Sightings for the current month

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.

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

Tides October 21st: H01:40 | H05:20 | L08:55 | H14:00 | H17:35 | L21:20

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. 

Tides October 20th: H00:40 | H04:20 | L08:05 | H13:05 | H16:45 | L20:30

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. 

September 14th

Dartford Warbler on Hengistbury today – Clinton Whale
Rock Pipit – Gary Foyle

This evening, there were four, juvenile Curlew Sandpiper at Stanpit, along with 3 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Sanderling, a Black-tailed Godwit, 80 Dunlin and 20 Ringed Plover. Earlier, it was particularly pleasing to hear the small waders had been roosting out the high tide in the newly fenced area at the tip of Mudeford sandspit. Thanks to BCP and all others who were involved with that project back at the start of the year. Also at Stanpit, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull – actually there were three yesterday, omitted from the post in error, which were the first for at least a fortnight – an adult, male Peregrine and a young Bullfinch. 

September 13th

Rock Pipit – Clinton Whale
Pied Wagtail – Clinton Whale

It was a glorious, Indian-summer's day that produced a nice selection of birds. During the morning, a Pied Flycatcher was in the Bobolink Field on Wick, while a Redpoll passed over there, and 3 Garden Warbler were logged. In addition, at least 10 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap and 3 Whitethroat were about. The first migrant Goldcrest of the season were on Hengistbury, as was a Firecrest, in a mixed-tit flock in the Wood. This afternoon, a couple of juvenile Curlew Sandpiper cohorted with the Redshank off East Marsh, with other waders during the day including: the Spotted Redshank, 2 Knot, 2 Sanderling, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit and, again, around 130 Dunlin. To conclude, the Brent Goose was still with the Wigeon flock and a Kingfisher was on Wick. 

Stop press: there are now 5 Curlew Sandpiper at Stanpit. 

September 12th

There was a Pied Flycatcher in the Stunted Oaks this morning, but other migrant passerines seemed sparse. Just 2 Yellow Wagtail, a Grey Wagtail, 21 Siskin and 26 Swallow over; plus 9 Wheatear, 8 Whitethroat, 7 Chiffchaff and 6 Blackcap decked. Meanwhile, some shorter-distance wanderers included a couple of Bullfinch again the North Scrubs and a Treecreeper in Ashtree Meadows. After a few, relatively barren days, Dunlin turned in a good number – around 130 in Stanpit Bight on the low tide – along with a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, the Spotted Redshank, 7 Knot, 6 Sanderling, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Black-tailed Godwit there. Tern number continue to dwindle, only 20 Sandwich Tern for this post, and the lone Brent Goose still awaits the arrival of those whom went to Siberia for the summer. 

September 11th

Ringed Plover – Clinton Whale

Bird of the day was undoubtedly a Corn Bunting, heard to sing twice, somewhere out towards Speller’s Point at Stanpit. Other highlights came from: a Cattle Egret leaving the heron roost early on and 2 Spotted Redshank, never an easy wader in the area, at Stanpit, plus 2 Curlew Sandpiper there. Sticking with waders, a Green Sandpiper went over Wick Fields; while 7 Knot, 7 Sanderling, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 37 Ringed Plover and 33 Dunlin were settled. Airborne Siskin were again a feature, with constant calls over Hengistbury early on – but the only visuals were a flock of fifty lifting out of Redpoll Alley and then twenty-one in ones or twos. Also travelling over, up to 80 Meadow Pipit, 3 Yellow Wagtail and 5 Grey Wagtail; but far, far fewer hirundines than of the last two days. Passerines on the ground, across the entire area, included: 5 Whinchat, 4 Wheatear, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler, 7 Whitethroat, 46 Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler, 28 Chiffchaff, a Reed Warbler, a Sedge Warbler and a Grey Wagtail. Early-morning, low-flying Buzzard are becoming regular, leading to talk of perhaps a roosting bird; 4 Shoveler were inside the harbour; and singles of Common Scoter and Great Crested Grebe moved west at sea.

September 10th

Once again, Swallow were shipping-out in big numbers. Between 7:30 and 8:30, from a single spot on Hengistbury, 12500 were estimated – all heading south; a little later 3-4000 were milling around over Barn Bight; and a later observation from Mudeford Quay said ‘lots’ were still moving south-west. In addition, 25 House Martin were seen over Wick, with at least 60 Siskin, a Tree Pipit, 50 Meadow Pipit, 5 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Grey Wagtail passing elsewhere. A further 3 Yellow Wagtail were settled on Wick, while 3 Spotted Flycatcher, a Whinchat, 8 Wheatear, 9 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap and 2 Whitethroat also make the numbers. A Wood Sandpiper was about East Marsh, but other than 2 Little Ringed Plover over Hengistbury, the wader totals were a little disappointing – just the Spotted Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Ringed Plover, 19 Dunlin and 2 Snipe. A party of 3 Buzzard interacting over Wick is far from usual; Bullfinch were calling from the North Scrubs this evening; and a Kingfisher was along Fisherman’s Bank. Of mammal interest, the Grey Seal was again on the beach by Double Dykes early in the day. 

September 9th

Turnstone – Gary Foyle
Grey Seal – Paul Turton

The main feature of the day was departing Swallow – although slow until mid-morning, by 6:00 tonight they were moving through in their thousands, but mainly high. The chatter was constant above Stanpit and attempting any form of estimate would have been folly with an accuracy way outside the bounds of experimental error. Martins were only recorded in single figures, however. Many heard-only Siskin were also on their travels, as well as a couple of Redpoll – the latter a nice early-September record. This evening, there were 17 Yellow Wagtail with the ponies on Crouch Hill, along with a Whinchat and 8 Wheatear. Earlier, Hengistbury returned 3 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear and 6 Chiffchaff, plus a Hobby west at sea and 3 Grey Wagtail over. There were a couple of new-in, juvenile Black-tailed Godwit at Stanpit, along with at least 2 Common Sandpiper, while a Bar-tailed Godwit was on the HHC mudbar. Early on, a male Marsh Harrier was over Wick, a couple of Bullfinch were in the North Scrubs and, of mammal interest, the Grey Seal was again beached by the Double Dykes. 

September 8th

Dunlin – Clinton Whale
Sanderling - Clinton Whale

Starting with waders, there were 4 Curlew Sandpiper at Stanpit today – a moulting adult and three juveniles – as well as: a Green Sandpiper, the Spotted Redshank, 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Knot, 12 Sanderling, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Snipe. Elsewhere, a couple of Greenshank went over Wick and a further 5 Sanderling were on the sandspit. Moving to passerines and Hengistbury, where a male Redstart, a Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, a Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 15 Whitethroat and 8 Blackcap were returned. Meanwhile, Wick produced 8 Yellow Wagtail and 3 Wheatear, with Stanpit contributing a Redstart, 3 Yellow Wagtail, a Whinchat and 6 Wheatear. After their recent glut, the Siskin total was just 27 birds, mostly over but a few settled. Finishing up, the Brent Goose remains, a Peregrine again hunted and the Sandwich Tern peaked at forty-five. Of mammal interest, the Grey Seal was close offshore the Sandspit, before beaching outside of the area at Friar’s Cliff. 

September 7th

Redstart – Alan Hayden
This colour–ringed Peregrine that is frequenting the area was ringed as a chick in May 2018 at Bournemouth College, Lansdowne – Matthew Barfield (upper two) & Clinton Whale 

There was another good selection of departing, passerine migrants today. Stanpit held a Grasshopper Warbler, a Redstart and 8 Wheatear, all on Crouch Hill, and a Garden Warbler on the old golf course bank. Meanwhile, a further 2 Redstart, 6 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear and a Lesser Whitethroat were across Hengistbury and Wick. Overhead, at least 450 Swallow, 30 Sand Martin and 20 House Martin passed through, as did a couple of Yellow Wagtail, a Grey Wagtail and around 50 Siskin. Moving to waders, a flock of 15 Knot were at Stanpit in the afternoon, when there had only been three during the morning; with other counts across the day coming to 3 Curlew Sandpiper and 26 Dunlin. A Garganey was again present, this time with Wigeon in Stanpit Bight; a Common Tern and 48 Sandwich Tern rested this afternoon; a Peregrine hunted; and a couple of Kingfisher were about Wick Hams. 

September 6th

Golden Plover – Matthew Barfield
Wheatear – Paul Turton

The early morning saw a nice movement of Yellow Wagtail over Stanpit – 82 birds – as well as a Grey Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipit, 16 Meadow Pipit, 30 Sand Martin and 270 Swallow. Hengistbury added a further 4 Yellow Wagtail and 3 Grey Wagtail, while at least 220 Siskin moved over the area. There were fewer settled birds than yesterday – the best being a Spotted Flycatcher in the Stunted Oaks and a Garden Warbler by the Purewell Stream, as well as site-wide totals of 7 Wheatear, 10 Blackcap and 35 Chiffchaff; plus a handful of Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Whitethroat. A Garganey was seen in Barn Bight and Parky Meade Rail, with the incoming Wigeon now exceeding fifty and, of course, the lone Brent Goose. After looking rather sorry for itself yesterday, it was nice to see the Golden Plover move onto the mud to feed and then eventually leave high to the west. Meanwhile, four more of the same headed north and the other settled waders at Stanpit included: a Curlew Sandpiper, a Knot, 8 Sanderling, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Snipe. The only Dunlin count, however, comes from Holloway’s Dock, where there were forty-eight. An Arctic Tern was inside the harbour; an Osprey hunted unsuccessfully for ten minutes around 09:45 and a Kingfisher was around Holloway’s Dock. 

September 5th

Golden Plover – Alan Hayden (upper) & Penhill Man
Peregrine – Alan Hayden

After a one-day pause, the Osprey action resumed, with a bird fishing the harbour around 09:20 before leaving, with catch, north. Meanwhile, the Siskin passage continues – around seventy west over Hengistbury – with around 20 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Grey Wagtail. Settled birds included: a Redstart and 6 Wheatear on the Barn Field; and a Lesser Whitethroat, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Whinchat and up to 15 Wheatear at Stanpit. A Wood Sandpiper was heard over Wick, while the waders at Stanpit included: a very confiding Golden Plover, the Spotted Redshank and four each of Sanderling, Whimbrel and Black-tailed Godwit. This evening, the regular Peregrine hunted at Stanpit. 

