Sightings for the current month

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. 

OUTDOOR MEETING - Sunday 1st September
Members’ Day - Hengistbury Head
A morning of migration- and sea-watching. 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 August 24th: H03:25 | H06:45 | L10:45 | H16:00 | H19:05 | L23:25

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. 

Tides August 23rd: H02:30 | H06:00 | L09:50 | H15:00 | H18:25 | L22:20

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. 

July 14th

The only report for today is of a Whimbrel in Holloway's Dock. 

July 13th

In addition to an adult Yellow-legged Gull around Barn Bight, there were 8 Mediterranean Gull – four of them juveniles – at Stanpit. Also about the marsh during the morning, singles of Little Ringed Plover and Greenshank over, plus 4 Whimbrel and 5 Dunlin settled; while 25 Lapwing were on Wick Hams. By the evening, however, there were two decked Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, a further Whimbrel and an over-flying Black-tailed Godwit. Some of the Sandwich Tern which use the area are now coming out of their breeding plumage and three juvenile Stonechat were on Crouch Hill. 

July 12th

Mediterranean Gull with the inappropriately named Black–headed Gull at Stanpit last night - Scott Usher
This one a second–summer bird - Scott Usher
Greenshank – also from yesterday – Ian Wigley

Outside of the autumn passage period, House Martin are not easy to encounter in the area, so one around Wick Farm meadows this morning was something of a surprise. A Sedge Warbler was still in song in the same area and an adult Little Grebe was again on the Ironstone Quarry. 

July 11th

A Greenshank was in Holloway’s Dock this morning; while, viewable from Fisherman Bank, were four each of Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel, as well as 12 Dunlin. 

July 10th

There was a selection of juvenile gulls and terns off Mudeford Quay today; namely a Yellow-legged Gull, a Mediterranean Gull and 2 Sandwich Tern – the latter the first youngsters of the year to visit from a nearby colony. Also from the quay, a Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpiper; while a Greenshank was in Holloway’s Dock. Rounding up, an adult Little Grebe was on the Ironstone Quarry.

July 9th

Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper – Scott Usher
Common Sandpiper – Scott Usher

It’s more travelling waders which make up the bulk of today’s post. A total of 4 Whimbrel were logged, but three quickly headed off to the east; as well as 2 Common Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Dunlin, plus 17 Curlew and 5 Redshank. The only other point of interest involves a couple of Gadwall. 

July 8th

The waders are now moving through, or returning to, Stanpit; as their breeding season further north draws to a close. The longer-distance migrants included: 4 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin and 2 Turnstone; while those travelling a shorter way comprised 20 Curlew, 26 Redshank and around 30 Oystercatcher. At least three, adult Mediterranean Gull were around, plus a single Common Tern. 

July 7th

Nine young Shelduck, accompanied by their parents, were in Barn Bight this morning; while 3 Black-tailed Godwit headed west over there. The only other snippet is of a Lesser Whitethroat again on Wick. 

July 6th

It was another very warm day, when the first juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of the year to cross the Channel and visit our recording area was seen from Mudeford Quay. Also from that spot, 4 Common Tern and a Fulmar. 

July 5th

Great Black-backed Gull
Great Black–backed Gull – Robin Harley
The female Oystercatcher is still sitting tight on the nest – Robin Harley

There were probably 3 Common Sandpiper in the harbour today, as well as a big increase in Redshank to over 25 birds. Otherwise, however, it was slow going – just 2 Common Tern and Bullfinch from Wick, plus a pair of Mediterranean Gull over. 

July 4th

The fine run of weather continues and it just doesn’t seem right that birds are already returning from their spring travels. That said, a couple of Green Sandpiper over Stanpit were pretty much on cue for the date, with a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Dunlin, 15 Curlew and 35 Lapwing settled about the marsh. Meanwhile, and to the converse, a Lesser Whitethroat was in song on Wick – so may be thinking about a second brood. The only other news is of a Bullfinch by the Wooden Bridge. 

July 3rd

Greenfinch – Roger Tidball

The best today was 5 Knot in breeding plumage, potentially still on their way to the far north; while a Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Dunlin and 12 Curlew were all almost certainly on the return trip. A couple of adult Mediterranean Gull passed west, an adult Little Grebe was on the Lily Pond and there was a fledge of Dartford Warbler on the Barn Field. 

July 2nd

Despite the greyish tones to the plumage, when the more conventional literature shows them as brown, this is presumably a juvenile Cuckoo – Charlie Jarvis

The first confirmed breeding of Cuckoo, since a dunnock-fostered juvenile was photographed in 2006, was a real surprise today; when the above-photographed bird was sat on the fence near the Natterjack Pond. In that area, Stonechat or Meadow Pipit would seem the most likely ‘parents’. Elsewhere, a Greenshank by the Salt Hurns was a good early-July record, but Stanpit could muster just 3 Dunlin and 7 Black-tailed Godwit. A Grey Wagtail on Wick meadows was also good for the month, with the rest of the post being made up of an adult Mediterreanean Gull and a couple of Lesser Whitethroat; the latter presumed to be juveniles. 

