Sightings for the current month

June 16th

The best from a quiet day was a Hobby hunting Whitepits in the morning, while 20 Lapwing and at least 2 Curlew are back in the area. Of breeding interest, two of the five Kestrel chicks on Hengistbury have now fledged. 

New Forest – Birds, Butterflies and Dragonflies
Meet at 8:00 at Shatterford car park, adjacent to Beaulieu Road Station (Post Code: SO42 7YQ; OS: SU346063). We will spend some time there and then move on a mile or so to Pig Bush car park, finishing no later than midday.
Please email Nick Whitehouse if you wish to come along.

Tides June 17th: H00:50 | L04:40 | H09:45 | H13:15 | L17:00 | H21:55

June 15th

The only records for today were of 19 Common Scoter at sea; as well as 4 Whimbrel, 3 Curlew and a Guillemot, all heading west.

Tides June 16th: H00:10 | L03:55 | H09:05 | H12:40 | L16:15 | H21:20 |

June 14th

With the wind continuing much as yesterday, the sea again received the focus; but with the exception of 25 Manx Shearwater west, all in a 10-minute spell of a 3.5-hour watch, it was rather quiet. In addition to the ‘Manxies’, which were seen from the Beach Huts, there were also: 2 Common Tern, 15 Sandwich Tern, a Great Crested Grebe, 5 Fulmar and a Razorbill, all west, plus 2 Common Scoter east. A further 2 Great Crested Grebe were inside the harbour, where there was a total of 10 Mediterranean Gull – as well as two passing east - a Dunlin and a Curlew; while a Cuckoo and a Kingfisher were returned from Wick. The traditional, mid-summer herd of moulting Mute Swan is starting to breed – a count 261 being made yesterday. 

Tides June 15th: L03:05 | H08:25 | H11:50 | L15:25 | H20:40 |

June 13th

The day’s conditions encouraged a fair degree of seawatching from Mudeford Quay, which produced 2 Little Tern, 4 Common Tern, 25 Sandwich Tern, 6 Common Scoter, a Razorbill, a Guillemot, 12 Fulmar and around 30 Gannet, all heading into the stiff south-westerly breeze. During the afternoon, 3 Ringed Plover rested on the sandspit, while a Dunlin, a Curlew, a Redshank and around 20 Lapwing were inside the harbour. Rounding up, a Hobby patrolled the northern fringe of the recording area around lunchtime and a Kingfisher at Stanpit was a fine record for the month. 

June 12th

Long–tailed Tit - Leo Pyke

The day was, once again, dominated by rain – the only real news being an apparently, new-in Reed Warbler singing at Whitepits, which is nowhere near any reeds; and a total of around 20 Mediterranean, mostly east. 

June 11th

The best from a largely wet day is a Cuckoo at Stanpit, a total of 6 Mediterranean Gull and a Lapwing. There is plenty of action going on with our Barn Owl camera, so if you haven't had a look....

June 10th

Reed Bunting  - Alan Crockard
Reed Warbler now have fledged young to feed - Jackie Smith

Wick provides the only news for the day, with confirmed breeding of Lesser Whitethroat and a couple of Mediterranean Gull east.

Tides June 11th: H04:25 | H07:20 | L11:35 | H17:10 | H17:55 |

June 9th

Skylark – Robert Gray

From Fisherman’s Bank this morning, there were singles of Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Curlew, while 5 Gadwall were also about the marsh. 

Tides June 10th: H03:15 | H06:35 | L10:30 | H16:00 | H19:10 | L23:10

June 8th

As expected for the combination of wind strength and direction, plus the date, there were Storm Petrel in Christchurch Bay. Between 8:00 and 10:30, odd birds were near-constantly visible from the Beach Huts – the maximum seen at one time was three, but there were almost certainly more involved – with a single bird being seen on a couple of occasions from Mudeford Quay. Slightly later, there was some shearwater activity watched from the quay, comprising: 2 Balearic Shearwater, 7 Manx Shearwater and seven unidentified individuals. To complement this, there were up to ten lingering Gannet, five or so Fulmar and a first-summer Mediterranean Gull. 

