Sightings for the current month

February 24th

A strong, south-westerly blew up overnight and meant there were some things to see from Mudeford Quay this morning. The best was an unidentified skua on the sea that was seen a couple of times, but not well enough to clinch the identification. Also on the watch, 3 Fulmar, 2 Gannet and a Red-breasted Merganser, all at sea, while a couple of Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit. 

MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTIONS
A reminder these are now due for 2020. Please do join us and support our conservation work around Christchurch Harbour. Fees are just £7:00 for single or £10:00 for joint membership. The easiest way to join is online....

Tides February 25th: H01:30 | L05:10 | H09:55 | H13:35 | L17:25 | H22:20

February 23rd

Bullfinch
Bullfinch – Robert Gray

Other than the photographed Bullfinch, the news is from Mudeford Quay; where a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was logged, as well as a Red-breasted Merganser, a Tufted Duck and 3 Great Crested Grebe – the latter three species all inside the harbour.  

February 22nd

LittleEgret
Little Egret – David Faulkner

The day - a mixture of sun and showers, but with the constant of a cruel, south-westerly wind - saw: a Water Pipit on Central Marsh, just beyond the Bailey Bridge, and the Spotted Redshank showing well on North Marsh; while a concentration of 7 Stonechat at the southern end of the Bobolink Fields could represent a spring arrival. To finish, once again, 2 Bullfinch were on Wick Fields. 

February 21st

The day's only news is of at least 5 Purple Sandpiper, again on groyne S9. 

February 20th

Treecreeper
Treecreeper – Ian Wigley

Purple Sandpiper returned to the area today – five birds on the sandspit groyne S9 – along with 75 roosting Dunlin there. Elsewhere, a Treecreeper was immediately behind the Pod at Stanpit. 

February 19th

A sign of the impending spring was 3 Cetti’s Warbler in song around Wick Meadows this morning; when a pair of Bullfinch was by the Viewing Platform, an area that now presents an excellent chance of connecting with the seldom-heard song of the species. Off Mudeford Quay, there were three settled Shag and a Pintail passed west, while 25 Wigeon came in-off. Off mammal interest, the Grey Seal was again in the Run. 

February 18th

The only news from a reasonable day of weather, save for a chilly south-westerly wind, is of 2 Common Scoter and a Shag off Hengistbury around lunchtime. 

February 17th

PiedWagtail
Pied Wagtail – David Faulkner

The only news is of a Redwing by the HHC and 3 Bullfinch on Wick – one male and two females by the Viewing Platform. 

February 16th

Storm Dennis brought winds and persistent, heavy rain today.  The only news concerns the Spotted Redshank, which was on East Marsh at Stanpit. 

February 15th

A little bit of news crept in ahead of the rain. A couple of Kittiwake sheared west past Mudeford Quay this morning, when a Grey Wagtail and 3 Bullfinch were on Wick. 

February 14th

Garganey
The Garganey that was at Stanpit earlier in the week – David Faulkner
Jay
Jay – David Faulkner

All the news comes from Stanpit, where the best was an adult Yellow-legged Gull on South Marsh and, now, a pair of Red-breasted Merganser. There was a fine count of Pintail – 38 birds – as well as 3 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall and 8 Shelduck. Of eight presumed ‘Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit on Grimmery Bank, one was starting to show a hint of breeding plumage.  

February 13th

Unfortunately, no reports have been received for today. 

February 12th

BlackheadedGull
Black–headed Gull – Roger Tidball

This morning, a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was seen from Fisherman’s Bank, as were: 22 Pintail, 3 Shoveler, 165 Brent Goose and 4 Great Crested Grebe. Later on, the redhead Red-breasted Merganser was inside the harbour and a couple of Mediterranean Gull were about. 

February 11th

Firecrest
Firecrest – Jackie Smith
RingedPlover
Ringed Plover – Clinton Whale
LongtailedTit
Long–tailed Tit - Jackie Smith

The best for today was a drake Garganey, at least, on Stanpit – presumably the second-calendar-year bird that has spent the winter in the Avon Valley – as well as a Firecrest and Mistle Thrush on Wick. Otherwise, it’s just a Bullfinch and Kingfisher, again on Wick, to mention. 

