Sightings for the current month

July 31st

A Great White Egret dropped into Stanpit Creek for a few minutes around 13:00 this afternoon; while, earlier, 3 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 8 Whimbrel, a Snipe and the first Common Gull of the Autumn had been logged from the adjoining Fisherman’s Bank. Earlier again, and on the ebbing tide around Stanpit Bight, there was a further Common Sanpiper, 26 Dunlin and a Mediterranean Gull. The only news from the other side of the area is from Wick, where a Willow Warbler was present and a couple of westbound Whimbrel overflew. 


Saturday 21st August
Durlston Country Park

Saturday 4th September
Members' Day at Hengistbury Head, including the opening of the new hide.

More details for both...

July 30th

The south-westerly blast brought a Balearic Shearwater close to the Beach Huts early this morning, with 2 Manx Shearwater, 4 Fulmar, 2 Common Tern and a lone, unidentified auk, all west past there. Also during the morning, a look from Fisherman’s Bank produced: a Sanderling, 2 Common Sandpiper, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit and at least 20 Dunlin at Stanpit. 

July 29th

The wind had largely, and thankfully, dropped away overnight; but looks set to return with some vengeance tomorrow. In addition to a Wheatear on Whitepits, there were 2 Willow Warbler and 4 Common Tern around the greater part of Hengistbury. Meanwhile, 7 Whimbrel and 12 Dunlin were the best from Stanpit. 

July 28th

The only news from a day of quite unpleasant wind, is of 7 Whimbrel at Stanpit.

July 27th

Wheatear – David Faulkner

It was a day of showers and some sunshine, when a Wheatear spent much of it on Crouch Hill and 8 Reed Warbler were on Wick; as well as a Bullfinch there. The only attempt to see waders at Stanpit coincided with a high tide, so it’s just four each of Whimbrel and Dunlin in that respect. There was a scruffy, adult Mediterranean Gull, however, and the bizarre sight of an adult Moorhen flying, at some height, around East and South Marshes. A shape that definitely caught the eye!

July 26th

The only news for the day is of a Treecreeper in the North Scrubs and a couple of Common Tern, reported by kayakers, sat on buoys in the middle of the harbour. 

July 25th

Red Admiral – Clinton Whale

The first ringing session of the Autumn confirmed the passage of acrocephalus warblers is underway – 28 Sedge Warbler and 15 Reed Warbler caught this morning. Meanwhile, a Garden Warbler was in the Nursery and a Yellow Wagtail passed over Hengistbury. The best of the waders was a Greenshank in Barn Bight, but at least 6 Whimbrel and 16 Dunlin at Stanpit; where a Peregrine passed over. 

July 24th

Raven – Matthew Barfield

There was a hint of the start of the upcoming passerine return migration this morning, in the form of a Grasshopper Warbler and 2 Willow Warbler in the North Scrubs, Stanpit; where a pair of Raven was also present.

July 23rd

The recent fine weather has seen Purple Hairstreak on the wing – Roderick Jenkins

Despite yet another day of glorious weather, there are no reports for the day. 

July 22nd

It was nice to see some more positive butterfly activity again today. Gatekeeper – Clinton Whale

The day saw a clear influx of Mediterranean Gull: although of the total of fifty-three, thirty-one of them juveniles, it’s not clear whether they were settled or moving through. Definitely on the move, however, were hirundines, with 78 Sand Martin, 46 Swallow and 8 House Martin travelling east. Sticking with this family, and in tune with the last couple of posts, there was an apparent pair close to the new classroom along Roebury Lane. Other than a Kingfisher by the Wooden Bridge on Wick and a Yellow Wagtail at Stanpit, the remainder of the news comes from waders on the marsh, which included: a Little Ringed Plover, a Greenshank, 6 Common Sandpiper, 4 Whimbrel and 37 Dunlin. 

July 21st

At Stanpit this morning, there were: a Common Sandpiper, singles of Whimbrel, Ringed Plover and Dunlin, and at least a dozen Mediterranean Gull. After yesterday’s comment about Swallow, it was interesting to hear of two in the roof space of the newly constructed class room on Roebury Lane. Perhaps some habitat creation? Meanwhile, a Common Seal was in the Run at both ends of the day. 

