Sightings for the current month

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.

MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTIONS
These are now due for 2020. Indoor and Outdoor Events have been updated - see the Meetings button to the top left. All events are free to members. The easiest way to join is online....

Tides January 26th: H01:15 | L04:55 | H09:40 | H13:25 | L17:15 | H22:15

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. 

December 14th

The brisk westerly wind made it uncomfortable today, when only an adult Yellow-legged Gull on the roof of the Haven House Inn, late in the afternoon, and a Knot at Stanpit make the post.  

December 13th

Kingfisher
Kingfisher – Robert Gray

Although the wind came from the west, it was bitingly cold. Early on, two each of Marsh Harrier and Peregrine were over the harbour; while a couple of Red-breasted Merganser passed west at sea. From Fisherman’s Bank, an Avocet, the Spotted Redshank, a Knot, 55 Black-tailed Godwit, 175 Dunlin and 12 Snipe make the post. To finish, a Bullfinch was on Wick and at least 2 Kingfisher were in that area. 

December 12th

The only news comes from Mudeford Quay and involves 2 Kittiwake and a Fulmar west, plus a Red-throated Diver east. 

December 11th

Knot
Knot – Jackie Smith
BlueTit&Goldfinch
Blue Tit & Goldfinch – Jackie Smith

A couple of Water Pipit were at Stanpit this morning – by the Rusty Boat – while four presumed, littoralis Rock Pipit were by the Pod. A Jack Snipe was in the North Scrubs, with other waders about the marsh including: the Spotted Redshank, 2 Knot, 12 Grey Plover, the now-solitary Bar-tailed Godwit and over 125 Black-tailed Godwit. Finishing for that part of the recording area, there were also three each of Pintail and Shoveler. Over at the Beach Huts, a Red-throated Diver moved west and the c15 Common Scoter were again settled. A total of 7 Redwing passed over the Wood, a Chiffchaff was by the HHC and 7 Little Grebe were in Barn Bight. 

December 10th

Pintail x Mallard Hybrid
 As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, here is the presumed Pintail x Mallard hybrid that has been at Stanpit - Dave Green

The only reports for today come from a stormy seawatch at Beach Huts, where a Fulmar - always a good winter bird - 5 Red-breasted Merganser - two, one and two - and 8 Gannet passed to the west. The 15 or so Common Scoter remained settled, while singles of Sanderling and Purple Sandpiper were on the sand and groynes respectively. 

December 9th

Teal
Teal – Robert Gray

Despite the fine weather, there is very little news to report. A male Bullfinch was along the Central Path on Wick, with at least 5 Goldcrest also about the fields. A Kingfisher was logged, as well as a good count of 18 Curlew in the recently-improved-by-BCP meadows. 

December 8th

Another day of extremely thin pickings, with a Water Rail on Wick being the only notable report.

December 7th

The only news comes from Wick and involves just a couple of Goldcrest a 3 Snipe by the Wooden Bridge. 

December 6th

Despite a strong south-westerly wind, the sea was a real disappointment this morning, when just singles of adult Mediterranean Gull and Black-tailed Godwit passed west by the Beach Huts, and around 15 Common Scoter – all female-types – were settled. Meanwhile, at least 2 Chiffchaff were on Wick and a Treecreeper, 5 Redwing and a Kingfisher were returned from Hengistbury.

December 5th

BlacktailedGodwit
Black–tailed Godwit - Robert Gray
GreyPlover
Grey Plover – Ray Scott

At Stanpit today, there were: the Spotted Redshank, a Knot, 12 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 27 Black-tailed Godwit, 75 Ringed Plover and 230 Dunlin; as well as a low number of Brent Goose – just 19 birds – 4 Pintail and a Mediterranean Gull. On Hengistbury, there were 23 Lapwing on the Barn Field, perhaps birds displaced from elsewhere by the recent frosts, and 15 Common Scoter were on the sea. To finish this short post, a couple of Kingfisher were logged.

December 4th

Lapwing
Lapwing – Robert Gray

The only news for today comes from an afternoon visit to Stanpit, where a pair of Goosander looked as if they may have been drifting to roost in Barn Bight. Another roost-time piece of interest was the male Marsh Harrier heading off high to the east, presumably to join the Keyhaven dormitory. Before moving to the routine, a drake Tufted Duck is worthy of note. Waders, however, seem to have dropped dramatically since some recently notable high counts; for example, 8 Grey Plover, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Ringed Plover and 186 Dunlin. The remaining snippets are courtesy of 4 Little Grebe and a Kingfisher. 

December 3rd

Goldcrest
Goldcrest – Jackie Smith
TreecreeperTreecreeper
Treecreeper – Jackie Smith
Chiffchaff
... and Chiffchaff; all in the North Scrubs today – Jackie Smith

Despite another day of fantastic weather, other than the photographed birds there is nothing else to report. 