September 4th

Spotted Flycatcher – Penhill Man

A White Stork overflew the Beach Huts this afternoon, at around 14:00, but although seeming to lose height was not re-found in or around the area. The North Scrubs at Stanpit held a Redstart, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat throughout the day, while 2 Whinchat and 8 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill, and 4 Yellow Wagtail looked to settle this evening; a Pied Flycatcher, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Whinchat and 15 Wheatear were on Hengistbury; with 14 Grey Wagtail, 6 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Tree Pipit and 145 Siskin over. A Green Sandpiper was on Wick Farm Meadows and a Ruff, a Knot, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, 4 Sanderling, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Turnstone and Snipe, plus uncounted Ringed Plover and Dunlin, were at Stanpit. Also on the marsh, a couple of Common Tern, the probably-never-went-to-Siberia-this-year Brent Goose and 44 Wigeon. Kingfisher were seen on Fisherman’s Bank and by the Wooden Bridge. 

September 3rd

Starting with wildfowl for a change, a Garganey, 4 Shoveler, 35 Wigeon and 4 Gadwall were inside the harbour; while an Egyptian Goose overflew.  A 90-minute seawatch was relatively quiet, although a dark, juvenile Arctic Skua and a similarly-aged Yellow-legged Gull are not to be sniffed at. A Cuckoo at Hengistbury was the best of the departing birds, but also a Spotted Flycatcher, a Willow Warbler, 3 Whitethroat and 5 Wheatear logged. The only wader news is the three juvenile Knot, which seem to now have a liking for Holloway’s Dock, as well as a Common Sandpiper, 28 Dunlin and 3 Turnstone there; meanwhile, 4 Sanderling and 2 Whimbrel were at Stanpit. The only Osprey news is from early on the day – 07:00 – when a Treecreeper weas in the Stunted Oaks. 

September 2nd

Spotted Flycatcher – Leo Pyke
Ruff and Spotted Redshank at Stanpit yesterday – Alan Hayden
...and Cormorant – Alexa Pereira

The day’s Osprey visit came at 11:25, while the male Marsh Harrier much earlier visited the area. Again, passerines were varied but not particularly numerous – the site-wide totals being: 4 Garden Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 16 Blackcap, 15 Whitethroat, 2 Redstart, 5 Whinchat, the same number of Wheatear, 2 Spotted Flycatcher and up to 30 phylloscs – most of them now seeming to be Chiffchaff; as well as 2 Firecrest, those in the Wood. Overhead, a Grey Wagtail 3 Yellow Wagtail and 16 Siskin were logged. The tide/sunlight cycle is currently no longer optimal for wader counting, although a Green Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpiper were noted airborne. The Wigeon continue to build: twenty-four settled, twenty-two west and four east; plus 5 Teal and the incumbent Brent Goose. To finish, a juvenile Bullfinch was in the North Scrubs and a Kingfisher was along Fisherman’s Bank. 

September 1st

Black–tailed Godwit – only the third juvenile of the season – Clinton Whale
– Peter Clarke (upper) & Roger Tidball
Whinchat – Peter Clarke

White, heron-type birds were a feature of the morning, when a flock of 13 Cattle Egret was seen over Fisherman’s Bank and moving east at sea off the Double Dykes, before heading north over Wick – all this around 7:45 – while a Spoonbill headed east a couple of hours later. Meanwhile, an Osprey came around 10:00 and a male Marsh Harrier was again about. At least 4 Spotted Flycatcher were in the North Scrubs, with a further on Hengistbury, 2 Whinchat were at Stanpit and 9 Yellow Wagtail were settled on Wick Farm Meadows. The best of the wildfowl and something of a present-day scarcity was 3 Pochard in Stanpit Bight, also 23 Wigeon and 11 Teal returned. Peregrine were seen on a couple of occasions and Kingfisher once. Of mammal interest, the Grey Seal was on the beach at Hengistbury this morning and off it this evening. If you go to see the animal, please do keep a respectful distance.

Additional news: waders at Stanpit included a Ruff, a Spotted Redshank, 6 Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, a Turnstone and 2 Snipe; 3 Knot and a Black-tailed Godwit were in Holloway’s Dock; and a Pintail was inside the harbour.

August 31st

Osprey – Matthew Barfield (uppe) & Jackie Smith
Grey Seal – Paul Turton
Painted Lady – Jackie Smith

There was a good variety of passerine migrants about the area today, including 7 Spotted Flycatcher, a Redstart, 4 Whinchat, 17 Wheatear, a Lesser Whitethroat, 17 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler, 13 Chiffchaff and 3 Sedge Warbler; with 7 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Siskin passing over. Waders during the morning, most of them briefly, were highlighted by: 3 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Green Sandpiper and 4 Avocet; while the afternoon rising tide at Stanpit added a Curlew Sandpiper, a Ruff and a Spotted Redshank. Other totals, again mostly at Stanpit, came to: 7 Common Sandpiper, a Knot, 11 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel, 6 Black-tailed Godwit – five of which came in from high north, 89 Ringed Plover, 77 Dunlin and 2 Snipe. More wildfowl arrived – the best being a Garganey that tagged along with Shoveler; of which there were seventeen, as well as 7 Wigeon and 11 Teal. Before the obligatory, large-raptor news, the day’s miscellany: a Firecrest was by the Double Bends, a Bullfinch was on Wick, and the Brent Goose, a Common Gull, a Peregrine and a Kingfisher were at Stanpit. So: Osprey were seen at 10:00 and 11:00 this morning – different birds – and a fine-looking, adult male Marsh Harrier lingered. 

August 30th

Knot – Leo Pyke
Goatmoth caterpillar - possibly the first record for Stanpit – Jackie Smith

There was, by contemporary standards, a massive fall of Wheatear on Hengistbury this morning – over 100 birds around the Barn Field, as well as 17 Whinchat, a Redstart, a Grasshopper Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat. Meanwhile, a Redstart, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Whinchat and 10 Wheatear were at Stanpit. Overhead, the two areas produced 54 Yellow Wagtail and 23 Tree Pipit; all but a few of the wagtail from Hengistbury. Just how many Osprey were about today is difficult to fathom, although study of photos confirms at least two. The first instance was at 7:30 this morning, but in the period from noon to 16:00 sightings seemed almost continuous. A Marsh Harrier and a Buzzard were also in the airspace. Other than a Wood Sandpiper from Hengistbury, all the wader news is from Stanpit, where: a Ruff, a Spotted Redshank, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Knot, 6 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 36 Ringed Plover and 79 Dunlin were present. Wrapping up, a male Bullfinch was on Wick, 3 Firecrest were in the Wood and there are still two young Little Grebe on the Ironstone Quarry. Of mammal interest, a bull Grey Seal was on the beach at Hengistbury in the morning and then seen off there later in the day. 

August 29th

Whinchat – Matthew Barfield
Today's well–seen Osprey - Leo Pyke
Adult Arctic Tern – Olly Frampton
...and a real record shot of Roseate Tern – Olly Frampton

Early in the day, an Ortolan Bunting was heard and seen over Stanpit, while a Great White Egret went over Wick. Later on, adults of both Roseate Tern and Arctic Tern were around Stanpit Bight. What is thought to be a juvenile Osprey, so certainly not the regular bird, visited around 14:15; but another was seen distantly, out towards the Black House, around three hours later. There were plenty of Wheatear around today – as many as thirty-four aggregated from the Barn Field and Crouch Hill – with the latter site also hosting 2 Whinchat. An adult Spotted Redshank, so perhaps ‘the’ bird was at Stanpit, as were: 2 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Sanderling, a Whimbrel, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 68 Ringed Plover, 71 Dunlin, a Snipe and a Turnstone. As is often the case in a northerly, there is an arrival of duck – 6 Shoveler and 15 Teal being a case in point. To finish, for the records, the in-harbour total of Sandwich Tern was fifty-nine. 

August 28th

Kestrel – Penhill Man

A Great White Egret flew through the harbour early on, while singles of Roseate Tern and Arctic Tern were logged from Hengistbury and Stanpit respectively doing likewise. Sticking with terns, there was also a settled Common Tern on the marsh, as well as 42 Sandwich Tern. Onto passerines – the best being a Pied Flycatcher in the No Dogs Field, but also two grounded Tree Pipit, 3 Whinchat, 4 Lesser Whitethroat and 12 Wheatear across the site. This afternoon, just ahead of the thunder, a few-hundred-strong flock of Swallow and martins that moved west included at least 6 Swift. Osprey came and went at around 10:20 and 12:45 – initially unsuccessfully, latterly with a payload. It now looks like just one bird, an adult female is responsible for all the excitement. The waders were notable by an influx of Ringed Plover – a fine total of 145 birds being returned – along with: a Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 84 Dunlin, a Snipe and a Turnstone; all at Stanpit. Cetti’s Warbler seemed conspicuous today, two in song with a further showing well by the Viewing Platform, the Brent Goose remains and at least 2 Kingfisher were about. Of mammal interest, a seal was in the harbour during the early morning. 