July 20th

On another blistering day, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was at Stanpit this morning, as were: 34 Mediterranean Gull – four of those also juveniles – a Greenshank and 62 Dunlin. Later, a Swallow, a species that now has just passage-migrant status in the area, passed east through the marsh. 

July 19th

Juvenile Black–headed Gull - Clinton Whale
Plenty of Small Heath are again on the wing about the area – Clinton Whale

Early this morning, a Spoonbill passed over the area and a Grasshopper Warbler was by the Rusty Boat. Slightly later, 20 Dunlin, including one juvenile, and two adult Mediterranean Gull were on South Marsh. Of mammal interest, a Common Seal was by the Black House. 

July 18th

The smart-looking Bar-tailed Godwit was again at Stanpit, along with a dozen or so Black-tailed Godwit. Also there, a Whimbrel and 2 Dunlin – one of the latter being a juvenile, the first in the area of the season. 

July 17th

All the news comes from an hour at Fisherman’s Bank this morning, when a breeding-plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit was present, along with 7 Whimbrel, 54 Curlew and 21 Dunlin; as well as the seven Shelducklings and their parents.  

July 16th

Great White Egret emerging from its roost – Martin Lewis

After being seen going to roost last night, the Great White Egret emerged at 5:15 and then eventually relocated to the Hengistbury side of the area. Meanwhile, from Fisherman’s Bank: 6 Whimbrel, 39 Curlew, a couple of Ringed Plover and 4 Dunlin were logged; as well as a Little Tern. 

July 15th

Spoonbill – Ann Parramore
The new pond on Riversmeet Meadow was only planted this week, but already odonata are ovipositing there, including this Emperor Dragonfly with an attendant blue damselfly – Jackie Smith

It was a day of big, white, heron-type birds. A Spoonbill was giving itself an early morning wash-and-brush-up in Holloway’s Dock at 05:20, but had left within forty minutes; but a Great White Egret stayed in Stanpit Creek from at least 14:30 onwards. The rest of the news also comes from Stanpit, where: 2 Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, 6 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Dunlin were present; as were, the 3 Little Tern along with 4 Mediterranean Gull. 

July 14th

Thanks to a small degree of re–wilding, Marbled White are moving into the area. The lower shot shows one egg–laying - Jackie Smith
Gatekeeper – Clinton Whale
Peacock – Clinton Whale

Most of the news is from Stanpit, where five adult Mediterranean Gull were present; although there is mention of the first juvenile(s) of the season having being there as well. Additionally, there were: 3 Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit and 7 Dunlin to be had on the marsh; plus a single Turnstone on the sandspit. 

July 13th

The day started well, with 3 Spoonbill circling Hengistbury at 05:45 before heading off to the west. Slightly later, Stanpit hosted: a Roseate Tern, the 3 Little Tern, 3 Common Tern and over 35 Sandwich Tern; as well as 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 9 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Dunlin. Although only specifically noted today, some retrospective comments now say that juvenile Black-headed Gull have been using the area for several days already; while of butterfly interest, 2 Marbled White, one of them egg-laying, were at Stanpit. 

July 12th

Stonechat – with Dad supervising at bath time – Clinton Whale
The pair of Little Grebe that breed in the area traditionally arrive late on territory, presumably to mesh their hatch with a key food source in the acidic water – Clinton Whale
...and the Common Seal that has been lingering for a couple of weeks – Clinton Whale

During the rain this morning, there was an apparent influx of terns into the harbour. For a short while, Stanpit hosted 3 Roseate Tern and around 30 Common Tern, but they soon dissipated; although the now-regular, 3 Little Tern remained, as did around 15 Sandwich Tern. Also on the marsh, a single Whimbrel and at least 4 Common Sandpiper. Meanwhile, a group of 8 Common Scoter were close inshore off Mudeford Quay. 

July 11th

Whimbrel – Clinton Whale
Fox – Clinton Whale

A Turtle Dove was heard, from Stanpit, on Wick this morning; when that side of the River also produced five westbound Black-tailed Godwit and two, recently fledged Reed Bunting. Three Little Tern were again at Stanpit, presumably the adult-plus-two-juvenile combination that has been around for a few days; as well as single Dunlin and the nine-strong Shelduck family. From Hengistbury, a Whimbrel was in Holloway’s Dock and, of mammal interest, a Seal spp. popped up briefly off the end of the sandspit. 

