Sightings for the current month
A reasonable selection of terns off Mudeford Quay this morning comprised: 3 Little Tern, 15 Common Tern and 35 Sandwich Tern; while a couple of Whimbrel arrived, a Common Scoter headed towards the Solent and 7 Gannet fished in the bay. Meanwhile, from Fisherman’s Bank, there were a further 4 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Dunlin and 15 Curlew. Over on Wick, there were 3 Willow Warbler by the Wooden Bridge.
Poole Harbour Boat Cruise – Sunday 15th December
A morning cruising around the stunning and bird-rich waters of Poole Harbour. Full commentary by the Birds of Poole Harbour team; all from the comfort of a large, Brownsea Island ferry. Duration 10:00am to 1:30pm. Limited number of places available to CHOG on a first-come, first-served basis. More information on the Birds of Poole Harbour website. Prices £16.00. To reserve your place via CHOG, please contact Nick Whitehouse ASAP and by the 8th August at the latest.
Birds of Christchurch Harbour 2018 – Out Now
Over 120 pages and eight plates of colour photos, a full systematic bird list and many other interesting articles. The report retails for £7:00 or is free to members. Membership starts at £7.00, so why not Join CHOG to get your free copy.
Tides July 23rd: H01:40 | H05:15 | L09:05 | H14:10 | H17:45 | L21:30
The only news for the day is of the autumn's first Willow Warbler by the Wooden Bridge on Wick.
Tides July 22nd: H00:55 | H04:35 | L08:25 | H13:30 | H17:05 | L20:45
This afternoon, when the morning cloud gave way to sunshine, migrants waders around the Oystercatcher site, which is still in good order, included: single adults of Sanderling and Dunlin, which seemed inseparable; and a couple of adult Turnstone that was accompanied by a juvenile Dunlin. Earlier, the lingering Whimbrel was again in Holloway’s Dock. Otherwise, it’s just a juvenile Mediterranean Gull over Barn Bight and a Lesser Whitethroat on Wick to mention.
Oystercatcher – David Faulkner
There are thin pickings from a thoroughly damp day. In addition to a male Bullfinch on Wick, there was a Whimbrel and 4 Black-tailed Godwit inside the harbour, while a couple of adult Common Tern fed inside the harbour.
Other than the two Oystercatcher chicks still being alive and well, all the days news comes from an evening circuit of Stanpit; where a Greenshank, 4 Whimbrel and 3 Dunlin were the pick of the waders, as well as 28 Curlew, 43 Redshank and 28 Lapwing. A Common Gull was the first of the autumn, while 19 Mediterranean Gull were on site.
There are now 2 Oystercatcher chicks! – Gary Foyle
Two Whimbrel in Holloway's Dock and a pair of Little Grebe on the Ironstone Quarry, the latter presumably going for their now traditional late-season breeding routine, is the only news for the day. Moving back to the Oystercatcher breeding, it is now reckoned these are the first chicks in the recording area since 1956!
Oystercatcher chick and egg on Mudeford Sandspit – the first breeding in the recording area in living memory – Gary Foyle
The only news so far involves a single Common Tern west over the harbour and a Lesser Whitethroat on Wick.
Essex Skipper – Chris Chapleo
Small Skipper – both these near-identical species are currently on the wing at Hengistbury - Chris Chapleo
A Little Ringed Plover flew around Stanpit this morning, but wasn’t actually seen; while other waders there included: 5 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Dunlin and 42 Redshank. What was probably a further Whimbrel was in Holloway’s Dock and two adult Little Grebe were on the Ironstone Quarry.
In addition to an adult Yellow-legged Gull around Barn Bight, there were 8 Mediterranean Gull – four of them juveniles – at Stanpit. Also about the marsh during the morning, singles of Little Ringed Plover and Greenshank over, plus 4 Whimbrel and 5 Dunlin settled; while 25 Lapwing were on Wick Hams. By the evening, however, there were two decked Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, a further Whimbrel and an over-flying Black-tailed Godwit. Some of the Sandwich Tern which use the area are now coming out of their breeding plumage and three juvenile Stonechat were on Crouch Hill.
