Sightings for the current month

September 14th

In near perfect conditions there was a huge movement of birds this morning including the largest hirundine and pipit movements of the autumn so far plus a major fall of Blackcap. Two groups of Grey Heron, fifteen and eleven, arrived high from the east and circled briefly before heading off south-west. A flock of seven Avocet moved in the same direction. The numbers were 7,700 Swallow, 1,400 Meadow Pipit, 800 House Martin, 45 Yellow Wagtail, 17 Grey Wagtail and 11 Tree Pipit overhead while harbour totals for grounded migrants were 230 Blackcap, 75 Chiffchaff, 38 Wheatear, 22 Whitethroat, 3 Whinchat and 3 Lesser Whitethroat plus singles of Pied Flycatcher and Spotted Flycatcher, also a Grasshopper Warbler was trapped and ringed at first light. Waders today included 4 Knot arriving from the east, 5 Common Sandpiper, 3 airborne Snipe, 2 Greenshank and a Whimbrel. A female type Merlin flew along the southern harbour shore and a Marsh Harrier was on Stanpit. One item of late news is of c100 Yellow Wagtail in the HHC reedbed roost yesterday evening.

Sunday 6th October
A day at Portland Bill. More details...

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 September 15th: H01:45 | L05:35 | H10:25 | H14:10 | L17:50 | H22:35

September 13th

More signs of autumn were in evidence this morning with a Yellowhammer north-east over Hengistbury and a couple of Firecrest behind the Nursery plus a group of Pale-bellied Brent Geese that were seen leaving the harbour. Migration also picked up with 22 Wheatear on Crouch Hill and another twenty across Hengistbury. Site wide totals for the regular species were 150 House Martin, 50 Swallow, 29 Chiffchaff, 15 Yellow Wagtail, 13 Blackcap, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, these on Stanpit, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warbler, 1 Tree Pipit and 1 Whinchat. Another twenty to thirty Yellow Wagtail left the HHC reedbed at first light. Raptors today included Peregrine, 2 Hobby and a Merlin, the latter flew east towards the Isle of Wight. On Stanpit there were 32 Knot, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Greenshank and 2 Whimbrel.

Tides September 14th: H01:10 | L05:00 | H09:55 | H13:35 | L17:20 | H22:05

September 12th

A White Stork was seen over the harbour around 10am this morning but although the bird appeared to land there have been no further reports. It is possibly the bird that has been around Poole Harbour for the past week or so. Once again migrants were few today with just 10 Wheatear on Crouch Hill, 2 Lesser Whitethroat in North Scrubs and on Hengistbury, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Wheatear, 15 Chiffchaff and 17 Blackcap. The pick of the waders on Stanpit were two each of Curlew Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank while also present were 130 Dunlin, 101 Ringed Plover, 21 Knot, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Snipe, 2 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Sanderling and a Common Sandpiper. Evening update: a juvenile Arctic Tern and a Little Gull were off Fisherman's Bank late afternoon.

September 11th

The strengthening south-westerly wind meant that there was very little in the way of migration this morning, just 13 Wheatear and 35 Meadow Pipit on Crouch Hill, 40 Swallow heading into the wind and 3 Yellow Wagtail over Wick. Sea watching highlights from the beach huts were Black Tern and Great Skua while off Mudeford Quay 22 Gannet were logged plus 13 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Scoter, 2 juvenile Common Tern and an adult Mediterranean Gull.  Waders around the harbour today included 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Knot, 2 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Turnstone, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Ruff.  The Wigeon flock has increased to twenty-two and the 2 Brent Geese remain.  To finish off there was a flock of 60 Linnet on Stanpit, also 4 Common Tern resting on the marsh and a Kingfisher was on Wick Hams.

September 10th

After the early morning mist cleared there was plenty to see around the harbour. There were 3 Curlew Sandpiper on Stanpit together with 109 Dunlin, 99 Ringed Plover, 17 Knot, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Sanderling and 3 Greenshank plus singles of Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper. Another Greenshank flew downriver and 8 Snipe moved over Stanpit. It was a good morning for Spotted Flycatcher with ten on Wick and three on Stanpit. Site wide totals for the more common migrants were 33 Chiffchaff, 27 Blackcap, 22 Whitethroat, 21 House Martin, 16 Wheatear, 8 Willow Warbler, 2 Tree Pipit and a Lesser Whitethroat, the latter on Wick. To round up the two Brent Geese were still on Stanpit where 32 Teal, 13 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler and 2 Pintail were present, also a Kingfisher on Wick.

