Sightings for the current month

October 16th

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

Saturday 19th October
Optics Sale
The next In Focus event will be at the Pod, Stanpit Marsh, between a 10:00am and 4:00pm. A small percentage of sales will go to CHOG.

Sunday 3rd November
Outdoor Meeting - Hengistbury Head
A morning's birding on our local patch. This is one of the best times of year for the headland, when weather conditions are right, for a great selection of migrating birds. An easy pace, but with some inclines. Meet at the Hengistbury Head Visitors’ Centre at 8:30am; duration 2.5 hours.
Please contact Nick Whitehouse if you wish to attend.

Wednesday 13th November 2019
Indoor Meeting
Re-Introduction of White-tailed Eagles to the Isle of Wight Tim Mackrill
Tim will talk us through the plans for this exciting project, which is jointly sponsored by the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and Forestry England.
More details...

Tides October 17th: L06:45 | H12:10 | L19:20

October 15th

Teal – Ray Scott

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

October 14th

Given the fact it again rained for the entire daylight period, it is unsurprising there is little to report. This morning, Wick produced a 11 Chiffchaff and 7 Skylark, the latter east; while the sandspit contributed 58 Ringed Plover and 8 Dunlin. This evening, a redhead Red-breasted Merganser flew around the Run.

October  13th

Wheatear – Clinton Whale

The Yellow-browed Warbler was again heard to call today, while a Firecrest was in the Wood, as was a Brambling with a mixture of commoner finches, and a single Wheatear was on the Barn Field. Early in the day, a Red-throated Diver passed over Wick Fields; when a Grey Phalarope, a couple of Great Skua and a Little Stint were turned in from Mudeford Quay, but with no further details. Inside the harbour, the Spotted Redshank was about, along with: a Greenshank, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Black-tailed Godwit and 22 Dunlin; although the counts were made during a difficult high tide. Other than that, it’s just 3 Mediterranean Gull and a Common Gull to mention.

October 12th

Little Stint
Little Stint – Scott Usher
Grey Plover
Grey Plover – Scott Usher

There was probably not a minute of the day when rain wasn’t falling, in varying degrees of intensity. The complete lack of wind throughout, however, meant that conditions were perhaps not as uncomfortable as they might have been. This morning a Yellow-browed Warbler called three times in the same area as the bird seen on Thursday, while a Reed Warbler was by the Wooden Bridge and at least 15 Chiffchaff were along the riverside path. The afternoon at Stanpit was topped by an Osprey over, and a Little Stint and a Curlew Sandpiper amongst the waders; which also included a Grey Plover, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit and 18 Black-tailed Godwit. 

October 11th

Turnstone – Clinton Whale

During a 3-hour watch this morning, the sea produced: a total of 3 Great Skua – a couple that appeared to enter the harbour over the Beach Huts and one harrying a ‘commic’ tern out in Christchurch Bay, 9 Kittiwake – seven of them adults, 95 Gannet, 51 Sandwich Tern, a Meditteranean Gull, 5 Common Gull, 20 Common Scoter, 3 Razorbill and 29 unidentifiable auks; as well as around 40 Swallow moving over the waves. Later on in the day, Mudeford Quay turned up: a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, a distant skua that was probably an arctic – but will go down as a spp., a young Kittiwake, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 40 Gannet which seemed to be lingering and 13 Common Scoter – all west, other than a settled drake. The wader news is pretty much all from Stanpit, where the Curlew Sandpiper was still present, along with 3 Greenshank, 2 Knot, a Sanderling, 2 Grey Plover, 20 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Ringed Plover and 50 Dunlin; with a Knot and 12 Turnstone about the sandspit. Meanwhile, 3 Common Gull were inside the harbour and Kingfisher were seen in two locations. 