December 2nd

Greenshank
Greenshank – Alan Crockard
Redshank
Redshank – Robert Gray

It was a glorious, winter’s day – early frost, clear skies and a mild wind. This evening, a medium-sized grebe was with 7 Great Crested Grebe on the sea, just east of Mudeford Quay. Earlier, at Stanpit, there had been a Greenshank, 2 Knot and 6 Grey Plover, plus ten grounded Skylark, 3 Pintail, 5 Shoveler and 12 Shelduck. In addition, there was a drake Pintail-Mallard hybrid and it’s hoped permission will follow for a photo to be posted. 

December 1st

A very unusual record for the date was of a White Wagtail – a male – with 7 Pied Wagtail at Stanpit. Wick held the more-expected: namely, a Marsh Harrier – an all-brown bird with no cream colours showing at all – as well as a couple of Chiffchaff. 

November 30th

BlacktailedGodwit
Black–tailed Godwit – Roger Tidball

Late this afternoon, when 3 Marsh Harrier were hunting over Central Marsh, a Long-tailed Duck and 8 Common Scoter moved past Mudeford Quay towards the Solent, while 4 Red-throated Diver headed in the opposite direction. Slightly earlier, a party of three, immature Spoonbill had passed west over Wick Fields, where 5 Bullfinch were present, along with 3 Chiffchaff and 11 Redwing. The morning saw a fine total of Black-tailed Godwit – 480 birds – at Stanpit, presumably attracted to the general areas by the recently flooded Avon Valley, as well as a single Bar-tailed Godwit. Rounding up, a Peregrine was seen from several locations. 

November 29th

There was a decent selection of birds logged from Fisherman’s Bank this morning, comprising: 2 Water Pipit; a Ruff, a Jack Snipe, a Greenshank, the Spotted Redshank, 2 Knot, 8 Grey Plover, 5 Sanderling, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 525 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Ringed Plover, 315 Dunlin, 22 Snipe and 6 Turnstone – the ‘blackwit’ and Dunlin totals being very notable; and 3 Pintail. This afternoon, at Mudeford Quay, a couple of Goosander and a Guillemot passed east, while a Red-throated Diver was settled. 

November 28th

Greenfinch
One of 40 Greenfinch around Crouch Hill today – Ray Scott

Omitted from last night’s post were the frequent calls of Redwing over Mudeford Quay after dark, so 114 north over Hengistbury this morning was presumably the tail-end of that movement, which also comprised a Ring Ouzel, 10 Fieldfare and a Grey Wagtail. Meanwhile, other late-in-the-season movers included 4 Crossbill, 60 Chaffinch, 8 Linnet, a Grey Wagtail and 150 Woodpigeon. Equally late on their travels were at least 4 Chiffchaff on the head, but 4 Firecrest and a Treecreeper are now probably settled in for the winter. A Water Pipit in Holloway’s Dock is an excellent record for that spot; while a short seawatch produced a Great Northern Diver west, 2 Red-throated Diver east and 4 Common Scoter. Typically, most of the wader news is from Stanpit, where 5 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Ringed Plover and 165 Dunlin were logged; but Hengistbury did return 45 Black-tailed Godwit. Finishing this up: a male Marsh Harrier was a Stanpit; a Mediterranean Gull arrived over the Barn Field; 4 Bullfinch were by the Wooden Bridge; 3 Little Grebe were in Barn Bight; and at least 3 Kingfisher were in the same sort of area. The post can’t finish without mention of a whale that cruised west past the sandspit – although the ID is not yet certain. There are photographs, however, which are being circulated for some expert opinion. 

November 27th

Bullfinch
Bullfinch – Jackie Smith
BrentGoose
Brent Goose – Scott Usher
FloodedStanpit
..and a flooded Stanpit – Robert Gray

The very high, high tide pushed birds out of their normally secret spots this morning – the best a Bittern seen moving between East Marsh and Central Marsh – as well as thirty-two airborne Snipe over the Wick side of the area, and at least 150 Black-tailed Godwit. Back at Stanpit, the other waders reported were the Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank, the latter a good record for the mid-winter months; while the Pintail increased to seven. Finishing up, a male Bullfinch was around Solent Meads and a couple of Kingfisher were about the Wick Hams/Barn Bight area; where, with a little patience, they are currently near-guaranteed. 

November 26th

Goldcrest
Goldcrest – Robert Gray

Heavy, overnight rain and a strong, southerly wind brought 2 Little Gull – an adult and a first-winter – to the Run this morning; the latter remaining all day. Also seen from Mudeford Quay, 2 Sandwich Tern, 8 Mediterranean Gull, the same number of Gannet and 4 Purple Sandpiper. 

