Sightings for the current month

November 23rd

As is often the case, the wintering Common Scoter are almost entirely female–type birds - Penhill Man
Jay – Clinton Whale

All three white egrets were recorded today. A Great White Egret headed west over Wick in the morning, while the roost exodus came up with 9 Cattle Egret and 10 Little Egret, as well as the Glossy Ibis; with the reverse this evening producing ten, fourteen and ‘the’ respectively. A couple of seawatches aggregated: 4 Red-throated Diver, a Sandwich Tern, 12 Pintail and 5 Shelduck, west; 2 Great Northern Diver and 5 Great Crested Grebe, east; plus 6 Mediterranean Gull, 9 Common Scoter and 2 Razorbill lingering. Meanwhile, a late-season, overhead ‘trickle’ comprised: a Brambling, 36 Chaffinch, 7 Redpoll, 8 Siskin, 63 Goldfinch, 42 Linnet and 12 Mediterranean Gull. Early on, at least 5 Redwing left the Wood, where 3 Firecrest and 2 Treecreeper were looking at home for the winter. A Kingfisher was again by the ferry jetty on the sandspit and 93 Great Black-backed Gull loafed inside the harbour. 

Annual General Meeting - 2020
The 2020 AGM, originally scheduled for March, will now be held virtually on Tuesday 15th December at 7:30pm. The meeting, which usually lasts for around 20 minutes, will be followed by a 20-30 minute Question & Answer session for Chris Chapleo, Chairman, and David Taylor, General Secretary. This will be facilitated by our Engagement Officer, Gina Lawrie, and questions will be welcomed from the membership. Both Chris and David are looking forward to hearing what people may wish to feedback or suggest.

Ahead of the meeting, the following documents can be viewed:
2020 Agenda
2019 Minutes
2019 Accounts

To register for the meeting, and we hope as many of you as possible do, please email

Outdoor Meetings
It was hoped we may be able to resume some events this Autumn. However, due to the Covid-19 situation, those plans are now on hold. We will keep you updated on this forum.

Tides November 24th: H04:40 | H07:25 | L12:00 | H17:05 | H19:45 |

November 22nd

Black Redstart – Alan Crockard
Rock Pipit – Matthew Barfield
Black–tailed Godwit – Tina Scott

There were a couple of Black Redstart around this morning – the photographed bird on buildings at Mudeford Quay and one in Stride’s boatyard, Fisherman’s Bank. Meanwhile, the Glossy Ibis, 2 Cattle Egret, the male Marsh Harrier and a Kittiwake were all at Stanpit; as were 12 Fieldfare by the Purewell Stream early on. Later, the ibis went to roost at 16:24. After being postponed last week, the monthly WeBS count took place, with the notables being: 12 Mediterranean Gull – a really good number for the time of year here – 8 Common Gull, 8 Grey Plover, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 13 Ringed Plover, 63 Dunlin, 6 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, 498 Wigeon, 52 Brent Goose and 2 Great Crested Grebe – all at Stanpit – plus 25 Lapwing on the Barn Field. Admittedly, they are mobile but as many as 4 Kingfisher may have been around, seen at: Wick Hams, Holloway’s Dock, the ferry jetty on the sandspit, Goldeneye Point and various spots at Stanpit. 

November 21st

It does look as if a Snow Bunting, reckoned to be a first-winter female, in in residence at the end of the sandspit – perhaps taking advantage of the newly fenced area? Although not reported from the spit itself, it was seen on a couple of occasions from Mudeford Quay. The pick of the rest is: a Merlin north over the Long Field; 9 Cattle Egret leaving the roost; a Little Gull; and the male Marsh Harrier hunting Wick Hams. There were no reports received for the ibis, however; but social media hasn’t been checked. Looking out to sea produced: a Red-throated Diver and 8 Brent Goose east, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, at least 11 Common Scoter, an adult Mediterranean Gull and a settled Razorbill – the latter always a good winter bird here. A Grey Plover and 14 Turnstone were on the sandspit, as was a Kingfisher; with a further of those in the favoured spot of the fenceposts around Wick Hams. 

November 20th

There was a Scaup on the sea off Mudeford Quay this morning, from where a Red-breasted Merganser, 16 Common Scoter, 3 Kittiwake, 9 Mediterranean Gull and 12 Common Gull were also logged. Meanwhile, looking out from Hengistbury produced: a Great Northern Diver settled by the Long Groyne, as well as 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 Brent Goose, 2 Grey Plover and a steady movement of large gull – all to the west. Moving back to the quay and a Black Redstart plus 9 Purple Sandpiper seen on the sandspit, along with a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull on the inner shore. The male Marsh Harrier and 3 Firecrest were around the southern side of the area, as were 2 Fieldfare and 3 Redpoll; with a couple of Chiffchaff about and 60 Brent Goose at Stanpit. To conclude, the roost news: the Glossy Ibis and 15 Cattle Egret came out; and the ibis and 21 Little Egret were seen going in. 

November 19th

Glossy Ibis and fish – Roger Tidball

A chilly, north-westerly wind put an edge to an otherwise, mainly sunny day – which the Glossy Ibis again spent at Stanpit. Also, a Bullfinch at on the marsh, while 2 Redwing and a Mistle Thrush were on Wick, and at least 3 Chiffchaff were across the area. An almost-four-hour seawatch, starting at 8:00, produced a distant harrier moving west, too far to be sure, but most likely a hen; as well as: 30 Kittiwake west, 10 Mediterranean Gull, a Common Scoter, 25 auks – all thought to be Guillemot – and a feeding flock of 1100 Herring Gull. At dawn, 7 Cattle Egret were counted leaving the roost and, of odonata interest, a Hawker spp. was seen at Stanpit near The Pod. 

November 18th

The Glossy Ibis this morning, moments after leaving the roost and just before it crossed the harbour – Chris Chapleo

A Snow Bunting was seen from Mudeford Quay this morning, perched on fenceposts at the end of the sandspit. Elsewhere on the spit, a female-type Black Redstart was around the Beach House café; while a Pomarine Skua and at least one Red-throated Diver passed by, as did 15 Common Scoter, plus one settled, and an unidentified auk. Earlier, the Glossy Ibis and 11 Cattle Egret had been watched leaving the roost. There is no news from Stanpit, but Wick played host to 2 Chiffchaff and a Kingfisher, the latter by the Wooden Bridge. 

November 17th

Great Crested Grebe – Clinton Whale

Although it was an incredibly mild day, it was still a surprise to get 3 Swallow over Wick water meadows this morning. The Hengistbury roost was checked again at dawn, when, in a 7-minute spell, the Glossy Ibis and 13 Cattle Egret departed. A couple of hours looking at the sea, from the Beach Huts, came up with: a Red-throated Diver that settled on the water for a few minutes, a Great Northern Diver, 7 Kittiwake, 150 Herring Gull, 5 Common Scoter, around 30 Gannet and a Great Crested Grebe, nearly all west; as well as 170 lingering Herring Gull. Later on, a Velvet Scoter was on the sea with a ‘few Common Scoter.’ To wrap up: 4 Fieldfare and 25 Black-tailed Godwit passed over the head; an adult Mediterranean Gull went over Wick; a Purple Sandpiper was on the sandspit; a Great Crested Grebe was inside the harbour; and Kingfisher was by the Wooden Bridge. 

November 16th

Glossy Ibis – Matthew Barfield (upper) & Clinton Whale
Marsh Harrier – Adrian Simmons

The Hengistbury roost was checked at a tad before 7:00 this morning, but save for 2 Cattle Egret all had already departed. The Glossy Ibis did show well all day at Stanpit, however; as did the adult male Marsh Harrier during the morning. Moving back to dawn and a Goosander appeared to have over-nighted in Barn Barn, while a couple of Redpoll and a Peregrine moved over. Wick held some interest, namely: a Mistle Thrush and a Chiffchaff; with the flooded meadows hosting an unseasonable Whimbrel and over 100 Lapwing – the latter sadly a good contemporary count. 