October 10th

An interesting-looking Jackdaw – Olly Frampton
Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail – Ian Wigley
Red-veined Darter
Female Red-veined Darter - a particularly good record for the area – Olly Frampton

The post will be split by area today. Firstly, Hengistbury and Wick, where a Yellow-browed Warbler was heard and then seen on the riverside path midway between the Viewing Platform and the HHC; also a Treecreeper in that spot. In the Wood, there was a total of 5 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest and 4 Coal Tit, while 34 Chiffchaff were spread about, but mainly on Wick. Overhead movement was modest, involving just 5 Siskin and 27 Goldfinch. At Stanpit, there was a very good candidate for ‘Nordic’ Jackdaw – monedula – and further work is underway; and a Curlew Sandpiper was in Stanpit Bight. Other waders included: a Greenshank, a Grey Plover, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Black-tailed Godwit and 10 Dunlin; a Wheatear, a Grey Wagtail, 30 Meadow Pipit and 5 Stonechat were on Crouch Hill; and a Kingfisher was returned. Now, Mudeford Quay, where a Merlin was attracted by a steady passage of Meadow Pipit; and a Brambling and 6 Skylark headed west. Finally, a Red-veined Darter in the reedbed by the HHC is of massive odonata interest for the group.

October 9th

During a two-hour watch at Mudeford Quay from 8:00 onwards; a large feeding-flock of mainly non-adult Herring Gull, that drifted slowly west, contained: a first-winter Little Gull, 6 Kittiwake, 12 Common Tern, 25 Sandwich Tern and over 80 Gannet. Meanwhile, a total of 15 Common Scoter and 12 auks headed towards the Solent.

October 8th

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover – Clinton Whale

On a fine morning, a Great White Egret arrived from the west and circled the area, possibly dropping in, but wasn’t seen again. Earlier, a first-winter Ring Ouzel came off the Batters and left to the north-west with three other thrushes. A couple of Firecrest were again by the Nursery, while 34 Chiffchaff and 10 Blackcap were spread over Wick and Hengistbury. A Buzzard was in the Nursery, where one spent last winter, and 2 Kingfisher were around Barn Bight.

October 7th

A rather feisty-looking Sanderling – Clinton Whale
Mediterranean Gull Mediterranean Gull
Adult Mediterranean Gull – Jackie Smith
and Dunlin transitioning from juvenile to first-winter plumage – Clinton Whale

Over the last couple of years or so, Little Gull has become quite a scarce bird in the area; so a first-winter resting with Sandwich Tern at Stanpit this morning was very welcome. Meanwhile, a couple of Mediterranean Gull loafed on the lawn at Mudeford Quay. There was a similar selection of waders inside the harbour – including 2 Greenshank, 4 Knot, 6 Sanderling, a Whimbrel and 8 Bar-tailed Godwit – while a couple of Grey Plover, a Sanderling, 65 Ringed Plover and 48 Dunlin roosted on the sandspit, mostly on groyne S9. A few Chiffchaff were dotted about and 2 Firecrest put on a good show behind the Nursery, where they seemed to be displaying to each other; but the only other settled passerine news involves 4 Wheatear on Stanpit and a Bullfinch on the Batters. The drizzle put paid to any real movement, but odd Swallow and Meadow Pipit moved through, as did a single charm of around 25 Goldfinch. A skein of 20 Brent Goose passed west at sea, with other wildfowl interest coming from 3 Pintail and a pair of Gadwall.

October 6th

Ring Ouzel
Ring Ouzel - Jackie Smith

Snipe and Teal
Snipe and Teal - Clinton Whale

Birds of the day were Great White Egret on North Marsh this morning and a Ring Ouzel on Crouch Hill this afternoon. The waders at Stanpit included a Greenshank, 4 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover and 50 Dunlin. On Hengistbury, a Spotted Flycatcher was a good record for the date, while up to 40 Chiffchaff were spread across the recording area and Stanpit held a couple of Yellow Wagtail, over fifty grounded Meadow Pipit and 3 Wheatear. The settled Brent Goose, all adults, were around the thirty mark.