November 25th

SnipeSnipe
Snipe – Jackie Smith

The only news for the day is of 2 Fieldfare and a Chiffchaff – all on Wick.   

November 24th

CarrionCrow
A couple of Carrion Crow were seen to work in tandem to catch, in flight, this Black–tailed Godwit, which was presumably sick – Scott Usher
CommonSeal
Although not seen today, here is another image of yesterday's Common Seal – Scott Usher

The bulk of the news from a mild and almost windless day comes from Stanpit, where a Goosander was in Stanpit Bight this morning, along with the 3 Pintail and 2 Shoveler. A Water Pipit was also present, as were six presumed littoralis Rock Pipit and 4 Chiffchaff. A total of 18 Grey Plover was logged, as well as 2 Knot, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 75 Black-tailed Godwit. Meanwhile, a male Marsh Harrier was seen from various locations.  

November 23rd

CommonSealCommonSeal
Common Seal – Jackie Smith
GreatTit
 House Sparrow and Great Tit – Jackie Smith

A first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was at Stanpit this morning, along with a couple of Marsh Harrier, the Spotted Redshank, a Knot, 22 Grey Plover and 45 Black-tailed Godwit; plus a Kingfisher. The real interest, however, came from a seemingly healthy Common Seal hauled out on East Marsh. 

November 22nd

Most of the news from an intermittently wet day comes from Stanpit, where an adult Caspian Gull was on the tip of South Marsh for a while. Wader-wise, in addition to a Jack Snipe, there was another good Grey Plover return – 19 birds – as well as the Spotted Redshank, 2 Knot, 120 Black-tailed Godwit, 23 Snipe, and ‘many’ of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Meanwhile, a couple of Marsh Harrier were about, as were 12 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Pintail and 4 Shoveler. Over at Hengistbury, the best came from a single Red-throated Diver and a flock of six adult Mediterranean Gull, all west at sea; plus a Kingfisher on the Wick Hams fence posts, which seems pretty much a constant this winter. 

November 21st

Wigeon
Wigeon – Alan Crockard

Despite the published air temperatures – as high as 10C – the cruel south-easterly wind made it very uncomfortable today. At Stanpit, however, a morning visit suggested there had been a significant influx of waders, which included 30 Grey Plover, 100 Ringed Plover and 250 Dunlin; but there were only around 50 Lapwing – the days of 1000+, which actually was not that long ago, seem like a distant memory. At Wick, a couple of Chiffchaff were present, along with a male Bullfinch. Otherwise it’s just singles of Peregrine and Kingfisher to mention. 

November 20th

A Velvet Scoter was settled off Mudeford Quay late this afternoon, in the company of 8 Common Scoter, when a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was coming to chips, and singles of Mediterranean Gull and Common Gull were present. Earlier in the day, a watch from the Beach Huts totalled 32 Common Scoter on the water in the three distinct rafts, as well as 3 Mediterranean Gull and 4 Gannet. A Firecrest was in the Wood, a male Marsh Harrier hunted Stanpit, a Great Crested Grebe was in Barn Bight and a Kingfisher was nearby. 

November 19th

It was a damp, cold day, with little reported. What there was, however, was pretty good. A first-winter Caspian Gull in Barn Bight this morning and Mudeford Quay producing three settled Eider and 2 Goldeneye – both redheads – west; the latter now a shadow of its previous status in the area. 

November 18th

Pintail
Pintail – Ian Wigley
Buzzard
Buzzard – Jackie Smith

Despite the fantastic weather, albeit a little cold in the generally north breeze, there is little to report. In fact, just 3 Pintail at Stanpit – two drakes and a duck – plus a Buzzard over Stanpit Bight, which is not commonplace. 

November 17th

Jay
Jay – Robert Gray

At least 2 Jack Snipe came up off the Salt Hurns this morning, when a male Marsh Harrier hunted the area. The WeBS counters enjoyed some dry, if not cold weather, with the more notable being: a Knot, 3 Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 86 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover and 89 Dunlin; plus 566 Wigeon, 3 Pintail and 2 Shoveler. Rounding up, Kingfisher were everywhere!

November 16th

Shag
Shag, a rarely photographed bird in the area – Jackie Smith
Knot
Knot – Jackie Smith
MarshHarrier
Adult male Marsh Harrier – Jackie Smith

The only significant news from a quiet day is of 3 Marsh Harrier in the harbour at the same time this morning – an adult male and two female-type birds – a couple of Firecrest in the Wood and a Great Northern Diver close to the Long Groyne. Meanwhile, a Knot was in Holloway’s Dock and an adult Mediterranean Gull was at sea. The information services carry a report of a Hen Harrier at Stanpit – presumably the bird seen heading south from Coward’s Marsh, which is a couple of kilometres north of the recording area.  