Tides September 11th: L03:10 | H08:20 | H11:45 | L15:35 | H20:35

September 9th

Despite this morning's miserable conditions there was a decent fall of common migrants around the harbour plus a good selection of waders at Stanpit. There was also a movement of Marsh Harrier possibly involving five different individuals; initially two birds were watched interacting over Wick Fields shortly after 7am then a couple of hours later a single bird moved east over Wick while two further birds were seen arriving from the east. There were 5 Spotted Flycatcher on Wick and two in North Scrubs where a Garden Warbler was also present. Counts from Wick were 55 Chiffchaff, 35 Blackcap and 11 Whitethroat while 75 Swallow, 20 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Tree Pipit moved overhead. On Stanpit 8 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill and 10 Blackcap were logged. Waders included a Green Sandpiper on Wick and singles of Curlew Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank on Stanpit, also 8 Knot, 3 Greenshank, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling and 1 Whimbrel. Stanpit also held 6 Pintail, all juveniles, 2 Brent Geese, 9 Wigeon and 2 Teal. Finally a Hobby was hawking insects over Stanpit.

September 8th

Spotted Flycatcher – Gary Foyle
Dartford Warbler – Gary Foyle

Starting with the waders, and all returned from the afternoon low tide at Stanpit. A stint, presumably little, was present, as were: 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, 4 Greenshank, 27 Knot, 2 Sanderling, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, over 67 Ringed Plover, 96 Dunlin and 4 Turnstone. Earlier, a Great White Egret flew north during the morning; while an Osprey put on a jaw-dropping show around the entire area between 1:30 and 2:30. The early part of the day was not too shabby for passerines, with 4 Spotted Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and a Tree Pipit – all but one of the flycatchers on Wick – being the pick; with the afternoon contributing a Whinchat and 16 Wheatear on Crouch Hill, as well as 3 Yellow Wagtail over there. The 2 Brent Goose remain inside the harbour; a Shelduck has returned, likewise 7 Wigeon; and 3 Kingfisher were about Wick. The mid-year e-Bulletin has recently been sent out. If you are a paid-up member and haven't received one, please email

September 7th

Young Starling and pony – Alan Crockard

The Wryneck from yesterday was far more obliging this morning, on the Old Pitch and Putt course after initially being seen on the other side of the entrance road to the HHC. Around 8:00, an Osprey hunted and caught its prey in Mother Siller’s Channel before taking it off to the west, and, slightly beforehand, a male Marsh Harrier had patrolled the area. There were a fair number of Blackcap and Chiffchaff around – twenty six and nine respectively being figures from Wick – along with: a female-type Redstart by the HHC; a couple of Spotted Flycatcher by the Wooden Bridge, plus at least one over the Long Field; a Tree Pipit passed over, as did up to a dozen Yellow Wagtail; and the Wheatear came to three. The only wader news is of a Greenshank and 3 Black-tailed Godwit in Barn Bight, although the Osprey frenzy showed there was a lot more in the Stanpit area. So far, the only other news concerns a Hobby over the Barn Field 5 Wigeon inside the harbour. This evening, a redhead Goosander roosted on the HHC slip. 

Tides September 8th: L00:00 | H05:20 | H08:05 | L12:35 | H17:50 | H20:30

September 6th

Curlew – Roger Tidball

Highlights of the day were: a Wryneck seen fleetingly on at least two occasions close the the HHC; a Spoonbill on Stanpit during the morning; and perhaps the first Firecrest of the autumn, on the western edge of the Nursery. The best of the rest were 2 Brent Goose on Stanpit, with waders there including: a Knot, a Greenshank, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Sanderling, 80 Ringed Plover and 50 Dunlin. Other bits and pieces came courtesy of: 4 Wheatear on Crouch Hill; 2 Tree Pipit and 5 Yellow Wagtail over the Long Field; 5 Teal and a Kingfisher in Barn Bight; and an estimate of 25 Collared Dove in by the horse paddock on Wick. 

September 5th

A, for the time of year, well–marked Wheatear - Alan Crockard

Starting in chronological order, a couple of redhead Goosander were at an extreme tip of the recording area where the Stour can be viewed; while a male Marsh Harrier hunted Central Marsh and a Green Sandpiper went over the Wood. Later in the day, however, came the highlight – as, at around 12:40, a White Stork drifted high to the south-west over Stanpit. On the marsh at the same time, were: a Curlew Sandpiper, 19 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank, a Whimbrel, 2 Sanderling, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Black-tailed Godwit and a Turnstone; plus similar numbers of Ringed Plover and Dunlin as the previous post. Moving to passerines: a Whinchat and 15 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill; a Tree Pipit went over Wick; and small numbers of common warblers – Blackcap, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff – were about. The closing miscellany comprises a brace of Tufted Duck and a Starling estimate of at least 500. 