October 5th

Common Scoter – Jackie Smith

The next week or so is when one might expect the largest overhead movements, particularly finches, of the season. Not this morning, however, when fog blanketed the area. Towards midday, when things cleared a little, there was some hint of migration; namely 50 Siskin in five flocks, 250 Swallow and 25 House Martin, all west, as well as 12 Snipe – those in wisps of three and nine. Stanpit, meanwhile, fared a little better with a Ring Ouzel and 3 Redwing east. On the converse, grounded Chiffchaff were plentiful – a minimum of sixty across Wick and Hengistbury – along with 2 Firecrest, 10 Goldcrest, 8 Blackcap, 3 Wheatear and 22 Stonechat. Over on Stanpit, Crouch Hill head a Yellow Wagtail, 3 Wheatear, 8 Stonechat, 55 Meadow Pipit and 40 Linnet. Also seen on the marsh, a couple of Spoonbill, a Greenshank, a Knot, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Common Gull and 2 Mediterranean Gull – an adult and a first-winter. Brent Goose seemed to be arriving, at least sixty seen coming in from the Solent; ditto non-adult Mediterranean Gull – a total of five, comprising two second-winters and three first-winters logged. A young Marsh Harrier moved over Wick Fields, a Common Sandpiper was in Barn Bight and a lone Common Scoter was close offshore. 

October 4th

Grey Wagtail – Alan Crockard
Grey Plover – Clinton Whale
Common Gull – Scott Usher

A Curlew Sandpiper and what is now presumably ‘the’ Spotted Redshank were at Stanpit, as were: a Greenshank, 5 Grey Plover, 6 Sanderling, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 55 Ringed Plover and 60 Dunlin. A 90-minute seawatch from Mudeford Quay came up with 6 Common Gull, a Guillemot, a Common Scoter, 55 Sandwich Tern and 30 Gannet; all west. A further Common Gull was inside the harbour late in the day, as well as a couple of Kingfisher and up to 30 Brent Goose. 

October 3rd

Other than a Sanderling in Holloway’s Dock, all the news comes from Mudeford Quay. A Great Skua, 4 Common Tern, 8 Mediterranean Gull and at least 15 Gannet were logged, presumably going west; while an Arctic Tern of unreported age flew out of the harbour. Also from there, a total of 45 Brent Goose could be seen inside the harbour. 

October 2nd

Stonechat were very obvious today – with at least forty-five reported from across the area; while other passerines included: a Whinchat, 4 Wheatear, a Garden Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 40 Chiffchaff, 12 Blackcap and an over-flying Siskin. A decent wader variety at Stanpit was headed by: a Golden Plover, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 2 Greenshank, 9 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Black-tailed Godwit, 45 Ringed Plover and 40 Dunlin; with 20 Turnstone on the sandspit finishing this section of the post. A getting-late Hobby also visited the marsh, as did a male Peregrine and 5 Buzzard. Tern numbers are dwindling, but an Arctic Tern was on site, as was a juvenile Common Tern and 35 Sandwich Tern. Three redhead Goosander fished in the shallow waters of Stanpit Bight, where a female-type Shoveler, 13 Brent Goose, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Common Gull – an adult and a first-winter – and a Kingfisher were logged. 

October 1st

Grey Phalarope – Jackie Smith
Spoonbill – Ian Wigley

On another wet day, the Grey Phalarope remained throughout at Stanpit, where 5 Spoonbill put in a brief appearance. The feeding-flock in Christchurch Bay attracted an Arctic Skua – this seen from Mudeford Quay, over which a Hobby moved east and a redhead Goosander arrived. Also from there: a Common Tern, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 22 Common Scoter, those west, 10 Gannet and 5 Sandwich Tern. A Redstart on the Barn Field is a nice record for an October date and, at 3:55 this afternoon, an Osprey headed north-east over the area. A pair of Black Swan have now been around for week or so. 

September 30th

The spring high at Wick Meadows – Colin Raymond

There seemed to be a small influx of Whinchat today, with four between Whitepits and the Long Field this morning. Meanwhile, 2 Firecrest were in the Wood, a Spotted Flycatcher was in the North Scrubs and 35 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat and 22 Stonechat were about the western portion of Hengistbury. Swallow and House Martin moved over throughout day, save for the periods of rain – a 90-minute sample producing 550 of the former, while the latter were in much smaller numbers. Also over, a single Yellow Wagtail. From Mudeford Quay early on, a total of 3 Red-throated Diver passed west, as did a couple of Mediterranean Gull. Later in the day, there was a further ‘med’, an adult, 10 Common Scoter, 2 Shelduck and 27 Sandwich Tern; again all west. The Brent Goose at Stanpit came to eleven; another adult Mediterranean Gull loafed; and a Kingfisher was around Wick Hams. The only wader news is of the Grey Phalarope at Stanpit and a Bar-tailed Godwit on Wick Meadows. 