November 15th

Firecrest
Firecrest – Alan Crockard

A couple of Great Bustard – a male and a female, both in heavy wing moult – were about the area for an hour or so this morning. Initially seen flying over the Barn Field, they then headed along the sandspit, circuited the harbour and came down on top of Hengistbury; after a short while, however, they lifted and headed off towards Highcliffe and Barton. Meanwhile, there were 2 Great Northern Diver, one still in a good deal of breeding plumage, settled just off the Beach Huts, plus a Red-throated Diver on the water off the Double Dykes. In addition, singles of each passed to the west. A very late House Martin was over Hengistbury, where at least 2 Firecrest were again in the Wood. At Stanpit, there was a Siberian-looking Chiffchaff, but it remained quiet, along with a Water Pipit and 7 Rock Pipit. Wetland birds there included: a Jack Snipe, 9 Knot, 6 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 75 Black-tailed Godwit, 80 Dunlin and 12 Snipe; as well as a Goosander. A total of 3 Marsh Harrier was returned – an adult male and two female-types; a Grey Wagtail and 18 Turnstone were on Mudeford Quay; and Kingfisher were at Wick Hams and Stanpit. 

November 14th

GreyWagtail
Grey Wagtail – Robert Gray
CoalTit
Coal Tit – Alan Crockard

There was a nice selection of birds at Stanpit this morning, including: 2 Marsh Harrier, the male and a female-type, the Spotted Redshank, 9 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 60 Ringed Plover and 100 Dunlin; as well as a drake Tufted Duck that eventually departed with a pair of Mallard, 5 Mediterranean Gull and 6 Common Gull. Meanwhile, at Hengistbury, there was a minimum of 6 Firecrest in the Wood, along with a Chiffchaff; a further four ‘chiffs’ were on Wick and a couple of Siskin passed over Whitepits. This evening, a Red-throated Diver was settled off Mudeford Quay, and 45 Mediterranean Gull and 22 Common Gull were counted there. At least 3 Kingfisher were around today. 

November 13th

A ringtail Hen Harrier arrived over the Beach Huts this morning, when at least 3 Firecrest were in the Wood and a couple of Marsh Harrier – the adult male and a female-type bird – were about. Moving back to the huts, from where 35 Common Scoter could be seen on the water and a Razorbill headed west. The only news from Wick is of 6 Chiffchaff; while the late watch at Mudeford Quay produced 55 Mediterranean Gull, but today only 12 Common Gull; also a pale-bellied Brent Goose. Wrapping up, a Kingfisher was in Barn Bight and a Red Admiral butterfly was on the wing. 

November 12th

The male Marsh Harrier was again around Stanpit this morning, when 68 Brent Goose and a Kingfisher were on the northern edge of Crouch Hill. Also on the marsh, a reasonably notable flock of Skylark – sixteen coming up from Grimmery Marsh. Meanwhile, 4 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit, along with a total of 32 Ringed Plover roosting out the tide there. The last hour of daylight at Mudeford Quay was, once more, good for gulls, including: 2 Yellow-legged Gull – a first-winter and a third-winter – 25 Mediterranean Gull and 110 Common Gull. In addition, around 25 Common Scoter were settled offshore.

November 11th

RockPipit
Presumed British – petrosus - Rock Pipit – Clinton Whale

All the news from a fine day, albeit it a little cold in the wind, comes from Hengistbury and Wick. The former site turned in: a Mistle Thrush, a Redpoll, 3 Firecrest, a Chiffchaff and a Red-throated Diver; the diver settled on the water off the Beach Huts. Meanwhile, the latter area contributed: a male Marsh Harrier and a Buzzard; 5 Chiffchaff; and a Kingfisher. 

November 10th

Bullfinch
Bullfinch – Jackie Smith

Those who came to the CHOG-led, HOS walk this morning were treated to point-blank views of 2 Firecrest around the Double Bends, equally close encounters with up to 7 Dartford Warbler and prolonged views of at least 2 Kingfisher. There is currently a good presence of Bullfinch about the area – a couple in the North Scrubs this morning and one on Wick. Meanwhile, a few Chiffchaff are still about – five on Wick and one in the Wood. Early on, a couple of Marsh Harrier were high to the north of the area; then later, as the sun warmed things, a Swallow fed around the Ironstone Quarry, over which a Siskin passed.  

November 9th

Goldcrest
Goldcrest – Alan Crockard

The first couple of hours of daylight were cold and clear, but then the rain set-in. A Stone Curlew went west at Hengistbury Head early on, but there are no further details. Other than 3 Redpoll at the end of the head, however, all the other news comes from Stanpit. A female Pochard was in Stanpit Bight, while a Bullfinch lifted out of the North Scrubs as the sun came up. The dawn saw a flurry of Woodpigeon, but it soon petered out – perhaps 1000 birds to the west. Later, the male Marsh Harrier hunted the area, with 6 Grey Plover, 4 Pintail and 70 Brent Goose being returned. Wrapping up, there do seem to be a good number of Kingfisher about – three being the minimum today, but many more actual sightings. 