June 7th

Other than a bright couple of hours in the early afternoon, it was a day of constant rain. During the dry spell, however, a Common Scoter was seen inside the harbour – never a common occurrence here – five adult Mediterranean Gull moved over Hengistbury and a Reed Warbler was singing from a new location on Wick, so may be a late arriver. Moving away from birds, the year’s first Hairy Dragonfly was by the Wooden Bridge. 

June 6th

The news from today is all from Stanpit, where there was a Hobby, a Cuckoo, 2 Dunlin and a Bar-tailed Godwit. 

June 5th

A rather dark, juvenile Grey Heron – Jackie Smith

Eastbound Mediterranean Gull continue to be a feature, with perhaps as many 23 passing through today. Otherwise, it’s just a single Dunlin and 2 Curlew at Stanpit to mention. 

June 4th

As we move into the birding abyss that is June, there is very little to show for some commendable field efforts this morning. A Cuckoo was feeding on caterpillars at Whitepits, 4 Mediterranean Gull travelled east and a further rested at Stanpit. Meanwhile, the only waders on the marsh were singles of Bar-tailed Godwit and Dunlin. Rounding up the birds for today, a Little Grebe was on the Ironstone Quarry and, you can tell how bad it is, a total of 31 Canada Goose was observed. Some news from the last week or so, however, is of at least 2 Nightjar now on territory at Hengistbury. Of odonata interest, Four-spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Large Red Damselfly and Common Blue Damselfly were all on the wing today. 

June 3rd

The only news from a day of very fine weather is of a Cuckoo on Wick Fields and 4 Mediterranean Gull passing east. 

June 2nd

There were three waders still making their way north at Stanpit this morning – a Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Dunlin – while singles of Redshank and Curlew have both presumably given up for the season, and are on the return. At sea, 20 Common Scoter and 2 Gannet headed into the Solent off Mudeford Quay; with the remainder of the interest coming from breeding Shelduck, which now have 22 offspring from a presumed three sets of parents. 

June 1st

There are, unfortunately, no reports for today.

Tides June 2nd: H00:30 | L04:10 | H09:20 | H12:55 | L16:30 | H21:30

May 31st

Recently–fledged Chiffchaff - Alan Hayden
Grey Plover – Jackie Smith

Other than the photographed birds, there are no reports for today. 

Tides June 1st: H00:25 | L03:15 | H08:30 | H11:50 | L15:30 | H20:45

May 30th

Mute Swan
Mute Swan – Jackie Smith

We have some news, at last! Stanpit hosted a number of waders timing their run for the best of the Arctic summer and these included: a Grey Plover, 4 Sanderling and three, rather-dark-and-small Ringed Plover, which sound like candidates for tundrae. In addition, there was a Greenshank, 6 Whimbrel and a further 6 Ringed Plover, which were paler; all of which may be tardy travellers to lesser longitudes. 

May 29th

Once again, no news has been received. 

May 28th

No reports have been received for today. 

May 27th

Once again, there is now news for the day. 

May 26th

Song–flighting Whitethroat - Alan Crockard

The only news for the day is of a Cuckoo on Wick. 

May 25th

Jackdaw – Alan Crockard

There are no reports for today. 

May 24th

Probably the most out-of-place bird right now is a drake Pintail, which has been at Stanpit for the last few days. Meanwhile, the waders there included 8 Sanderling, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover, 75 Dunlin, the Curlew and 3 Lapwing; the first couple of the latter actually returning yesterday. This evening, the sandspit hosted 9 Sanderling. The only other news involves singing Cuckoo, of which there could well be two on site. 

May 23rd

There was a resurgence in wader interest at Stanpit this morning, when a Curlew Sandpiper, a Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 8 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel, 6 Ringed Plover, 45 Dunlin and the Curlew were present. At the same time, a couple of Whinchat there were something of a surprise for such a late date, as were 2 Shoveler. In addition, there was a good count of 58 Shelduck, presumably including the 10 ducklings. Of breeding interest, a Cuckoo is still singing about the area; Whitethroat are now ferrying food; Dartford Warbler, Rock Pipit and Meadow Pipit have fledged; an estimate of Sand Martin suggests at least 20 holes are in use; and a hopeful Willow Warbler continues to sing by the Ironstone Quarry. 