February 10th

Gulls
An estimated 200 gulls pre–roosted in the harbour this evening - Clinton Whale
AFloodedStanpit
...and this morning's view of Stanpit from the top of Hengistbury – Clinton Whale

There are few reports from another blustery  day. A party of 7 Purple Sandpiper was on the sandspit this morning, on groyne S7, while around 100 Dunlin were nearby. A two-hour look at the sea produced nothing, but a Great Crested Grebe was inside the harbour. 

February 9th

Storm Ciara hit with a vengeance, but the area seems to have come through largely unscathed. This morning, a flock of 90 Black-tailed Godwit were seen off Whitepits as the battled vainly against the wind over Poole Bay. Reports from just the other side of Bournemouth of birds doing the same suggests a departure from perhaps the Pennington complex to Poole Harbour? In addition, an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen from Mudeford Quay and a Peregrine was again on the Priory Tower. This afternoon, a Great Northern Diver was on the sea just off the Beach Huts, while 4 Mediterranean Gull headed towards the Solent and a first-winter Common Gull travelled in the opposite direction. The final entry for the post is a Great Crested Grebe in Barn Bight. 

February 8th

SpottedRedshankSpottedRedshank
Spotted Redshank – Jimmy Main
GreatSpottedWoodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker – Jackie Smith

Other than a Peregrine which hunted Stanpit, all the news is from the monthly WeBS count that was conducted a day early in anticipation of Storm Ciara. Starting with the waders, the Spotted Redshank was on North Marsh, while 12 Snipe and 170 Dunlin were also logged. Notable by their absence, however, were both the expected plovers and godwit. Pintail put in a good number of 16 birds and 13 Shelduck show these are coming back after their traditional mid-winter paucity. Also making the book, a Tufted Duck, 81 Teal, 672 Wigeon and a Great Crested Grebe. Meanwhile, a maximum of 4 Kingfisher was reckoned – two either side of the harbour. 

February 7th

The only news for the day is of 5 Bullfinch on Wick, around the Viewing Platform. 

February 6th

Chaffinch
Chaffinch – Robert Gray

It was a lovely, crisp day, when a Marsh Harrier was at Stanpit, along with: the Spotted Redshank, 12 Grey Plover, a Tufted Duck, 14 Pintail, 4 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall and 9 Shelduck. Meanwhile, Wick again produced Bullfinch – a once-scare species in the area – with a pair by the Wooden Bridge.  

February 5th

Cormorant
Cormorant
Cormorant
Presumed sinensis, 'Continental' Cormorant, looking just about as good as a cormorant can – Jackie Smith 

On a fine day, singles of Firecrest were in the Wood and by the Wooden Bridge on Wick. Also on Wick, an unseasonable Siskin and the now-obligatory Bullfinch – three today, one of them a male. The last couple of days have seen Great Spotted Woodpecker gathering together ahead of their season, the maximum being four in the Wood; while around 250 dabbling duck – almost all Wigeon, but a few Pintail and Teal – spent most of the daylight hours on the sea off Mudeford Quay, presumably displaced by shooting just inland. In addition, a single Red-breasted Merganser and 4 Common Scoter were returned from the quay. Rounding up, a Kingfisher was on Wick Hams. 

February 4th

Despite some reasonable weather, there are no reports for today.

February 3rd

Yesterday’s comments about attention to detail seem to have prompted some very-welcome counts of sometimes, taken-for-granted species. At Stanpit, 23 Lesser Black-backed Gull, all adults, would, anecdotally-speaking, seem to be a good number for the area; while the same could be said of 37 Collared Dove close to the Wooden Bridge. Now, back to the more-expected species to be posted: a couple of Firecrest and 10 Redwing were in the Wood; a Fulmar, a Guillemot, an auk spp. and 8 Wigeon travelled west at sea; and a Common Scoter and 8 Shag were settled offshore. Meanwhile, the effect of tide on the visibility of Snipe is underlined by just eight being seen on a fairly dry Salt Hurns this morning. Over on Stanpit, the Spotted Redshank, 12 Grey Plover and 110 Dunlin were logged from Fisherman’s Bank, as were 12 Pintail and 3 Gadwall. Finishing up, Kingfisher were encountered on Wick Hams and in Holloway’s Dock. 