September 4th

There was an apparent influx of Blackcap today – around thirty noted at Stanpit – where a Garden Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Whinchat, 15 Wheatear, 2 Tree Pipit, 5 Yellow Wagtail and 3 Grey Wagtail were also logged. Meanwhile, a Lesser Whitethroat was on Wick. Stanpit also held: 3 Green Sandpiper, a Curlew Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, a Knot, 3 Greenshank, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 70 Ringed Plover and 90 Dunlin. A male Marsh Harrier was present for some time, as was a Peregrine; a Common Gull was in the South Marsh gull and tern roost; and a total 3 Kingfisher was reckoned. 

September 3rd

Another good mix of waders was headed by a couple of Curlew Sandpiper at Stanpit and a Green Sandpiper on Wick Meadows. Meanwhile, the former site held an excellent count of 27 Bar-tailed Godwit, as well as 6 Knot, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 80 Ringed Plover and 20 Dunlin; while 2 Greenshank passed west. Also on the marsh, a Whinchat, 6 Wheatear and two, overhead Yellow Wagtail. Back to Wick, where the most interest amongst a modest number of passerines came from a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Yellow Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail. To finish, a Kingfisher was by the Wooden Bridge.

September 2nd

There were 4 Curlew Sandpiper at Stanpit this morning, as well as a Common Sandpiper, 8 Knot, a Sanderling, a Whimbrel, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Black-tailed Godwit and 55 Ringed Plover; but seemingly no dunlin! Also on the marsh, a bird-of-the-year Yellow-legged Gull. Overall, it was quiet for passerines – the best being a male Redstart on Wick – as well as a 6 Wheatear, 4 Yellow Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail about the area. A drake Tufted Duck in Barn Bight was the best of the wildfowl, which also included 2 Wigeon and 3 Shoveler.

September 1st

Knot & Dunlin – Scott Usher

A an hour or two on the top of Hengistbury for the Members’ Day produced 14 Yellow Wagtail, 3 alba Wagtail, 7 Tree Pipit, 4 Meadow Pipit, 20 Swallow and 14 Sand Martin on the move; while, on the deck at Wick, there were: a further 3 Yellow Wagtail, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Wheatear, 7 Willow Warbler and 6 Blackcap. Of over 50 birds ringed in the HHC reeds, most were Sedge Warbler - as a field estimate of 100 of those came from Stanpit. Two Green Sandpiper were turned in from Wick and Priory Marsh, so duplication is a possibility, with other waders at Stanpit including: a Little Stint - but no news on where, a Curlew Sandpiper, a total of 82 Knot – most moving quickly through, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Sanderling and 102 Ringed Plover. Wrapping up, a couple of Kingfisher were on Wick. 

August 31st

Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar–tailed Godwit and Curlew - Scott Usher

The wader selection at Stanpit got back on track today – the best being 3 Curlew Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover – but also: a Greenshank, 22 Knot, 3 Sanderling, 4 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit – two adults still in breeding plumage and a juvenile - and 8 Black-tailed Godwit. There were also, presumably, Ringed Plover and Dunlin around. The morning at Wick saw a Garden Warbler, a Grey Wagtail and 10 Willow Warbler; while a Kingfisher was by the Wooden Bridge and a pair of Gadwall were about the area. 

August 30th

It was very quiet this morning around Hengistbury and Wick, with just a few Blackcap, Whitethroat and Willow Warbler to show for a reasonable amount of effort. The afternoon at Stanpit saw: 2 Greenshank, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Black-tailed Godwit and around 130, distant small waders, of which at least 100 were Ringed Plover; plus 3 Wheatear on Crouch Hill. The only other news is of Kingfisher seen a few times about Wick.

August 29th

The weather perked up a little today and brought some migrants with it. The following were from Wick to the Stunted Oaks, including Whitepits: a Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Whinchat, 2 Garden Warbler, 5 Wheatear, 31 Whitethroat and 23 Willow Warbler; plus 2 Tree Pipit over. Around the same time, at Stanpit, there was a Redstart, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a Lesser Whitethroat and, by the evening, up to 17 Wheatear. The only wader news is of 4 Knot and 5 Greenshank; but a Little Gull was a bonus amongst over 460 Herring Gull at Stanpit tonight. 

August 28th

The recent run of Pied Flycatcher continued this morning with a couple on the Barn Field, where there were also 4 Spotted Flycatcher. Meanwhile, there was a Whinchat and 5 Wheatear on Crouch Hill. In general, however, passerines were sparse – just 5 Yellow Wagtail and 7 Willow Warbler being the best of the rest. The wader selection seems to be going through a little lull – the day’s totals being 2 Greenshank, 4 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Sanderling, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 7 Black-tailed Godwit; but seemingly none of the two most-expected species of small wader on site. 