May 22nd

Reed Warbler – Jackie Smith
Whitethroat – Jackie Smith

There are, unfortunately, no reports for today.

May 21st

Jay – Robert Gray
Herring Gull – Robert Gray

As we returned to finer weather, the waders may well have peaked. From Fisherman’s Bank this morning, there was a marked reduction in numbers and variety – the return being: a Knot, 2 Whimbrel, 7 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin and the Curlew. A Spotted Flycatcher was in the stunted oaks, while a Cuckoo sang nearby and a further 35 Mediterranean Gull continued their somewhat puzzling, for the date, eastward passage. 

May 20th

There was another scarce-egret experience today, when a party of 5 Cattle Egret briefly settled on Stanpit, just after dawn, before it headed off to the north. Almost as notable, however, was a count of 51 Mediterranean Gull moving east. It seems too late for them to be travelling towards the Solent colonies, so one wonders if they have deserted one to the west? At least 5 Spotted Flycatcher were on site – one in the No Dogs Field and four in the Stunted Oaks – a Willow Warbler continues to belt it out by the Ironstone Quarry and a Cuckoo was singing from the Salt Hurns. Back to Stanpit and its waders, which included: a Greenshank, 3 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Ringed Plover, 58 Dunlin, 2 Turnstone and the Curlew. 

May 19th

Another day, another out-of-the ordinary egret – this time a Great White Egret on East Marsh. Waders from Fisherman’s Bank included 5 Grey Plover, a Sanderling, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Dunlin, 6 Turnstone, 2 Redshank and the Curlew; while Holloway’s Dock hosted a further one and two of Sanderling and Grey Plover respectively, 45 Black-tailed Godwit, 24 Dunlin and 2 Turnstone. A total of 28 Mediterranean Gull passed to the east, which is a high count for such a late date, and the sea returned 7 Common Tern, 6 Common Scoter and a Fulmar. 

May 18th

A Cattle Egret in breeding plumage was in Stanpit Creek for a few minutes early on, but it soon headed off to the north-east. At least one Little Stint is still about, initially at Stanpit but then into Holloway’s Dock, where there were 10 Grey Plover, 5 Knot and 40 Black-tailed Godwit. A further 12 Grey Plover passed over to the east, there were 9 Sanderling on the sandspit and 55 Dunlin were on site. At sea, a Kittiwake and at least 7 Mediterranean Gull moved into the Solent, a Hobby came in-off and 5 Common Tern were lingering. Finishing up, a Willow Warbler was around the Salt Hurns and a Cuckoo was on Wick.

Omission: the Turtle Dove was again at Stanpit.

May 17th

Grey Plover – Alan Hayden
Knot – Alan Hayden

It was more of the same in terms of the waders, which at Stanpit included: a Little Stint, 6 Knot, 7 Grey Plover, 2 Sanderling, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, 70 Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Dunlin, 8 Turnstone and the unseasonable Curlew. Meanwhile, between them, Holloway’s Dock and the Salt Hurns hosted 11 Grey Plover, a Knot, a Whimbrel, perhaps a further 68 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Dunlin. A total of 3 Spotted Flycatcher were on Hengistbury, one of them settled in the Stunted Oaks, and Cuckoo was heard from there and Wick. In addition to 5 Mediterranean Gull passing through the area, the sea produced a Fulmar, 30 Common Scoter – 17 east and 13 west – around 10 Gannet, 5 auks and 13 travelling Sanderling.

May 16th

Turtle Dove – Jackie Smith

The undoubted highlight of the day, given its fast-declining population in the country, was a Turtle Dove on Crouch Hill late this afternoon. That aside, the wader variety was again receiving the attention, with today’s peaks of mainly Arctic-bound birds at Stanpit being: a Little Stint, 5 Avocet, 11 Greenshank which left east, 9 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 7 Whimbrel, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, 38 Black-tailed Godwit, 66 Dunlin, 11 Ringed Plover, a Turnstone, 2 Redshank and a Curlew. Meanwhile, a flock of 4 Grey Plover in Holloway’s Dock may well have been additional birds and, at 9:45, a Spoonbill drifted by to the west. To complement all of this, there were 6 Shoveler and 3 Gadwall inside the harbour; Cuckoo song came from the North Scrubs and the Batters; at least 2 Mediterranean Gull moved through; and singles of Buzzard and Raven were in the airspace. 