February 2nd

LittleGrebeLittleGrebe
Little Grebe – Scott Usher

All the day’s news comes from Stanpit, where there was some commendable attention to detail. The pre-roost of gulls, before they head out to the sea off Steamer Point, was counted as 5 Mediterranean Gill, 710 Black-headed Gull and 240 Herring Gull. As has long been the suspicion, but not quite the dedication, author included, there has to be something better in there from time to time. The Spotted Redshank was again present, as were 55 Dunlin and 7 Turnstone; while the wildfowl involved: 14 Pintail, 470 Wigeon, 46 Teal, 132 Brent Goose and 14 Canada Goose. Another decent count was 17 Pied Wagtail on Crouch Hill, while a single Great Crested Grebe was in the harbour and a Peregrine hunted. 

February 1st

ReedBunting
Reed Bunting – Jimmy Main
Snipe
Snipe – Alan Crockard

The Bullfinch hot-spot, i.e. the Viewing Platform on Wick, continues to deliver – seven birds there this morning, four of them males; also a couple of Goldcrest nearby. Meanwhile, Mudeford Quay produced: a Red-throated Diver, 2 diver spp. and a single Common Scoter, all west. 

January 31st

The best from an awful day of weather – a heavy, wind-blasted drizzle – was a Firecrest in the Wood, over 100 Snipe of the Salt Hurns, around 150 Black-tailed Godwit which left to the west and a Peregrine again on the Priory tower.

January 30th

The Spotted Redshank was again on Stanpit this afternnon together with 134 Brent Geese, 120 Dunlin, 5 Mediterranean Gull, a drake Shoveler and a single Turnstone.  The only other report is of 2 Bullfinch on Wick.

January 29th

Snipe
Snipe on the Salt Hurns – Leo Pyke

In complete contrast to yesterday it was a glorious spring like day when the temperature just about reached double figures.  A count of 230 Brent Geese on Stanpit today is easily the highest of the winter; also counted on that side of the harbour were 120 Dunlin, 8 Pintail, 4 Knot, 4 Grey Plover, 2 Ringed Plover and the Spotted Redshank.  At Hengistbury, despite much lower water levels, well over one hundred Snipe were still on the Salt Hurns.  A sea watch from the beach huts was fairly unrewarding with just 7 Common Gull, 6 Pintail, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Wigeon and 1 Common Scoter, all west, plus 2 Sanderling east.  A Firecrest and 12 Redwing were in the wood, a Kingfisher and 2 Bullfinch were on Wick and the Grey Wagtail was again on Mudeford Quay while 12 Skylark and 2 Raven were at Stanpit.

January 28th

Stonechat
Stonechat – Clinton Whale

Lots of sunshine this morning but the keen westerly wind made it feel very cold.  A count of 148 Snipe on the Salt Hurns is unprecedented, certainly in modern times, and must be a twenty-first century harbour record for this species.  A Firecrest and 11 Redwing were in the wood at Hengistbury, a pair of Bullfinch was on Wick and 2 Kingfisher were seen.  A couple of Great Crested Grebe were on the sea while 7 Grey Plover and 6 Pintail were at Stanpit.

January 27th

Dunlin
Dunlin on the sandspit – Clinton Whale

After a downpour around dawn the harbour was visited before the onset of further rain. From Fisherman’s Bank the Spotted Redshank, 2 Knot, 5 Grey Plover and 6 Pintail were seen plus a couple of Peregrine and a Marsh Harrier. The strengthening wind prompted a one hour watch from Mudeford Quay but this yielded just a Black-throated Diver and a Guillemot, both west, also a Grey Wagtail was by the culvert at the entrance to the quay. The only reports from the other side of the harbour were of a Firecrest near the wooden bridge on Wick and of 52 Dunlin on the sandspit.

January 26th

Peregrine
Peregrine on the Priory – Clinton Whale

After 11:00 this morning, the day was a complete wash-out. Beforehand, however, there was a good mix of reports. A Black-throated Diver and three unidentified divers headed towards the Solent off Mudeford Quay, from where 2 Common Scoter were logged travelling west, and a Red-breasted Merganser and 6 Wigeon were seen to arrive. Meanwhile, the Spotted Redshank and a Marsh Harrier were at Stanpit, as were 2 Grey Plover, 15 Pintail, 19 Shoveler and 3 Gadwall – so it does seem wildfowl were on the move; plus 9 Rock Pipit and 7 Skylark about the marsh. A Peregine on the Priory was noted to be carrying a blue colour-ring. 

