Sightings for the current month

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. 

Virtual Meeting - Tuesday July 14th - 7:30-8:00pm
Nathusius' Pipistrelle Bat and  Living RecordAdrian Bicker
Adrian will deliver a concise version of his presentation - The Migration of Nathusius' Pipistrelle Bat along the Dorest Coast, to and from the Baltic - followed by a short overview of how local naturalists use the Dorset Environmental Records Centre’s Living Record system to collect 140,000 species records a year for Dorset.

Pleas register interest to attend by emailing:

The CHOG annual report – The Birds of Christchurch Harbour – for 2019 is now out.

The report retails for £7.00, but is free for members. With membership fees starting at the price of a report, why not consider joining CHOG

Tides July 11th: H02:50 | H06:20 | L10:10 | H15:25 | H18:45 | L22:35

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. 

Tides July 10th: H02:05 | H05:40 | L09:25 | H14:40 | H18:10 | L21:50

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
Great Black–backed Gull
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.  

Barn Owl Cam
Paul Turton, Jackie Smith and Dave Taylor have set-up a Barn Owl camera.
View the live feed
CHOG Kindle eBook

Birds of Christchurch Harbour 2014 to 2018

CHOG 2014-18 eBook cover v1 2

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