May 15th

Knot – Jackie Smith

The fine run of waders continues on the pristine mud of Stanpit Bight, although it is now taking on an ominous, green tinge in places. There were an exceptional 3 Little Stint with the Dunlin flock, which contained around 70 of those and up to 4 Sanderling. A Curlew Sandpiper dropped in with a Ruff, but soon disappeared to view; while other returns, some of them in resplendent plumage, came from: 8 Greenshank, 10 Grey Plover, 4 Knot, 4 Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper, some heard-only Whimbrel, 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, 55 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Ringed Plover and 8 Turnstone. Less expected for the date, however, were 2 Redshank and a Curlew. Sticking with Stanpit, a duck Garganey was on the tip of South Marsh, the Shelduck came to 45, including nine youngsters, and a Cuckoo was singing. Elsewhere, there was an influx of Blackcap at Hengistbury – with an estimated 50 there – as well as 3 Garden Warbler, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Willow Warbler; plus 5 Swift over. 

May 14th

There were 2 Little Stint at Stanpit this morning – one with the Dunlin, the other with Knot and Grey Plover. First thing, a Spotted Redshank and 10 Greenshank upped and left, while a Knot, 7 Whimbrel, 2 Sanderling, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit and 80 Dunlin were present throughout. Seen to arrive slightly later, was a flock of four pristine Grey Plover and then 4 Ringed Plover. The remaining news comes from Wick, where singles of Cuckoo, Lesser Whitethroat and Bullfinch, presumably all breeders, were logged. 

May 13th

Spotted Flycatcher – Jackie Smith
Most of the remaining Black–tailed Godwit are now first-summer birds - Jackie Smith

There was a good selection of waders seen from Fisherman’s Bank this morning, including a Little Stint in breeding plumage; but also: 5 Greenshank, 7 Whimbrel, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 60 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover and 138 Dunlin. Slightly later, a couple of Greenshank high over the Barn Field may have been additional birds. Also at Stanpit, a party of four young Spoonbill that spent ten minutes settled before leaving to the south west; a couple of Common Tern; three each of Shoveler and Gadwall; and, amongst the 18 Shelduck, the year’s first nine shelducklings. On Hengistbury, a Cuckoo was in the Nursery, while 2 Spotted Flycatcher were around the Double Bends, a Yellow Wagtail passed over and a Willow Warbler sang. The sea was quiet, although 2 Red-throated Diver and 7 Whimbrel moved east, and a Fulmar was off the Barn Field. Small numbers of Swallow and Swift trickled in throughout, and a Peregrine patrolled the area. 

May 12th

Dartford Warbler adjacent to a well–trodden, public path - Alan Crockard

There were a couple of Spotted Flycatcher this morning – one in the No Dogs Field and one in the stunted oaks – as well as singing Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and a trio of Willow Warbler. Otherwise it’s just over-flying birds, namely a single Mediterranean Gull, 2 Swift and 4 Swallow. 

May 11th

The only definite passerine traveller this morning was a Spotted Flycatcher in the stunted oaks, while it seems the 4 Willow Warbler which are continuously singing around Hengistbury have been at it for a couple of days at least. A total of 5 Mediterranean Gull were logged, including a pair of westbound adults and an arriving one-year-old bird. Around 100 Dunlin were on site, as well as 6 Whimbrel and 70 Black-tailed Godwit. 

May 10th

 Fly–catching Long–tailed Tit - Robert Gray

From Fisherman’s Bank this morning, there were: a Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Ringed Plover (always raise an interesting race discussion on a date like this) and 77 Dunlin, plus 2 Common Tern; while the site-wide Black-tailed Godwit total came to 52. The only other return is of a Cuckoo on Hengistbury. 