January 25th

Firecrest
Firecrest – Jimmy Main
Bullfinch
Bullfinch – Jimmy Main

It was another murky day, but this time with an easterly wind that brought an uncomfortable chill with it. A couple of Firecrest enjoyed the shelter of the Wood, by the Double Bends; while 4 Bullfinch – seemingly two pairs – were on Wick Fields, the area around the Viewing Platform being particularly productive for these of late. The Red-breasted Merganser was again seen from Fisherman’s Bank, as were: a Knot, 3 Grey Plover, 6 Pintail, 3 Shoveler and 11 Greylag Goose – seven of the latter carrying metal rings, so presumed to be from the Poole-based project. Early on, a Marsh Harrier hunted at Stanpit, at least 14 Snipe were on the Salt Hurns and a Kingfisher was about Wick Hams for much of the morning. 

Today's Hengistbury Head Big Bird Watch was a great success. We had around 35 people join us, thank you, and a number of those visited the feeders in the garden of the Visitor Center afterwards. Thanks to the staff there being so accommodating. The list of birds seen is below and has been provided by Angie Edwards - thanks Angie! Thirty-nine different species were recorded, not bad for a 2-hour walk in January.

Mute Swan, Stonechat, Little Egret, Heron, Wigeon, Mallard, Greylag Goose, Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Firecrest,  Goldcrest, Woodpigeon, Dunnock, Cormorant, House Sparrow, Snipe,  Redshank, Carrion Crow, Starling, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Magpie, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Little Grebe, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Kingfisher, Robin, Pheasant, Song Thrush, Red-throated Diver, Cetti’s Warbler, Green Woodpecker and Jay.

January 24th

CettisWarbler
Cetti's Warbler – Jimmy Main
SongThrush
Song Thrush – Clinton Whale

It was another dampish, cloudy day that never saw the sun. All the reports are from Stanpit, where: the Spotted Redshank, 8 Grey Plover, 60 Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Ringed Plover and 145 Dunlin were the best of the waders; while the wildfowl were headed by the Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Pintail. 

January 23rd

A Merlin was seen from Fisherman’s Bank this morning, along with: the Red-breasted Merganser, the Tufted Duck, 10 Pintail, 2 Gadwall and a couple of Grey Plover. Around the same time, a pair of Bullfinch were on Wick. Later in the day, 2 Red-throated Diver were returned from Mudeford Quay and the Grey Seal was again in the Run. 

January 22nd

TuftedDuck
Tufted Duck and Mallard – Jackie Smith

It was a chillingly, damp day with the best being a Mistle Thrush on Wick this morning and a female-type Red-breasted Merganser from Mudeford Quay this evening; along with a Bar-tailed Godwit on the inner harbour shore there. In between times, Fisherman’s Bank yielded: the Spotted Redshank, 9 Grey Plover, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Ringed Plover and 145 Dunlin, as well as 2 Pintail, 12 Shoveler and 5 Great Crested Grebe; while a drake Tufted Duck cohorted with Mallard and a Water Rail took a stroll along Roebury Lane. 

January 21st

Goldcrest
Goldcrest – Alan Crockard
Lapwing
Lapwing on the Barn Field – Clinton Whale

A party of 19 Lapwing on the Barn Field was no doubt the result of the on-going cold weather, while an Avocet at Stanpit was also new-in. The 2 Firecrest were again by the Double Bends and 3 Bullfinch were close to the Viewing Platform on Wick. Moving back to the marsh, the totals from there included: the Spotted Redshank, 4 Grey Plover, 38 Ringed Plover, 170 Dunlin, a Tufted Duck, 2 Pintail, 5 Gadwall, around 70 Brent Goose and 4 Common Gull. Snipe were conspicuous – the best being 39 birds on the Salt Hurns, but also 13 at Stanpit – as many as 7 Great Crested Grebe could have been inside the harbour and a Shag was just off the Long Groyne. Finally, and it’s the last time they will get a mention, the pair of Black Swan has returned from wherever imported ‘cage-birds’ spend the rest of their time. 