August 27th

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
– Alan Crockard (upper) & Gary Foyle
Marsh Harrier – Dave Miller

The first large raptor in the area was a male Marsh Harrier, seen carrying prey over Wick at around 7:00. Then came the Osprey routine with successful catches around 10:00 and 13:45. Meanwhile, the Wood Sandpiper remained at Stanpit, and a Green Sandpiper and a Spotted Redshank were logged from Wick. Keeping with waders and mostly at Stanpit, there were also: 2 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Sanderling, a Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 46 Ringed Plover and 2 Sanderling. There was another Wood Warbler today, on the Old Depot site at Stanpit, with other passerines across the area totalling: 3 Redstart, 5 Whinchat, 21 Wheatear, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat and 3 Firecrest settled, plus
 a Siskin, 4 Tree Pipit, 15 Yellow Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail passing over; as well as 100 or so Sand Martin. A couple of Kingfisher were about, as was the Brent Goose, and a Shoveler went through

August 26th

Wood Sandpiper – Scott Usher (upper) & Matthew Barfield
Osprey – Scott Usher

A Wood Sandpiper that was first found in Mother Siller’s Channel this morning spent all day in a pool just south of Crouch Hill. Meanwhile, the Stunted Oaks on Hengistbury held a Wood Warbler, 3 Pied Flycatcher and 6 Spotted Flycatcher, with a Redstart on the Long Field. At Stanpit, a Whinchat and 9 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill, a Willow Warbler was in the North Scrubs and 2 Yellow Wagtail passed over. The Osprey fished at 07:30 and again at just after 15:00 – on both occasions leaving north with its catch. The pick of the more expected waders was: a Sanderling, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Ringed Plover and 22 Dunlin at Stanpit; along with a female Wigeon and a Kingfisher there. To finish, a Tawny Owl was heard in the Nursery and the increasing Coot presence numbered at least seventy-five.

August 25th

Lapwing – Ray Scott
Brent Goose – Ray Scott

A very strong south-westerly wind, often exceeding 60kmh during the afternoon, blew all day. The morning’s efforts from the Beach Huts and Mudeford Quay came to: 2 Arctic Skua, a Black Tern, 30 Common Tern, including a flock of twenty-five, 61 Sandwich Tern, at least 6 Fulmar, 10 Gannet and a Common Scoter; all heading west. Later in the day, a storm-petrel spp. was glimpsed from the huts and a couple of shearwater from the quay; while 58 Sandwich Tern, a ‘commic’ Tern, 9 Fulmar and 2 Mediterranean Gull passed west in a 2.5-hour spell at the former site. Waders also trickled by over the water, comprising: a Grey Plover, 3 Sanderling, 19 Ringed Plover and 13 Dunlin. Inside the harbour, a Common Sandpiper and a Brent Goose were returned from Stanpit. 

August 24th

Grey Heron – Livi Almond

An Osprey was around at 11:00 this morning, but poor weather this evening meant a blank was drawn then. There were a few more passerines about early on, with the site-wide totals coming to: 8 Yellow Wagtail, a Tree Pipit, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 24 Blackcap, 26 Willow Warbler, 10 Blackcap, 9 Reed Warbler, 6 Sedge Warbler and 4 Wheatear. There are no detailed wader reports, but a Green Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover passed over Hengistbury, while 2 Knot, 4 Common Sandpiper, 50 Ringed Plover and a Turstone were at Stanpit, a Snipe was on Wick. Also about, a couple of Teal, a juvenile Peregrine and a Kingfisher; the latter in Parky Meade Rail. 

August 23rd

Osprey – Paul Turton
Ringed Plover and Dunlin – Alan Crockard
...and Cattle Egret at Stanpit yesterday evening – Alan Crockard

It another Osprey-packed day, with sightings as follows: 07:00, one circled the harbour and landed on Blackberry Point for a while; 10:00, one successfully fished the harbour, when another flew high south; 17:50, one fished the harbour – again successfully. During the early morning, a total of 21 Yellow Wagtail passed over Hengistbury, while eight were settled on the North Paddock on Wick; also airborne, 3 Tree Pipit and 5 Grey Wagtail. A seawatch produced no sea birds, but did see a Wood Sandpiper come in-off in the company of a Common Sandpiper; plus 2 Curlew Sandpiper and a further five Common Sandpiper west. Meanwhile, waders settled at Stanpit included: 5 Knot, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 50 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin, a Turnstone and 2 Snipe. Wrapping up, a Peregrine was about. 

August 22nd

Dunlin – Pennhill Man

A Cattle Egret seemed faithful throughout the day adjacent to the North Scrubs at Stanpit; so one seen in the North Paddock at Wick could have been a further bird. Also a Firecrest on Wick, while an Osprey fished the harbour around 4:00 this afternoon. Otherwise, there is very little to mention: 45 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin and a Turnstone were at Stanpit; 4 Willow Warbler were on Hengistbury; a further three and seven of the aforementioned small waders were on the sandspit; and 6 Shag were on the sea off there. 

August 21st

A south-westerly in excess of 50kmh blasted the area for the entire day. The morning seawatches from the Beach Huts and Mudeford quay had their moments, however, not least: a juvenile Long-tailed Skua drifting east off the sandspit; a Sooty Shearwater that appeared to come out of the Solent and linger for 10 minutes; 2 Balearic Shearwater and three unidentified shearwater west; and a Black Tern passing very close to the quay. Also on the watch: a Kittiwake, 12 Fulmar, 4 Common Tern and 4 Common Scoter west; with waders seen from the huts coming to a Knot, 2 Grey Plover, a Sanerling 7 Ringed Plover and 15 Dunlin. Meanwhile a Greenshank was on the Salt Hurns and a Ruff, a Knot, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, 6 Black-tailed Godwit and 20 Ringed Plover were at Stanpit; as were a Cattle Egret, an adult Kittiwake and 7 Wheatear. On Hengistbury, it seems there may now only be two young Little Grebe. 

August 20th

Black-tailed Godwit
Black–tailed Godwit - Alan Crockard
Sparrowhawk – Joy Aubin

After a slow start, there was a reasonable total of passerine migrants across Hengistbury and Wick, including: a Pied Flycatcher, 3 Redstart, a Garden Warbler, 15 Chiffchaff, 10 Willow Warbler, 20 Whitethroat, 8 Blackcap and 2 Wheatear settled, plus 4 Yellow Wagtail and 3 Tree Pipit over. Not intending to travel so far, if indeed at all, the Wood held 2 Firecrest and a Treecreeper, while 2 Bullfinch were along Roebury Lane. The only wader reports from across the site involve 2 Knot, 2 Greenshank and 7 Black-tailed Godwit; but there was a Cattle Egret - initially in Barn Bight and then at Stanpit. To finish, a Hobby and a Peregrine went over, and a Fulmar passed by.

Omission: an Osprey came around 10:00 this morning.

August 19th

A day of almost constant rain and onshore wind saw 3 Little Gull and a Black Tern at Stanpit; the latter seen coming into the harbour over the Run. At sea, the morning produced a Manx Shearwater from Hengistbury, while the afternoon came up with: a Balearic Shearwater, 15 Kittiwake, and 2 Common Tern; all from Mudeford Quay. The first juvenile Black-tailed Godwit for the year was at Stanpit, as were: 2 Green Sandiper, a Spotted Redshank and 2 Greenshank. The remaining news is of a Cattle Egret on the Salt Hurns and a Pied Flycatcher in the Nursery. 

August 18th

Osprey – Jackie Smith & Alan Hayden (lower)

After being featured on Radio Solent Dorest this morning, the Osprey news. The first visit came around 8:15 and lasted fifteen minutes before leaving with a first-time-caught fish; the second was around 16:20 and lasted nearly half an hour and involved letting two fish slip from the talons but getting third time lucky. Best viewing is from Crouch Hill when the tide is high. The best wader returns from Stanpit came during the late morning, when a Little Stint, 4 Ruff and a Green Sandpiper were logged. Later, when the tide seemed more favourable, however, the best were: a Knot, 5 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and a Turnstone, although uncounted Ringed Plover and Dunlin were present. The Wheatear on the marsh probably came to nine and there was a nice Whinchat on Crouch Hill this evening; while 2 Little Tern and up to 20 Sandwich Tern were present. The finishing-up is a bit of a miscellany: a Brent Goose, first present yesterday, was on the marsh; two juvenile Bullfinch were on Wick; the Little Grebe young may now be down to three; a Peregrine went over; and at least 6 Gannet were offshore. 

August 17th

 Juvenile and moulting–adult Curlew Sandpiper – Alan Hayden
Wheatear – Jackie Smith

Today’s Osprey action came around 10:00 this morning, when a bird successfully fished the harbour. Later on, the afternoon rising tide at Stanpit produced 2 Curlew Sandpiper – an adult and a juvenile – as well as: a Knot, 5 Common Sandpiper, 7 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit – still no juveniles seen here yet, 57 Ringed Plover, 89 Dunlin and a Snipe. Earlier, at least one Greenshank had been on the other side of the River. A Lesser Whitethroat and 3 Garden Warbler were at Stanpit, as were 15 Wheatear, while around ten or so Willow Warbler were across the site. A couple of Little Tern lingered all day, along with 5 Sandwich Tern and a Mediterranean Gull. Rounding up, a Kingfisher was by the Wooden Bridge on Wick. 

August 16th

Osprey – Paul Dore (upper) & Jackie Smith
Little Grebe with two of their remaining four young – Alan Crockard
...and Pied Flycatcher – Jackie Smith

Osprey visited morning and afternoon – firstly, around 9:00 and then again at 16:45 – and on both occasions caught a fish and returned north. A Pied Flycatcher was at the southern end of the North Scrubs this evening, along with a few Willow Warbler and Blackcap there, plus 5 Wheatear on Crouch Hill. The waders in Stanpit Bight included the juvenile Knot, 5 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 15 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 50 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin and 13 Turnstone; while a Shoveler and 2 Teal were also present. 

August 15th

Although there was no further sign of the Kentish Plover today there was still plenty to see despite the damp and murky conditions. There was a Black Tern on Stanpit plus a good selection of waders the pick of which was a Wood Sandpiper; also present were a Green Sandpiper, a Ruff, a Greenshank, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, 7 Knot, 14 Common Sandpiper,and 52 Ringed Plover. A second Greenshank was on Holloway's Dock and 16 Turnstone were on the sandspit. Migrants were few with just a Pied Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler and 3 Willow Warbler in Ashtree Meadows plus a good count of 15 Wheatear on Crouch Hill while Hengistbury/Wick held 11 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, four each of Willow Warbler and Sedge Warbler, 2 Wheatear on the sandspit and a Firecrest on the Lower Batters. Back to Stanpit where the 2 Little Tern remained plus 4 Common Tern, also 3 Gadwall present.