July 10th

An afternoon visit to Stanpit, on the high tide, produced 2 Little Tern, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Mediterranean Gull. Earlier, a male Bullfinch had been along Roebury Lane.  

July 9th

Little Tern don't breed in the area, so it was nice to host a couple of juvenile birds and an attendant adult – Scott Usher
...and, just back from Iceland, adult Black–tailed Godwit – Scott Usher

Presumably the same 3 Little Tern which have been around for a couple of days were in Stanpit Creek this morning, when it was realised they comprised an adult and two juveniles. Meanwhile, another Green Sandpiper was in the area – today on Wick Meadows before heading off west. Back to the marsh, where: a Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Curlew and 20 Lapwing were settled; an adult Peregrine overflew; and a family, including seven ducklings, of Shelduck was present. 

July 8th

The scrape adjacent to Crouch Hill was created in October last year, a little too late to catch the return, fresh-water wader passage; so a Green Sandpiper and a juvenile Little Ringed Plover using it today were very welcome. Meanwhile, other waders about the area included a Whimbrel in Holloway’s Dock and 5 Common Sandpiper. Late in the afternoon, an Osprey headed west off Mudeford Quay and 2 Little Tern were there, with three having been logged inside the harbour earlier. The morning saw at least 25 Mediterranean Gull about, of all the currently available plumages – of those defined: nine were adults; four were in their first summer; and one was a year older. To finish, a juvenile Dartford Warbler was by the Wooden Bridge on Wick, after being presumably kicked-off Hengistbury post-fledging, and the first juvenile Herring Gull of the season visited the area having just left the one of the adjacent flat rooves. Of butterfly interest, a Painted Lady was at Stanpit. 

July 7th

Kestrel – Clinton Whale

There were a host of Common Sandpiper about today – the largest return being eleven in Barn Bight early in the morning. Meanwhile, a Whimbrel was on the Salt Hurns and upwards of 16 Curlew were at Stanpit. The best of a quiet sea was 3 Teal and Fulmar, with the remainder of the news being an adult Mediterranean Gull and five remaining Shelduckling inside the harbour. 

July 6th

The day was dominated by a strong, westerly wind, which brought little with it. At least 5 Little Tern were about – three inside the harbour at Stanpit, plus two offshore from Hengistbury. Around 8 Common Tern passed by at sea, while 2 Common Sandpiper were about the head. Later in the day, a single Manx Shearwater was seen from Mudeford Quay and lone Brent Goose was settled there. After their traditional breeding-season absence, Kingfisher are now returning to the area. 

July 5th

Linnet – Clinton Whale
Greenfinch – Clinton Whale
Essex Skipper – Clinton Whale

A Roseate Tern was briefly at Stanpit thins morning, before leaving towards Mudeford Quay. Also about the marsh, 2 Common Sandpiper and 12 Black-tailed Godwit; while a Whimbrel was in Holloway’s Dock. Late in the afternoon, a congregation of Sandwich Tern off the sandspit attracted a dark Arctic Skua that eventually drifted west. Before the rain set-in, there were a good number of butterflies on the wing, including: Essex Skipper, Small Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Comma, Gatekeeper and Red Admiral; and, of reptile interest, a Grass Snake was on the Ironstone Quarry. 

July 4th

Mute Swan – Clinton Whale

The only news for the day is from an early-evening seawatch and involves 2 Little Tern and 4 Common Tern around the Long Groyne. 

July 3rd

No reports have been received today.

July 2nd

The only news from another quiet day is of a Cuckoo on Speller's Point, Stanpit. 

July 1st

Slow Worm – Clinton Whale

The post is mainly about returning gulls, terns and waders. Five Mediterranean Gull headed west over Solent Meads, while two rested on East Marsh; at least 3 Common Tern and 40 Sandwich Tern were about the area; with 2 Whimbrel, 12 Curlew, 4 Redshank and 33 Lapwing inside the harbour. To finish, a couple of Bullfinch were logged – one in the normal area of Wick Field, but also one near Holloway’s Dock. 

June 30th

No reports at all were received for today. 