January 20th

Skylark
Skylark – Clinton Whale

A Common Sandpiper and a Ruff, both seen from Fisherman’s Bank this morning, would seem to be newly-arrived birds as a result of the on-going, cold weather. Also logged from that spot: 2 Grey Plover, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Ringed Plover, 145 Dunlin, a Tufted Duck, 2 Shoveler and 8 Shelduck. Around the same time, a further 6 Shelduck passed south over Wick Fields, where there were today 4 Bullfinch; while a couple of Firecrest were by the Double Bends and 2 Common Scoter were off the end of Hengistbury. This evening, the calm waters off Mudeford Quay afforded views of an Eider, 8 Great Crested Grebe and 4 Shag.  

January 19th

After another clear night, there was hardly a cloud in the sky throughout today; while little or no wind made it a wonderful time to be out. The drake Long-tailed Duck remains in the harbour, along with a redhead Red-breasted Merganser and 4 Great Crested Grebe; with other waterfowl highlights being 4 Pintail and Shoveler. A Treecreeper was along Roebury Lane and 5 Bullfinch were nearby around the Viewing Platform. Meanwhile, further passerine interest came from 14 Skylark on South Marsh and 12 Rock Pipit – five of them looking good for littoralis – were spread across Stanpit. A cursory look at the waders saw 3 Grey Plover, around 10 Ringed Plover and up to 80 Dunlin. The day’s Kingfisher tally was likely 2 birds. 

January 18th

RedwingRedwing
Redwing – Jackie Smith
Frost
...and a chilly, early Stanpit – Jackie Smith

After more than a couple of weeks of mild weather, clear skies brought ice and frost to the area this morning; and a few Redwing in the North Scrubs were no doubt there after having being displaced from somewhere even colder. In contrast, however, the sun encouraged at least five male Song Thrush into voice on Wick, where there was also a Goldcrest and two female Bullfinch. 

January 17th

Curlew
Curlew – Robert Gray

There was an uncharacteristically cold, westerly wind today, but the shelter of the Beach Huts saw: 2 Red-throated Diver and a Guillemot pass east; a Mediterranean Gill and 2 Common Gull travel west; plus 11 Common Scoter and 16 Shag on the water. Meanwhile, from Mudeford Quay, a Great Northern Diver was seen to come in from the west and then settle. Elsewhere, a Firecrest was in the Wood and 2 Great Crested Grebe were in Barn Bight.  

Tides January 18th: H02:55 | H06:05 | L10:05 | H15:25 | H18:20 | L22:35

January 16th

After a promising start, the weather once again descended into the seemingly, now-expected wind and rain. As a consequence, all the news comes from Mudeford Quay and involves: a Merlin; a Great Northern Diver, 3 Fulmar and 5 Common Scoter west; and 3 Guillemot east. The Grey Seal was again in the Run and was captured on video...

Tides January 17th H01:55 | H05:25 | L09:05 | H14:15 | H17:40 | L21:30

January 15th

SpottedRedshank
Spotted Redshank – Jackie Smith

There are thin pickings for the day. The Spotted Redshank was on a very flooded Stanpit, while a Great Crested Grebe and a Kingfisher were in Barn Bight. 

January 14th

Not surprisingly, given the constant wind and rain, there is nothing to report for today. 

January 13th

During a day of gathering wind, ahead of Storm Brendan, a Little Gull came into the harbour through the Run, while a Kittiwake and a Fulmar moved west past Mudeford Quay. Otherwise, the only remaining bird news is of a pair of Bullfinch on Wick. Of mammal interest, the Grey Seal was again seen from Mudeford Quay.

January 12th

Once again, the Long-tailed Duck was inside the harbour – perhaps best viewed from Fisherman’s Bank – and a Marsh Harrier was at Stanpit. Also there, 3 Grey Plover, 12 Black-tailed Godwit and 140 Dunlin, while a Ringed Plover was on the sandspit and 32 Snipe were on the Salt Hurns. 

Tides January 13th: H01:55 | L05:35 | H10:25 | H14:05 | L18:00 | H23:05

January 11th

All the news comes from Mudeford Quay. During the morning, the Long-tailed Duck was inside the harbour, while 3 Red-throated Diver, 18 auks, 18 Common Gull, a Grey Plover and 6 Wigeon passed at sea; all west, save for two of the divers. During the course of an hour in the afternoon, 55 Gannet were seen moving west. 