November 15th

Snipe – Derek Hopkins
Pied Wagtail – Alan Crockard
...and an inundated Central Marsh, Stanpit – Clinton Whale

Once again, the highlights came at the end of the day, when probably 2 Glossy Ibis roosted, as well as 13 Cattle Egret – these as a flock of twelve and then a single accompanying a Little Egret, which themselves totalled fifteen. The slight uncertainty about the ibis(es) is that birds were seen coming in ten minutes apart and, albeit very unlikely, the possibility of there being just the one can’t be ruled out. What was certain, however, is that the regular bird spent the day at Stanpit, mainly on North Marsh, which escaped the worst of the flooding. Although there was plenty of wind and rain, there was also some sunshine – mainly during the morning, when Wick returned: a Bearded Tit on the farm meadows, as well as 11 Snipe there, a Bullfinch and a hunting Peregrine. Meanwhile, over a 90-minute period, the sea produced: 30 Gannet, 6 Guillemot, 5 Common Scoter, a Great Crested Grebe, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Common Gull and around 200 Herring Gull – the general theme being westbound. Also on the sandspit, 9 Purple Sandpiper; with in-harbour waders coming to a Bar-tailed Godwit and at least 70 Black-tailed Godwit. Finally, 4 Pintail were on the marsh and 3 Gadwall overflew. 

November 14th

Not surprisingly, given the dawn-to-dusk rain and blasting southerly wind, there are no reports for today.

November 13th

At 16:25 tonight, the Glossy Ibis and 12 Cattle Egret came into roost – this after the ibis had been on Stanpit, mainly around the Rusty Boat, for the day. The egrets meanwhile, eight of them at least, spend their day a couple of miles to the north – with the dairy herds around Bockhampton. The morning at Wick saw a Firecrest and 4 Chiffchaff, plus a couple of Bullfinch. The only other news concerns Kingfisher by the Wooden Bridge and in the dinghy park on Mudeford Quay. 

November 12th

Firecrest – Alan Crockard

A Siberian Chiffchaff was again on Wick and again heard to call – as well as two Chiffchaff there. Meanwhile, a Bearded Tit showed well in Wick Hams and at least 4 Firecrest were in the Wood. The Glossy Ibis was at Stanpit all day, other than a brief excursion to Barn Bight after it was harried by a Sparrowhawk! To round up, a Marsh Harrier was about and a Kingfisher was on around Wick Hams. 

November 11th

Male Black Redstart – Adrian Simmons
Kestrel – Ray Scott

The Black Redstart we get in Autumn tend to be drab, female-type birds; so a fine-looking male that spent some time in the yard of the HHVC, before being seen-off by a typically aggressive Robin, was very welcome. Earlier, as is seemingly becoming the norm, 9 Cattle Egret and the Glossy Ibis left the roost at 07:05 – the latter then spending the day at Stanpit. A couple of hours looking at the sea was less rewarding than hoped, but did include: 17 Kittiwake, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 4 Common Gull, 15 Great Black-backed Gull, 200 Herring Gull, a Razorbill, 29 Guillemot and a Great Crested Grebe. The only other news is of a Redwing settled in the Wood, where it fed on holly berries. 

November 10th

The Glossy Ibis, looking very intent – Roger Tidball
Meadow Pipit – Tina Scott
Kestrel – Roger Tidball

A Siberian Chiffchaff was on Wick this morning – seen on a few occasions and heard to call on at least two. This was amongst an obvious arrival of Firecrest – five on Wick and four in the Wood; as well as 5 Chiffchaff and a Blackcap around the fields. Bearded Tit may also have been on the move, as a flock of twelve was seen over the reedbed by the HHC; with other airborne migrants over the southern side of the area comprising 2 Brambling, 16 Redpoll, 5 Redwing and a Golden Plover. The Glossy Ibis was at Stanpit again for the day – after leaving the Hengistbury roost, which also disgorged 7 Cattle Egret and 26 Little Egret. Sticking to the head, a Great Northern Diver and a Guillemot were on the sea. Moving back to Stanpit and firstly the waders, headed by: 6 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 30 Black-tailed Godwit, 19 Ringed Plover and 135 Dunlin; with other interest coming from 3 Pintail, 22 Brent Goose, 9 Mediterranean Gull and 6 Common Gull. Rounding up, a couple of Bullfinch were on Wick, a Grey Wagtail was on Fisherman’s Bank, a Great Crested Grebe was inside the harbour and at least one Kingfisher was about. Of butterfly interest, a Wall Brown was on the cliffs by the Long Groyne. 

November 9th

Glossy Ibis – Clinton Whale

A first-winter Caspian Gull was watched from the inner side of Mudeford Quay this morning at 10:40 by the mouth of the River Mude. Meanwhile, the Glossy Ibis was at Stanpit all day and a Water Pipit was around the south-west corner of Grimmery Marsh early in the morning. The bulk of the waders were logged from Fisherman’s Bank and included: a Knot, 7 Grey Plover, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 24 Ringed Plover, 120 Dunlin and 12 Turnstone. In addition, a Tufted Duck, 5 Pintail, 3 Shoveler, 5 Brent Goose, 23 Common Gull, 4 Mediterranean Gull and 96 Great Black-backed Gull were about the marsh. Hengistbury saw a real mixture of birds, a summary being: a Fieldfare in-off the sea, with what was considered to be an increase in Blackbird numbers; likewise, Goldcrest were more numerous – around 25 – plus a couple of Chiffchaff; a Brambling and small numbers of Redpoll, Siskin, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch and Skylark travelled east; a juvenile Great Northern Diver was on the sea by the Long Groyne; and 3 Common Scoter, 4 Sandwich Tern, an adult Mediterranean Gull and an unidentified auk passed by.

November 8th

Spoonbill – Jackie Smith

It was something of a collector’s item of a day, in that the wind barely rose above force zero for the entirety of the daylight hours. The Glossy Ibis was again present throughout and, keeping with heron-like birds, four adult Spoonbill dropped out of the mist into Stanpit Bight this morning; presumably encouraged to do so by the constant calls of Grey Plover, of which there were nine – two of them seeming to be in display. Other waders at that point included 2 Knot, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 55 Black-tailed Godwit and over 100 Dunlin. The male Marsh Harrier again visited the area during the morning – seen from Wick – likewise a Brambling and 9 Redwing. Continuing yesterday’s diving-duck theme, a male Pochard was inside the harbour, as were 3 Shoveler, 8 Pintail, 2 Shelduck and 16 Brent Goose. Of mammal interest, a Grey Seal was in the river, off Grimmery Bank, this evening. 

November 7th

Pochard – Scott Usher
Tufted Duck – Scott Usher

Aythya ducks have traditionally been scarce around the area, so a single Pochard and 5 Tufted Duck at Stanpit this morning perhaps suggests an arrival of them into the UK in general? Keeping with waterfowl, a Long-tailed Duck was off Mudeford Quay this morning, when a Great Northern Diver, a minimum of 2 Red-throated Diver, an unidentified diver, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, a Common Scoter, 5 Pintail, 9 Brent Goose and a Great Crested Grebe passed by at sea; and a redhead Goosander seemed to go to roost in Barn Bight this evening. Rewinding to the start of the day and the departure from the Hengistbury roost, which included: a Woodcock, 4 Cattle Egret and a Buzzard; as well as the Glossy Ibis that spent the day at Stanpit – being occasionally harangued by photographers – before turning-in at 16:34, along with the same number of Cattle Egret, 17 Little Egret and 160 Jackdaw. With Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, Grey Heron, Carrion Crow and Rook, at least, all using the same small area; is this one of the most eclectic overnight-stays in the region? Moving to Stanpit, where 3 Bearded Tit were again seen – by the Rusty Boat – and the male Marsh Harrier entertained. Meanwhile the waders there were headed by: 4 Grey Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 24 Black-tailed Godwit and 39 Dulin; there were also 5 Pintail, but a shockingly low number of Brent Goose, just five, as well as 4 Redpoll loitering in the North Scrubs. The best-of-the-rest is: a Firecrest in the Wood; 3 Purple Sandpiper on the sandspit; a Mediterranean Gull and 4 Guillemot east; a Brambling, 3 Redpoll and 14 Siskin east; 12 Chiffchaff and 4 Redwing across the site; and a couple of Kingfisher. Once more, a Grey Phalarope on the sea very close to promenade between Mudeford Quay and Avon Beach car park, may have been visible from the within the recording area. 