Mediterranean Gull with the inappropriately named Black–headed Gull at Stanpit last night - Scott Usher
This one a second–summer bird - Scott Usher
Greenshank – also from yesterday – Ian Wigley
Outside of the autumn passage period, House Martin are not easy to encounter in the area, so one around Wick Farm meadows this morning was something of a surprise. A Sedge Warbler was still in song in the same area and an adult Little Grebe was again on the Ironstone Quarry.
A Greenshank was in Holloway’s Dock this morning; while, viewable from Fisherman Bank, were four each of Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel, as well as 12 Dunlin.
There was a selection of juvenile gulls and terns off Mudeford Quay today; namely a Yellow-legged Gull, a Mediterranean Gull and 2 Sandwich Tern – the latter the first youngsters of the year to visit from a nearby colony. Also from the quay, a Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpiper; while a Greenshank was in Holloway’s Dock. Rounding up, an adult Little Grebe was on the Ironstone Quarry.
Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper – Scott Usher
Common Sandpiper – Scott Usher
It’s more travelling waders which make up the bulk of today’s post. A total of 4 Whimbrel were logged, but three quickly headed off to the east; as well as 2 Common Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Dunlin, plus 17 Curlew and 5 Redshank. The only other point of interest involves a couple of Gadwall.
The waders are now moving through, or returning to, Stanpit; as their breeding season further north draws to a close. The longer-distance migrants included: 4 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin and 2 Turnstone; while those travelling a shorter way comprised 20 Curlew, 26 Redshank and around 30 Oystercatcher. At least three, adult Mediterranean Gull were around, plus a single Common Tern.
Nine young Shelduck, accompanied by their parents, were in Barn Bight this morning; while 3 Black-tailed Godwit headed west over there. The only other snippet is of a Lesser Whitethroat again on Wick.
It was another very warm day, when the first juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of the year to cross the Channel and visit our recording area was seen from Mudeford Quay. Also from that spot, 4 Common Tern and a Fulmar.
Great Black–backed Gull – Robin Harley
The female Oystercatcher is still sitting tight on the nest – Robin Harley
There were probably 3 Common Sandpiper in the harbour today, as well as a big increase in Redshank to over 25 birds. Otherwise, however, it was slow going – just 2 Common Tern and Bullfinch from Wick, plus a pair of Mediterranean Gull over.
The fine run of weather continues and it just doesn’t seem right that birds are already returning from their spring travels. That said, a couple of Green Sandpiper over Stanpit were pretty much on cue for the date, with a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Dunlin, 15 Curlew and 35 Lapwing settled about the marsh. Meanwhile, and to the converse, a Lesser Whitethroat was in song on Wick – so may be thinking about a second brood. The only other news is of a Bullfinch by the Wooden Bridge.
Greenfinch – Roger Tidball
The best today was 5 Knot in breeding plumage, potentially still on their way to the far north; while a Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Dunlin and 12 Curlew were all almost certainly on the return trip. A couple of adult Mediterranean Gull passed west, an adult Little Grebe was on the Lily Pond and there was a fledge of Dartford Warbler on the Barn Field.
Despite the greyish tones to the plumage, when the more conventional literature shows them as brown, this is presumably a juvenile Cuckoo – Charlie Jarvis
The only news from today of two adult Mediterranean Gull west and 15 Black-tailed Godwit over the Barn Field. Some later news from a couple of nights ago, when 2 Tawny Owl were heard in the Wood - always something of an enigma in the recording area.
Tides July 1st: H00:25 | L03:25 | H08:40 | H12:10 | L15:45 | H20:55
Firstly, on the hottest day of the year by a country mile, some late news from yesterday; when 2 Tawny Owl were calling in the Wood after dark. Moving to today, a Red Kite was over Priory Marsh and at least 22 Mediterranean Gull were about, as were 6 Common Tern. The long-distance-migrant waders included a Knot, a Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpiper, while 5 Redshank had probably made a shorter journey. Rounding up, a family of Stonechat on Crouch Hill comprised of three young.