January 10th

On a fine and clear day, the Long-tailed Duck was again inside the harbour; as was a Pochard – a present-day scarcity. Meanwhile, Stanpit hosted: 2 Spotted Redshank, 3 Grey Plover, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Ringed Plover and 164 Dunlin. Also on the marsh, a Water Pipit and fifteen reckoned ‘Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit. In addition to a female-type Marsh Harrier hunting Speller’s Point, the clement conditions prompted 3 Buzzard to enter recording-area airspace. To round things up: a Great Crested Grebe was inside the harbour; Stanpit held 7 Pintail and 2 Shoveler, as well as 72 Brent Goose, 3 Shelduck, 2 Greylag Goose, 124 Canada Goose and 3 Common Gull; 7 Skylark fed on East Marsh; and a Bullfinch was on Wick.

January 9th

The best report of the day is of a minimum of 86 Snipe on the Salt Hurns – a tremendous figure in modern-day terms. Meanwhile, a Jack Snipe was flushed from the side of the boardwalk on Priory Marsh. Moving back to Hengistbury, where a Firecrest and 8 Redwing were in the Wood, and from where a male Marsh Harrier was watched quartering Stanpit. A couple of Golden Plover arrived over Mudeford Quay, a Sandwich Tern and 3 Mediterranean Gull were off there, and the Long-tailed Duck was harbour-side. From the Beach Huts, 3 Common Scoter and a Great Crested Grebe could be picked out on the sea, while 2 Pintail and 75 Brent Goose were at Stanpit. 

January 8th

SongThrush
Song Thrush – Robert Gray

Another extraordinarily mild day saw singles of Firecrest and Treecreeper in the North Scrubs – the latter locally more significant than the former – as well as a couple of Goldcrest. Also at Stanpit, a Water Pipit and two suspected littoralis Rock Pipit; as well as: the Spotted Redshank, a Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Turnstone, 3 Shoveler, 4 Shelduck and fifteen juvenile Brent Goose amongst an unreturned total of adults. Once more, the Long-tailed Duck could be seen from Fisherman’s Bank, while Red-throated Diver and 12 Common Scoter were logged from Mudeford Quay. Of mammal interest, a Grey Seal was again in the Run. 

January 7th

All the news from a day that was dominated by drizzle and low cloud is from Stanpit. The Spotted Redshank was present, along with 3 Grey Plover and 65 Dunlin; pipit-wise, there was a Water Pipit, two presumed ‘Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit and four more conventional birds; and the best of the rest was 4 Pintail, 8 Common Gull and 6 Skylark. 

January 6th

The Long-tailed Duck was inside the harbour, off the Black House; while a Great Crested Grebe was in Barn Bight. A Sandwich Tern was returned from Mudeford Quay, from where a flock of Wigeon – 60 birds today – could again be seen on the water. Off mammal interest, a Grey Seal was in the Run. 

January 5th

GreatCrestedGrebe
Great Crested Grebe – Alan Hayden

On another very mild day, the Long-tailed Duck remained in the harbour; being seen from various locations, including Mudeford Quay, Crouch Hill and a boat. From the seaward side of the key, around 10 Common Scoter, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 120 Wigeon and 5 Shag were settled on the water; while a couple of Razorbill passed east, a Mediterranean Gull was returned, and two each of Grey Wagtail and Peregrine went over. A further Grey Wagtail was along Fisherman’s Bank, a Great Crested Grebe and 3 Grey Plover were also seen from there, and a female Bullfinch was on Wick Fields. 

January 4th

Dunlin
Dunlin – Scott Usher

There is a little more to report on today. A Firecrest was on Wick, while 7 Redwing were in the Wood. A brief seawatch from the Beach Huts produced: a Red-throated Diver and 2 Gannet west, a Great Crested Grebe and 8 Pintail east, plus 12 Common Scoter and 5 Shag settled on the water. It was refreshing to hear of a Stanpit count of 120 Brent Goose – that must be the most for some time; with 2 Grey Plover, 28 Ringed Plover, 110 Dunlin and a Kingfisher also about the marsh. Rounding up, a Peregrine passed over Wick Hams.