Tides August 16th: L03:35 | H08:45 | 12:10 | L15:55 | H21:00

August 14th

A record shot of Kentish Plover – Matthew Barfield

A juvenile Kentish Plover – the first accepted record since the same month in 2007 – was found on the tip of South Marsh this afternoon, where it remained for a couple of hours at least. Also in that general area, a juvenile Knot, the first of the season, 3 Sanderling, two of those also birds of the year, 5 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, 40 Ringed Plover, a similar number of Dunlin and two adult Turnstone. Meanwhile, a juvenile Marsh Harrier passed to the east. Earlier in the day, singles of Pied Flycatcher and Spotted Flycatcher were in the Nursery, when 4 House Martin were over Wick Fields and 4 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill. The only other news from an ever-promising, algae-free harbour, which we are hoping will be a wader magnet over the coming weeks, is of a pair of Gadwall.

Tides August 15th: L02:35 | H07:45 | H10:55 | L15:00 | H20:10 | H23:25

August 13th

The forecast thunder and lightening came just after lunch, and brought some very heavy rain with it. Before all of that, however, there was a Green Sandpiper over East Marsh, while 5 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, a Knot and a Bar-tailed Godwit – both of those in breeding plumage, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 27 Ringed Plover and 44 Dunlin were around Stanpit Bight; plus a Wheatear on a boat! After the downpour, a Whinchat and a further Wheatear were on Hengistbury, while a 10 Whimbrel and 14 Shelduck headed south-west over there. To finish, 3 Shoveler and 5 Teal were on site. 

August 12th

Juvenile Shelduck – Alan Crockard

There was another Green Sandpiper this morning, the northern part of Stanpit; while 5 Common Sandpiper, 9 Whimbrel, 10 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin and 3 Turnstone were in the bight; as well as 3 Teal. This evening, there were three, getting scarce now, Swift over Hengistbury, where it’s confirmed there are still five little-grebelings. 

August 11th

These two Wood Sandpiper were photographed at Stanpit yesterday – Paul Dore

As the heat continues, the wader interest seems to be rising. A couple of Ruff were at Stanpit this morning, along with: a Greenshank, a Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Ringed Plover and 57 Dunlin. Passerines, however, were again sparse, the site-wide totals being: a Yellow Wagtail over, a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Wheatear and 10 Willow Warbler. A first-summer Mediterranean Gull passed south and the Little Grebe on Hengistbury may be down to two young. 

August 10th

The first, returning–for-the-winter Wigeon, a drake in eclipse - Jackie Smith

An Osprey again fished the harbour this morning, successfully, between 9:00 and 9:15.  There was also a nice selection of passerines scattered across Stanpit, including: 3 Garden Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, a couple of Blackcap and 4 Willow Warbler; while Wick held 7 Willow Warbler. As many as 5 Green Sandpiper were about during the morning, when the Bar-tailed Godwit and a Grey Plover – both still in breeding plumage – 3 Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Ringed Plover, 44 Dunlin and 12 Turnstone were also logged. The photographed Wigeon was in Mother Siller’s Channel, 7 Teal were present and the two juvenile Shelduck remain. In conclusion, at least three juvenile Mediterranean Gull passed through. 

August 9th

Blackcap – Alan Crockard
Adder – Tom Crockard

On another incredibly warm day that was only slightly tempered by the light, northerly breeze, passerines were not particularly numerous. A Spotted Flycatcher was at Stanpit, while Wheatear ‘peaked’ at four late in the day – three on the Barn Field and one on Whitepits. Elsewhere Willow Warbler, those numbering at least six, and Reed Warbler could occasionally be heard in sub-song, but a Blackcap, photographed, was in full flow along Roebury Lane. The best wader numbers came on the morning low, with: a Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Ringed Plover, 39 Dunlin, a Snipe at 2 Turnstone being returned from Fisherman’s Bank; where a Shoveler and 4 Teal were also seen. The juvenile Water Rail was again around the Purewell Stream and a Peregrine hunted the marsh. 

August 8th

Greenshank – Scott Usher
Shoveler – Scott Usher

Despite the scorching temperatures, the birds today suggested otherwise. Incoming or passing for their winter grounds included: a drake Tufted Duck, 9 Shoveler and 7 Teal; while over 100 Swallow, seven Swift, 77 Cormorant, 42 Mediterranean Gull and a Little Ringed Plover moved over. More settled, there were: 2 Greenshank, 2 Sanderling, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin and 2 Snipe. In addition, there was a return of 9 Water Rail and a Gannet was seen from Avon Beach in the afternoon. 

August 7th

The Little Grebe at Hengistbury have hatched five young – Clinton Whale
Turnstone – Joy Aubin

On a warm morning, raptors and egrets were the highlight at Stanpit. An Osprey arrived from the north at 9:50 and spent twenty minutes fishing, before returning from whence it came; a Marsh Harrier was about Priory Marsh; and 3 Cattle Egret flew east. At least 5 Common Sandpiper were on-site, as well as a Greenshank, 5 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover and 50 Dunlin. Three Little Tern were at Stanpit, as were a couple of Common Tern; while a total of 12 Water Rail were around Parky Meade Rail, plus 2 Kingfisher. Of reptile interest, on Hengistbury, two Grass Snake were swimming across the Ironstone Quarry.

August 6th

Bar–tailed Godwit - Alan Crockard
Juvenile Great Black–backed Gull - Nick Whitehouse
This albino House Sparrow has been seen off Rolls Drive – Cliff Strong

After a morning of drizzle, the afternoon turned out to be very warm. The best of the news is the waders at Stanpit, which included: 2 Knot, 2 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Whimbrel, a smart-looking Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Ringed Plover and the same number of Dunlin. Meanwhile, 6 Mediterranean Gull passed over. Shifting to passerines, those moving through totalled: 14 Willow Warbler and 10 Whitethroat; but 4 Chiffchaff and 5 Blackcap may have been lingering breeders. To finish, around 2500 Starling came out of a Hengistbury roost. 

August 5th

An early seawatch from Mudeford Quay saw a distant, dark-looking shearwater that will have to go unnamed, as well as two juvenile Kittiwake, a Fulmar and a Mediterranean Gull, all west; plus a couple of Common Scoter east; and an arriving Turnstone. Meanwhile, the waders inside the harbour were largely unchanged, other than an increase of Ringed Plover to eighteen, along with: a Common Sandpiper, 4 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit and 31 Dunlin. Also at Stanpit, a Common Tern and two settled Mediterranean Gull. This evening at Wick, there were several Willow Warbler; while an adult, male Peregrine narrowly missed a House Sparrow, but which, presumably injured or shaken, fell foul to a Magpie.

August 4th

Juvenile Water Rail – Clinton Whale
...and juvenile Cetti's Warbler – Dave Miller

Outbound, returning and perhaps passing wildfowl were the highlights of the morning – with a Garganey, 3 Shoveler and 2 Teal, and a Red-breasted Merganser logged respectively. There was again a good presence of Sedge Warbler around Priory Marsh – around 100 once more – was well as twenty or so Willow Warbler in the North Scrubs. The wader peaks throughout the day included: a Knot that left eventually left east with one of two Black-tailed Godwit, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Ringed Plover and 38 Dunlin. Finishing off, at least 4 Mediterranean Gull were about. 

August 3rd

Juvenile Sedge Warbler – Clinton Whale
Peregrine – Jackie Smith

August is the month for Sedge Warbler migration and the reedbeds can be full of birds. This morning, for example, at least one hundred were around Priory Marsh; also a Little Ringed Plover over that area. Meanwhile, a dozen or so Willow Warbler were in the North Scrubs, including a sub-singing bird, and a Wheatear was on Crouch Hill. The settled wader figures came to: a Spotted Redshank heard to call, a Greenshank, 6 Whimbrel – two of which departed this evening, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and around 20 Dunlin. Finishing up, a Peregrine was around and a juvenile Water Rail was seen on the Purewell Stream. 

August 2nd

A Green Sandpiper was by the Wooden Bridge at Wick this morning, as was a Kingfisher; while a couple of Whimbrel went over and 7 Willow Warbler were in the fields. Around the same time, at Stanpit, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was with over 210 Herring Gull of the same age, but all the wader news from the marsh comes from later in the day. Two Greenshank were in Mother Siller’s Channel and 3 Common Sandpiper, 4 Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit and around 30 Dunlin were in Stanpit Bight. 

August 1st

Goldfinch – Chris Chapleo

Another warm day was relatively quiet inside the harbour. At Stanpit, a breeding-plumaged Grey Plover passed through without stopping, while 7 Whimbrel, the 3 Black-tailed Godwit and 35 Dunlin were settled. Also, a couple of Mediterranean Gull there – a first-summer and a juvenile. The only passerine reports were from Wick, where 5 Willow Warbler and 11 Whitethroat were logged. The two young Shelduck remain on site and a Peregrine soared over the harbour. 

July 31st

Some interest from earlier in the week, Caspian Tern (upper) – the first since 2001 and photographed on Tuesday – and Cattle Egret - Sue Smith & Chris Chapleo
...and Jersey Tiger – Chris Chapleo

On a very warm day, the pick of the news comes from Stanpit during the morning, when a Arctic Tern was present, along with a Whinchat and 3 Wheatear on Crouch Hill, plus a Red Kite seen over the Priory. Singles of Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit were the best of the waders, but also 5 Sanderling, 2 Common Sandpiper, 12 Whimbrel and 45 Dunlin. Meanwhile, on Wick, there were 4 Willow Warbler, a Grey Wagtail and a Kingfisher. This evening, juveniles of Yellow-legged Gull and Common Gull were at Stanpit – the latter a plumage not often seen in this area – as well as 3 Black-tailed Godwit. 

July 30th

Most of the news comes from the morning, when 3 Crossbill flew over Wick and a Grasshopper Warbler plus three adult and two juvenile Bullfinch were along Roebury Lane. Over at Stanpit, there was a Wheatear on Crouch Hill, along with 5 Whimbrel, 8 Black-tailed Godwit and 30+ Dunlin. Later in the day, a couple of Common Sandpiper were around the marsh, while the Willow Warbler number was five. 