November 8th

Kingfisher
Kingfisher – Clinton Whale
Magpie
Magpie – Jackie Smith
GreyPlover
Grey Plover – Clinton Whale

It was a day of mixed weather. A clear dawn saw pigeons start to move, but sadly no more details in terms of numbers. Once the cloud set-in, however, the sea was given some attention from the Beach Huts and produced singles of Black-throated Diver and Red-throated Diver east and a Sandwich Tern, plus at least 45 Common Scoter and a Common Scoter settled. Inside the harbour, at Stanpit, the waders came to a Knot, 6 Grey Plover, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Ringed Plover and50 Dunlin; plus 2 Pintail, 78 Brent Goose, 9 Common Gull and 4 Kingfisher on the marsh. Over to Wick, where 5 Chiffchaff and 11 Goldcrest were on the fields, and a Grey Wagtail was on the meadows. The late afternoon at Mudeford Quay saw an adult Little Gull inside the harbour off the Harbour Hotel, as well as 3 Eider passing east and a couple of Great Crested Grebe. Rounding up, a Peregrine hunted over Hengsitbury. 

November 7th

Goldfinch
Goldfinch – Jackie Smith
Raven
Raven – Jackie Smith

There are a few bits and pieces today. Two Bullfinch were on Wick, as were 7 Chiiffchaff, and 3 Water Rail could be seen there; a couple of Swallow flew low over the Run and a Grey Wagtail was on Mudeford Quay; and, a Knot was at Stanpit, along with 64 Brent Goose and 2 Kingfisher. 

November 6th

RockPipit
Rock Pipit – Scott Usher

It was the perfect combination of a single-digit date in November and clear skies – so came the Woodpigeon! The total for the first couple of hours of daylight was 25000, seen from the top of Hengistbury as they approached from the New Forest and headed south-west out over Poole Bay. Also from that spot, a Snow Bunting over and a Red-necked Grebe that passed close inshore to the east. Elsewhere on the head, there were 5 Firecrest and a Treecreeper in the Wood; while looking over to Stanpit produced: 2 Sandwich Tern, a drake Pintail, 52 Ringed Plover and 8 Common Gull. 

November 5th

Bullfinch
One of the Bullfinch flock – Jackie Smith
Greenfinch
Greenfinch – Clinton Whale

The rarest bird of the day by far was a ‘Scandinavian’ Herring Gull, race argentatus, that was tucked inside the harbour by its namesake hotel this morning. Meanwhile, a Black Redstart was by the Beach House café and what could be the group’s largest-ever gathering of Bullfinch – eight birds – was in the North Scrubs, Stanpit, briefly. There were also at least 2 Water Pipit and the male Marsh Harrier about the marsh; where a Knot, 3 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 47 Ringed Plover and 38 Dunlin were counted; as well as four drake Pintail, 368 Wigeon and 72 Brent Goose. 

November 4th

Goosander
Goosander – Clinton Whale
PurpleSandpiper
Purple Sandpiper – Clinton Whale

It was another largely wet day, during which the highlights comprised: a Great White Egret at Stanpit; a Spoonbil heading south-west; the male Marsh Harrier hunting Wick Hams; the three, now-semi-regular Goosander in Barn Bight; and 2 Purple Sandpiper on the sandspit. The day’s only Firecrest came from Stanpit Scrubs, while up to 20 Chiffchaff were spread across the site, a Blackcap was on Wick and couple of Swallow passed through at Stanpit, where a couple of Pintail were present.

November 3rd

KingfisherKingfisher
Kingfisher – Jackie Smith
PiedWagtail
Pied Wagtail – Robert Gray
Waders
...and Ringed Plover & Dunlin on the sandspit – Clinton Whale

The very well-attended – 35 participants - outdoor meeting at Hengistbury this morning enjoyed: adult males of Bearded Tit and Marsh Harrier at Wick Hams, 3 Firecrest, a Great Northern Diver, Common Scoter, a Water Rail and 3 Dartford Warbler. Meanwhile, a Red-throated Diver was also on the water off the head and a Treecreeper was in the Wood. In addition to 59 Ringed Plover and 28 Dunlin on the sandspit, at Stanpit there were: a Ruff, the Spotted Redshank, 4 Knot, 9 Grey Plover, 3 Sanderling, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit and 85 Black-tailed Godwit; as well as a Merlin, 2 Pintail, 3 Gadwall and at least 2 Kingfisher.  