May 9th

Sparrowhawk – David Faulkner

This morning saw a total of 2 Arctic Tern, a Little Tern, 9 Common Tern and 71 Sandwich Tern about the area. There was little evidence of movement, save for a steady trickle of incoming Swallow and a couple of Common Sandpiper, and the rest of the post relates to birds that may now be with us for some time, including: 29 Whitethroat, 23 Blackcap, 9 Chiffchaff, a Little Grebe, 2 Guillemot and 92 Black-tailed Godwit. On Whitepits, the first fledgling Stonechat of the season were out. 

May 8th

A Storm Petrel was lingering off the Beach Huts for around 20 minutes this morning, but strong sunlight made it difficult to keep close tabs on the bird. Also at sea, 4 Common Scoter, 6 Guillemot, four unidentified auks, a couple of Common Tern, 15 Sandwich Tern and 15 Gannet; as well as 4 House Martin and 15 Swallow seen to arrive. Close by, there were 63 Black-tailed Godwit in Holloway’s Dock.  

May 7th

We don't normally post photos from outside of the recording area, but this is an unashamed plug for the Barn Owl camera that CHOG is partially sponsoring in the Avon Valley – Joe Gillespie
Blue Tit – Roger Tidball
Green Hairstreak – Roger Tidball

It’s now very much bits and pieces, as the migration period draws to a close. At least 7 Wheatear, presumably headed for Atlantic islands, were on site, as were a Wheatear and 4 Willow Warbler; while continuing their so-far dismal spring, just 8 Swallow headed north. A female Pochard at Stanpit is quite a record for the date, and a Hobby passed over there and Whitepits. Wader totals came to: 9 Whimbrel, 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, 125 Black-tailed Godwit and perhaps as many as 175 Dunlin, but certainly 120. A look at the sea came up with 11 Common Tern – a further four of those in the harbour - and a Guillemot; 6 Mediterranean Gull travelled south west; and, of breeding interest, a vocal Little Grebe was noted and twenty-six occupied Sand Martin holes were counted. 

May 6th

Sand Martin – Alan Crockard

Nearly all the news comes from Stanpit, where a Cuckoo could be heard singing from the other side of the water and a Hobby passed through. In addition, there were 2 Ruff, 2 Grey Plover, a Common Sandpiper, 7 Whimbrel, 22 Bar-tailed Godwit, 175 Black-tailed Godwit and 45 Dunlin there; so a marked improvement on a previous wader comment. The only other news involves a Garden Warbler and Willow Warbler on Wick, plus five scattered Wheatear. 

May 5th

Bullfinch – Samuel Levy

It was a well-recorded day, which saw another Osprey use the area – a bird seen at 12:45 carrying a fish before heading off north. Earlier, a Wood Sandpiper had been flushed from somewhere on Stanpit and left to the east. The pick of the passerine migrants was a Siskin over the Coastguards, but also a Lesser Whitethroat by the HHVC, a Garden Warbler at Whitepits, 5 Willow Warbler and 7 Wheatear across the site. Meanwhile, a Yellow Wagtail, 3 Swift, 3 Swallow and 8 Mediterranean Gull headed over. At least 5 Little Tern were about, as well as 11 Common Tern and 63 Sandwich; nearly all of those offshore from the sandspit. Given the date, one should really expect more from the waders – just 2 Whimbrel, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 105 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Turnstone being returned today. Finally, there were some good counts of birds across Hengistbury and Wick, which are likely now resident, although it is possible the numbers are augmented by some transient individuals, and included: 54 Whitethroat, 80 Sand Martin, 29 Blackcap, 16 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler and 2 Bullfinch.

May 4th

It was fairly quiet this morning – the only passerine news being of 2 Wheatear on the Barn Field. A seawatch from the Beach Huts produced 16 Common Scoter east, 10 Common Tern, around 25 Gannet and 35 Sandwich Tern all fishing aimlessly, a Fulmar and a couple of auks. Earlier, 5 Mediterranean Gull moved west over Hengistbury, while a couple of Whimbrel, 110 Black-tailed Godwit and 20 Dunlin were in Holloway’s Dock. In case you haven’t noticed the new link at the top-right of the page, we are now streaming live from a Barn Owl box a few miles north of Christchurch. The female is currently sitting on two eggs. 

May 3rd

The only news for today is of 7 Wheatear on Hengistbury. Of butterfly interest, there were 3 Green Hairstreak on the wing. 