July 29th

Sedge Warbler – Alan Crockard

On a warm day and reasonably settled day, a Cattle Egret spent some time at Stanpit this morning, while a Green Sandpiper circled the marsh this evening. Early on, there was a good show of Willow Warbler – at least thirty on the golf-course embankment at Stanpit – as well as 8 Chiffchaff and 20 Sedge Warbler. A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was also about, as were 4 Common Sandpiper, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, around 24 Dunlin and 3 Common Tern. 

July 28th

Wheatear – Clinton Whale

There was a marked improvement in the weather today, which saw a Wheatear on Crouch Hill. Meanwhile, the only wader returns were at least 8 Black-tailed Godwit and 14 Dunlin. Of other interest, there were five Water, including a juvenile, in Parky Meade Rail and the moulting, Mute Swan herd was counted at 361.

July 27th

Curlew – Joy Aubin

The forecast rain and southerly wind certainly happened this morning, when coverage of the sea from Mudeford Quay came up with: 2 Manx Shearwater, 21 Common Tern and 23 Common Scoter, as well as up to 30 Gannet, nearly all west. Meanwhile, a tight flock of 31 Shelduck passed to the east, where they were also picked-up off Milford-on-Sea – presumably on their way to the Waddenzee moult – also a Mediterranean Gull in the same direction. Late in the afternoon, when the wind had shifted to south-south-west, ninety minutes from the Beach Huts produced: a couple of Manx Shearwater, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Fulmar, 3 Common Tern, c20 Sandwich Tern and 3 Common Tern, all lingering for various periods of time. 

July 26th

Lapwing – Alan Crockard

Of the few reports received, the best is of 3 Little Ringed Plover – an adult and two juveniles – this morning in Mother Siller’s Channel, before heading off east. In addition, there were 6 Common Sandpiper – five roosting on a log in Parky Meade Rail – as well as 3 Whimbrel and 12 Dunlin; while 2 Common Tern passed through west.  

July 25th

Whimbrel in the morning mirk – Joy Aubin

On a day dominated by rain, other than the photographed Whimbrel, there is nothing to report.

Omission: a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Fulmar and 8 Common Sandpiper were seen from Mudeford Quay.

July 24th

The Merlin was again around this morning – seen from a couple of spots – while a Green Sandpiper and 4 Little Tern were also highlights. The recent, estuarine wader numbers have dropped off a bit with today’s including: 9 Sanderling, 2 Knot, at least 6 Whimbrel, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, a Ringed Plover and 35 Dunlin. Out of a minimum of 16 Common Tern, one of them was the season’s first juvenile, with up to 15 Mediterranean Gull being about. Finishing up, a Yellow Wagtail passed over, a Lesser Whitethroat was on Wick and 7 Willow Warbler were returned. 

July 23rd

Wheatear – Alan Crockard

The Merlin was around again this morning – sat in a dead tree in the Bobolink Field, before being harried away by a group of Magpie. Over on Stanpit, a couple of Wheatear were settled and a Yellow Wagtail passed over. In addition, a Sanderling, 118 Dunlin and 4 Mediterranean Gull were logged around the bight. 

July 22nd

Juvenile Willow Warbler – Joy Aubin

A Firecrest was in the Wood this morning, when 3 Coal Tit were close by in the Stunted Oaks. Elsewhere, a single juvenile Willow Warbler was in the North Scrubs. The Roseate Tern was present at Stanpit again early on, but the waders were not so varied there this afternoon – a couple of Common Sandpiper and 5 Whimbrel being the better of a relatively poor show. Rounding up this short post, a Peregrine hunted the marsh for a while. 

July 21st

Whimbrel – Clinton Whale
..and Curlew – Clinton Whale

There were 5 Cattle Egret at Stanpit for a while this morning, before they left at 08:40  to the north from East Marsh. A little later, a Little Stint was seen briefly in Stanpit Bight, along with 6 Sanderling, 3 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Ringed Plover. The Dunlin numbers, after a slow start, again peaked in the evening when 266 were present. Back to the morning and a Whinchat and 2 Wheatear on Crouch Hill; 2 Common Tern and at least 15 Mediterranean Gull; although a casual scan across East Marsh later in the day suggested these had also built-up during the afternoon. 

July 20th

There was another great selection of birds seen today. The best by far, for the date that is, was a small, brown Merlin seen a couple of times as it zipped around Priory Marsh. Earlier, a trio of Cattle Egret settled briefly on East Marsh, with 25 Little Egret, before the former left to the north; and, once again, the Roseate Tern was present – this time around mid-morning – as was a Little Stint. Between 5:00 and 9:00am, at least 100 Mediterranean Gull passed through. The waders are getting plenty of attention and the peaks of the day were: 2 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper, 12 Whimbrel, 15 Black-tailed Godwit – nine of them moving west, 6 Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plover, 218 Dunlin – those ‘maxxing’ during the evening, 3 Turnstone, 128 Redshank and 33 Curlew. Let’s hope the optimism isn’t unfounded! Meanwhile, juvenile warblers are starting to move through – 3 Willow Warbler today – as well as more noticeable numbers of Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler. 

July 19th

Adult and juvenile Mediterranean Gull at sea off Hengistbury – Alan Crockard

Westbound Mediterranean Gull are currently a feature – between 6:00 and 8:00 this morning around sixty passed over or just off Hengistbury, while seven were settled on Solent Meads golf course. It’s interesting to see how the wader numbers change throughout the day: during the morning at Stanpit, there were 57 Dunlin but by 6:00 tonight there were over 135 – 90% of them adults. Meanwhile, other waders on the marsh included: 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Knot, 5 Whimbrel, 2 Sanderling – both, as expected, adults, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Ringed Plover and a Turnstone. The relative lack of algae in and around Stanpit Bight are still keeping hopes high for a good wader autumn. Otherwise, there was a juvenile Willow Warbler on Wick and 2 Common Tern about. 

July 18th

White Admiral on Hengistbury, not recorded in the area since 1988 – Joy Aubin
Little Stint and Dunlin – Nick Whitehouse

On a very warm day, there was a really good selection of birds to be had. An adult Little Stint and a Wood Sandpiper were at Stanpit, where the Roseate Tern was again seen. Meanwhile, Wick chipped-in with a Great White Egret and a Bearded Tit. Other notables at Stanpit were: 4 Yellow Wagtail over early on, a Greenshank, 11 Whimbrel, 5 Common Sandpiper, a Turnstone, 4 Common Tern and at least 55 Mediterranean Gull. In fact, the latter were the most-numerous, boat-seen gull around a mile off Hengistbury late in the afternoon. Rounding up, a Kingfisher was again by the Wooden Bridge. 

July 17th

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull – Alan Hayden
...and juvenile and adult Black–headed Gull – Clinton Whale

The Roseate Tern was again at Stanpit during the morning, when a couple of Crossbill moved over Wick. Later in the day, the marsh held: two adult Knot; a same-aged Greenshank, Turnstone and 2 Black-tailed Godwit; 8 Whimbrel; 34 Dunlin – four of those this year’s birds; and a real mixture of 90 Redshank. Meanwhile, a party of three duck that overflew comprised a Wigeon and 2 Gadwall, and at least a dozen Mediterranean Gull - four of them juveniles - were settled. 

July 16th

Jay – Ian Wigley

There was little change from yesterday at Stanpit this morning, when 3 Greenshank, 9 Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper and 5 Black-tailed Godwit were about. A couple of Yellow Wagtail and a single Grey Wagtail moved south and west respectively, with 18 Swift also heading west; while, in contrast, at least 3 Reed Warbler are still holding territories. A Kingfisher was by the Wooden Bridge on Wick and the begging calls of recently fledged Herring Gull are now very much part of the soundscape. 

July 15th

Roseate Tern – alongside Black-headed Gull and Sandwich Tern - Alan Hayden

A Roseate Tern was again lingering at Stanpit this afternoon, when a Common Tern was also present and at least 15 Mediterranean Gull – a mixture of adults and juveniles – passed over to the west. Waders numbers from the marsh came back with peaks of: singles of Greenshank and Common Sandpiper, 12 Whimbrel, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 34 Dunlin – four of those juveniles – and a Turnstone; also a Yellow Wagtail logged there. Over on Hengistbury, a Nuthatch was in the Stunted Oaks and a Kingfisher was in Barn Bight. 

July 14th

Linnet on Crouch Hill – Clinton Whale

Most of the news is from the waders at Stanpit, which throughout the day peaked at: a stint spp., 2 Greenshank, 6 Common Sandpiper, 12 Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Ringed Plover and 33 Dunlin; one of the latter the first juvenile of the return passage. Otherwise, there were 54 Common Tern and a Starling roost nudging 4000 birds. 

July 13th

Gatekeeper are now on the wing about the area – Clinton Whale

A nice, warm morning saw more returning waders pass through Stanpit, the best being: a trio of Avocet that landed briefly but left again at 06:10, 2 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel, a Ringed Plover, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 27 Dunlin and a Turnstone. After yesterday evening, the terns got some attention, but mustered just 6 Common Tern and 12 Sandwich Tern – although there were certainly more of the latter this evening; also, 4 Mediterranean Gull logged – at least six adults and a juvenile. The only moving passerines were 5 Siskin over, but a couple of juvenile Sedge Warbler were around Priory Marsh, while Reed Warbler and Blackcap are still in song. 

July 12th

Sandwich Tern
Sandwich Tern – Scott Usher (upper) & Clinton Whale

At the time of writing, 19:15, an adult Roseate Tern is lingering on East Marsh, viewable from Crouch Hill; while, earlier, a Great White Egret was in Stanpit Creek seen from Fisherman’s Bank. Also at Stanpit, a hint of what is hopefully to come from the waders on the currently, algae-free mud - singles of Greenshank, Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper, plus fifteen adult Dunlin. 

