Sightings for the current month

December 4th

Lapwing – Robert Gray

The only news for today comes from an afternoon visit to Stanpit, where a pair of Goosander looked as if they may have been drifting to roost in Barn Bight. Another roost-time piece of interest was the male Marsh Harrier heading off high to the east, presumably to join the Keyhaven dormitory. Before moving to the routine, a drake Tufted Duck is worthy of note. Waders, however, seem to have dropped dramatically since some recently notable high counts; for example, 8 Grey Plover, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Ringed Plover and 186 Dunlin. The remaining snippets are courtesy of 4 Little Grebe and a Kingfisher. 

Tides December 5th: H03:20 | H06:20 | L10:45 | H15:40 | H18:35 | L23:05

December 3rd

Goldcrest – Jackie Smith
Treecreeper – Jackie Smith
... and Chiffchaff; all in the North Scrubs today – Jackie Smith

Despite another day of fantastic weather, other than the photographed birds there is nothing else to report. 

December 2nd

Greenshank – Alan Crockard
Redshank – Robert Gray

It was a glorious, winter’s day – early frost, clear skies and a mild wind. This evening, a medium-sized grebe was with 7 Great Crested Grebe on the sea, just east of Mudeford Quay. Earlier, at Stanpit, there had been a Greenshank, 2 Knot and 6 Grey Plover, plus ten grounded Skylark, 3 Pintail, 5 Shoveler and 12 Shelduck. In addition, there was a drake Pintail-Mallard hybrid and it’s hoped permission will follow for a photo to be posted. 

December 1st

A very unusual record for the date was of a White Wagtail – a male – with 7 Pied Wagtail at Stanpit. Wick held the more-expected: namely, a Marsh Harrier – an all-brown bird with no cream colours showing at all – as well as a couple of Chiffchaff. 

November 30th

Black–tailed Godwit – Roger Tidball

Late this afternoon, when 3 Marsh Harrier were hunting over Central Marsh, a Long-tailed Duck and 8 Common Scoter moved past Mudeford Quay towards the Solent, while 4 Red-throated Diver headed in the opposite direction. Slightly earlier, a party of three, immature Spoonbill had passed west over Wick Fields, where 5 Bullfinch were present, along with 3 Chiffchaff and 11 Redwing. The morning saw a fine total of Black-tailed Godwit – 480 birds – at Stanpit, presumably attracted to the general areas by the recently flooded Avon Valley, as well as a single Bar-tailed Godwit. Rounding up, a Peregrine was seen from several locations. 

November 29th

There was a decent selection of birds logged from Fisherman’s Bank this morning, comprising: 2 Water Pipit; a Ruff, a Jack Snipe, a Greenshank, the Spotted Redshank, 2 Knot, 8 Grey Plover, 5 Sanderling, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 525 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Ringed Plover, 315 Dunlin, 22 Snipe and 6 Turnstone – the ‘blackwit’ and Dunlin totals being very notable; and 3 Pintail. This afternoon, at Mudeford Quay, a couple of Goosander and a Guillemot passed east, while a Red-throated Diver was settled. 

November 28th

One of 40 Greenfinch around Crouch Hill today – Ray Scott

Omitted from last night’s post were the frequent calls of Redwing over Mudeford Quay after dark, so 114 north over Hengistbury this morning was presumably the tail-end of that movement, which also comprised a Ring Ouzel, 10 Fieldfare and a Grey Wagtail. Meanwhile, other late-in-the-season movers included 4 Crossbill, 60 Chaffinch, 8 Linnet, a Grey Wagtail and 150 Woodpigeon. Equally late on their travels were at least 4 Chiffchaff on the head, but 4 Firecrest and a Treecreeper are now probably settled in for the winter. A Water Pipit in Holloway’s Dock is an excellent record for that spot; while a short seawatch produced a Great Northern Diver west, 2 Red-throated Diver east and 4 Common Scoter. Typically, most of the wader news is from Stanpit, where 5 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Ringed Plover and 165 Dunlin were logged; but Hengistbury did return 45 Black-tailed Godwit. Finishing this up: a male Marsh Harrier was a Stanpit; a Mediterranean Gull arrived over the Barn Field; 4 Bullfinch were by the Wooden Bridge; 3 Little Grebe were in Barn Bight; and at least 3 Kingfisher were in the same sort of area. The post can’t finish without mention of a whale that cruised west past the sandspit – although the ID is not yet certain. There are photographs, however, which are being circulated for some expert opinion. 