July 1st

There are, unfortunately, no reports for today. 

June 30th

The only news from today of two adult Mediterranean Gull west and 15 Black-tailed Godwit over the Barn Field. Some later news from a couple of nights ago, when 2 Tawny Owl were heard in the Wood - always something of an enigma in the recording area.

Tides July 1st: H00:25 | L03:25 | H08:40 | H12:10 | L15:45 | H20:55

June 29th

Firstly, on the hottest day of the year by a country mile, some late news from yesterday; when 2 Tawny Owl were calling in the Wood after dark. Moving to today, a Red Kite was over Priory Marsh and at least 22 Mediterranean Gull were about, as were 6 Common Tern. The long-distance-migrant waders included a Knot, a Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpiper, while 5 Redshank had probably made a shorter journey. Rounding up, a family of Stonechat on Crouch Hill comprised of three young. 

Tides June 30th: L02:40 | H07:55 | H11:10 | L15:00 | H20:15 | H23:35

June 28th

A couple of Little Ringed Plover tucked away in Stanpit Bight were a nice record for the month, as was a Brent Goose seen from Mudeford Quay. Meanwhile, from Fisherman’s Bank, a Knot and a Common Sandpiper were  notable, while 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Redshank and 10 Curlew were perhaps slightly more expected. A Fulmar moved west past the quay, 6 Common Tern headed in the opposite direction, a further bird fed in Barn Bight and 6 Mediterranean Gull were settled. Of breeding interest, around 75 Sand Martin by the Ironstone Quarry suggests a recent fledge; but more significantly, the female Oystercatcher is still sitting and the male is driving away gulls. Could it happen!

June 27th

Two of yesterday's Avocet – Caroline Herbert

It was a fabulously hot day, but, unfortunately, no reports have been received. 

June 26th

There were 4 Avocet in Holloway’s Dock early this morning, when 4 Mediterranean Gull passed west and a Peregrine hunted over Hengistbury. Slightly later, from Mudeford Quay, the year’s first juvenile Black-headed Gull – two birds – were on site, along with 4 Common Tern, a Fulmar, a Whimbrel and 12 Curlew; plus 35 eastbound Swift. 

June 25th

Oystercatcher have not bred in the recording area for as long as anyone can remember, so this bird sitting on two eggs on the Sandspit is quite a revelation. Many thanks to BCP Council for acting so promptly and fencing off the area – Alan Hayden

Other than the surprise breeding interest, the event of the day was a first-summer Common Tern inside the harbour. This age of bird rarely ventures so far north. Also at Stanpit, all seen from Fisherman’s Bank in the morning, were: singles of Avocet, Knot and Dunlin, 5 Redshank, 10 Curlew and a further six Common Tern. Some recent, nocturnal visits to Hengistbury suggest a possible three churring Nightjar.

June 24th

The only news for the day is of 4 Mediterranean Gull east over Wick. 

June 23rd

Despite the warm weather, there is no news from the harbour today. The field trip to the New Forest was a success, however, with honey buzzard being seen on three occasions. Thanks to Nick Whitehouse for organising the event. 

June 22nd

Juvenile Goldfinch – Robert Gray

On a day of fine weather, the first juvenile Mediterranean Gull to visit the area – thirteen of them, all but one over – were logged, as well as two returning Whimbrel and 10 Curlew. A Cuckoo was either remaining or also on its way back, while a male Bullfinch, presumably a breeder, was on Wick. 

June 21st

Skylark – Leo Pyke

The year's longest day, certainly doesn't mean the year's longest post! A total of 16 Black-tailed Godwit and at least 2 Redshank were around Barn Bight, and a Common Tern left the harbour over there. The only other news, however, is of a Lesser Whitethroat on Wick and a juvenile Dartford Warbler on the Long Field. 

June 20th

Again, there is little news; save for 2 Lesser Whitethroat and a female Bullfinch on Wick. 

June 19th

Kestrel – Roger Tidball
Common Tern – Jackie Smith

There was a reasonable selection of birds to be seen from Mudeford Quay this morning, including2 Little Tern, 18 Common Tern, a couple of Eider and 8 Common Scoter. Meanwhile, a Hobby passed over Wick Hams and four fledged Lesser Whitethroat were on Wick. Otherwise, it’s just 8 Mediterranean Gull – four west and four roosting – plus singles of Lapwing and Curlew to remark upon. 

June 18th

The only report for today is of a Kingfisher in  Barn Bight.

June 17th

A couple of Knot heading west over the Barn Field were quite a record for the date, but the only other news involves a Kingfisher on Wick and a close-in Fulmar. 

June 16th

The best from a quiet day was a Hobby hunting Whitepits in the morning, while 20 Lapwing and at least 2 Curlew are back in the area. Of breeding interest, two of the five Kestrel chicks on Hengistbury have now fledged. 

June 15th

The only records for today were of 19 Common Scoter at sea; as well as 4 Whimbrel, 3 Curlew and a Guillemot, all heading west.

Tides June 16th: H00:10 | L03:55 | H09:05 | H12:40 | L16:15 | H21:20 |
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.
View the live feed