July 11th

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull at Stanpit yesterday evening – Scott Usher

The biggest surprise of the day came when scanning the Oak canopy in the Wood for Purple Hairstreak and a Wood Warbler came into view! I’ll defer to others to confirm how many other July records, if any, for that species there have been. Equally remarkable, however, was an adult male Whinchat at Whitepits. Otherwise, an hour at Stanpit produced just two each of Shoveler and Black-tailed Godwit. 

July 10th

The now–traditional, seemingly late–in-the-season coming together of Little Grebe is underway - Clinton Whale

Today, the Common Sandpiper had reduced to just three birds – two in Holloway’s Dock and one at Stanpit, where 3 Whimbrel, 2 Dunlin and 4 Mediterranean Gull were present. Over on Wick, a couple of adult Lesser Whitethroat were on the central path, a Grey Wagtail went over and a Kingfisher was by the Wooden Bridge. 

July 9th

Common Sandpiper are piling through at the moment, with a total of sixteen today – eleven at Stanpit and five from Mudeford Quay. Also from the quay, a couple of adult Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Mediterranean Gull and 4 Common Tern. Meanwhile, a further 2 Common Tern and 3 Mediterranean Gull were inside the harbour, at Stanpit, along with a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Dunlin. Finishing off, the first two juvenile Sandwich Tern of the season visited the site. 

July 8th

The only reports for the day are of 4 Common Sandpiper - two in Parky Meade Rail and two in Stanpit Creek - a Kingfisher at the former site and a fresh, juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull; that presumably from nearby, roof-top breeding. 

July 7th

The first returning Willow Warbler was on Hengistbury this morning, actually in song, while 4 Swallow over there may have also been winter-bound. Also over the head – 24 Shelduck – twelve high to the east, so presumably going to cross the North Sea to moult, and the same number coming in-off. Other travellers were Mediterranean Gull – twenty-two generally west, plus a couple of resting birds – as well as a Kittiwake and 13 Common Tern likewise. Barn Bight held a good total of Common Sandpiper – seven birds – but the other waders were all at Stanpit and included: a couple of Greenshank, a Little Ringed Plover, the 2 Knot, 2 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstone and a good count of 63 Redshank. Finishing off an encouragingly long post for early July: a Shoveler circuited before leaving to the south-west; around 120 Sand Martin, some of them freshly fledged birds, congregated around Barn Bight; and the moulting Mute Swan herd numbered 223. 

July 6th

Great White Egret – Joy Aubin
GreatBlackbackedGull GreatBlackbackedGull
This Great Black–backed Gull, about a mile out from the Run, had swallowed such a large fish it could hardly take-off - Alan Crockard

The wind abated some overnight, but was still present from the north-west. Early on, a Crossbill and 2 Siskin passed over Stanpit, while much later in the day a Great White Egret was around for an hour or two. Back to the morning and the marsh, where the rarest bird was a first-summer Common Tern amongst five adult birds – this age group is pretty scarce so far north of the South Atlantic wintering grounds. Also logged were: the 2 Knot, 2 Common Sandpiper, an adult Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel, c25 Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Curlew and 38 Redshank; as well as a juvenile and adult Mediterranean Gull. Finishing up and a contrast between ‘winter’ and ‘spring’ – a Kingfisher was on Wick, while Reed Warbler and Whitethroat are still in song. 

July 5th

The high hopes for the sea amounted to this in just over three hours this morning: a feeding flock of around 75 Herring Gull and 7 Great Black-backed Gull, 41 Gannet west and 6 Sandwich Tern (although one of those was actually in Holloway’s Dock)! Moving on and to Stanpit, where there was infinitely more interest, including: 2 Knot, 7 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, 5 Dunlin, at least 20 Curlew and 14 Redshank; as well as 2 Hobby. Rounding up, a couple of Kingfisher were by the Wooden Bridge and 4 House Martin were over the adjacent meadows. 

July 4th

A total of 3 Common Sandpiper was on the sandspit this morning – Alan Hayden
Sandwich Tern, already into the post–breeding moult – Alan Hayden

The sea was watched from 06:45 to 09:45 and then again for 80 minutes from 12:10 – the combined numbers being: a dark-phase Arctic Skua, a Manx shearwater on the sea and then west, an adult Yellow-legged Gull, 4 Fulmar, 26 Gannet – including a couple of second-calendar-year birds, which seem to be a bit of a feature at the moment, 23 Common Scoter, 5 Guillemot, a Common Tern, 3 Sandwich Tern, and a couple of Great Crested Grebe; as well as 15 Swift over the water. With the blasting, south-westerly continuing overnight and into tomorrow afternoon, it’s hoped some more sessions could produce a little more. Elsewhere, 2 Knot were on the tip of South Marsh and 4 Black-tailed Godwit headed west over Wick; while 2 Firecrest and a Treecreeper were in the Wood. 

July 3rd

This morning, at Stanpit, there were: 2 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, 3 Dunlin and 7 Curlew. Later in the day, as the wind-for-the-weekend gathered pace, a couple of seawatches saw just a Fulmar and an unidentified shearwater. Despite that poor return, there is plenty of optimism for the next day or so.  

July 2nd

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull – Nick Whitehouse

The first juvenile Mediterranean Gull of the season dropped into Stanpit this afternoon, when a further four birds – three adults and two second-summers – were also there; along with: 3 Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, 28 Black-tailed Godwit, two adult Dunlin, 14 Curlew and the same number of Redshank, one of those a yellow-legged juvenile. Earlier in the day, a Hobby went west over Wick and an adult Peregrine circled Stanpit for a three minutes before heading off in the same direction. 

July 1st

Black-tailed Godwit
Black–tailed Godwit in Holloway's Dock - Alan Hayden
In addition to plenty of newly emerged Comma, there are Purple Hairstreak on the wing in the Wood

Back in the day, Corn Bunting was a common resident in the area – frequenting the Wick Farm fields and roosting on Hengistbury. But since around the late 70s, the species has gained the status of ‘mega’. Consequently, one sat in a bush for a short time and singing twice on the Barn Field could well be one of the best records of the year. Meanwhile, other passerines on the head this morning included two or three Firecrest in the Wood and recent fledge of at least 4 Chiffchaff. A 2.5-hour seawatch, starting at 08:00, totalled: a Fulmar, 35 Gannet – including a flock of eight, high-flying birds, of which three were sub-adults – 4 Common Tern, 50 Sandwich Tern, a Guillemot, an auk and 3 Mediterranean Gull; all but two of the ‘Meds’ and one of the former terns heading west. The only other news is of what look like three adult Black-tailed Godwit, in Holloway’s Dock, presumed already returned from Iceland. 

June 30th

Thankfully, the wind had dropped away by dawn; but rain showers were a feature throughout the day. A Green Sandpiper – the first of the autumn – was at Stanpit, along with 3 Common Sandpiper and a Whimbrel. The redhead Goosander was seen from both sides of the river and up to 10 Mediterranean Gull moved through. 

June 29th

Although the wind continued to blast, there were some forays into the field today. The pick was at Stanpit, where a redhead Goosander and a female Bearded Tit were present, as well as 4 Common Tern. Over on Wick, an adult Mediterranean Gull passed west, while a couple of late-singing Reed Warbler could be heard over the not-insignificant, background noise. This evening, a hopeful 90-minute seawatch from Whitepits yielded just three each of Manx Shearwater and Guillemot, plus at least five non-adult Gannet. 

June 28th

No doubt due to over-bearing, south-westerly that dominated the day, there were no reports received. 

June 27th

Rock Pipit – Jackie Smith

A forecast south-westerly wind encouraged some seawatching this morning; although with the actual vector turning out to be south-south-west, it was, at times, a far-from-comfortable experience in the heavy showers. The totals between 8:10 and 11:00 came to: 5 Manx Shearwater, a Fulmar, 6 Common Tern3 Mediterranean Gull, 12 Common Scoter, three auks and 2 Shag. Meanwhile, around 50 Swift headed into the wind over Wick and Common Sandpiper, plus 16 Redshank, was in Barn Bight. 

June 26th

Kestrel – Roger Tidball

The morning at Stanpit saw the first juvenile Black-headed Gull coming to the area, as well as the first returning-for-the-winter Kingfisher. The best-of-the-rest was 4 Common Tern, but also 9 Curlew. 

June 25th

A very hot day is very light on news. The best was a couple of House Martin and 6 Mediterranean Gull, the latter west, over Wick; while the Lesser Whitethroat was still there and 14 Redshank were in Wick Hams. The only news from the other side of the area is a couple of Mediterranean Gull over the North Scrubs. 

June 24th

An Avocet at Stanpit was a nice June record, although with the amount of not-too-far-away breeding going on should be perhaps more expected. Also at the marsh, a Common Tern, 9 Curlew, 10 Lapwing, 3 Tufted Duck and 8 Gadwall. Meanwhile, the Lesser Whitethroat was again at Wick and 2 Mediterranean Gull passed over there. 

June 23rd

A flock of 13 Crossbill was seen heading east from the Coastguards this morning, while 2 Curlew were at Stanpit, a Greylag Goose headed towards the Valley and the Lesser Whitethroat was on Wick. 

June 22nd

Skylark – Clinton Whale

There was a clear influx of Common Sandpiper today – six birds on Wick and an individual on Stanpit. Meanwhile, juvenile Lapwing were seen at both those sites as well. Otherwise, it’s just a Little Grebe on the Ironstone Quarry and the singing Lesser Whitethroat to report upon. 

June 21st

All the news from the longest day of the comes from Stanpit, where 7 Curlew and a Redshank were settled, while a further of the former headed over west. Both Shelduck broods were present – numbering nine, those able to fly, and two. 

June 20th

Starling – Clinton Whale

The only news for the day is from Wick, which saw: the Lesser Whitethroat, a Curlew pass over west and a couple of juvenile Lapwing in the No Dogs Field. 