Tides November 8th: H01:45 | H05:15 | L09:05 | 14: OS | H17:30 | L21:40

November 6th

Adult male Marsh Harrier – Mazz Blehs
Dartford Warbler – Clinton Whale

A cold, easterly breeze could not deter a good amount of recreation and, as a result, there is another fine selection to write about. A Red-necked Grebe was on the sea around 500m west of the Long Groyne this morning, while a Grey Phalarope was equally settled off the Beach Huts; that ending-up just outside the recording area, off Avon Beach, during the afternoon. A Ring Ouzel was on Hengistbury early on, with a Brambling settled in the Double Dykes there; as well as a couple more of those and 12 Redpoll moving amongst the other, non-reported finch numbers. In the afternoon, a female-type Black Redstart spent some time in the work compound in the car park at the western edge of Whitepits; and the Glossy Ibis was present throughout – being seen to leave the roost with 4 Cattle Egret, before frequenting Stanpit all day, and then returning for the night at around 16:45. Another highlight at Stanpit was 3 Bearded Tit, which moved from Parky Meade Rail to Central Marsh, calling as they did so, just before 8:00 this morning; with the adult male Marsh Harrier being seen on a number of occasions. There was an early flurry of Wood Pigeon – around 11000 west in 45 minutes – but it soon petered out; while the remaining news concerns 3 Purple Sandpiper on groyne S9, plus 4 Chiffchaff, 12 Siskin and a male Bullfinch at Wick. 

November 5th

Glossy Ibis – Pennhill Man
Redshank – Jackie Smith

The Glossy Ibis was at Stanpit all day – favouring an area stretching from the Rusty Boat to North Marsh. It was, however, one at least one occasion, very carelessly flushed by a photographer. Please do afford the bird the respect it deserves – the image above shows what can be achieved without disturbing . Elsewhere on the marsh, there were: a passing Merlin; a Ruff, 2 Knot, 5 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover and 85 Dunlin; 8 Pintail, plus 8 Shoveler; and four considered-to-be, littoralis (‘Scandinavian’) Rock Pipit. Meanwhile, a Firecrest was on Hengistbury, along with 2 Chiffchaff; as well as a Fieldfare and 2 Redwing returned from there. 

November 4th

Great Grey Shrike – Alan Hayden
Glossy Ibis – Alan Crockard
Clouded Yellow – Peter Boardman

Only the fourth and certainly the most accommodating Great Grey Shrike for the area spent the day at Hengistbury, mostly around the Barn Field but then seeming to head towards the Batters towards dusk. Meanwhile, a Glossy Ibis spent the day at Stanpit, mainly around Central Marsh and possibly then going to roost in the Nursery; with other ‘heron’ interest coming from 8 Cattle Egret leaving the roost at dawn and two separate Great White Egret coming in-off the sea. There were additional highlights: a Hawfinch came out of the Nursery at first light; a Yellow-browed Warbler and 7 Firecrest were at the end of the head; and at least one, but possibly two, Yellowhammer was about Hengistbury. Now the Wood Pigeon and, despite the final total being in the order of 39000 birds, it was something of a disappointment in that more were expected and the line of travel was actually quite far inland. Perhaps the six-figure days of only a few years ago are now a thing of the past? Birds moving directly overhead were mixed and included: 9 Brambling, 70 Redpoll, 80 Chaffinch, 70 Meadow Pipit, 45 Skylark, a Swallow and a Fieldfare; as well as a flock of 20 Knot, 2 Golden Plover, 6 Grey Plover and 40 Snipe, initially in one wisp, all heading west. All in all, not a bad day.

November 3rd

Chiffchaff – Jackie Smith
Goldcrest – Jackie Smith

There were a couple of birds vying for the ‘of the day’ title. Firstly, a November Curlew Sandpiper; and, secondly, a redhead Goldeneye – these were once a winter constant in the harbour, but as waters around continental Europe are now less prone to freezing, fewer and fewer cross the North Sea. The other news from Stanpit involves: a Water Pipit and six migrant, presumed littoralis, Rock Pipit; 2 Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit,135 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Ringed Plover and 55 Dunlin; a Firecrest, several Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff; as well as a Pintail and 2 Common Gull. On the other side of the area, the best was: a Great Northern Diver in breeding plumage and a Brambling; plus 5000 westbound Wood Pigeon. On that topic, tomorrow could deliver a big number – the combination of date, clear skies and a light northerly is a classic – tens of thousands are possible over the area during the first couple of daylight hours. Off mammal interest, a Grey Seal was off the head. 

November 2nd

Curlew – Clinton Whale
... and a Purple Sandpiper on the sandspit today – Mark Taylor

After a night of fierce wind, a morning seawatch was given a go – but was not particularly well rewarded. The best was another Merlin coming in-off over the sandspit, as well as a Red-throated Diver, 4 Kittiwake, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 15 Common Scoter, 4 Guillemot, 18 Gannet, 850 Herring Gull and 20 Great Black-backed Gull; all west or in the case of the gulls some perhaps lingering. Meanwhile, a couple of Swallow battled the elements and it’s understood there was a reasonable passage of Goldfinch and Linnet. Also during the morning, a Marsh Harrier was about the area; while, this evening, a male Peregrine was seen devouring a Black-headed Gull on North Marsh with 2 Carrion Crow in close attendance. 

November 1st

Black-tailed Godwit
Black–tailed Godwit - Roger Tidball

On another largely wet day, the only news comes from a morning weather-window on Hengistbury, which produced 2 Brambling and around 250 Goldfinch moving west; plus a Firecrest and a male Peregrine. 

October 31st

A Snow Bunting was found this afternoon around the eastern part of Hengistbury – between the Beach Huts and the Long Groyne – but couldn’t be relocated towards dusk. There is no reason to believe it has left, however. Also in that area, 4 Purple Sandpiper on the Long Groyne. Earlier, there were 2 Little Gull at Stanpit, plus a couple each of Swallow and Chiffchaff about Wick. 

October 30th

Purple Sandpiper – Clinton Whale

The first Purple Sandpiper of the winter were on the sandspit today – four birds on groyne S9; also 6 Black-tailed Godwit and 22 Turnstone around the spit. The on-going wind and rain meant the sea got almost three hours of attention this morning, when it yielded: a close, settled Great Northern Diver in breeding plumage that, in the end, left west; as well as a Red-throated Diver, a Red-breasted Merganser, 10 Common Scoter, 10 Kittiwake, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 10 Guillemot, 8 Razorbill, six unidentified auks, 45 Gannet, 250 Herring Gull and 20 Great Black-backed Gull; all west. A female-type Merlin also travelled westward over the water, while the adult male Marsh Harrier again hunted at Stanpit. 

October 29th

The only news from another wet, windy day is of a quiet, one-hour seawatch from the Beach Huts this afternoon; when just 10 Gannet were seen. 

October 28th

A Merlin headed south over the area today, while the male Marsh Harrier hunted at Stanpit; where even the low water could have been passed off as a high. This pushed the Spotted Redshank onto North Marsh, with 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 80 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Dunlin and 3 Snipe also being logged. Even just ten years ago, a figure of 100 Lapwing would have been considered reasonably insignificant, but that is sadly no longer the case. Rounding up, a couple of Chiffchaff and 5 Goldcrest were on Wick, a 2 Kingfisher were about the marsh. 