September 29th

Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Buff–breasted Sandpiper - Alan Hayden
Grey Phalarope
Grey Phalarope
Grey Phalarope – Clinton Whale (upper) & Alan Hayden

By a long chalk, waders head the bill today. Just after midday, CHOG’s second-ever Buff-breasted Sandpiper was discovered at Stanpit, where it spent a couple of hours on East Marsh before seeming to leave over the Black House. The previous occurrence was of very short-staying bird in September 1996. The reason today’s bird was found was due to the presence of a first-winter Grey Phalarope on North Marsh that performed pretty well. Earlier, there was a brief sighting of a much darker bird, but it was all too quick to make a firm identification. As surprising as the sandpiper, was a westerly movement of Golden Plover. This is a species we normally get in ones or twos during early November or in larger numbers during extreme winter weather; so three flocks at sea of four, fifteen and twelve, plus a single over Stanpit, were a real exception. Rounding up on the waders, a Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank, an Avocet, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit and 65 Black-tailed Godwit were at Stanpit; 27 Knot went straight through to the west; and 5 Sanderling and around 25 Dunlin were about the sandspit. In addition to an adult Arctic Tern that lingered off the Beach Huts and one of the same inside the harbour, there were up to 12 Common Tern around and a significant increase in the numbers of Sandwich Tern – 55 individuals were at Stanpit, while an estimated 80 either moved west or fed off Hengistbury. Also off the head, all west: an Arctic Skua, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 16 Common Scoter, a Guillemot, an auk and 33 Gannet; hundreds of Swallow and a few House Martin grazed the waves; and at least 11 Shag were on the water. A further 4 Mediterranean Gull were at Stanpit, where Crouch Hill hosted a Whinchat, 7 Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail. Finishing off, a Peregrine and Kingfisher were logged. 

September 28th

A modest feeding-flock of gulls off the Beach Huts, which contained an adult Common Gull, several Gannet of varying ages, around 15 Sandwich Tern and at least 3 Common Tern, attracted an adult Roseate Tern for much of the morning; when 3 Bottlenose Dolphin were present throughout. Bird-wise, 4 Common Scoter and Peregrine were also logged from the huts. On the other side of the area, a Jack Snipe came up off Stanpit, where a flock of 7 Greenshank was on Central Marsh, and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and 26 Black-tailed Godwit were present. Crouch Hill once again hosted Yellow Wagtail – two birds – as well as a Whinchat, 13 Wheatear and over 120 Meadow Pipit. By this evening, another larger but more distant feeding-flock had formed off the head and there was an increase to around 30 Sandwich Tern. Finally, a Kingfisher grabbed supper in Barn Bight. 

September 27th

It was again largely quiet at sea, save for some isolated highlights. A Long-tailed Skua and a Sabine’s Gull, both with unreported ages, went west past Mudeford Quay and the Beach Huts respectively; while a Grey Phalarope also went west past the huts and a dark-phase Arctic Skua went through the harbour itself. Otherwise though, there were just: a single Gannet, 6 Common Tern, 22 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Scoter and an auk. Passerine-wise, there was a Firecrest in the Wood, plus a Spotted Flycatcher and 12 Chiffchaff in Stanpit Scrubs, and 2 Whinchat, 10 Wheatear, 5 Stonechat, 3 Yellow Wagtil, 140 Meadow Pipit and 60 Linnet on Crouch Hill. An Arctic Tern lingered inside the harbour this morning, where there were also: a Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 75 Ringed Plover and 45 Dunlin. To finish, it’s wildfowl, which included: 8 Brent Goose, 3 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, 25 Teal and 100 Wigeon. 