November 27th

Bullfinch – Jackie Smith
Brent Goose – Scott Usher
..and a flooded Stanpit – Robert Gray

The very high, high tide pushed birds out of their normally secret spots this morning – the best a Bittern seen moving between East Marsh and Central Marsh – as well as thirty-two airborne Snipe over the Wick side of the area, and at least 150 Black-tailed Godwit. Back at Stanpit, the other waders reported were the Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank, the latter a good record for the mid-winter months; while the Pintail increased to seven. Finishing up, a male Bullfinch was around Solent Meads and a couple of Kingfisher were about the Wick Hams/Barn Bight area; where, with a little patience, they are currently near-guaranteed. 

November 26th

Goldcrest – Robert Gray

Heavy, overnight rain and a strong, southerly wind brought 2 Little Gull – an adult and a first-winter – to the Run this morning; the latter remaining all day. Also seen from Mudeford Quay, 2 Sandwich Tern, 8 Mediterranean Gull, the same number of Gannet and 4 Purple Sandpiper. 

November 25th

Snipe – Jackie Smith

The only news for the day is of 2 Fieldfare and a Chiffchaff – all on Wick.   

November 24th

A couple of Carrion Crow were seen to work in tandem to catch, in flight, this Black–tailed Godwit, which was presumably sick – Scott Usher
Although not seen today, here is another image of yesterday's Common Seal – Scott Usher

The bulk of the news from a mild and almost windless day comes from Stanpit, where a Goosander was in Stanpit Bight this morning, along with the 3 Pintail and 2 Shoveler. A Water Pipit was also present, as were six presumed littoralis Rock Pipit and 4 Chiffchaff. A total of 18 Grey Plover was logged, as well as 2 Knot, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 75 Black-tailed Godwit. Meanwhile, a male Marsh Harrier was seen from various locations.  

November 23rd

Common Seal – Jackie Smith
 House Sparrow and Great Tit – Jackie Smith

A first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was at Stanpit this morning, along with a couple of Marsh Harrier, the Spotted Redshank, a Knot, 22 Grey Plover and 45 Black-tailed Godwit; plus a Kingfisher. The real interest, however, came from a seemingly healthy Common Seal hauled out on East Marsh. 

November 22nd

Most of the news from an intermittently wet day comes from Stanpit, where an adult Caspian Gull was on the tip of South Marsh for a while. Wader-wise, in addition to a Jack Snipe, there was another good Grey Plover return – 19 birds – as well as the Spotted Redshank, 2 Knot, 120 Black-tailed Godwit, 23 Snipe, and ‘many’ of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Meanwhile, a couple of Marsh Harrier were about, as were 12 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Pintail and 4 Shoveler. Over at Hengistbury, the best came from a single Red-throated Diver and a flock of six adult Mediterranean Gull, all west at sea; plus a Kingfisher on the Wick Hams fence posts, which seems pretty much a constant this winter. 

November 21st

Wigeon – Alan Crockard

Despite the published air temperatures – as high as 10C – the cruel south-easterly wind made it very uncomfortable today. At Stanpit, however, a morning visit suggested there had been a significant influx of waders, which included 30 Grey Plover, 100 Ringed Plover and 250 Dunlin; but there were only around 50 Lapwing – the days of 1000+, which actually was not that long ago, seem like a distant memory. At Wick, a couple of Chiffchaff were present, along with a male Bullfinch. Otherwise it’s just singles of Peregrine and Kingfisher to mention. 

November 20th

A Velvet Scoter was settled off Mudeford Quay late this afternoon, in the company of 8 Common Scoter, when a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was coming to chips, and singles of Mediterranean Gull and Common Gull were present. Earlier in the day, a watch from the Beach Huts totalled 32 Common Scoter on the water in the three distinct rafts, as well as 3 Mediterranean Gull and 4 Gannet. A Firecrest was in the Wood, a male Marsh Harrier hunted Stanpit, a Great Crested Grebe was in Barn Bight and a Kingfisher was nearby. 

November 19th

It was a damp, cold day, with little reported. What there was, however, was pretty good. A first-winter Caspian Gull in Barn Bight this morning and Mudeford Quay producing three settled Eider and 2 Goldeneye – both redheads – west; the latter now a shadow of its previous status in the area. 

November 18th

Pintail – Ian Wigley
Buzzard – Jackie Smith

Despite the fantastic weather, albeit a little cold in the generally north breeze, there is little to report. In fact, just 3 Pintail at Stanpit – two drakes and a duck – plus a Buzzard over Stanpit Bight, which is not commonplace. 