October 27th

Peregrine on its regular Priory perch – Clinton Whale

Unfortunately, no reports have been received for today. 

October 26th

Marsh Harrier – Peter Boardman
Juvenile, per the three white chevrons, Brent Goose. Less than six months old and already travelled 3000 miles! – Clinton Whale

The best of the day’s news comes from raptors, namely: the male Marsh Harrier around Stanpit this morning, as well as a female-type Merlin there. Otherwise, news is sparse – a Grey Plover and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit in the uncharacteristic location of North Marsh, a testament to the very high tide; and a single Blackcap, 7 Chiffchaff and a Kingfisher at Wick. 

October 25th

The bulk of the news comes from Stanpit, where a Merlin headed east and the waders included: a Knot, 2 Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 235 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Ringed Plover and 60 Dunlin. Meanwhile, the wildfowl were headed by a Red-breasted Merganser, always a local scarcity; as well as 6 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, 97 Brent Goose – fourteen of them juveniles – and 2 Egyptian Goose. Finishing on the marsh, there were 18 Skylark grounded on South Marsh. Early on at Hengistbury, before the rain, a couple of hundred Goldfinch, along with a few Linnet, Siskin and a Redpoll, attempted to travel west. After the precipitation began, however, the only option was the sea, which produced just: a Red-throated Diver east, 2 Sandwich Tern and 2 Mediterranean Gull. 

October 24th

On a quite dreadful day of wind and rain, the only reports come from a 3-hour seawatch this morning, when the best was a flock of 29 Pintail, a sizeable number for the area, heading west. Interestingly, there was not a hint of drake plumage in any of them – so, a group of young bird perhaps? Otherwise, it’s just two juvenile Kittiwake, plus a handful of Mediterranean Gull and Common Gull, a young drake Common Scoter and a constant presence of Gannet to mention. 

October 23rd

Meadow Pipit – Clinton Whale

A Ring Ouzel about Wick Hams and a Water Pipit at Stanpit, both this morning, and 3 Cattle Egret on the marsh late in the afternoon were the day’s highlights. Meanwhile, the water birds at Stanpit included: a Knot, 3 Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 55 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, 118 Brent Goose, 14 Mediterranean Gull, 4 Common Gull, 3 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Kingfisher. To finish up, the more interesting of the passerines – a Wheatear on Crouch Hill and a Mistle Thrush, a Grey Wagtail, 3 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff and 4 Goldcrest around Wick. 

October 22nd

House Sparrow enjoying the sun on a lobster pot at Mudeford Quay – Clinton Whale

A dawn visit to Hengistbury saw 4 Cattle Egret come out from the Nursery roost, as well as over 200 Jackdaw – the latter a fairly recent species to use that area overnight. At 9:20, an Osprey passed through the harbour west to east, when a good wader selection included: 2 Knot, 3 Grey Plover, 2 Sanderling, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover, 85 Dunlin and 12 Turnstone. Meanwhile, a Firecrest was in the Stunted Oaks and a couple of Wheatear were on Crouch Hill. Some selective finch counts from Hengistbury comprise 975 Goldfinch and 155 Chaffinch south, with 32 Mediterranean Gull west and a lingering Little Gull of non-described age. Finishing up, a couple of Dartford Warbler, 4 Pintail and 2 Gadwall were about Stanpit, and a Kingfisher was in Holloway’s Dock. 

October 21st

Of the estimated 90 Brent Goose now at Stanpit, at least eleven are birds hatched this year – the back two in this shot - Alan Crockard

This evening a total of 6 Cattle Egret and 40 Little Egret went to roost in the Nursery; while, slightly earlier, a single Cattle Egret came up from Priory Marsh and headed north and a Water Pipit was about Stanpit Bight.  A late-morning visit to Wick Fields was headed with a Lapland Bunting, a Ring Ouzel, 2 Crossbill and a Redpoll – but all seen briefly. During the afternoon at Stanpit, there were: 4 Knot, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 17 Mediterranean Gull; with a morning look into the harbour from Mudeford Quay producing: a Common Sandpiper, a Great Crested Grebe and a couple of Shelduck. 

October 20th

The four Glossy Ibis at Stanpit this morning – Davd J Faulkner

Stanpit was the place to be this morning with four Glossy Ibis, a Richard's Pipit and a Yellow-browed Warbler. The Ibis were feeding on East Marsh for around an hour mid morning at high tide; earlier single birds had been reported by the information services from various sites to the west including Lytchett Bay and Studland. The Richards Pipit was inadvertently flushed twice before it flew towards East Marsh while the Yellow-browed Warbler was behind the visitor centre. A sea watch from Hengistbury produced an Arctic Skua, 3 Common Gull and 16 Mediterranean Gull, all west. Back to Stanpit where 12 juvenile Brent Geese were present plus 4 Gadwall, 4 Pintail, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Grey Plover; also another 14 Mediterranean Gull and 4 Common Gull were logged. Passerines were few with 12 Goldcrest, 2 Firecrest and a Grey Wagtail at Hengistbury. Later, towards evening, a Marsh Harrier was over Priory Marsh.

October 19th

Little Egret
Little Egret – Peter Boardman
Common Darter
Common Darter – Peter Boardman

The wind direction changed to southerly today, so there were fewer birds on the move but still with a good variety of species.  There were a couple of Ring Ouzel logged, with one at Wick and another on the Salt Hurns at Hengistbury. Six Cattle Egret left the Nursery roost at dawn, presumably five of these were at Wick Farm Meadows an hour later, but the best count was eight at Priory Marsh, Stanpit this evening. Overhead migrants at Hengistbury included 2 Brambling, 340 Linnet, 63 Redpoll, 18 Crossbill, including a flock of 14 birds, 55 Alba Wagtail, 108 Meadow Pipit, 145 Goldfinch, 37 Chaffinch, 22 Skylark, 12 Siskin, 39 Jackdaw and 3 Redwing. Single Merlin and Peregrine were also logged, as were 4 Grey Plover over, and 2 Sandwich Tern flew into the Harbour. Three Firecrest were in the wood at Hengistbury, where Goldcrest increased to 25 with a further five of the latter at Wick. Finally, 1 Wheatear continues to linger at Stanpit, where 2 Rock Pipit were also noted. A late afternoon visit to Mudeford Quay added a Little Gull, 24 Mediterranean Gull and 3 Kittiwake. 

October 18th

It was a busy day on both sides of the harbour, with the monthly WeBS count producing an excellent total of 1,333 Wigeon, which is one of CHOGs best-ever day tallies. Other wildfowl numbers were 243 Coot, 161 Mallard, 3 Pintail, 3 Shoveler and 29 Teal. The Brent Goose flock continues to expand, reaching a total of 101 today and 4 Kingfisher were seen. There was also a good selection of waders, the highlights being singles of Green Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank, 2 Ruff, 3 Knot, 8 Snipe, 54 Lapwing, 94 Redshank, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plover, 71 Dunlin and 15 Ringed Plover. At Hengistbury, 2 Golden Plover came in off the sea and passerines moving overhead comprised a Woodlark, 9 Crossbill, 9 Brambling, 116 Alba Wagtail, 171 Redpoll, 206 Meadow Pipit, 105 Siskin, 652 Linnet, 393 Goldfinch, 158 Chaffinch, 31 Swallow and 7 Reed Bunting. Elsewhere, 12 Chiffchaff and 4 Goldcrest were at Wick and a male Marsh Harrier was reported from both sides of the Harbour. At sea, 83 Common Scoter and 16 Brent Goose were mostly moving east, while a Red-breasted Merganser went in the opposite direction and a pod of 12 Dolphin were noted offshore.