August 27th

Grey Heron and Little Egret – Jackie Smith

The HHC reeds saw of fall of Sedge Warbler this morning – 60 birds ringed out of an overall catch of 82, the most notable other being a Yellow Wagtail. Elsewhere before lunch, 2 Whinchat were on the Barn Field, a couple of Lesser Whitethroat were on Wick and 2 Garden Warbler were on the former golf course embankment at Stanpit; with a further 12 Yellow Wagtail and one Whinchat, 13 Wheatear, at least 20 Whitethroat and 15 Willow Warbler across the site. There was, indeed, another evening foray – this time around Wick Fields – where a Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher and 3 Whinchat proved it’s a worthwhile activity. The morning at Stanpit was good for raptors, as an Osprey headed west to east, a male Marsh Harrier hunted and a Peregrine sat on the Priory tower. Moving to the waders, a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper promised to the event of the day, but it was somewhat trumped by a total of similarly-aged, 41 Knot! In addition, there were 2 Greenshank, 5 Common Sandpiper, 5 Sanderling, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and a Snipe. To finish it: a couple of juvenile Mediterranean Gull were present; a Kingfisher was seen from the Wooden Bridge; and the duck included 5 Wigeon and 11 Teal. 

August 26th

Rock Pipit – Alan Crockard

Despite an incredibly misty start, there was a good selection of passerines to be had. On the southern side of the area, there was a Pied Flycatcher, a Redstart, a Garden Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat and up to 30 Willow Warbler; while Stanpit hosted a couple of Spotted Flycatcher, including one on Fisherman’s Bank, and most of the day’s Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail and Grey Wagtail, which barely scraped past three each – as well as seven of the post’s ten Wheatear. A flock of 5 Greenshank passed west, while settled waders were headed by 8 Knot, 5 Common Sandpiper, 5 Sanderling and 2 Whimbel. There was a clear influx of Teal, with over twenty at Stanpit, where the Wigeon also increased to three. At least a dozen Mediterranean Gull were on site, as was a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull – that off Fisherman’s Bank – an adult, male Peregrine hunted and a couple of Kingfisher were returned. 

August 25th

There was decent selection of passerine migrants around today; including some during an all-too-rare, evening visit to Hengistbury, when 4 Whinchat, a Redstart and a Garden Warbler were returned. Earlier, from across the site, there were: 6 Spotted Flycatcher, a Lesser Whitethroat, a further Garden Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat and 11 Wheatear; plus a Tree Pipit and 15 Yellow Wagtail over. A movement of Meadow Pipit and Swallow was also mentioned, but there are no numbers; although a total of 5 Swift was turned in. Meanwhile, of 39 birds trapped for ringing, there were twenty-four and eight of Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler respectively. Moving to other types, a couple of juvenile Arctic Tern and 18 Common Tern were at Stanpit, where a Greenshank, 2 Knot, 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel and 35 Black-tailed Godwit were also present; as well as a Marsh Harrier early on. As many as 3 Kingfisher were about, as was a single Peregrine. 

August 24th

Dartford Warbler – Alan Crockard
Spotted Flycatcher – Robert Gray

Although they are now referred to as scarce, it’s still always raises the pulse to see a Great White Egret in the area – one this morning that came in from the west and descended into Barn Bight for a short time. It was, once again, slightly disappointing on the migrant passerine front; although at least 3 Whinchat on the Long Field and a Spotted Flycatcher elsewhere were some consolation. In addition to a single Tree Pipit, 13 Yellow Wagtail passed over – including a flock of nine quite late in the morning – and 2 Swift, plus a steady trickle of Swallow, coasted. Moving back to the bushes, where a Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Whitethroat and 4 Willow Warbler were on Wick Fields. The only other submitted news for today is of a Kingfisher along the Batters; but from yesterday over 50 Yellow Wagtail went to roost in the HHC reeds, where nine were trapped and ringed. 

August 23rd

The day started with some unexpected mist, which didn’t seem to do much for migrant passerines. All the following come from Wick – a Spotted Flycatcher, 15 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Tree Pipit, a Lesser Whitethroat, 21 Whitethroat, 10 Willow Warbler and four out-of-habitat Reed Warbler. Also from there, the resident male Bullfinch, while a couple of tatty-looking, adult Mediterranean Gull passed west. Over on Stanpit, there were 5 Wheatear on Crouch Hill, plus a Knot, 4 Sanderling and a female-type Shoveler in Stanpit Bight. Finally, a Kingfisher was seen on a few occasions in Wick Hams. 

August 22nd

Writing in contemporary terms, there was another great count of Ringed Plover at Stanpit – 114 birds – where a Greenshank, 5 Knot, 5 Whimbrel, 5 Sanderling, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and around 100 Dunlin were also present. Across the drier areas of the marsh, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Redstart, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warbler and 7 Wheatear were logged; while a Tree Pipit and 16 Yellow Wagtail moved over. The Willow Warbler total around the site came to 17, with an identical number of southbound Swallow returned, as well as a single House Martin and 80 Sand Martin. To finish up, a Kingfisher whizzed around the No Dogs Field. 