November 17th

Jay – Robert Gray

At least 2 Jack Snipe came up off the Salt Hurns this morning, when a male Marsh Harrier hunted the area. The WeBS counters enjoyed some dry, if not cold weather, with the more notable being: a Knot, 3 Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 86 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover and 89 Dunlin; plus 566 Wigeon, 3 Pintail and 2 Shoveler. Rounding up, Kingfisher were everywhere!

November 16th

Shag, a rarely photographed bird in the area – Jackie Smith
Knot – Jackie Smith
Adult male Marsh Harrier – Jackie Smith

The only significant news from a quiet day is of 3 Marsh Harrier in the harbour at the same time this morning – an adult male and two female-type birds – a couple of Firecrest in the Wood and a Great Northern Diver close to the Long Groyne. Meanwhile, a Knot was in Holloway’s Dock and an adult Mediterranean Gull was at sea. The information services carry a report of a Hen Harrier at Stanpit – presumably the bird seen heading south from Coward’s Marsh, which is a couple of kilometres north of the recording area.  

November 15th

Firecrest – Alan Crockard

A couple of Great Bustard – a male and a female, both in heavy wing moult – were about the area for an hour or so this morning. Initially seen flying over the Barn Field, they then headed along the sandspit, circuited the harbour and came down on top of Hengistbury; after a short while, however, they lifted and headed off towards Highcliffe and Barton. Meanwhile, there were 2 Great Northern Diver, one still in a good deal of breeding plumage, settled just off the Beach Huts, plus a Red-throated Diver on the water off the Double Dykes. In addition, singles of each passed to the west. A very late House Martin was over Hengistbury, where at least 2 Firecrest were again in the Wood. At Stanpit, there was a Siberian-looking Chiffchaff, but it remained quiet, along with a Water Pipit and 7 Rock Pipit. Wetland birds there included: a Jack Snipe, 9 Knot, 6 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 75 Black-tailed Godwit, 80 Dunlin and 12 Snipe; as well as a Goosander. A total of 3 Marsh Harrier was returned – an adult male and two female-types; a Grey Wagtail and 18 Turnstone were on Mudeford Quay; and Kingfisher were at Wick Hams and Stanpit. 

November 14th

Grey Wagtail – Robert Gray
Coal Tit – Alan Crockard

There was a nice selection of birds at Stanpit this morning, including: 2 Marsh Harrier, the male and a female-type, the Spotted Redshank, 9 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 60 Ringed Plover and 100 Dunlin; as well as a drake Tufted Duck that eventually departed with a pair of Mallard, 5 Mediterranean Gull and 6 Common Gull. Meanwhile, at Hengistbury, there was a minimum of 6 Firecrest in the Wood, along with a Chiffchaff; a further four ‘chiffs’ were on Wick and a couple of Siskin passed over Whitepits. This evening, a Red-throated Diver was settled off Mudeford Quay, and 45 Mediterranean Gull and 22 Common Gull were counted there. At least 3 Kingfisher were around today. 

November 13th

A ringtail Hen Harrier arrived over the Beach Huts this morning, when at least 3 Firecrest were in the Wood and a couple of Marsh Harrier – the adult male and a female-type bird – were about. Moving back to the huts, from where 35 Common Scoter could be seen on the water and a Razorbill headed west. The only news from Wick is of 6 Chiffchaff; while the late watch at Mudeford Quay produced 55 Mediterranean Gull, but today only 12 Common Gull; also a pale-bellied Brent Goose. Wrapping up, a Kingfisher was in Barn Bight and a Red Admiral butterfly was on the wing. 

November 12th

The male Marsh Harrier was again around Stanpit this morning, when 68 Brent Goose and a Kingfisher were on the northern edge of Crouch Hill. Also on the marsh, a reasonably notable flock of Skylark – sixteen coming up from Grimmery Marsh. Meanwhile, 4 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit, along with a total of 32 Ringed Plover roosting out the tide there. The last hour of daylight at Mudeford Quay was, once more, good for gulls, including: 2 Yellow-legged Gull – a first-winter and a third-winter – 25 Mediterranean Gull and 110 Common Gull. In addition, around 25 Common Scoter were settled offshore.