October 17th

Dartford Warbler
Dartford Warbler – Peter Boardman
Migrant Hawker male – Peter Boardman

The undoubted highlight of the day was a Woodcock seen at Hengistbury early this morning, when 3 Cattle Egret, 370 Jackdaw and 210 Rook left the Nursery roost. The north-easterly winds continued to prevail and produced another good easterly movement of passerines over Hengistbury, including a Woodlark, 2 Brambling, 215 Redpoll, 185 Siskin, 920 Goldfinch, 580 Linnet, 135 Alba Wagtail, 85 Meadow Pipit, 18 Reed Bunting, 170 Swallow and 14 Skylark. Other birds on the move were a Merlin east, a Great Northern Diver west through the harbour, 12 Mediterranean and 14 Common Gulls past Hengistbury and 4 Common Scoter at sea. No counts of waders were received from Stanpit, but tomorrow’s Wetland Bird Survey will, no doubt, provide some current numbers. However, the Crouch Hill area hosted two littoralis-type Rock Pipit and a Wheatear, while the rising spring tide flushed a Jack Snipe and 15 Snipe, with a further seven of the latter being similarly disturbed on the Salt Hurns at Hengistbury. Two Marsh Harriers visited Stanpit today – a female this morning and a male this afternoon. Finally, there was a pre-roost gathering of about 100 Alba Wagtail at the north end of the Marsh this evening.

October 16th

Yellow browed%20Warbler
Yellow browed
Two sides of a Yellow–browed Warbler – the right wing showing one obvious wing–bar and a broken second one, and the left showing two clear wing-bars – Leo Pike

Today's highlights were Yellow-browed Warbler, which graced both sides of the Harbour with one in the old depot site at Stanpit and another that spent most of the day in the stunted oaks at Hengistbury, as well as 4 Cattle Egret that flew north-east from Stanpit this morning; presumably it was two of these birds which returned to Parky Meade Rail later this afternoon. The north-easterly winds meant that visible passerine migration continued at Hengistbury with 115 Siskin, 109 Redpoll, 470 Linnet, 530 Goldfinch, 5 Crossbill, 2 Brambling and just over 80 Swallow all moving east, while 2 Redwing flew north over Wick. The Wood at Hengistbury hosted singles of Coal Tit, Siskin, Treecreeper and Firecrest, and 5 Goldcrest were noted at Wick. The Brent Goose flock at Stanpit increased to 67 birds, and passerine interest there came from 2 Bullfinch in North Scrubs, and a Wheatear with 8 Pied Wagtail on Crouch Hill. Kingfisher were seen on both sides of the harbour and Chiffchaff across the area totalled 22, including one possible 'tristis' at Wick which, like yesterday, was not heard to call.

October 15th

Jay – Peter Boardman
Migrant Hawker
Migrant Hawker – Peter Boardman

It was a busy morning at Hengistbury with a very good overhead movement of passerines flying east, including singles of Woodlark, Tree Pipit and Brambling, plus 18 Crossbill, 66 Redpoll, 359 Siskin, 677 Linnet, 207 Chaffinch, 948 Goldfinch, 195 Meadow Pipit, 84 Pied Wagtail, 126 Swallow and 4 House Martin. Also heading east were 4 Brent Goose, a Pintail and 3 Golden Plover, while an Egyptian Goose flew west. Raptors were represented by a Merlin and two Marsh Harriers – a female west this morning and superb adult male at Stanpit this afternoon. The main reports from Stanpit involve 2 Shoveler, a Greenshank, the latter unusually scarce this autumn, and a Kingfisher. The Brent Goose flock has increased to 43. What was probably a second Woodlark flew southwest over Wick, where there was also a ‘tristis-type’ Chiffchaff, which failed to call to confirm its credentials, a Grey Wagtail and 2 Firecrest. Finally, a Great Crested Grebe was in the harbour and a total of 18 Chiffchaff were spread across Wick and Hengistbury.

October 14th

Bullfinch – Alan Crockard
Great Green Bush Cricket – Peter Boardman

A Merlin accompanied a good number of visible, passerine migrants this morning, which totalled: a Brambling, 10 Crossbill, 20 Chaffinch, 41 Redpoll, 93 Siskin, 174 Linnet, 990 Goldfinch, 7 Grey Wagtail, 90 Pied Wagtail, 92 Meadow Pipit, 6 Skylark, 70 House Martin and 250 Swallow, all east; as well as 2 Fieldfare and 13 Redwing to the north-west. Later in the day, a Yellow-browed Warbler was between the Solent Meads ‘club house’ and the Driving Range, while the morning produced a Garganey and a Marsh Harrier at Stanpit, plus a couple of Firecrest and 7 Chiffchaff across Wick and up to the Wood. At Stanpit, the first Rock Pipit of the winter was present, along with 2 Wheatear and over fifty-five, grounded Meadow Pipit. A Tufted Duck, 4 Pintail, 3 Shoveler and 29 Brent Goose were also returned; at least 2 Bullfinch were on Wick; and 5 Brent Goose plus 2 Wigeon passed at sea – west and east respectively. 

October 13th

Ring Ouzel – Leo Pyke (upper two) & Chris Chapleo
Speckled Wood – Peter Boardman

A male Ring Ouzel performed well in the hollies at the end of the head for much of the day, while other settled passerines were somewhat sparse – a Wheatear, a Firecrest, 14 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and 12 Redpoll and a Siskin making up the rest. Overhead passage was also light, but did include: a Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 3 Song Thrush and a Grey Wagtail. A Merlin was seen on a couple of occasions in the south of the area, while a male Marsh Harrier seems to have a liking for Wick Hams – perhaps a bird returning for at least its fifth winter? As is customary, it’s time to list the best of the Stanpit waders, namely: the Spotted Redshank, a Golden Plover, 4 Grey Plover, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Ringed Plover and 111 Dunlin; while a single Mediterranean Gull was briefly on Crouch Hill and a couple of Kingfisher were about. Now the geese and starting with the wild ones – 31 Brent Goose. In addition, there was a new record-high of 643 Canada Goose – the previous being nearly two hundred less than that – 38 Egyptian Goose, 8 Greylag Goose – two of them Poole Park birds – and the Emperor Goose. 

October 12th

There was another Lapland Bunting today – a bird east over the Ironstone Quarry – as well as the vanguard of winter thrushes; around 7 Redwing at Hengistbury, along with an accompanying Ring Ouzel on the Barn Field, and 5 Mistle Thrush. A getting-late Willow Warbler was by the HHC, while Chiffchaff came to at least 45 and 6 Firecrest, one of them singing, were across Hengistbury and Wick, as well as a Blackcap, 30 Redpoll and a Grey Wagtail settled. In addition to the already mentioned bunting, overhead movement came from: 3 Crossbill, 12 Redpoll, 21 Chaffinch, 61 Siskin, 120 Linnet, 210 Goldfinch, 8 Reed Bunting, 17 Pied Wagtail, 115 Meadow Pipit, 7 Skylark and 80 Swallow. Moving to Stanpit, where the Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, a Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Black-tailed Godwit were the pick of waders; with the best of the wildfowl being a Pochard, as well as 3 Pintail, a Shoveler and a Shelduck. Also logged at the marsh – a couple each of Common Gull and Wheatear; a male Marsh Harrier hunted Wick Hams; 16 Common Scoter were on the sea, but the day-total may be 34 birds; 4 Mediterranean Gull passed east; and a Little Grebe was on the Ironstone Quarry.

Finally, a note about the large numbers of geese currently about the area and some form of explanation as to why they don’t often get a mention. The vast majority are Canada Goose, with a few Greylag Goose and an individual Emperor Goose mixed in. All are essentially classed as feral, i.e.  they are only here as a result of human intervention. In the case of the Canada Goose, the very first introduction to the UK was as long ago as the 17th century, while the Greylag Goose have become more established in the area only during the last ten years. As such, they are not considered truly wild birds, so don’t always get mentioned in day-to-day accounts, but their numbers are entered into the CHOG database. All that said, it is appreciated they make quite a spectacle as they arrive and depart their roost at Stanpit. What is still a bit of a mystery is why their numbers peak at this time of year? For the purists, however, the first genuinely wild geese we get – Brent Goose – are now starting to arrive after the 3000-mile return from their Siberian breeding grounds – thirty-one in the harbour today. 