Tides June 30th: L02:40 | H07:55 | H11:10 | L15:00 | H20:15 | H23:35
A couple of Little Ringed Plover tucked away in Stanpit Bight were a nice record for the month, as was a Brent Goose seen from Mudeford Quay. Meanwhile, from Fisherman’s Bank, a Knot and a Common Sandpiper were notable, while 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Redshank and 10 Curlew were perhaps slightly more expected. A Fulmar moved west past the quay, 6 Common Tern headed in the opposite direction, a further bird fed in Barn Bight and 6 Mediterranean Gull were settled. Of breeding interest, around 75 Sand Martin by the Ironstone Quarry suggests a recent fledge; but more significantly, the female Oystercatcher is still sitting and the male is driving away gulls. Could it happen!
Two of yesterday's Avocet – Caroline Herbert
It was a fabulously hot day, but, unfortunately, no reports have been received.
There were 4 Avocet in Holloway’s Dock early this morning, when 4 Mediterranean Gull passed west and a Peregrine hunted over Hengistbury. Slightly later, from Mudeford Quay, the year’s first juvenile Black-headed Gull – two birds – were on site, along with 4 Common Tern, a Fulmar, a Whimbrel and 12 Curlew; plus 35 eastbound Swift.
Oystercatcher have not bred in the recording area for as long as anyone can remember, so this bird sitting on two eggs on the Sandspit is quite a revelation. Many thanks to BCP Council for acting so promptly and fencing off the area – Alan Hayden
Other than the surprise breeding interest, the event of the day was a first-summer Common Tern inside the harbour. This age of bird rarely ventures so far north. Also at Stanpit, all seen from Fisherman’s Bank in the morning, were: singles of Avocet, Knot and Dunlin, 5 Redshank, 10 Curlew and a further six Common Tern. Some recent, nocturnal visits to Hengistbury suggest a possible three churring Nightjar.
Despite the warm weather, there is no news from the harbour today. The field trip to the New Forest was a success, however, with honey buzzard being seen on three occasions. Thanks to Nick Whitehouse for organising the event.
Juvenile Goldfinch – Robert Gray
On a day of fine weather, the first juvenile Mediterranean Gull to visit the area – thirteen of them, all but one over – were logged, as well as two returning Whimbrel and 10 Curlew. A Cuckoo was either remaining or also on its way back, while a male Bullfinch, presumably a breeder, was on Wick.
Skylark – Leo Pyke
The year's longest day, certainly doesn't mean the year's longest post! A total of 16 Black-tailed Godwit and at least 2 Redshank were around Barn Bight, and a Common Tern left the harbour over there. The only other news, however, is of a Lesser Whitethroat on Wick and a juvenile Dartford Warbler on the Long Field.
Again, there is little news; save for 2 Lesser Whitethroat and a female Bullfinch on Wick.
Kestrel – Roger Tidball
Common Tern – Jackie Smith
There was a reasonable selection of birds to be seen from Mudeford Quay this morning, including2 Little Tern, 18 Common Tern, a couple of Eider and 8 Common Scoter. Meanwhile, a Hobby passed over Wick Hams and four fledged Lesser Whitethroat were on Wick. Otherwise, it’s just 8 Mediterranean Gull – four west and four roosting – plus singles of Lapwing and Curlew to remark upon.
A couple of Knot heading west over the Barn Field were quite a record for the date, but the only other news involves a Kingfisher on Wick and a close-in Fulmar.
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.
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 |
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 |
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.
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.
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....
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 |
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
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.
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.
The news from today is all from Stanpit, where there was a Hobby, a Cuckoo, 2 Dunlin and a Bar-tailed Godwit.
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.
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.
The only news from a day of very fine weather is of a Cuckoo on Wick Fields and 4 Mediterranean Gull passing east.
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.
There are, unfortunately, no reports for today.
Tides June 2nd: H00:30 | L04:10 | H09:20 | H12:55 | L16:30 | H21:30
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
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.
Song–flighting Whitethroat - Alan Crockard
The only news for the day is of a Cuckoo on Wick.
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.
Reed Warbler – Jackie Smith
Whitethroat – Jackie Smith
There are, unfortunately, no reports for today.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.