Curlew on Stanpit.
Returning wader interest is spluttering into life, with a total of 3 Common Sandpiper at Stanpit and 9 Black-tailed Godwit north, as well as 15 Curlew and around forty each of Lapwing and Redshank on site. Otherwise, the best of a hot day were: 2 Mediterranean Gull west, a male Bullfinch by the HHC and a Peregrine over.
Sparrowhawk – Gary Foyle
Even before these photos were received, it was clear there must be
a nest of hungry
youngsters somewhere, as a male bird was seen making four
in little over an hour over Mudeford Quay and along the sandspit.
There was a significant passage of Swift this morning, as a minimum of 500 moved from the Solent and generally to the north-west. This was in a 90-minute period, when a band of low cloud seemed to sit between Milford-on-sea and the Isle of Wight. As soon as that cleared, however, there were no further birds. Otherwise though, it was all rather dull – with just 2 Whimbrel east; 5 Curlew, 5 Mediterranean Gull and 4 Common Tern west; and single, arriving Little Egret and Grey Heron logged from Mudeford Quay. Inside the harbour, the Whimbrel and a further 10 Curlew were present, as was a single Dunlin, and the pair of Common Tern were again off Fisherman’s Bank. On Crouch Hill a recently-fledged Stonechat family comprising three youngsters was present, but slightly worse new regarding the mixed-Polish brood of Mute Swan – the three white cygnets remain, but there is now just one conventional grey individual.