November 2nd

Peregrine
Peregrine – Scott Usher
SpottedRedhank&MediterraneanGull
Spotted Redshank and adult Mediterranean Gull – Scott Usher
PurpleSandpiper
...and one of only a handful of Purple Sandpiper ever recorded at Stanpit – Scott Usher

With the Needles experiencing hurricane-force gusts – 69 knots the peak – this morning, the sea of course got the attention. Other than Common Scoter, however, a 4-hour watch from the Beach Huts was perhaps quieter than usual; in fact, after two hours only five species had been recorded. The Common Scoter were remarkable though, not least in that all but three of the 115 which generally drifted west were female-type birds; so presumably almost entirely youngsters. Also from the huts: two young Kittiwake, 4 Gannet, 2 Wigeon, 9 Brent Goose and 3 Common Gull; while 3 Purple Sandpiper and 2 Sanderling were on the sandspit; and a flock of 24 Linnet came in-off – quite remarkable in such conditions! Mudeford Quay saw far fewer numbers overall, but did get a Velvet Scoter, 2 Little Gull and 5 Mediterranean Gull. By far the best record for this post is a Purple Sandpiper inside the harbour, around Stanpit Bight, where the Spotted Redshank and a couple of Pintail were also present. Once we get into November, Swallow is a premium species – one over this afternoon – and 2 Firecrest were in the Wood. 

November 1st

BrentGoose
Juvenile Brent Goose – Clinton Whale

The probable highlight, given their rapidly-declining numbers, was a ringtail Hen Harrier west past Mudeford Quay; from where a settled Velvet Scoter was seen making a short flight and a skua was in amongst the distant feeding-flock of gulls. A November Willow Warbler is always nice and one at Solent Meads got a good grilling, but showed all the features of a western bird as it fed in the company of 3 Chiffchaff; also 4 Redwing in that area. At Stanpit, a party of three, redhead Goosander were watching flying up river, while 3 Pintail, as well as singles of Shoveler and Gadwall, were present. The waders about the marsh included: 2 Knot, 7 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Ringed Plover and 60 Dunlin; plus a lone, adult Mediterranean Gull and a Kingfisher. Rounding up, the Hengistbury news with details where known. A couple of Yellow-browed Warbler – one in the Wood and on at the end of the head; 7 Firecrest in the Wood; a Lapland Bunting over; a Merlin; a Black-throated Diver; and a flock of 60 Common Scoter on the sea. 

October 31st

MarshHarrier
Adult male Marsh Harrier – Jackie Smith

The wildfowl theme continues today. Starting at Stanpit, where the following were returned: 3 Scaup, a Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck, two pale-bellied Brent Goose, fourteen juvenile Brent Goose amongst an undisclosed number of adults, 12 Shoveler, 8 Pintail, 6 Gadwall and 175 Teal. Meanwhile, at sea, passing east were: 2 Velvet Scoter, 58 Common Scoter, an Eider, 6 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Tufted Duck, 119 Wigeon, 37 Teal and a Mallard, as well as 3 Red-throated Diver and an unidentified diver. Bucking the trend, a further Red-throated Diver and 8 Teal went west; while 3 Grey Heron came in-off. Gull-wise, it was less interesting than yesterday, although a Kittiwake and 12 Mediterranean Gull headed west and a further of the latter went in the opposite direction. Waders on the move included, 2 Knot and 7 Sanderling east offshore, with 3 Knot, a Golden Plover, 6 Grey Plover, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 75 Black-tailed Godwit and 25 Snipe at Stanpit. As expected for the date, thrushes trickled over – a Mistle Thrush, 5 Fieldfare, 18 Redwing and 2 Song Thrush being the detail – and settled notables included 4 Firecrest in the Wood. Rounding up, a sign of the times is that a Great White Egret appears in the last sentence of the post, along with adults of Marsh Harrier, the male, and a Peregrine about, plus a Kingfisher on Wick Hams. 

October 30th

Firecrest
One of the recent Firecrest – Samuel Levy

There was a good movement of wildfowl past Hengistbury this morning, including 8 Scaup, 3 Velvet Scoter, 3 Eider – all adult drakes, so definitely not Solent birds, 2 Goosander, 2 Tufted Duck and 2 Gadwall; all east, except for one of the scoter and the Gadwall. The fun hadn’t finished by the afternoon, however, when 4 Velvet Scoter arrived from the east, and a Red-necked Grebe and 3 Red-breasted Merganser headed west. Meanwhile, a Goldeneye – a brown-headed bird and nowadays a local scarcity – was inside the harbour, as were 5 Tufted Duck, 4 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall and a Shelduck. The morning also saw 9 Little Gull head west, including a flock of nine, plus a Kittiwake, 2 Red-throated Diver and a Merlin in the same direction; as well as 5 Golden Plover and a Grey Plover east. Later on, 110 Mediterranean Gull and 35 Common Gull were seen from the quay as they went to the Christchurch Bay roost, and a Great Skua was in amongst the feeding-flock that had been offshore all day. Just after dawn, a Yellow-browed Warbler was calling in the Long Field and a Bearded Tit did the same in Wick Hams. To finish this off, the in-harbour wader returns were: 3 Knot, 3 Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, and 55 Black-tailed Godwit; with 12 Skylark and 10 Swallow also being logged at Stanpit. 