September 26th

Given the conditions – showers and a strong south-westerly wind – there was a quite unexpected, southerly movement of Meadow Pipit throughout the morning. The spectacle, on a broad front across the entire area and way out into Christchurch Bay, was estimated at several thousands of birds. Swallow were doing the same thing, but probably in the order of hundreds. Before moving on, it’s probably worth comparing information from sites around 10 miles either side of us. Milford-on-Sea, to the east, whom we were in contact with due to the sea conditions experienced almost no movement at all; whereas Durlston Head, to the west, had a record count of 9250 birds. Milford, however, scored with ‘commic’ terns and skuas, when we had none! In fact, the sea got no better than two very distant shearwaters, a Guillemot, an unidentified auk, 5 Common Scoter and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull. Also over the water, a Merlin accompanied the pipits. Over at Stanpit, Crouch Hill again hosted a good number of grounded birds, including: 2 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Wheatear, 6 Skylark, 220 Meadow Pipit, 60 Linnet and 5 Reed Bunting. A further 2 Yellow Wagtail were on Wick, as were 14 Chiffchaff and 8 Blackcap. The post concludes with waders, all from Stanpit, where 2 Green Sandpiper, 4 Knot, 3 Greenshank, 4 Whimbrel, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit and 12 Black-tailed Godwit were present. 

September 25th

There were Firecrest around today – the peak being three birds in the Nursery; while Crouch Hill again hosted a good number of passerines – including 5 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Pied Wagtail, 14 Wheatear, a Rock Pipit, 120 Meadow Pipit, 8 Stonechat and 60 Linnet. Elsewhere, there was a further Yellow Wagtail, two settled Grey Wagtail, a Whitethroat, 5 Blackcap and 7 Chiffchaff. There was perhaps a reduction in wader interest – the best being 8 Knot, 2 Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit and 12 Black-tailed Godwit. Ringed Plover and Dunlin were present, but not counted. Rounding up, there were 8 Brent Goose at Stanpit, a Kingfisher on the Salt Hurns and a Great Skua off Hengistbury. 

September 24th

Juvenile Black–tailed Godwit - Jackie Smith
Migrant Hawker – Jackie Smith

There was more rain this morning, leading to local flood warnings being issued. Nevertheless, Wick was paid a visit and turned up a Spotted Flycactcher, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 9 Chiffchaff and 4 Blackcap. 

September 23rd

It was another damp day with, once more, a good wader spread at Stanpit. The best were a Little Stint and a Spotted Redshank, but also 30 Knot, 4 Greenshank, 12 Sanderling, a Whimbrel, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 80 Ringed Plover and 30 Dunlin. Meanwhile, a Redstart was on Wick, and at least six each of Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear were about the area. Other passerines were sparse, however – just a single Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap and 6 Chiffchaff on Wick, for example. A couple of Pintail were present and the incoming Wigeon are now at 110.

September 22nd

Most of the day’s news involves waders – the best being a Curlew Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank and a Ruff; but also a good total of 34 Knot, plus 12 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Black-tailed Godwit. The former were at Stanpit, while about the sandspit there were 7 Sanderling and 6 Turnstone. The Brent Goose crept up to nine, with 2 Pintail also inside the harbour; a Common Scoter passed at sea and a lone Wigeon was watched arriving. In, at times, quite grim conditions, the only other return is of a Kingfisher in Barn Bight. 

September 21st

At least 750 Swallow passed over Hengistbury early in the morning, when a Goldcrest was on the Batters and a Yellow Wagtail, 7 Chiffchaff and 10 Blackcap were on Wick Fields. Meanwhile, waders seen at Stanpit included: a Curlew Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, 12 Knot, 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Sanderling, 110 Ringed Plover and 108 Dunlin; with 4 Black-tailed Godwit turned in from the other side of the river. This evening, on Crouch Hill, there were 10 Yellow Wagtail amongst twenty or so Meadow Pipit, 40 Linnet and a juvenile Skylark. Stanpit Bight held six dark-bellied Brent Goose, a Pintail and up to 90 Wigeon. Finishing up, there were 2 Kingfisher from Fisherman’s Bank. 

September 20th

Meadow Pipit – Jackie Smith
Yellow Wagtail – Jackie Smith

At one point during the day, a total of 4 Yellow Wagtail were with the 8 Wheatear and Meadow Pipit flock on Crouch Hill, while in the early morning a couple passed over Wick. Also from Wick, 11 Chiffchaff and 8 Blackcap. An adult male Marsh Harrier, presumably the bird that has spent the last four winters here, was seen throughout the day. The only wader news is of single Greenshank and Whimbrel, plus 4 Snipe. Early in the morning, over 50 Greylag Goose were in the traditional, late-summer Canada Goose roost. 