May 2nd

A Black Tern, 5 Little Tern and over 40 Common Tern were seen from Mudeford Quay prior to 10:00 this morning, while around 25 Swift arrived over there. It’s turning into an extraordinary spring for Wood Warbler – the fourth of the season was on Hengistbury this morning – along with a Spotted Flycatcher, a Whinchat, 7 Wheatear and 3 Willow Warbler. In addition, a Garden Warbler and 2 Yellow Wagtail were at Stanpit, and a further 6 Wheatear were across the site. A Garden Warbler, on Wick, may well have been there since mid-April, which could constitute a first breeding record. Osprey have also been well represented in the period – one high over the harbour this morning – when 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Black-tailed Godwit and 10 Dunlin were also logged. 

May 1st

There is limited news today, but a Serin did fly over the Beach Huts. There was an estimate of 70 Whitethroat across Wick and Hengistbury, of which perhaps twenty may be breeding birds. Otherwise, it’s just 2 Whimbrel in Holloway’s Dock. 

April 30th

It was a fairly low-key day, during which Stanpit hosted a Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 40 Black-tailed Godwit and 20 Dunlin, as well as a Common Tern and 2 Shoveler. Early on, at least 21 Mediterranean Gull passed over the HHC – split pretty much 50:50 east to west – while a couple of Wllow Warbler were there and a female Wheatear was on Crouch Hill.

April 29th

Linnet – Tina Scott

The numbers of incoming birds are tailing off, as would be expected for the date; but, in addition to a sprinkling of Willow Warbler and 2 Wheatear, there was a reeling Grasshopper Warbler on the Salt Hurns and a Cuckoo elsewhere on Hengistbury. Meanwhile, there are singing Whitethroat seemingly everywhere; for example, over twenty on the head alone. Otherwise, it’s just a couple of Whimbrel and 3 Common Scoter to remark upon. 

April 28th

There were 2 Firecrest singing in the Wood this morning, while a couple of Little Tern fed off Whitepits and a Great White Egret came out of the valley and u-turned over the Nursery. The best of the waders was a Purple Sandpiper towards the end of the sandspit, as well as a couple of Knot at Stanpit, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, at least 60 Whimbrel moving about and over 100 Black-tailed Godwit. Finishing off, a pair of Bullfinch were by the HHC. 

April 27th

Sandwich Tern numbers are building up inside the harbour – Clinton Whale

Seawatching is a spring westerly rarely yields results, so those at the Beach Huts this morning shouldn’t have been so surprised about the paucity of birds. A 3.5-hour watch yielded just: 5 Common Scoter, 18 Fulmar, 16 Gannet, a Razorbill and 4 Sandwich Tern. Prior to that, a Hobby passed over the HHC and, on the walk back, a Firecrest was singing in the Wood. 

April 26th

Song Thrush – Alan Crockard

The sea was given another go this morning, but it was frankly dire. A diver into the Solent was the best, along with 4 Common Tern, 3 Gannet and an auk. On the land, the only signs of migration were 4 Wheatear, a couple of Willow Warbler and a resting Whimbrel. 

April 25th

The first Foal of the season at Stanpit – Tina Scott

A morning seawatch saw 2 Pomarine Skua, a Great Skua, 4 Little Gull and 4 Common Tern head into the Solent, as well as a Manx Shearwater, 4 Fulmar, a Guillemot and 7 Whimbrel. Meanwhile, inside the harbour, there were 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Common Tern, a couple of Wheatear and drake Teal. 

Tides April 26th: H02:30 | H06:00 | L10:00 | H15:10 | H18:35 | L22:30

April 24th

Before the heavy rain set in around mid morning there were a few migrants to be found on Hengistbury.  A Wood Warbler was singing in the wood where singles of Spotted Flycatcher and Garden Warbler were present, also 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Yellow Wagtail and a few Willow Warbler while a Hobby moved north over the Long Field.  The sea was watched from the beach huts and from Mudeford Quay.  Totals were 86 Bar-tailed Godwit, 27 Whimbrel, 21 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Common Tern and 1 Little Tern, all these east as 46 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Fulmar, 2 Kittiwake, 1 Red-throated Diver and 1 Guillemot travelled west; lingering offshore were 27 Gannet and 12 Sandwich Tern.  An afternoon visit to the quay was rewarded with a single group of 20 Manx Shearwater moving west.  Waders inside the harbour were 24 Dunlin, 10 Whimbrel, 8 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.  The only other sighting of note was a Marsh Harrier seen from Hengistbury.