August 21st

A few passerines and hirundines passed through this morning, including: 4 Tree Pipit, 17 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Grey Wagtail, 95 Sand Martin and 40 Swallow. Meanwhile, the pick of the grounded birds was: 2 Grasshopper Warbler on Priory Marsh, a Redstart in the North Scrubs,a Lesser Whitethroat on the golf course embankment, a Garden Warbler and 6 Wheatear; amongst the more-expected staple of Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler. A Brent Goose at Stanpit was reasonable surprise, but the single Wigeon remains and was joined by a Gadwall. Wader-wise, a couple of Green Sandpiper passed over Wick, with 2 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Knot, 6 Sanderling, 8 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 62 Ringed Plover and 150 Dunlin inside the harbour; while a further 7 Knot moved straight through to the west. To round up, a Kingfisher and 12 Water Rail were in Parky Meade Rail, and a Peregrine sat on the Priory. 

August 20th

There was a clear influx of passerines today, headed by a female-type Pied Flycatcher in the Wood, but also a Whinchat and 2 Wheatear on the Long Field and Barn Field respectively; as well as 25 Whitethroat across the latter two sites. Meanwhile, around 20 Willow Warbler were dotted about. Overhead, a Green Sandpiper moved through and 15 House Martin fed over Wick Meadows. 

August 19th

A Green Sandpiper was on Wick Meadows this morning, when a Greenshank, 4 Whimbrel, 17 Ringed Plover and 48 Dunlin were at Stanpit. Meanwhile, a first-calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull spent some time off Grimmery Bank and 6 Common Tern were also inside the harbour; along with 69 Sandwich Tern. Willow Warbler numbers just about reached double figures and there was a Wheatear on Crouch Hill. Finishing up, the Wigeon remains and a Peregrine was seen on a couple of occasions. 

August 18th

Just before the rain set in this morning, there was a female-type Redstart, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Garden Warbler by the Wooden Bridge on Wick, while 123 Ringed Plover were at Stanpit. The only other news for the post also comes from the latter site, where eleven juvenile Knot were present in the afternoon, along with 3 Whimbrel. 

August 17th

Greenshank – Jackie Smith
Common Tern, Sandwich Tern & Ringed Plover – Jackie Smith

The sea was again the centre of attention for the morning, when singles of Arctic Skua and Great Skua passed west, as well as a couple of juvenile Arctic Tern and a similarly-aged Yellow-legged Gull. Although counts of westbound terns were made, none have been received; but the estimate of lingering Sandwich Tern peaked at 300. Also from the sea, a flock of 3 Common Scoter that has probably been hanging around for some time now. No Kittiwake were offshore, but there was a bird at Stanpit, along with 12 Common Tern. Meanwhile, the waders there included: a Spotted Redshank, 2 Knot, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Sanderling, 5 Whimbrel, 24 Ringed Plover and 33 Dunlin; with Holloway’s Dock, Hengistbury, contributing singles of Greenshank and Whimbrel, 13 Ringed Plover and 14 Dunlin. Moving back to Stanpit, there were 2 Yellow Wagtail and 6 Wheatear. 

August 16th

With the wind building up to over 40km/h throughout the day, accompanied by squally showers, the sea was watched from the Beach Huts between 8:00 and 14:15. An exact 30 Balearic Shearwater were counted moving west, along with a non-adult Pomarine Skua, a Great Skua, an intermediate-phase, adult Arctic Skua – that lingering for a while – two juvenile Kittiwake, 5 Fulmar, 80 Common Tern and 69 Gannet. A constant feeding flock comprised large gulls and terns – the latter peaking at around 300, of which at least 90% were Sandwich Tern. Shag, around 5 birds, outnumbered Cormorant on the water and 3 Common Scoter headed towards the Solent. A little later, a juvenile Arctic Tern was seen from Mudeford Quay, along with a further two juvenile Kittiwake. Waders seen on or about the sandspit and in Holloway’s Dock, included: a Greenshank, a Whimbrel, 5 Sanderling, a Turnstone, 5 Ringed Plover and 12 Dunlin. Meanwhile, a couple of Greenshank headed north over Wick and the small number of decked passerines included a dozen or so Willow Warbler. Finishing on that side of the area, a male Bullfinch was on Roebury Lane and a Peregrine hunted Wick Hams. The news from Stanpit during the morning involves: an un-aged Arctic Tern, 3 Little Tern, 60 Common Tern and 200 Sandwich Tern; a Ruff; and at least 2 Yellow-legged Gull, again not aged. 