January 3rd

Jay
Jay – Robert Gray
Goldcrest
Goldcrest – Jackie Smith

Other than the photographed birds, plus a Kingfisher or two, there are no reports for today.

Tides January 4th: H03:20 | H06:20 | L10:40 | H15:40 | H18:35 | L23:00

January 2nd

It was another day light on news – the Spotted Redshank from Fisherman’s Bank; 4 Red-throated Diver, three east and one west, past Mudeford Quay; and a pair of Bullfinch on Wick – the best of it. A flock of 55 Wigeon arrived in-off-the-sea and a Kingfisher was about Stanpit Creek.

Tides January 3rd: H02:15| H05:45 | L09:45 | H14:40 | H17:55 | L22:05

January 1st

A very Happy 2020 to all our Members and Website Visitors.
The Long-tailed Duck was seen from Fisherman’s Bank early on, when an adult Yellow-legged Gull was inside the harbour off the Christchurch Harbour Hotel. Otherwise, and rather strangely for such a traditionally birded day, a Firecrest on Wick is the only other entry for the post.

December 31st

Kestrel
Kestrel – Robert Gray

On the final day of the decade, the Long-tailed Duck was still on-site – again, best viewed from Fisherman’s Bank. The other news, all from Stanpit, involves: a Water Pipit, a Goosander, a Pintail and 2 Shoveler. 

Tides January 1st: H00:45 | H04:25 | L08:05 | H12:55 | H16:30 | L20:25

December 30th

WaterRail
Water Rail – Jackie Smith

The only news from a really great day of weather is of the Long-tailed Duck in Stanpit Creek again. 

December 29th

It was another mild day with very little breeze and just-into-double-figure temperatures. The Long-tailed Duck was off the Argyle Road slip at 8:15 this morning, when a half-hour look at the sea from Mudeford Quay produced: a drake Goosander east, 7 Common Scoter west and a settled Great Crested Grebe.

December 28th

A Black-throated Diver and a Goosander headed west off Mudeford Quay this morning, while 4 Common Scoter moved towards the Solent. From Fisherman’s Bank, the Spotted Redshank could be seen, along with 4 Ringed Plover, 110 Dunlin, 59 Brent Goose and 2 Shelduck. On Crouch Hill, the Dartford Warbler was again present; a couple of Treecreeper were in the North Scrubs; and 4 Great Crested Grebe were inside the harbour. 

December 27th

Kingfisher
Kingfisher – Scott Usher

It was a mild and windless day, which prompted some birds into early song – Song Thrush and Cetti’s Warbler, to name a couple. The Long-tailed Duck was again off Strides Boatyard for some of the day, with other birds at Stanpit including: the Spotted Redshank, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, a Tufted Duck and a couple of Pintail. A modicum of passerine interest was provided by: a Dartford Warbler on Crouch Hill – always a good bird at Stanpit; a Firecrest by the Viewing Platform on Wick; and a Bullfinch, also on Wick. Kingfisher were returned from both Stanpit and Wick. 

December 26th

In addition to the Long-tailed Duck off Fisherman’s Bank, a bird passed west at sea – seen from Mudeford Quay. Also from the quay, a Sandwich Tern, 3 Common Scoter west and a couple of Purple Sandpiper. 

December 25th

LongtailedDuckLongtailedDuckLongtailedDuck
Long–tailed Duck – Scott Usher (upper two) and Jackie Smith

Firstly, a very Happy Christmas to all!
As the photographs suggest, on an absolutely glorious, mid-winter’s day – clear skies and barely a hint of a breeze – the Long-tailed Duck showed very well from Fisherman’s Bank, before it moved further down the harbour towards the hotel. The calm waters also allowed another good total of in-harbour Great Crested Grebe to be ‘amassed’ – six birds. At sea, from Hengistbury, a Red-throated Diver passed east and 4 Common Scoter were settled; while the Wood held a single Firecrest. Today’s Black-tailed Godwit came to just 19 birds, along with 85 Dunlin, 62 Brent Goose and 4 Shelduck – the latter are always scarce during this period, so it’s good to have some coming back. To round of the post, at least 2 Kingfisher were about, but in all likelihood there are more. 