November 11th

Presumed British – petrosus - Rock Pipit – Clinton Whale

All the news from a fine day, albeit it a little cold in the wind, comes from Hengistbury and Wick. The former site turned in: a Mistle Thrush, a Redpoll, 3 Firecrest, a Chiffchaff and a Red-throated Diver; the diver settled on the water off the Beach Huts. Meanwhile, the latter area contributed: a male Marsh Harrier and a Buzzard; 5 Chiffchaff; and a Kingfisher. 

November 10th

Bullfinch – Jackie Smith

Those who came to the CHOG-led, HOS walk this morning were treated to point-blank views of 2 Firecrest around the Double Bends, equally close encounters with up to 7 Dartford Warbler and prolonged views of at least 2 Kingfisher. There is currently a good presence of Bullfinch about the area – a couple in the North Scrubs this morning and one on Wick. Meanwhile, a few Chiffchaff are still about – five on Wick and one in the Wood. Early on, a couple of Marsh Harrier were high to the north of the area; then later, as the sun warmed things, a Swallow fed around the Ironstone Quarry, over which a Siskin passed.  

November 9th

Goldcrest – Alan Crockard

The first couple of hours of daylight were cold and clear, but then the rain set-in. A Stone Curlew went west at Hengistbury Head early on, but there are no further details. Other than 3 Redpoll at the end of the head, however, all the other news comes from Stanpit. A female Pochard was in Stanpit Bight, while a Bullfinch lifted out of the North Scrubs as the sun came up. The dawn saw a flurry of Woodpigeon, but it soon petered out – perhaps 1000 birds to the west. Later, the male Marsh Harrier hunted the area, with 6 Grey Plover, 4 Pintail and 70 Brent Goose being returned. Wrapping up, there do seem to be a good number of Kingfisher about – three being the minimum today, but many more actual sightings. 

November 8th

Kingfisher – Clinton Whale
Magpie – Jackie Smith
Grey Plover – Clinton Whale

It was a day of mixed weather. A clear dawn saw pigeons start to move, but sadly no more details in terms of numbers. Once the cloud set-in, however, the sea was given some attention from the Beach Huts and produced singles of Black-throated Diver and Red-throated Diver east and a Sandwich Tern, plus at least 45 Common Scoter and a Common Scoter settled. Inside the harbour, at Stanpit, the waders came to a Knot, 6 Grey Plover, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Ringed Plover and50 Dunlin; plus 2 Pintail, 78 Brent Goose, 9 Common Gull and 4 Kingfisher on the marsh. Over to Wick, where 5 Chiffchaff and 11 Goldcrest were on the fields, and a Grey Wagtail was on the meadows. The late afternoon at Mudeford Quay saw an adult Little Gull inside the harbour off the Harbour Hotel, as well as 3 Eider passing east and a couple of Great Crested Grebe. Rounding up, a Peregrine hunted over Hengsitbury. 

November 7th

Goldfinch – Jackie Smith
Raven – Jackie Smith

There are a few bits and pieces today. Two Bullfinch were on Wick, as were 7 Chiiffchaff, and 3 Water Rail could be seen there; a couple of Swallow flew low over the Run and a Grey Wagtail was on Mudeford Quay; and, a Knot was at Stanpit, along with 64 Brent Goose and 2 Kingfisher. 

November 6th

Rock Pipit – Scott Usher

It was the perfect combination of a single-digit date in November and clear skies – so came the Woodpigeon! The total for the first couple of hours of daylight was 25000, seen from the top of Hengistbury as they approached from the New Forest and headed south-west out over Poole Bay. Also from that spot, a Snow Bunting over and a Red-necked Grebe that passed close inshore to the east. Elsewhere on the head, there were 5 Firecrest and a Treecreeper in the Wood; while looking over to Stanpit produced: 2 Sandwich Tern, a drake Pintail, 52 Ringed Plover and 8 Common Gull. 

November 5th

One of the Bullfinch flock – Jackie Smith
Greenfinch – Clinton Whale

The rarest bird of the day by far was a ‘Scandinavian’ Herring Gull, race argentatus, that was tucked inside the harbour by its namesake hotel this morning. Meanwhile, a Black Redstart was by the Beach House café and what could be the group’s largest-ever gathering of Bullfinch – eight birds – was in the North Scrubs, Stanpit, briefly. There were also at least 2 Water Pipit and the male Marsh Harrier about the marsh; where a Knot, 3 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 47 Ringed Plover and 38 Dunlin were counted; as well as four drake Pintail, 368 Wigeon and 72 Brent Goose. 