September 19th

All the news today comes from Wick, where a Willow Warbler was in song! Also there, a couple of Reed Warbler, a Whitethroat, 5 Blackcap and 15 Chiffchaff. 

September 18th

Chiffchaff – Robert Gray

A decent selection of waders at Stanpit included: a Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, a couple of Avocet that were seen to arrive, an impressive 54 Knot, an equally impressive 27 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Greenshank, a Grey Plover, a Sanderling, a Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper and ‘lots’ of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Meanwhile, a White Wagtail and a Whinchat were on Crouch Hill, as were over 45 Meadow Pipit, with upwards of 13 Wheatear around the marsh. Elsewhere, a minimum of 20 Chiffchaff were turned in, a Grey Wagtail went over Wick and the in-harbour Wigeon total is now sixty-four. 

September 17th

Despite the keen northerly wind there was a little movement this morning with 125 Meadow Pipit west and 35 House Martin over Wick Fields. Across the site there were 12 Wheatear, 12 Chiffchaff, 6 Whitethroat, just singles of Yellow Wagtail and Willow Warbler plus 2 Whinchat on the Barn Field and 2 Spotted Flycatcher in North Scrubs. Waders on Stanpit were 6o Dunlin, 40 Ringed Plover, 24 Knot, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Greenshank. To round up a Peregrine was over Stanpit, 2 Kingfisher were seen and the 2 Brent Geese remain.

September 16th

Hirundines were once again on the move this morning; these were mainly House Martin with 950 west before 9am but also 50 Swallow and 25 Sand Martin. Wick Fields held 3 Spotted Flycatcher together with 35 Blackcap, 30 Chiffchaff and 7 Whitethroat while on Crouch Hill there were 4 Wheatear and a single Yellow Wagtail. A Spoonbill visited Stanpit where the Spotted Redshank was seen. Wader counts included 25 Knot, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Greenshank, 2 Sanderling and 2 Common Sandpiper. The male Marsh Harrier was over Wick Fields soon after dawn and 5 Kingfisher were seen. A count of 12 Water Rail was made between Parky Meade Rail and Mother Siller's Channel while in Stanpit Bight there were 46 Wigeon and the 2 Brent Geese.

September 15th

On another glorious morning the highlight was an Ortolan Bunting at Hengistbury; the bird was in the golf course hedge before being spooked by a walker and not seen again. Hirundines were still moving though in good numbers today but no figures are available. There were 14 Wheatear on Crouch Hill with just one on Hengistbury and 2 Redstart on the old pitch & putt course plus, mainly on Wick, 45 Chiffchaff, 17 Blackcap, 4 Yellow Wagtail and 3 Whitethroat. The first Wetland Bird Survey of the 2019/20 season found a Curlew Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper and 7 Greenshank plus 142 Ringed Plover, 137 Dunlin, 24 Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Knot, 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, 13 Sanderling and 2 Whimbrel. The two Brent Geese were still on Stanpit and 5 Kingfisher were around the harbour. Later a Peregrine terrorised the birds on the marsh and two Buzzard were soaring to the north.

September 14th

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

September 13th

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

September 12th

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

September 11th

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

September 10th

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

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

September 9th

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

September 8th

Spotted Flycatcher – Gary Foyle
Dartford Warbler – Gary Foyle

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

September 7th

Young Starling and pony – Alan Crockard

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

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

September 6th

Curlew – Roger Tidball

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

September 5th

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

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

September 4th

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

September 3rd

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

September 2nd

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

September 1st

Knot & Dunlin – Scott Usher

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

August 31st

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

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

August 30th

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

August 29th

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

August 28th

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

August 27th

Grey Heron and Little Egret – Jackie Smith

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

August 26th

Rock Pipit – Alan Crockard

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

August 25th

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

August 24th

Dartford Warbler – Alan Crockard
Spotted Flycatcher – Robert Gray

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

August 23rd

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

August 22nd

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

August 21st

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

August 20th

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

August 19th

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

August 18th

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

August 17th

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

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

August 16th

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

August 15th

Gannet – Leo Pyke
Common Tern – Leo Pyke

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

Barn Owl Cam
Paul Turton, Jackie Smith and Dave Taylor have set-up a Barn Owl camera.
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