April 23rd

Short–eared Owl from yesterday - Jackie Smith
Shoveler – Jackie Smith
Green Woodpecker –Roger Tidball

After the last week it was back down to earth in terms of passerines, although there were three singing Lesser Whitethroat about the site. As expected for the date, wader numbers are picking up – at least 30 Whimbrel and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit passed to the east, while 12 ‘barwits’, a further 2 Whimbrel. 2 Ringed Plover and 21 Dunlin were settled. A couple of Common Tern were about, as were 3 Shoveler and 3 Gadwall. At sea, a Red-throated Diver headed west; a total of 33 Mediterranean Gull moved around and a Bullfinch was on Wick. 

April 22nd

One of last night's 3 Black–winged Stilt at Stanpit – Scott Usher

Last night’s stilts were nowhere to be seen, but there was a Short-eared Owl that spent some time at Stanpit before heading off to the west. Passerine-wise, it was much quieter than of late with the site-wide totals being: a Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Redstart, a Yellow Wagtail, a Wheatear and a handful of Willow Warbler. A short seawatch produced 18 Whimbrel and 4 Bar-tailed Godwit east, while a 8 Whimbrel were seen to arrive. Also inside the harbour, the year’s first 2 Little Tern, around 50 Sandwich Tern, a Greenshank and 2 Common Sandpiper. 

April 21st

It was a cracking day for Mediterranean Gull – Scott Usher
Yellow Wagtail on Wick – Mike Gibbons
Garden Warbler – Jackie Smith
Water Pipit on Stanpit recently – Scott Usher

It was more a case of quality rather than quantity this morning, as the Willow Warbler staple seemed well down on the previous few days. The best was a singing Wood Warbler by the Double Bends, as well as a female Pied Flycatcher there. It may well be the best spring on record for those. A couple of Whinchat were on the Barn Field, while one was in the Bobolink Field, and the No Dogs Field held 6 Yellow Wagtail; the latter viewable amongst the cattle from Roebury Lane. Otherwise, it’s just 8 Wheatear and a further couple of Yellow Wagtail to mention, plus a trapped-and-ringed Garden Warbler. Over at Stanpit, there were 6 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 203 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Dunlin and five, getting-late Common Gull. Between 6:15 and 8:45, over 70 Mediterranean Gull were counted passing over the HHC; but with a constant backdrop of calls until noon at least, the day-total could be reasonably ventured as low hundreds. 

April 20th

Female Pied Flycatcher – Leo Pyke

The first Garden Warbler of the year was on Wick this morning, singing along the central path, while another first, a Cuckoo, headed west over the Wood. As the fine weather continued, there were also plenty of other migrants around, including: a Grasshopper Warbler reeling on the Long Field; a female Pied Flycatcher in the Stunted Oaks; 3 Redstart – a male on Wick and two females on the Barn Field; 2 Whinchat – one on Hengistbury and one on Stanpit; a further 2 Garden Warbler; a Lesser Whitethroat; 13 Wheatear; at least 30 Willow Warbler; and a Tree Pipit over. Meanwhile, there was some interest over Stanpit, comprising: a couple of Cattle Egret over the Priory; 3 Little Ringed Plover that headed north; a Little Gull; and over 180 Mediterranean Gull, the largest flock being of 38 birds. Also on the marsh, a Water Pipit was by the Rusty Boat, with waders there coming to 6 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 260+ Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Ringed Plover and 25 Dunlin. Rounding up, a male Bullfinch was on Wick and a pair was in the North Scrubs, and 3 Gadwall were present.

Additional news: a White Wagtail was on top of the head and pair of Bullfinch was on the Batters.