October 11th

The highlights from a reasonably busy day were: a Lapland Bunting over the HHVC very early on; an Osprey north over the harbour and then following the Stour just after 5:00 this evening; a Great White Egret for a while in the morning; and 16 Crossbill and a Brambling over Hengistbury. Other travelling birds over the head included: 2 Grey Wagtail, 77 Pied Wagtail,42 Meadow Pipit, 16 Redpoll, 32 Siskin, 172 Linnet, 190 Goldfinch and 10 Skylark; while a Mistle Thrush, at least 30 Swallow and a House Martin lingered. Singles of Firecrest were on Wick and in the Wood, with other settled birds across the area coming to: 6 Redpoll, 23 Chiffchaff and 3 Blackcap. Moving to water birds and firstly waders: the Spotted Redshank, a Grey Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover and 95 Dunlin were the peak wader counts at Stanpit; the Brent Goose now number eleven and 6 Pintail plus 25 Teal were logged; and, to finish, a couple of Little Grebe and a Kingfisher were around. 

October 10th

Grey Plover – Tina Scott

The best from a sparse day of news is a Great White Egret at Stanpit around 9:00 this morning, before it was seen off by a Grey Heron. Otherwise, it’s just 9 Chiffchaff and 5 Blackcap on Wick, plus 5 Skylark and 18 Swallow passing over to the west. 

October 9th

Coal Tit – Leo Pyke

There was good presence of Chiffchaff at Stanpit this morning – around thirty in the North Scrubs – as well as females of Blackcap and Bullfinch. Marsh Harrier came in at a minimum of two, but perhaps one more – a male pitched into Wick Hams, while female-types were seen on a couple of occasions; one of which was coming in-off the sea with 2 Buzzard. Sticking with the water, a dark Arctic Skua headed west and 5 Mediterranean Gull were logged. At least 3 Firecrest were in the Wood and 4 Coal Tit, never a common bird in the area, were at the end of the head; where 5 Snipe were in Holloway’s Dock. 

October 8th

Sandwich Tern don't often rest on the lawn at Mudeford Quay – Jackie Smith

During a westerly blast this morning, a Grey Phalarope spent some time bobbing about in the Run, while a dark Arctic Skua lingered offshore. Also from Mudeford Quay, at least 16 Sandwich Tern and 3 Shag. Late in the afternoon, a visit to Stanpit produced a Yellow Wagtail, a Whinchat, 7 Wheatear, a possible further 10 Sandwich Tern and a Kingfisher. Of mammal interest, a Grey Seal was off the quay in the morning. 

October 7th

Pintail – Alan Hayden
Wigeon – Alan Hayden

Firstly, the sad news that the eagle has not managed to recover and succumbed overnight. CHOG would like to thank those that picked the bird up and the team at the Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre, but most of all Mike & Carla Meeks. Early in the day, there was reportedly some ‘good vismig’ at Hengistbury, but no further details have been forwarded. Meanwhile:  a Crossbill came out of the Nursery, a Yelllow-browed Warbler was at the end of the head, a Firecrest sang briefly in the Wood, a further 4 Crossbill, a couple of Brambling, 55 Pied Wagtail and 500 Swallow moved over, and a Mistle Thrush was on the Long Field. Also in the morning, at sea, an Arctic Skua and 9 Brent Goose passed west; a Great Northern Diver and 7 Mediterranean Gull were returned; and over 300 Gannet milled in a distant feeding flock. To finish a bit of an anti-climax of a day, 20 Siskin, 14 Chiffchaff and 7 Blackcap were logged; mostly from Wick. 

October 6th

Short-toed Eagle
This Short–toed Eagle was found sodden, but alive, on the beach at Hengistbury Head early yesterday afternoon, after presumably being washed ashore; and is now being looked after in very capable hands. The finders initially believed it be an osprey, but when photographs emerged on social media this afternoon, the true identity quickly came to light. It seems almost certain the bird had benn earlier seen late in the morning from Studland, heading towards Hengistbury, so possibly ditched sometime after that in Poole Bay. Assuming acceptance by the BBRC, this will be only the fourth record for the UK, following birds in Scilly 1999, Jersey 2011 and Wareham, Dorset, 2014; the latter also ranging to Sussex and the New Forest. While it seems the bird will recover, there are question marks over a release. Quite how a migratory raptor that should be well on the way to Africa and is heavily dependent on thermals could be released into the English autumn, with a 75-mile sea crossing ahead of it, needs some thought - no credit Shorttoed
...and how one should really look. Taken in France – Alan Crockard
Sanderling – Clinton Whale
...and a rainbow over the Sandspit – Clinton Whale

After what’s been written above, and no disrespect to the birds and the observers, but this post feels like it’s paled into insignificance. Another good selection of waders, mostly at Stanpit, featured: a Ruff, the Spotted Redshank, a Golden Plover, a Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 3 Sanderling, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 16 Black-tailed Godwit and 81 Dunlin. Meanwhile, Crouch Hill held a couple of Whinchat, plus 16 Stonechat and 8 Wheatear; with 3 Redpoll and 6 Mediterranean Gull passing over. Moving to wildfowl, there was a drake Tufted Duck, 7 Pintail, a Shoveler and now 9 Brent Goose; and the final miscellany comes courtesy of a Great Crested Grebe, a Common Gull and 8 Sandwich Tern. 

October 5th

Wheatear – Matthew Barfield
Redshank – Alan Crockard

There was a Yellow-browed Warbler behind the Nursery this morning, while 20 Wheatear were on Stanpit – a further Wheatear was on Hengistbury, with up to 35 Chiffchaff, plus 3 Blackcap, there and on Wick. Meanwhile, birds passing over included: a Yellow Wagtail, a Grey Wagtail, 55 Goldfinch, 25 Linnet, 20 Chaffinch, 13 Redpoll, a few heard-only Siskin, 15 House Martin, 4 Song Thrush and 20 Skylark; all to the west. Waders at Stanpit are reducing in numbers, but there was still a Curlew Sandpiper, along with 2 Ruff, the Spotted Redshank, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit and 12 Black-tailed Godwit. Finally, a juvenile Shag has been seen around Mudeford Quay for the last day or so. 

October 4th

Low–flying House Martin, feeding wherever they could eke out a meal, were a feature across the area today - Jackie Smith

It was another very wet day, but hopefully most of that is now behind us. The pick of some sparse news is 3 Golden Plover west over Wick this afternoon, where previously there had been 14 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, a couple of Goldcrest and 5 Redpoll. In addition to the many House Martin about the recording area, there were 12 Swallow. This evening, a skein of 8 Brent Goose arrived and settled just off the sandspit. 

October 3rd

From a wash-out of a day, there are just two items of news. Firstly, during the morning, a Grey Phalarope headed out of the Run, seen from Mudeford Quay; while around the same time, a flock of 6 Greenshank were at Stanpit. The latter notable by their previous complete absence as species for over three weeks. 

October 2nd

Curlew – Tina Scott

The day turned out to be much drier than expected, with likewise a lot more sun. There was a very mobile Grey Phalarope at Stanpit this morning, last seen on the River, but not this afternoon. Meanwhile, other waders about the marsh included: a Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, a Grey Plover, 4 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Black-tailed Godwit and 8 Snipe. In addition to 4 Yellow Wagtail passing over, Crouch Hill hosted: a Whinchat, 14 Wheatear, 7 Stonechat and 5 Skylark; while 7 Brent Goose were in the adjacent Stanpit Bight and 2 Great Crested Grebe were in the larger section of the harbour. To finish, a look at the sea came up with a Common Gull, 5 Sandwich Tern and 28 Gannet. 