October 29th

Knot
Knot – Clinton Whale

The day saw a small arrival of fresh-in wildfowl, including 2 Pochard, a Tufted Duck, 2 Shoveler and an increase to eleven juvenile Brent Goose; while a couple of Pintail may have been the same as yesterday. In addition to a Knot on the sandspit, there were 2 Grey Plover, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 45 Black-tailed Godwit, 70 Ringed Plover, 35 Dunlin, 8 Turnstone and 14 Snipe at Stanpit. Passerines, meanwhile, were lower than the previous period – the numbers from Wick to the Wood being: a Firecrest, 10 Goldcrest, 7 Chiffchaff and a Blackcap.


October 28th

The late afternoon saw an excellent gathering of gulls on the sandbar in the Run – the best being a juvenile Sabine’s Gull that spent a few minutes there, before heading into Christchurch Bay; perhaps to roost? In addition, there were two first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, over 55 Mediterranean Gull and 65 Common Gull. Earlier, at least 36 ‘Meds’ had been logged at Stanpit. Passerines also provided interest – a Woodlark settled on Crouch Hill, a Yellow-browed Warbler calling on Wick Fields and 2 Bearded Tit in Wick Hams being the best. The support, however, came from a clear influx of Goldcrest, with an estimated forty across the southern side of area; as well as around 25 Chiffchaff spread about, a Water Pipit again on Stanpit, a total of 3 Mistle Thrush over and 3 Bullfinch settled. There was a hint of Woodpigeon passage – 121 counted – but finches were modest, although a single Redpoll is worthy of note this season. At sea, a Red-throated Diver and 6 Common Scoter headed east, while 2 Marsh Harrier – a male and a female-type – were hunting the reeds on both sides of the river. Rounding up a good day, there were: 2 Knot, 3 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 32 Ringed Plover at Stanpit; plus two each of Tufted Duck and Pintail there; and a minimum of 3 Kingfisher were on site. 

October 27th

Wigeon
Drake Wigeon moulting from eclipse – Clinton Whale
EmperorGoose
The regular Emperor Goose – David Faulkner

It was a glorious, late-autumn day with little wind and largely clear, blue skies. A Black Redstart was at Stanpit this morning, on rooves adjacent to the Old Council Depot; while 3 Water Pipit were on Central Marsh, just north of Crouch Hill, and a Firecrest and 2 Bullfinch were also logged. During the afternoon, a male Marsh Harrier hunted the Wick side of the river, when a couple of Red-throated Diver, 3 Sandwich Tern and 9 Mediterranean Gull were seen from Mudeford Quay; the divers heading towards the Solent. 

October 26th

It was an extremely wet and windy day, which limited activity to seawatching from Mudeford Quay. It was all a bit of a disappointment, however, with over three hours producing just: 10 Common Scoter, a second-winter Mediterranean Gull and 15 Gannet; plus an arriving Shelduck and three, likewise Wigeon. 

October 25th

BrentGoose
The first Brent Goose family of the season – David Faulkner

On a blustery day, a Yellow-browed Warbler was by HHC during the morning, when a Long-tailed Duck passed east close to Mudeford Quay and a Little Gull was seen from the Beach Huts. Also seen from the huts, a reasonable movement of auks – thought to be mainly Guillemot from those close enough to be identified – with over 150 birds moving west. Despite the conditions, there were frequent charms of Goldfinch passing over the end of Hengistbury. 

October 24th

The area was given a good looking-over before the rain set in and there were certainly new birds about. A Water Pipit and a family party of Brent Goose with five young were at Stanpit; a Short-eared Owl, a Ring Ouzel and a calling Siberian Chiffchaff were on Hengistbury; a female-type Black Redstart was by the Beach House Café on the Sandspit; and a reckoned influx of Robin was noted on Wick, where at least 50 birds were encountered, as well as a Redwing. In contrast, there seemed to have been a clear-out of Chiffchaff – just six noted today – but there were 2 Firecrest and 5 Goldcrest about. The only other news involves a ‘commic’ Tern at Stanpit, where 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, 35 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Shoveler were also logged. 

October 23rd

WaterRail
Water Rail – David Faulkner
Fox
Fox – Robert Gray

Other than a single Sandwich Tern off the sandspit and 3 Kingfisher at Stanpit, there is no news for the day. 