August 15th

Gannet – Leo Pyke
Common Tern – Leo Pyke

The weather was far more accommodating today, when a Balearic Shearwater lingered in the feeding flock of gulls in Christchurch Bay. Around the same time, a Black Tern passed west through the harbour, where a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 11 Mediterranean Gull and 175 Sandwich Tern were also noted. The waders included: 6 Knot, a Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, a Sanderling, 45 Ringed Plover, 23 Dunlin and a good count of 155 Redshank; while the best of the passerines were a Whinchat, a Yellow Wagtail and 3 Wheatear, but also a smattering of Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Whitethroat. The Wigeon remains and was joined by 6 Teal. 

August 14th

On a thoroughly wet day, the sea again received full attention. From Mudeford Quay early on, the best was two juvenile Arctic Tern which entered the harbour through the Run; but also, all west: around 50 Sandwich Tern, 23 Common Tern, a Kittiwake, a Mediterranean Gull, 2 Fulmar and 6 Gannet.  A subsequent, more-extended watch – from 9:20 to 14:50 – from the Beach Huts produced: a Balearic Shearwater, five unidentified shearwaters, 516 Sandwich Tern, 99 Common Tern, a Little Tern, 6 Kittiwake, 2 Mediterranean Gull – both juveniles, 12 Fulmar and 82 Gannet; again, all west, into the wind. In addition, 3 Common Scoter lingered and 12 Shelduck arrived over the quay. The only passerine news is of a Wheatear on the sandspit; while waders included a Black-tailed Godwit, a Ringed Plover and 24 Dunlin, mostly in Holloway’s Dock.

August 13th

There was an excellent, if not record, presence of Sandwich Tern around the harbour today.  A 2-hour watch from the Gulley during the afternoon returned 850 west, while 100 passed in the same direction during a shorter period in the morning. Also at sea throughout the day, 45 Common Tern, 40 Gannet, an estimated 500 Herring Gull and 3 Common Scoter east. This evening, resting inside the harbour, there were 300 Sandwich Tern and 41 Common Tern. A Pied Flycatcher in the North Scrubs, Stanpit, late this afternoon was a nice record, while small numbers of Willlow Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler were across the site. The increasing wader selection included: 4 Knot, 2 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, 3 Sanderling, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 16 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Ringed Plover and 57 Dunlin; with the first Wigeon of the winter also at Stanpit. Rounding up, a couple of Coal Tit were in the Nursery and of butterfly interest a Clouded Yellow was on the Barn Field. 

August 12th

Cormorant – Alan Hayden
Lapwing – Alan Hayden
Great Black–backed Gull - Roger Tidball

A Green Sandpiper over Wick Fields early on is the pick from a fairly quiet day, when 20 Sedge Warbler, as well as 3 Willow Warbler and 5 Reed Warbler, were ringed at the HHC. Field-observed warblers, meanwhile, included up to 20 Willow Warbler and 11 Blackcap across the area. The local Reed Warbler are still feeding their young, however. 

August 11th

There were 10 Willow Warbler on Wick this morning, while a House Martin passed through and a Kingfisher was on Wick Hams. 

August 10th

A Storm Petrel was seen briefly from the beach huts this morning; the bird was moving slowly west, also from there, an Arctic Skua.  The sea was also  watched from Mudeford Quay so the combined totals from both sites were 120 Sandwich Tern, 15 Common Tern, 14 Gannet, 4 Kittiwake, 3 Sanderling, 2 Fulmar and singles of Mediterranean Gull and Great Crested Grebe, all these west.  The coming and going of small waders suggest that many were sheltering on the sandspit with totals of 46 Dunlin, 11 Ringed Plover and 8 Turnstone.  Holloway’s Dock held one each of Greenshank and Whimbrel while another Whimbrel arrived over the quay.

August 9th

Greenshank – Ray Scott
House Sparrow – Tina Scott

Although the weather wasn’t as inclement as perhaps forecast, it was still pretty windy – particularly later in the day. A 3-hour watch over the water from Mudeford Quay yielded: 54 Sandwich Tern, 12 Common Tern and a Fulmar – all west; 6 Common Scoter – five west, one east; and 4 Gannet. Meanwhile, the better of the waders at Stanpit were: a Ruff, 2 Knot, 2 Greenshank, 4 Sanderling, 8 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Ringed Plover and 12 Dunlin; with additional birds on Hengistbury comprising: a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, 4 Ringed Plover and 15 Dunlin. The only other point of interest was 3 Teal on the marsh. 

August 8th

The first Redstart of the autumn, a female bird, was on Wick this morning, as was a Lesser Whitethroat; while a Grasshopper Warbler was at Stanpit and 4 Tree Pipit, 4 Yellow Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail passed over there. Meanwhile, up to 30 Willow Warbler and 4 Wheatear were across the site. A Knot was probably the best of the waders inside the harbour, which also included: a Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper, 14 Whimbrel and a Bar-tailed Godwit; plus a couple of Common Tern. A male Bullfinch was again on Wick, where they can now assumed to be resident, and an almost-hooded crow was at Stanpit. 