December 24th

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff – Robert Gray
Dunlin
Dunlin – Scott Usher

The Long-tailed Duck was again in Stanpit Creek. Although it had been to the northern extreme, it seemed to favour the waters off Strides Boatyard. Otherwise, there is little to mention save for: the Spotted Redshank close to the entrance to Stanpit; a Chiffchaff was also on the marsh; as were a couple of Kingfisher – those by the Bailey Bridge. 

December 23rd

GreatCrestedGrebe
Great Crested Grebe – Joy Aubin
Knot
Knot – Jackie Smith

A Long-tailed Duck was off Fisherman’s Bank this morning, until 11:15 at least, but couldn’t be found a little later. Also on the water inside the harbour, a total of 5 Great Crested Grebe – the best in-harbour figure for over four years. Moving to waders: the tame Knot continues to show well by The Pod, while the Spotted Redshank, 35 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Ringed Plover and 33 Dunlin were also at Stanpit; as were 75 Brent Goose, 3 Pintail and the Emperor Goose – the latter amongst trash presumably struggling to find grazing in the currently inundated Avon Valley. A couple of Kingfisher were again about and a Reed Bunting was on Crouch Hill. 

December 22nd

LesserBlackbackedGull
One of two third–winter Lesser Black-backed Gull which have been hanging around Mudeford Quay all winter - Jackie Smith

A relatively warm and clear winter’s day saw a Spoonbill cruise west past the Beach Huts this morning, with six, settled Common Scoter off there. A couple of Firecrest were in the Wood, while a wisp of 15 Snipe flew around Holloway’s Dock. To finish, there were perhaps as many as four Kingfisher on site today. 

December 21st

TuftedDuck
Tufted Duck – Scott Usher
Pintail
Pintail – Scott Usher

The news for the year’s shortest day involves: a male Marsh Harrier hunting either side of the river this morning; a drake Tufted Duck and at least 2 Pintail at Stanpit; a good estimate of 300 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Dunlin and 3 Turnstone inside the harbour; and a Kingfisher. 

December 20th

There is, unfortunately, no news to report for today. 

December 19th

All the news for the day comes from Stanpit, where 52 Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Dunlin and 94 Brent Goose were counted. 

December 18th

GreatCrestedGrebe
Great Crested Grebe – Robert Gray

The first news of the post comes from Stanpit, where the best was a Water Pipit, a female-type Marsh Harrier and Knot; along with 2 Ringed Plover, 28 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Pintail. The second phase is centred around a Hengistbury seawatch that produced: 14 Red-throated Diver – ten east, including a flock of seven, plus four coming out of the Solent which landed on the sea; 3 Great Northern Diver – two west, one east; a couple of unidentified divers; two auks; and the c15 Common Scoter on the sea, as well as two west. To conclude, 3 Treecreeper were on-site – two in the Wood and one in the North Scrubs – a potential day-record; the Wood also held 2 Firecrest; while Barn Bight hosted 2 Great Crested Grebe and 5 Little Grebe.

December 17th

Other than a quite exceptional, mid-winter count of 25 Linnet at Stanpit, the most-unexpected bird of a largely, damp day was a female Tufted Duck in Stanpit Creek, where a couple of Shoveler were also logged; while 2 Great Crested Grebe were further out in the harbour. To complete the wildfowl interest, the Pintail total rose to a dozen. Moving to waders, all at Stanpit, which included: a single Knot, 2 Grey Plover, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Ringed Plover and 170 Dunlin. Finishing off, there were 2 Water Pipit about the marsh, along with 14 Rock Pipit, presumed ‘Scandinavian’, and a reasonable total of 22 Pied Wagtail. 

December 16th

The only news for today is of a Firecrest near the Wick Ferry on the southern bank of the Stour. 

December 15th

High winds and an extremely high tide meant today’s WeBS figures probably don’t truly reflect the number of birds more regularly using the harbour. As always, when the Avon Valley floods the Black-tailed Godwit numbers rise – 260 at Stanpit today – along with 175 Dunlin and 6 Snipe; but no other waders of interest could be seen – contrast that with some previous posts of this week. Meanwhile, the best of the wildfowl was 2 Pintail, 66 Brent Goose, 446 Wigeon and 63 Teal; but only 77 Coot – where had they gone? Just one Kingfisher was returned. 

Barn Owl Cam
owlcam
Paul Turton, Jackie Smith and Dave Taylor have set-up a Barn Owl camera.
View the live feed