June 29th

For obvious reasons, it's an early post today. Around 1:30, two flocks of Mediterranean Gull - fourteen and eleven - headed high west over the north of the area. 

June 28th

Shelduckings – Clinton Whale
There were quite a few Meadow Brown on the wing today – Clinton Whale

It was another reasonable day in terms of weather that didn’t really mesh with what the forecasting Apps had suggested. Over 200 Sand Martin were about Hengistbury, including at least one hundred in the reeds around Barn Bight – birds already on their way south perhaps? Meanwhile, 3 Curlew high to the west were certainly on the move towards their winter quarters. There was a little interest at sea, with 10 Common Tern by the Long Groyne and a couple of Guillemot off the end of the head; as well as 3 Swift over. Of breeding interest: two male Bullfinch were on Wick; a family party of Dartford Warbler was on the top of the head; two of the three young Kestrel were on the Barn Field; and 6 shelducklings were logged at Stanpit. 

June 27th

The only news for the days is of a Cuckoo in the No Dogs Field, Wick, and a Cuckoo over there. 

June 26th

Common Sandpiper – Matthew Barfield
Adult male Kestrel feeding on the sandspit – Matthew Barfield
...and Common Seal inside the harbour – Matthew Barfield

On a day of better-than-forecast weather, a Common Sandpiper in the fenced area on the sandspit was a nice record; as was, for the date, a Yellow Wagtail over Stanpit. Meanwhile, other numbers about the marsh included: 8 Common Tern, around 30 Sandwich Tern, 2 Redshank, 9 Curlew and 38 Lapwing; as well as a Cuckoo.  Shelduck put in a good appearance – in addition to six adults and seven very small ducklings, so presumably a new brood, nineteen overflew. Later in the day, there were 2 Mediterranean Gull – an adult and a second-calendar-year in Christchurch Bay – when the Mute Swan herd was counted at 336. 

June 25th

Despite the day's nice weather, no reports have been received. 

June 24th

Cinnabar Moth – Jackie Smith

The first juvenile Sedge Warbler were out and about today at Wick, where the Cuckoo was again present. Otherwise, it’s just 2 Curlew and a Redshank at Stanpit to mention. 

June 23rd

There were some nice records for the time of year. A Hobby soared over Wick this morning, while a Little Tern, 3 Common Tern, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and a Snipe were seen from Fisherman’s Bank. 

June 22nd

There was a little wildfowl interest today, not least from a drake Pochard – a species that is nowadays a premium record about the area – in Barn Bight, but also a drake Shoveler at Stanpit. The marsh also held a few more waders than of late, including: 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Dunlin, 9 Redshank, 4 Curlew and 6 Lapwing; as well as eighteen, resting Sandwich Tern. 

June 21st

The wettest, longest day or the longest, wettest day – take your pick! The rain of the last few days has displaced large numbers of Swift in search of food, with groups frequently noted above the area. For example, this morning, a flock of forty passed rapidly east over Mudeford Quay. 

June 20th

The day started to more drizzle, but soon got much drier and even some sunshine. An adult Yellow-legged Gull on Blackberry Point was the best, but also a heard-only Whimbrel at Stanpit; while a Firecrest was on Hengistbury. Other counts from the marsh included: the first returning Curlew, 4 Lapwing, 3 Sandwich Tern, 9 Shelduck and a minimum of 293 Mute Swan. 

June 19th

The news for the day is of a Treecreeper in the strange location of the Wooden Bridge on Wick, so no doubt a bit of post-breeding dispersal going on. Also, a Peregrine over there. 

June 18th

Hobby – Scott Usher

After a day of incessant rain, there were a few bits and pieces at Stanpit late on. The best being a Hobby and 7 Black-tailed Godwit - the latter heading off in the direction of Iceland; but also a Tufted Duck and a pair of Gadwall. 

June 17th

The Garden Warbler was logged again this morning, as usual in the Nursery. Later in the day, a Hobby was seen a couple of times over Stanpit. 

June 16th

Juvenile Stonechat – Gary Foyle

The only news for today involves the Muntjac, which had relocated to Wick Fields.

June 15th

Kestrel – David Faulkner
Cetti's Warbler – Clinton Whale
...and the very elusive Muntjac that resides on Hengistbury – Clinton Whale

No reports have been received for today. 

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