August 7th

A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was inside the harbour off its namesake hotel this morning, while later on 6 Mediterranean Gull were at Stanpit. Sandwich Tern numbers are now building -  of the various reports today, the best was of 165 roosting at Stanpit tonight; in addition, a couple of Common Tern and 37 Gannet moved west at sea. Most of the day’s wader news is from the marsh, although Holloway’s Dock and Barn Bight held some of the numbers, which included: 4 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 15 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Ringed Plover, 16 Dunlin and 102 Redshank. Passerines were again sparse, with just 5 Wheatear, 2 Willow Warbler and fifteen presumed migrant Whitethroat making the post. 

August 6th

The only news for today is of 5 Willow Warbler and a Kingfisher about Wick.

August 5th

Treecreeper – Leo Pyke
Treecreeper – Jackie Smith

A Treecreeper in the North Scrubs is, by local standards, the bird of the day; with the only other small-bird news involving 6 Wheatear on Crouch Hill and 5 Willow Warbler on Wick. The wader interest inside the harbour came from: a Sanderling, 3 Common Sandpiper, 12 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Ringed Plover and 10 Dunlin; while 3 Common Tern were also present. Rounding up, the traditional, summer Starling flock was today reckoned to be 400 birds. 

August 4th

A Garganey was in Parky Meade Rail this morning, while 3 Teal were in Mother Siller’s Channel. A Little Ringed Plover in Stanpit Creek and a Green Sandpiper by the Wooden Bridge on Wick are the headline waders, but also 2 Greenshank, 2 Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper, 8 Whimbrel, 19 Dunlin and a Snipe at Stanpit; where two each of Mediterranean Gull and Common Tern were also present. A maximum of 5 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill, with other passerines, all from Wick, including a Yellow Wagtail, a Garden Warbler and 8 Willow Warbler. 

August 3rd

Greenshank – Scott Usher
Sedge Warbler – Scott Usher

Firstly, the sad news of the failure of the Oystercatcher breeding on the sandspit. From reliable reports received so far, it would seem two dogs were permitted to enter the fenced area and one of them – a dachshund – grabbed the chick. We are working to get fuller details and to see if a case can be brought. On a fine morning, there were 2 Garden Warbler in the North Scrubs, a Tree Pipit over Wick and 2 Yellow Wagtail over Hengistbury, as well as over a dozen Willlow Warbler and scattered, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler. The latter two species, at least, are still fledging young in the area, so separating residents from transient birds is not always straight forward. Otherwise, it’s just a Greenshank in Mother Siller’s Channel, 2 Common Sandpiper and 14 Dunlin to remark upon. 

August 2nd

There were far fewer migrant passerines around today; for example, just 9 Sedge Warbler turned in. The North Scrubs at Stanpit did hold a Lesser Whitethroat and 3 Garden Warbler, however, while up to 50 Willow Warbler were spread about; along with one or two Whitethroat and Reed Warbler in odd places. In addition, there were 5 Wheatear, one on the sandspit and the rest at Stanpit, a Yellow Wagtail over, and a Grey Wagtail on Wick meadows. Finishing up with the perching birds, a Nuthatch was in Ashtree Meadow. A Green Sandpiper at Stanpit this evening heads the waders, with the support coming from: a Greenshank, 6 Common Sandpiper, 8 Whimbrel, a juvenile Ringed Plover and 12 Dunlin also on the marsh; and a Sanderling, 6 Ringed Plover and 6 Turnstone on the sandspit. Finally, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull and a Peregrine make the post. 

August 1st

Wheatear – Leo Pyke
Adult Turnstone still in breeding plumage – Gary Foyle

The Wheatear are now starting to come back through – a total of six today, one on the sandspit and five at Stanpit. Sedge Warbler were around in much greater numbers – over a hundred at Stanpit being the estimate, as well as a Grasshopper Warbler and 4 Garden Warbler; and, in addition to three in an isolated bush on the sandspit, there were 19 Willow Warbler spread across the site. The pick of the waders was a heard-only Wood Sandpiper, but also an Avocet, 28 Common Sandpiper, a Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel, around 15 Dunlin and a Turnstone. The remaining news comes from a male Bullfinch on Wick and a Great Crested Grebe in Parky Meade Rail. 

July 31st

There were a couple of Wheatear on Crouch Hill, Stanpit, this morning, as well as 2 Yellow Wagtail over, plus 5 Willow Warbler and up to 8 Blackcap in the North Scrubs. Meanwhile, a further 9 Willow Warbler were on Wick, where there was also a couple of Lesser Whitethroat. Over 18 Whimbrel were inside the harbour, along with 2 Greenshank, 5 Common Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Ringed Plover and 12 Dunlin; while 3 Sanderling, 3 Ringed Plover and a Turnstone were on the sandspit. At least 100 Sandwich Tern rested about the area and a small number of Common Tern moved through to the west. Rounding up, the Mediterranean Gull total for the day was thirteen, of which nine were birds of the year. 