April 19th

Pied Flycatcher – Leo Pyke
Linnet – Clinton Whale
Sandwich Tern – Ian Wigley

There was more migrant interest this morning, including a relatively early Spotted Flycatcher – that in the Stunted Oaks. Also around: a male Pied Flycatcher near the Wooden Bridge; a Whinchat around the Barn Field; the first 2 Lesser Whitethroat; 4 Redstart; and 6 Wheatear. For the second day in succession, there was some egret interest – today a Cattle Egret on South Marsh during the morning. Meanwhile, around Stanpit Bight, a Greenshank, the Spotted Redshank and at least 5 Whimbrel were present; as was the lone Brent Goose and the Gadwall pair. 

April 18th

An early flurry of birds at Hengistbury included: a Hawfinch, 3 Brambling, a Yellowhammer, a Wood Warbler, a female Pied Flycatcher, a Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Tree Pipit, 8 Yellow Wagtail and an Arctic Skua. Those arriving slightly later added a further two Grasshopper Warbler – one on Wick and one in the Nursery – 5 Wheatear and up to 30 Willow Warbler. The first Hobby of the year headed north over the Long Field, while a Great White Egret spent some time on East Marsh, Stanpit. Finishing off with the miscellany: a couple of Sanderling were inside the harbour, as were 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel and 31 Shelduck; a Fulmar passed west off the Beach Huts; a male Bullfinch was on Wick; and the day-count for Mediterranean Gull came to just over 105, mainly from Stanpit and including a flock of 25.

April 17th

There was a huge fall of spring migrants this morning, in particular Willow Warbler with a minimum of five hundred birds across Hengistbury and Wick.  Blackcap were also present in good numbers with 120 on Hengistbury and 9 on Stanpit.  The stars of the show, however, were Pied Flycatcher and Redstart with eight of the former and seven of the latter; the stunted oaks along the harbour side of the wood held 5 Pied Flycatcher and 4 Redstart.  Other totals were 13 Wheatear, 4 Whitethroat and 2 Reed Warbler; also logged were 135 Meadow Pipit, 85 Swallow, 35 Sand Martin, 6 House Martin and 3 Tree Pipit.  The Spotted Redshank was by the Bailey Bridge on Stanpit and 8 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit.  A group of 4 Whimbrel headed north while four remained on the marsh where there were around 250 Black-tailed Godwit and 46 Dunlin, also 5 Common Gull.  Mediterranean Gull were again on the move with c45 birds noted.  Finally both Buzzard and Peregrine were over the harbour.

April 16th

There was a complete change in the weather today as the recent dominant easterlies gave way to much milder conditions albeit with a some light rain.  A pair of Garganey came out of the murk and settled in Stanpit Bight then moved to Stanpit Creek before flying towards Central Marsh.  The Spotted Redshank was also present on Stanpit plus 7 Dunlin, 5 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Ringed Plover.  Another 18 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Whimbrel arrived on the sandspit where there was a single Purple Sandpiper and 3 Turnstone.  The flock of 305 Black-tailed Godwit moved between Holloway's Dock and Stanpit.  Migrants were again hard to come by with just 12 Swallow and two each of Wheatear and Willow Warbler.  This afternoon around a dozen Mediterranean Gull were inside the harbour while earlier sixteen were logged heading west and six moved east off the quay.  The Brent Goose was on Stanpit together with 8 Gadwall and 8 Wigeon.

April 15th

Off Mudeford Quay this morning most birds travelled east into the strengthening wind, the exceptions being Kittiwake and Common Scoter which headed west.  Totals were 15 Gannet, 12 Common Tern, 7 Common Scoter, 4 Swallow, 2 Shoveler, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Brent Goose, the regular Brent Goose remained on the marsh together with 6 Gadwall and 5 Greylag Geese.  Over Hengistbury another 2 Swallow and 16 Mediterranean Gull were logged.  The Mudeford Sandspit held 3 Bar-tailed Godwit while less Black-tailed Godwit were around today with 120 in Holloway's Dock and 44 off Fisherman's Bank.  This afternoon a young Peregrine was settled on East Marsh.  As I finalise this post 2 Arctic Tern are off the Quay.

Sightings for earlier months can be found in our Sightings Archive.
Barn Owl Cam
Paul Turton, Jackie Smith and Dave Taylor have set-up a Barn Owl camera.
View the live feed