June 19th

Juvenile Stonechat – Clinton Whale
Great White Egret – Joy Aubin

The morning at Stanpit saw the so-far unique sight of all three white herons on East Marsh – singles of Cattle Egret, Great White Egret and some Little Egret. Meanwhile, the Long-tailed Duck was again off Mudeford Quay. In the other news, a Crossbill went over the marsh; where 4 Redshank, 4 Curlew and 45 Lapwing were settled; and the quay returned a maximum of 37 Common Scoter, in a mixture of directions, as well as a Common Tern and 8 Gannet. 

June 18th

The only news for the day is of the Long-tailed Duck off Mudeford Quay in the morning. Probably a sentence you'd expect in a January post, rather than from one approaching mid-summer!

June 17th

The Long-tailed Duck showed very well this morning from Mudeford Quay, when a, but perhaps two, Little Ringed Plover circuited the end of the before heading west, and a Common Sandpiper was in Holloway’s Dock. Also from Hengistbury, a couple of Common Tern to the west and a persistently singing Firecrest. Meanwhile, 2 Redshank and 4 Curlew were inside the harbour, and the Lesser Whitethroat was again vocal on Wick. 

June 16th

The Long–tailed Duck off the sandspit yesterday - Nigel Matthews

A post-dawn visit to Hengistbury produced singles of Whimbrel and Curlew passing high to the south-west over the sea, as well a 5 Mediterranean Gull – four adults and a second-summer – on the same flight line. A little later, the Lesser Whitethroat was again in song on Wick.

June 15th

The Long-tailed Duck was again off Mudeford Quay this morning, but there is little else to report outside of the current residents. The Lesser Whitethroat was again in voice, as were a few male Reed Bunting – the latter perhaps moving towards a second brood. Around South Marsh, 2 Whitethroat were vying for position, which hasn’t been the case so far this season – so one wonders if a new bird has recently arrived; albeit more than just a bit late. Finally, there were good number of this species and Reed Warbler in areas around Wick. 

June 14th

Juvenile Linnet – Clinton Whale
Male Kestrel after the young have all fledged – Roger Tidball
Out Now! See note below

A dull morning of weather saw a few bits and pieces at Stanpit. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was on South Marsh, while 5 Grey Plover and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit were the best of the waders. In addition, a couple of Common Tern were about, as well as 5 Curlew, a Redshank and 3 Shoveler. Of breeding note, the first Oystercatcher nest site, which lost its eggs a couple of weeks ago, now has three more; a family of Linnet fledged five on Crouch Hill; the 5 Kestrel have also left the nest; at least 10 Reed Warbler were by the Wooden Bridge and a Lesser Whitethroat continues to sing on Wick.

Omission: the Long-tailed Duck was seen from Mudeford Quay this morning.

June 13th

Reed Bunting – Clinton Whale

There is very little to report today – just half a dozen or so of Mediterranean Gull wheeling around the area, plus five east at sea; where 6 Sandwich Tern milled and 12 Gannet plus an auk moved towards Poole Bay. Meanwhile, a Cuckoo continues to sing on Wick. 

June 12th

Little Egret – Clinton Whale

Rain and a strong, easterly wind dominated much of the day; when, during the morning, a drab-looking, diving duck was found off Mudeford Quay. Conditions made assessment difficult, but eventually Long-tailed Duck was confirmed. This evening, 5 Manx Shearwater – three west and two east – were also seen from the quay; while the earlier period contributed 3 Common Tern and 2 Great Crested Grebe. The other notables of the day were: at least 30 Mediterranean Gull passing high to the west and a Bar-tailed Godwit at Stanpit; where a single Curlew and a handful of Lapwing were also present. 

June 11th

Stonechat – Roger Tidball
The last few days have seen the first juvenile Grey Heron out and about – Roger Tidball

Singles of Tree Pipit and Grey Wagtail over Wick Fields are both unexpected occurrences for the date; while five, westbound adult Mediterranean Gull were slightly less of a surprise. 

June 10th

Recently fledged Great Tit – Clinton Whale

Other than 15 or so Swift over Hengistbury, all the news comes from Stanpit, where: a Black Tern, 2 Little Tern and 2 Common Tern were logged, as well as a Common Sandpiper. 

June 9th

Dartford Warbler, as always the photo is taken from a public path – Clinton Whale

The two highlights of the day were a flock of 10 Crossbill that lifted out of the Nursery this morning and a hepatic, female Cuckoo on Wick this afternoon. Otherwise, it’s a just a Bullfinch on Wick and 5 Swift over to mention. 

June 8th

Turnstone – Clinton Whale
Rock Pipit – Clinton Whale

This morning at Stanpit, a female Pintail had joined the drake Wigeon, while the single Brent Goose also remained. A couple of Whimbrel were logged, one associating with a Curlew, but the only other waders of note were a Turnstone and a Redshank. The non-breeding Shelduck numbered thirty-two, as well as the pair with now nine well-grown ducklings; with other offspring around the site including some young Sand Martin now peeking out of burrows and fledged Rock Pipit about the sandspit. Of reptilian interest, a Grass Snake was seen in the Ironstone Quarry. 

June 7th

Swallow – Alan Crockard
Reed Warbler – Jackie Smith

The early morning saw a westerly passage of at least 37 Mediterranean Gull – all but three being adults, so presumably failed-breeders as a result of the spring tides of the recent days. Also going ‘home’ 5 Whimbrel west over Wick; but on the converse a couple of Turnstone hurried on north. The only other news for the day is of 2 Common Tern at Stanpit. Now, a bit of a varied update. Sadly, the South Marsh Oystercatcher have left that site, while it seems the East Marsh pair lost their eggs to the aforementioned tides. On the upside, some recent diurnal trips to Hengistbury suggest at least one pair of Nightjar are in residence, as well as three species of Pipistrelle bat. 

June 6th

 Whitethroat – Leo Pyke

The blasting westerly wind that blighted the day brought at least 141 Manx Shearwater to Christchurch Bay this evening – all initially east, but then a few started to trickle back west. Also, around 20 Gannet, of which four were second-calendar-year birds – plumages outside of full adult and juvenile are not always commonplace here – and 4 Fulmar. Another early morning wader watch at Stanpit saw two settled Grey Plover which were then encouraged up by three circling Knot, with all five birds then heading very purposefully north. Meanwhile, a Ringed Plover went straight over and north, while singles of Whimbrel and Curlew fed. Also overhead, a minimum of 100 Swift, with a Spotted Flycatcher close to the Nursery and three juvenile Firecrest in the same area. Rounding up a decent June day, the drake Wigeon remains. Our next Virtual Meeting is this coming Wednesday, please see below for more information.

June 5th

Recently fledged Robin – Roger Tidball

An early visit to Stanpit, from 05:45 to 06:55, to catch the rising tide, saw the following waders stop to take a very brief look before continuing their journey to the Arctic: 3 Turnstone, 3+1 Sanderling and 1+1 Dunlin; while a less far-travelled Redshank was settled. A later visit produced: a Roseate Tern fishing and then resting on East Marsh and a very unseasonable Merlin passing east. Also seen across the sessions: the Brent Goose, 3 Mediterranean Gull and 26 Lapwing. Very noticeable during some of the morning were Swift – the best estimate being 830 – with singles of late-arriving Turtle Dove and Spotted Flycatcher turned in from Hengistbury and Wick respectively. The sea was quiet – just a Fulmar, 4 Gannet and a couple of Sandwich Tern to mention – but, to add to the seemingly ever-increasing collection of dodgy wildfowl, 3 Swan Goose were seen to arrive from out of the Solent. 

June 4th

Rose–coloured Starling – Alan Hayden
Linnet – Oriana Ludolini

The Rose-coloured Starling was seen twice in the very early morning: at 5:05 as it lifted out of Wick reeds; then at 5:20 for ten minutes as it woke itself up properly on bushes adjacent to Rolls Drive. Slightly later, there was a notable presence of Swift over the area – an estimate of 300 coming from Wick – as well as a couple of Mediterranean Gull east and two, presumed late-arriving House Martin. 

June 3rd

Rose–coloured Starling - Chris Chapleo
Kestrel – Joy Aubin

Late in the morning, CHOG’s second-ever, but first adult, Rose-coloured Starling was found on Solent Meads golf course. It soon disappeared, however; but this evening has been seen from roads south of the eastern end of The Broadway, outside of the recording area. Also during the morning a Black Tern was seen amongst feeding Swift over Wick. A skein of 8 Egyptian Goose that was seen to arrive over Whitepits, then spent the rest of the day at Stanpit. 

June 2nd

Grey Heron – Clinton Whale

On what was a very warm day, a couple of Crossbill headed east over Stanpit in the morning, when three female-type Pintail were present as well as a Whimbrel and the Wigeon. During the late afternoon, 2 Avocet were around Stanpit Bight, along with: 3 Mediterranean Gull – a second-summer and an adult pair, a Redshank and a Curlew, but just one Brent Goose. A Cuckoo sang throughout from various spots on the west side of the River. 

June 1st

A northbound Grey Plover circuited Stanpit for a few minutes this evening, but didn’t appear to settle, while a Cuckoo sang from over on Wick. Also on the marsh, a single Barnacle Goose, 2 Brent Goose, the drake Wigeon and the pair of Gadwall. 

May 31st

The only news for the day is of 14 Lapwing and the 2 Brent Goose at Stanpit; but there is an Oystercatcher update of mixed fortunes. All the eggs in the original nest have gone, but the pair are still present and acting territorially – so almost certain to be planning another attempt. On the upside, a recently discovered, further nest, also at Stanpit, has three eggs in it!

May 30th

Shelduck – Clinton Whale

The morning at Stanpit saw: singles of Ringed Plover and Curlew; the Wigeon, the 2 Brent Goose, a Gadwall and a pair of Shoveler; as well as 2 Mediterranean Gull over. In the early evening, however, there had been a clear arrival of Shoveler there – 12 birds, four of them drakes – when 4 Mediterranean Gull passed over to the west.  