October 22nd

Wren
Wren – Clinton Whale
Kingfisher
Kingfisher – Jackie Smith
Sunrise
...and Hengistbury sunrise – Clinton Whale

There is a fair bit to mention today – the highlights being: a Short-eared Owl that hunted Wick Fields mid-morning; a Ring Ouzel in an Argyle Road garden; 2 Marsh Harrier – an adult male, a younger male and a juvenile, all at Stanpit; and 3 Jack Snipe around Crouch Hill. Meanwhile, the slightly-more-routine fare included: 2 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaff and a Bullfinch on Wick; 3 Grey Plover, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit and 65 Black-tailed Godwit around Stanpit Bight; and the Emperor Goose with the ‘canadas’ and ‘greylags’. Finally, the Kingfisher news – birds seen in Parky Meade Rail and the north-west corner of Stanpit Bight. 

October 21st

Pochard
Pochard – Jackie Smith
Shoveler
Shoveler – Jackie Smith
Stonechat
Stonechat – Clinton Whale

Pochard is nowadays a very scarce bird in the area, so a flock of six – five of them adult drakes – resting in Stanpit Bight this evening was quite a surprise. Other wildfowl of interest there, included: a pair of Shoveler and just over 50 Brent Goose, of which all were adults. Meanwhile, the high tide made wader counting difficult, but there were 2 Avocet, which had arrived during the morning, a few Bar-tailed Godwit and around 40 Black-tailed Godwit. Also 3 Kingfisher about the marsh. 

October 20th

Sparrowhawk
Sparrowhawk – Scott Usher

There was a late Willow Warbler on Wick this morning, along with 10 Chiffchaff. At Stanpit, there were 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Kingfisher and the Emperor Goose with the ever-increasing, other trash geese.

October 19th

The hoped-for finch movement was rather disappointing given the conditions – a moderate south-westerly wind and clear skies. In fact, it was probably Jackdaw that were there most numerous travelling passerine – a total of 160 or so west, in two flocks. Of the smaller birds, the best were a Brambling, 2 Siskin, 11 Skylark, 100 Linnet, around 150 Goldfinch, a Grey Wagtail, 20 alba Wagtail, 4 House Martin and 9 Swallow, all but the latter east. Of those settled, a couple of Firecrest in the Wood were the pick, with other figures from across Hengistbury and Wick coming to: 12 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 9 Goldcrest and a further Grey Wagtail. Rounding off the post: a Sanderling and 23 Ringed Plover were on the sandspit; 3 Mediterranean Gull passed at sea; and 2 Bullfinch, 2 Buzzard and a Kingfisher were on Wick.

October 18th

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit – Clinton Whale

There were lots of birds out at sea today – mainly young, large gulls, but also up to 100 Gannet. The stand-out moment, however, was when a Long-tailed Duck passed close to the Beach Huts as it travelled west, as did two redhead Red-breasted Merganser and 7 Mediterranean Gull; plus a Razorbill and five unidentified auks. At least one Lapland Bunting lingered around Holloway’s Dock, but before that individual was nailed a couple of suspects had passed over the huts. Otherwise,it was just small numbers of Goldfinch, Linnet, Siskin, alba Wagtail, Swallow and House Martin attempting to move east.

October 17th

Grey Heron
Grey Heron – Clinton Whale

There were concurrent seawatches this morning – from Mudeford Quay and the Beach Huts. The former site saw a medium-sized grebe spp., 14 Mediterranean Gull, 16 Common Gull, 25 Common Scoter and 64 Brent Goose, all pass west; while the latter recorded a Roseate Tern – a juvenile transitioning to first-winter – a juvenile Pomarine Skua and a Common Tern. The other news concerns a Ring Ouzel moving north-west over Hengistbury and 170 Goldfinch doing something or other.

October 16th

Bearded Tit have not been encountered in the area for quite some time, so a male on Wick Hams that flew off towards Roebury Lane is a really nice record. Also in that area during the morning: a Ring Ouzel west, likewise a Redwing and twenty or so Song Thrush. Mediterranean Gull were also moving west – a total of thirteen logged – plus a bird of unspecified, non-adult age at Stanpit. Meanwhile, a total of 3 Firecrest was reached, but just 4 Goldcrest – it’s not looking like a vintage year for the latter. Ruff were also about – one flew west with 3 Black-tailed Godwit this morning – while two were in Stanpit Bight at dusk. Rounding up, Kingfisher were again seen on both sides of the area.

October 15th

Teal
Teal – Ray Scott

At last, the rain stopped! This morning, there were3 Blackcap and 10 Chiffchaff on Wick, plus a Peregrine over and a Kingfisher. Later in the day, a Common Sandpiper, a Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Snipe were at Stanpit, where at least 100 Goldfinch were flocking; and a further two and one of Kingfisher and Peregrine respectively were returned.

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