October 1st

The presumed, local Buzzard at Stanpit – Jeremy Mcclements
Water Rail – Pennhill Man
..and Goldfinch feeding on some recent, wildlife–friendly planting – Tina Scott

There was a clear influx of Firecrest at Hengistbury today – four in the Wood and four at the end of the head, where there was also a Nuthatch. A flock of 11 Redpoll was on the Barn Field, along with singles of  Siskin and Mistle Thrush. Meanwhile, a Grey Wagtail, 8 alba Wagtail, a latish Sand Martin, 10 House Martin and 120 Swallow passed over. Again, Crouch Hill was the favoured spot for Wheatear – nine birds there this afternoon – with Wick Hams holding a couple. The best of the waders at Stanpit was: 3 Curlew Sandpiper, a Ruff, the Spotted Redshank, a heard-only Grey Plover, 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and 75 Ringed Plover. The only other bird news is of the drake Common Scoter still settled off the Beach Huts; while, of butterfly interest, a Clouded Yellow was on Hengistbury. 

September 30th

Great Northern Diver over the HHC – Peter Boardman
Grey Seal in the Stour off Wick! – Peter Boardman

The expected finch migration got underway today – as accompanied by a Merlin and a Lapland Bunting – 520 Linnet, 185 Goldfinch, 148 Siskin 73 Redpoll and sixteen early Chaffinch moved over Hengistbury; as did 6 Yellow Wagtail, 97 alba Wagtail, 195 Meadow Pipit, 630 Swallow and 56 House Martin; while 2 Wheatear, 20 Chiffchaff and 4 Blackcap were settled there, and a further 6 Wheatear and a significant 32 Stonechat were around Crouch Hill. A Great Northern Diver was on the sea, before what was presumably the same bird headed south over the HHC; with other returns from the water being: a Little Gull, these are scarce birds nowadays, an Arctic Skua, 28 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Common Tern, 73 Sandwich Tern and 4 Common Scoter; a drake of the latter settled. The wader variety at Stanpit continues – the pick being: 2 Curlew Sandpiper, a Ruff, the Spotted Redshank, a Golden Plover, a Knot, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Black-tailed Godwit. Meanwhile, 6 Sanderling were on the sandspit. A couple of first-calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull were also inside the harbour, along with 9 Brent Goose and 4 Pintail; a Buzzard again looked at home in the Nursery and a Peregrine hunted over Wick. 

September 29th

There was another fine cluster of birds around Crouch Hill throughout the day, including: 5 Whinchat, 10 Wheatear, a Yellow Wagtail, a Sedge Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 55 Meadow Pipit, 6 Pied Wagtail and a Dartford Warbler. Meanwhile, Wick held 17 Chiffchaff and 3 Blackcap; with a Mistle Thrush, 2 Redpoll, a Grey Wagtail and a Mediterranean Gull heading south over there. The day’s best Curlew Sandpiper return was three birds, along with a Ruff, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin and 6 Snipe, two of those on the new scrape, at Stanpit; while 6 Turnstone were about Mudeford Quay. The Brent Goose doubled overnight to six and there was the same number of Pintail, as well a 2 Gadwall. Sandwich Tern are still present – at least four around today. 

September 28th

Redstart – Penhill Man
Whinchat – Leo Pyke

Crouch Hill held a really nice selection of passerines throughout the day – namely: a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whitethroat, 2 Whinchat, 7 Wheatear, 10 Stonechat, 6 Pied Wagtail, 25 Meadow Pipit and 8 Skylark; as well as a Yellow Wagtail over. Meanwhile, on the other side of the area, a Redstart was in the Stunted Oaks and 13 Chiffchaff, plus a couple of Blackcap, were on Wick. During the afternoon, a female Merlin circuited the area, when, the first returning Brent Goose, three dark-bellied birds, up to 60 Teal and 3 Pintail were also present. Finishing with waders, all at Stanpit, and including: 4 Curlew Sandpiper, a Ruff, the Spotted Redshank, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin and 9 Snipe. 

September 27th

A couple of Kingfisher were using the newly created scrape on Central Marsh – Paul Turton

Once again, there isn’t too much to report – the best perhaps a Merlin over Stanpit in the morning. Meanwhile, a Spotted Flycatcher was in the Stunted Oaks on Hengistbury, with Chiffchaff and Blackcap across the head and Wick coming to around 30 and 20 respectively. Early on, a Green Sandpiper lifted off the Wick meadows, with singles of Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Black-tailed Godwit being the only wader reports from Stanpit. Also from the marsh, 3 Pintail, 4 Shoveler and at least 2 Kingfisher. 

September 26th

Red Admiral – Alan Crockard
Sparrowhawk – Peter Boardman

The cold wind continued and there are few reports received for the day, which from experiences elsewhere suggested many, many house martins must have passed through the area. However, there was a Cattle Egret on Wick Hams, before it located to Central Marsh, Stanpit. The only other news is of 2 Goldcrest, 5 Chiffchaff and 4 Blackcap on Wick; plus a Kingfisher by the Bailey Bridge. 

September 25th

Wigeon – Alan Crockard
Clouded Yellow – Colin Raymond

A cold, north-westerly wind gave the area a very Autumnal feel today. Starting with the waders, mainly from Fisherman’s Bank and including: 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, the Spotted Redshank, a Grey Plover, a Knot, 3 Sanderling, 14 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Black-tailed Godwit. Moving to passerines and an impressive 20 Wheatear on Crouch Hill this morning, while 6 Yellow Wagtail were also settled at Stanpit. Meanwhile, Hengistbury hosted a Redstart, a further Wheatear, 25 Blackcap and 18 Chiffchaff. Birds were also moving over, with 5 Redpoll, 35 Siskin, a Grey Wagtail, 22 alba Wagtail, 150 Meadow Pipit, 80 House Martin and 75 Swallow being returned from both sides of the river. In addition to the ever-increasing Wigeon, there were 6 Pintail, 3 Shoveler and 4 Gadwall about; 3 Common Gull were in Stanpit Bight; and a Kingfisher was in Parky Meade Rail. 

September 24th

Cattle Egret – Peter Boardman
Sanderling – Clinton Whale

A Cattle Egret spent some time on Wick this morning, before flying over towards Stanpit. Earlier, a Tree Sparrow landed for a brief moment on the roof of the Barn. A sea watch from the Beach Huts produced 3 Balearic Shearwater, a juvenile Arctic Tern and 5 Kittiwake on the move; plus around 50 Gannet in a distant feeding flock. Travelling passerines included: 8 Yellow Wagtail, a Redpoll and 40 Siskin over Stanpit, the latter visiting the North Scrubs for while, and 170 Meadow Pipit over Hengistbury. Meanwhile, on the deck, there were a 4 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Wheatear and a handful of Chiffchaff; all about the marsh. An unaged Arctic Tern was returned from South Marsh, as well as 6 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Ruff, the Spotted Redshank, a Grey Plover, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Sanderling, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Ringed Plover and 30 Dunlin inside the harbour; with around one-hundred small waders – a mix of Ringed Plover and Dunlin – on the sandspit. The remaining news concerns a Peregrine unsuccessfully hunting the area during the morning

September 23rd

Grey Heron – Roger Tidball
Yellow Wagtail – Jackie Smith
Work has started this week on the creation of a scrape on Central Marsh, Stanpit, as well as increasing the size of the pool on East Marsh adjacent to the Pod. These initiatives, which are jointly funded between CHOG, BCP and FoSM, will provide some greatly improved feeding areas for birds. 

Stanpit hosted an impressive 11 Curlew Sandpiper this morning, along with a Common Sandpiper, the Spotted Redshank, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Sanderling. This evening, there were at least 6 Yellow Wagtail with the ponies on Crouch Hill, along with a Sedge Warbler, 3 Wheatear and up to 12 Chiffchaff around the marsh. Earlier, a getting-late Willow Warbler was on Wick, while a further 2 Wheatear were on the Barn Field; with a Grey Wagtail and 50 Swallow moving over to the east. The sea was quiet, although a Great Skua did pass west, as did 20 Sandwich Tern and 15 Gannet. To finish, there were 3 Treecreeper in the Wood. 