July 30th

Despite the very strong, onshore breeze, there was little out of the ordinary to be seen from Mudeford Quay this morning; in fact, perhaps less than on a more-expected July day. A couple of Fulmar, 9 Common Tern, 20 Sandwich Tern, 4 Mediterranean Gull and a Gannet were the sum total of a 3-hour watch.  

July 29th

As touched-on yesterday, the migrant passerines are now starting to appear for the start of their journey back to sub-Saharan Africa. Across the site today, these included: 2 Tree Pipit, 2 Garden Warbler, 10 or so Willow Warbler, one of them in song and an out-of-place Reed Warbler. Meanwhile, but intending to travel much less far, there was an increase of Chiffchaff in the North Scrubs to a dozen.  

July 28th

Oystercatcher this morning – Gary Foyle
Mute Swan at Stanpit – Robert Gray

It was a quieter day for news – the best of the wader information being the Greenshank and Whimbrel still in Holloway’s Dock, and a Common Sandpiper off Fisherman’s Bank. There was a pick-up in migrant passerines, however, as 7 Willow Warbler were across Wick Fields; where a House Martin overflew and a Bullfinch was along Roebury Lane. The full Outdoor Meeting programme for 2019 has now been fixed. Details...

July 27th

Oystercatcher and Sanderling – Jackie Smith
... and the Sanderling – Gary Foyle

A Cattle Egret flew from Wick to Stanpit at 06:35, but wasn’t seen subsequently. Otherwise, the day is mostly about waders. Green Sandpiper were recorded at Wick and Stanpit, while the marsh also turned in: a Knot, 3 Common Sandpiper, a Sanderling, 7 Whimbrel, 16 Dunlin, 4 Turnstone and a Snipe; with Hengistbury returning a Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel, a Sanderling, 10 Dunlin and a Turnstone. During the morning, Holloway’s Dock hosted 9 Mediterranean Gull – five of them juveniles – as well as forty or so Sandwich Tern. The returning Teal, two birds, were at Stanpit; a Swallow was over Hengistbury; small numbers of Swift passed over throughout; a Kingfisher was on Wick; and a juvenile Sedge Warbler attempted a bit of song atop a bush by the HHC. 

July 26th

A male Marsh Harrier visited Stanpit around 8:15 this morning – the first of that species for quite some time. Meanwhile the returning-migrant waders included: the Greenshank and Whimbrel in Holloway’s Dock; 2 Sanderling, 10 Dunlin and a Turnstone on the sandspit; and 3 Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel and 17 Dunlin at Stanpit. The Oystercatcher chick is still be well fed and looked after by its parents – an article on the event appeared in today’s Echo...

July 25th

 Juvenile and adult Dunlin on the sandspit – Gary Foyle

The only migrant news comes from Wick, over which 3 Mediterranean Gull – an adult pair with one offspring – passed west, as did 2 Common Tern. Meanwhile, the remaining Oystercatcher chick is still doing well, despite being picked up and ‘cuddled’ by a parent and child earlier in the week. 

July 24th

Adult Reed Warbler, of which some are still having a go at singing – Alan Crockard

Green Sandpiper were at Stanpit morning and evening, while 2 Little Ringed Plover headed through – early on, one left south over Hengistbury and another was heard several times a couple of hours later. Other waders across the site included: a Greenshank again in Holloway’s Dock, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Ringed Plover and some Whimbrel calls. There was a hint of hirundine and Swift departure – around 240 Sand Martin and 58 Swallow trickling south, as well as eighteen of the latter. Passerines are now also making their way back, as a Yellow Wagtail passed over the marsh and a Willow Warbler sang in the Wood. Rounding up, a Peregrine and Buzzard were above Stanpit, and Little Grebe remain on the Ironstone Quarry. 

July 23rd

A Garden Warbler in the North Scrubs at Stanpit was a great record, but the only other passerine interest comes from a Kingfisher on Wick Hams. Wader-wise, a Greenshank was in Holloway’s Dock and 3 Common Sandpiper, 10 Whimbrel, 10 Black-tailed Godwit and 22 Dunlin. The only other news is of 2 Common Tern over and a showy Water Rail in Parky Meade Rail. 

July 22nd

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. 

July 21st

The only news for the day is of the autumn's first Willow Warbler by the Wooden Bridge on Wick. 

July 20th

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. 

July 19th

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.

July 18th

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. 

July 17th

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!

July 16th

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. 

July 15th

Essex Skipper
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. 

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