May 29th

Shelduck – Clinton Whale

From Fisherman’s Bank this morning, a single Grey Plover and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit were logged; as well as a Gadwall, the drake Wigeon and 2 Brent Goose. A pair of Mediterranean Gull headed west; while, this afternoon, a trio comprising each of the currently available plumages was over Stanpit car park. The breeding news involves: confirmation there is a second pair of Oystercatcher – on East Marsh; the Shelduck were again ten and three; and there were five recently fledged Long-tailed Tit in the North Scrubs. 

May 28th

Brent Goose – Clinton Whale

A Purple Heron flew north over the area this morning, being mobbed by gulls and corvids as it did so. Meanwhile, there were some interesting records on the ground, including: a couple of Willow Warbler in song on Hengistbury, as well as a male Wheatear there; plus an adult and juvenile Treecreeper, so once again confirming breeding by this recent coloniser. The Barnacle Goose intrigue of yesterday continued, with a single bird in Stanpit Creek; while the 2 Brent Goose were on the Flats, a pair of Shoveler stopped briefly, the drake Wigeon is edging towards June, and 10+3 Shelducklings were logged. At sea, a total of 14 Common Tern headed east, as did 33 Sandwich Tern, with 15 Common Scoter passing in the opposite direction. This evening, the Oystercatcher pair were still reassuringly in attendance at the nest-site. 

May 27th

Mallard – Clinton Whale

The news of the day is of four, just-fledged Firecrest this morning, when a skein of 35 Barnacle Goose flew and a Fulmar flew through the harbour. Meanwhile, the waders at Stanpit included: 3 Grey Plover, 3 Greenshank, 10 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin and a Curlew; along with two, still-intact Oystercatcher eggs! Later in the day, a Spotted Flycatcher was on the Long Field and 2 Reed Warbler were singing softly from the Batters - where there are no reeds - so potentially late arrivees. There was a seemingly new brood of Shelduck – three just-hatched ducklings – to complement the existing which are now thought to number ten and two, and the Cuckoo sang this afternoon. Finishing off, the Wigeon and 2 Brent Goose remain. 

May 26th

On another glorious day, a first-calendar-year Golden Oriole was seen briefly in flight at Wick. Otherwise, all the other news is from Stanpit, where: 2 Bar-tailed Godwit stopped for a short time; 5 Ringed Plover were with a couple of Dunlin; and 2 Redshank were also present. As ever, there was the drake Wigeon, but today just 2 Brent Goose. 

May 25th

The warmest day of the season so far saw a scatter of northbound waders early on, most of which went straight through and comprised: a Little Ringed Plover, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, 4 Sanderling, 19 Ringed Plover – of which eleven settled, a Dunlin and 2 Turnstone. Conversely, a Curlew, 2 Redshank and 6 Lapwing were presumed to be on their way back after some early breeding failures. Also during the morning, at Stanpit, a Little Tern briefly, a third-calendar-year Mediterranean Gull, the Wigeon and the 3 Brent Goose. This evening, a couple of Spotted Flycatcher were on the Long Field and the first fledged Blackcap were out, while the summer herd of Mute Swan numbered 254. Today was perhaps the busiest the harbour waters have ever been, so it’s pleasing to report that at 6:00 tonight the Oystercatcher nest seemed to be intact and had even enjoyed some Bank Holiday DIY – the two eggs with freshly placed pebbles around them, so making them even more cryptic. 

May 24th

Sanderling – Clinton Whale
Sand Martin – Clinton Whale
For the fifth year in succession, this pair of Mute Swan have produced some 'polish' cygnets – the paler ones. Look out for them from the paths to Mudeford Quay - Tony Clarke 

The biggest news of the day is the fact there are now three Oystercatcher eggs. Tomorrow will be crucial for them, however, as the light wind will mean more activity on the water and small craft landing close to the nest site. Thanks to BCP Council for some emergency, water-facing signage that has gone up tonight. Once again, the sandspit played host to the few migrant waders still heading north – namely, 4 Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin and a Turnstone; while 4 Dunlin were at Stanpit. At least one Cuckoo remains on site, with singing coming from the Nursery in the morning and from Speller’s Point this evening. 

May 23rd

Great Spotted Woodpecker – Alan Crockard

As the post is being written, news is coming in of Manx Shearwater moving off Hengistbury – more details on those will follow tomorrow. The gusting south-westerly put most people off this morning, but there are still some snippets of interest. A female Goosander was on the River , when at least 15 Sanderling were on the beaches. In the Wood, a Spotted Flycatcher was in the Stunted Oaks, a Firecrest was near by and a male Bullfinch was on the Long Field. To finish, a duck Gadwall was by the Wooden Bridge. 

May 22nd

Sandwich Tern – Clinton Whale
Brent Goose – Clinton Whale

A strong south-westerly that gathered strength overnight gave rise to some seawatching this morning. From Mudeford Quay, a petrel, which given the date and conditions must surely have been a ‘stormie’, was glimpsed on a couple of occasions; while a Red-throated diver moved west. The best from the Beach Huts was a Great Skua west, but also: 4 Fulmar, 4 Kittiwake, around 25 Gannet, a first-summer Mediterranean Gull, 18 Guillemot and six unidentified auks. Meanwhile, fly-past waders included: a Whimbrel, 23 Sanderling, 8 Ringed Plover and 14 Dunlin east and 19 Black-tailed Godwit north; with a further 12 Sanderling settled. Finishing with the water, a couple of Swift and 8 House Martin were seen coming in over it. Of breeding interest, five cygnets have now hatched from the nest on Stanpit Creek, but of more significance is another active Oystercatcher attempt – this time at Stanpit; the first time in over 50 years! After being informed by CHOG, BCP Council have acted quickly and a rope fence is already in place, with signage going up tomorrow. If you are out on the marsh and see people approaching too closely, to an area that is already out of bounds, please do speak to them and let them know what is going on. Please do be courteous, however, as most will be unaware they are causing some disturbance. 

May 21st

Ringed Plover – C;inton Whale
A fine–looking, male Linnet – Leo Pyke
Whimbrel – Clinton Whale
Reed Bunting – Jackie Smith

The two, late-moving, photographed Ringed Plover were in Holloway’s Dock this morning, along with 5 Dunlin, while a Whimbrel was on the sandspit. Later in the day, a Spotted Redshank dropped in from ahigh and seemed to come down around the mud adjacent to the Christchurch Harbour Hotel. At Stanpit, there was an eclectic-for-the-date mix of wildfowl – the drake Wigeon was joined by a single duck as well as a Pintail of the same gender, and the Brent Goose gaggle swelled to a total of 6 birds. Rounding up, the calls of Mediterranean Gull could be occasionally heard, likewise the song of Cuckoo, and a male Bullfinch was by the Wooden Bridge. 

May 20th

Sedge Warbler – Jackie Smith

It was even warmer today, when the morning saw 4 Spotted Flycatcher by the Wooden Bridge on Wick, where a male Bullfinch was also loitering. Once again, the sandspit produced the lion’s share of the travelling waders; namely: 21 Sanderling, 7 Ringed Plover and a Turnstone, all settled; while a Curlew arrived high from the east, so perhaps may have given up already; also checking-in in similar fashion was a Grey Heron and a first-summer Mediterranean Gull. Meanwhile, inside the harbour, a Whimbrel and 5 Ringed Plover were logged. The recent lifting of some restrictions has enabled a modicum of breeding-bird surveying to get underway. The most notable from the early estimates being: 5 Sedge Warbler in the HHC reedbed alone, which is a significant number nowadays; a potential 43 Sand Martin burrows; and up to 5 Rock Pipit on the head. Elsewhere, the Stanpit Shelduck broods now stand at ten and one. 

May 19th

Greenfinch – Roger Tidball

It was another very warm day, which saw 2 Hobby over Wick in the morning, when there were also 3 Common Sandpiper and a Spotted Flycatcher in that area. The only migrant waders were seen very early on – 4 Sanderling and a single Ringed Plover on the sandspit. Rounding up, the Cuckoo was again about Stanpit, where the drake Wigeon and the 3 Brent Goose edge towards the summer. 

May 18th

A very early morning visit to Stanpit, commencing just before 5:30, saw small flocks of waders dropping in; but most very briefly. These comprised a Sanderling, 21 Ringed Plover – groups of ten, four, three, three and one, 11 Dunlin – five, three, two and one, and 3 Turnstone – two and one. Later, singles of Common Sandpiper and Bar-tailed Godwit were more settled. Before moving elsewhere, a Spotted Flycatcher, the Cuckoo, the 3 Brent Goose, the drake Wigeon and the pair of Gadwall were also about the marsh. Meanwhile, a further 3 Spotted Flycatcher were on Wick, by the Wooden Bridge, where there was also a male Wheatear and 2 House Martin. Finally, a strange record for the date was a party of 8 Lapwing moving west. 

May 17th

The only news from another day of fantastic weather comes from Stanpit, where, this evening, there were 10 Ringed Plover and 5 Dunlin; as well as the Cuckoo and the 3 Brent Goose 

May 16th

Spotted Flycatcher – Alan Crockard
Green Hairstreak – Chris Chapleo

A couple of Spotted Flycatcher were seen this morning – one on Wick and one behind the Nursery = while and the Cuckoo again sang. The only wader news is from the sandspit, which hosted 5 Sanderling and a couple of Dunlin; with 2 Common Tern and 12 Common Scoter passing east. A female Bullfinch was by the HHC, at least 3 Bearded Tit were about and the first Sedge Warbler hatch has fledged. 

May 15th

Dartford Warbler immediately adjacent to a public footpath – Clinton Whale

Other than a fledge of 4 Dartford Warbler on Hengistbury, all the news is from Stanpit, where: a male Wheatear, so no doubt Atlantic bound, was on Crouch Hill, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Whimbrel were on East Marsh, and the 3 Brent Goose remain.  

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CHOG Kindle eBook

Birds of Christchurch Harbour 2014 to 2018

CHOG 2014-18 eBook cover v1 2

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Harbour Map
harbourmapthumbnail Our interactive harbour map helps you to identify locations around the harbour and gives some useful pointers.
Harbour Slideshow
Isabelline Shrike See the best of some recent rarities in our Harbour Slideshow
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