September 22nd

Curlew Sandpiper in Holloway's Dock – Clinton Whale

After a week or so of easterlies the wind moved round to the south-west this morning.  Migrants were few with just 40 Meadow Pipit and 5 Chiffchaff settled on Wick and a Redpoll overhead.  There were 5 Curlew Sandpiper in the harbour, including the bird above in Holloway's Dock and four on Stanpit while the bulk of the small waders were on the sandspit in a mixed flock of one hundred and fifty birds.  The Spotted Redshank was in Stanpit Creek together with 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Knot and a Grey Plover, also a Snipe over Wick.

September 21st

Fewer birds were on the move this morning in a much lighter easterly wind.  The numbers were 580 Swallow, 260 Meadow Pipit, 240 Siskin, 150 House Martin, 38 Goldfinch, 23 alba Wagtail, 11 Chaffinch, 6 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Redpoll, 5 Grey Wagtail and 4 Sand Martin.  On the ground were 40 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, two each side of the harbour, 3 Grey Wagtail by the visitor centre on Stanpit and 2 Wheatear opposite The Hiker.  The only wader news comes from Hengistbury where a Grey Plover was circuiting the harbour, 22 Dunlin and a Black-tailed Godwit were in Barn Bight and this afternoon 100 Dunlin and 30 Ringed Plover were on the sandspit.  Wildfowl today included the arrival of 9 Teal, 3 Pintail east and a couple of Gadwall with the Mallard.  To round up a Treecreeper was in the wood, a Bullfinch was in the North Scrubs, a Kingfisher was on the Salt Hurns and 5 Mediterranean Gull were logged.

September 20th

There was another good overhead movement this morning with males of both Hen Harrier and Marsh Harrier heading south; also logged were a Lapland Bunting, 4 Tree Pipit, 12 Redpoll, 21 Yellow Wagtail, 1120 Siskin, 1200 Meadow Pipit, 4200 House Martin and 5100 Swallow.  Other birds on the move included 46 Pintail west, 43 Teal and 19 Snipe that arrived over Hengistbury.  The only grounded migrants were the first Ring Ouzel of the autumn, on the Salt Hurns, and 22 Chiffchaff on WickToday saw the first Wetland Bird Survey of the autumn/winter season.  Highlights included 3 Spoonbill briefly at Stanpit, a count of 54 Little Egret and seventeen species of wader amongst which were 2 Curlew Sandpiper and singles of Little Stint, Spotted Redshank and Avocet.  Selected totals were 149 Dunlin, 27 Turnstone, 23 Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Ringed Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot, 2 Greenshank, 1 Grey Plover and 1 Snipe.  As we approach the end of September wildfowl numbers continue to build with 308 Wigeon, 24 Teal and 10 Pintail. 

September 19th

Although the wind had eased a little this morning it was still from the east and there was less sunshine hence it felt much cooler.  Once again there were good numbers of hirundines, wagtails, pipits and Siskin on the move plus 8 Redpoll.  A flock of 7 Curlew Sandpiper moved east followed by a single bird while another was feeding in Holloway's Dock.  Both Peregrine and Merlin were logged while a Buzzard went north.  Grounded Migrants across the site were 2 Whinchat, 2 Whitethroat, 6 Wheatear, 8 Blackcap and 27 Chiffchaff.  Waders on Stanpit included an Avocet, a Ruff, a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit and 40 Dunlin plus, this afternoon, 2 Curlew Sandpiper and the Spotted Redshank.  A female Pochard was at Stanpit, 2 Pintail arrived and a group of 23 Wigeon headed west at sea.

September 18th

The wind had strengthened somewhat this morning but was still primarily from the east.  Plenty of birds were on the move but the numbers didn't quite match those of yesterday.  With the exception of a male Marsh Harrier that moved south and 67 Cormorant and 38 Mediterranean Gull that headed west birds travelled into the wind.  The totals were 570 Swallow, 435 Siskin, 350 House Martin, 315 Meadow Pipit, 46 Yellow Wagtail, 36 alba Wagtail, 5 Grey Wagtail, 4 Pintail and 2 Tree Pipit.  Elsewhere in the harbour 4 Curlew Sandpiper were logged, two on the sandspit, one in Holloway's Dock and one in Stanpit Creek.  From Fisherman's Bank there were 24 Dunlin, 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot and singles of Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Whimbrel and Ringed Plover.  A Grey Wagtail was on the slipway at Argyle Road and 7 Wheatear were noted while a Peregrine paid an afternoon visit to Stanpit.

September 17th

Another fine morning, with a moderate easterly breeze, saw a decent movement of birds over the eastern end of the Head.  The totals were 4500 House Martin, 700 Swallow, 600 Siskin, 380 Meadow Pipit, 60 Yellow Wagtail, 15 Sand Martin, 12 Grey Wagtail, 9 Tree Pipit and 5 Redpoll; also logged were singles of Garganey, Shoveler, Peregrine and Merlin while 2 Brent Geese headed west.  Grounded migrants included another 22 Yellow Wagtail on Wick Farm meadows,15 Chiffchaff and 6 Wheatear.  The only wader news today comes from Holloway's Dock where there was a Curlew Sandpiper with 40 Dunlin and from the sandspit, which held 9 Sanderling.

September 16th

Buzzard – Penhill Man
Chiffchaff – Alan Crockard

There were some clear highlights today, not least 2 Black-winged Stilt which arrived from the west over Hengistbury and appeared to come down on Stanpit; but couldn’t be relocated. Also, a couple of Lapland Bunting east over the head and a Great White Egret on East Marsh for a while. There was apparently lots of visible-migration, but relatively few numbers actually submitted. What we’ve got to work with, however, are: 15 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Grey Wagtail, 2 Redpoll, 7 Siskin and around 500 House Martin. Meanwhile, a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 17 Wheatear, around 55 Chiffchaff and 50 Blackcap were settled on the western side of the area; with Stanpit hosting a further 4 Wheatear and a handful of Chiffchaff. Moving to waders, which included: a Ruff, an Avocet, the Spotted Redshank, 2 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Black-tailed Godwit at Stanpit; plus a Sanderling, 74 Ringed Plover and 155 Dunlin on the sandspit, many of which roosted securely in the newly fenced area, and 17 Turnstone; in addition, 8 Knot and 3 Black-tailed Godwit passed over. At least 7 Mediterranean Gull also travelled through to the west, likewise 3 Common Gull. The only other field records for the post are a Kingfisher on the Salt Hurns and a Buzzard again low over the head, where it’s thought it may be roosting. Finally, some ringing details – the day’s migrant totals being: 16 Sedge Warbler, 8 Chiffchaff, 2 Reed Warbler, a Whitethroat and a Blackcap. 

September 15th

Stonechat – Matthew Barfield

The event of the morning, as is often the case in mid-September, was a House Martin gathering over Hengistbury – this involving 2-3000 birds; as well as 200 Swallow and 15 Sand Martin. Later in the day, a Red Kite moved east over the harbour, while 4 Curlew Sandpiper were settled around Stanpit Bight. The evening rising tide also produced: a Whimbrel, the first of those for a while, 2 Knot, the Spotted Redshank, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Ringed Plover, 126 Dunlin, a Turnstone and 9 Snipe. The settled Wigeon now exceed 100, but a Pintail, 4 Shoveler and 7 Teal looked to be resting-up for an onward journey. There were few passerines on the ground, save for a Whinchat near the Hiker Café, 5 Wheatear, a Whitethroat and 20 Chiffchaff – one of them in song; although at least 19 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Grey Wagtail, 31 Meadow Pipit, a Redpoll and 41 Siskin moved over. Rounding up, a couple of adult Mediterranean Gull were at Stanpit this evening, as was a Kingfisher. 

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