November 4th

Goosander – Clinton Whale
Purple Sandpiper – Clinton Whale

It was another largely wet day, during which the highlights comprised: a Great White Egret at Stanpit; a Spoonbil heading south-west; the male Marsh Harrier hunting Wick Hams; the three, now-semi-regular Goosander in Barn Bight; and 2 Purple Sandpiper on the sandspit. The day’s only Firecrest came from Stanpit Scrubs, while up to 20 Chiffchaff were spread across the site, a Blackcap was on Wick and couple of Swallow passed through at Stanpit, where a couple of Pintail were present.

November 3rd

Kingfisher – Jackie Smith
Pied Wagtail – Robert Gray
...and Ringed Plover & Dunlin on the sandspit – Clinton Whale

The very well-attended – 35 participants - outdoor meeting at Hengistbury this morning enjoyed: adult males of Bearded Tit and Marsh Harrier at Wick Hams, 3 Firecrest, a Great Northern Diver, Common Scoter, a Water Rail and 3 Dartford Warbler. Meanwhile, a Red-throated Diver was also on the water off the head and a Treecreeper was in the Wood. In addition to 59 Ringed Plover and 28 Dunlin on the sandspit, at Stanpit there were: a Ruff, the Spotted Redshank, 4 Knot, 9 Grey Plover, 3 Sanderling, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit and 85 Black-tailed Godwit; as well as a Merlin, 2 Pintail, 3 Gadwall and at least 2 Kingfisher.  

November 2nd

Peregrine – Scott Usher
Spotted Redshank and adult Mediterranean Gull – Scott Usher
...and one of only a handful of Purple Sandpiper ever recorded at Stanpit – Scott Usher

With the Needles experiencing hurricane-force gusts – 69 knots the peak – this morning, the sea of course got the attention. Other than Common Scoter, however, a 4-hour watch from the Beach Huts was perhaps quieter than usual; in fact, after two hours only five species had been recorded. The Common Scoter were remarkable though, not least in that all but three of the 115 which generally drifted west were female-type birds; so presumably almost entirely youngsters. Also from the huts: two young Kittiwake, 4 Gannet, 2 Wigeon, 9 Brent Goose and 3 Common Gull; while 3 Purple Sandpiper and 2 Sanderling were on the sandspit; and a flock of 24 Linnet came in-off – quite remarkable in such conditions! Mudeford Quay saw far fewer numbers overall, but did get a Velvet Scoter, 2 Little Gull and 5 Mediterranean Gull. By far the best record for this post is a Purple Sandpiper inside the harbour, around Stanpit Bight, where the Spotted Redshank and a couple of Pintail were also present. Once we get into November, Swallow is a premium species – one over this afternoon – and 2 Firecrest were in the Wood. 

November 1st

Juvenile Brent Goose – Clinton Whale

The probable highlight, given their rapidly-declining numbers, was a ringtail Hen Harrier west past Mudeford Quay; from where a settled Velvet Scoter was seen making a short flight and a skua was in amongst the distant feeding-flock of gulls. A November Willow Warbler is always nice and one at Solent Meads got a good grilling, but showed all the features of a western bird as it fed in the company of 3 Chiffchaff; also 4 Redwing in that area. At Stanpit, a party of three, redhead Goosander were watching flying up river, while 3 Pintail, as well as singles of Shoveler and Gadwall, were present. The waders about the marsh included: 2 Knot, 7 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Ringed Plover and 60 Dunlin; plus a lone, adult Mediterranean Gull and a Kingfisher. Rounding up, the Hengistbury news with details where known. A couple of Yellow-browed Warbler – one in the Wood and on at the end of the head; 7 Firecrest in the Wood; a Lapland Bunting over; a Merlin; a Black-throated Diver; and a flock of 60 Common Scoter on the sea. 

October 31st

Adult male Marsh Harrier – Jackie Smith

The wildfowl theme continues today. Starting at Stanpit, where the following were returned: 3 Scaup, a Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck, two pale-bellied Brent Goose, fourteen juvenile Brent Goose amongst an undisclosed number of adults, 12 Shoveler, 8 Pintail, 6 Gadwall and 175 Teal. Meanwhile, at sea, passing east were: 2 Velvet Scoter, 58 Common Scoter, an Eider, 6 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Tufted Duck, 119 Wigeon, 37 Teal and a Mallard, as well as 3 Red-throated Diver and an unidentified diver. Bucking the trend, a further Red-throated Diver and 8 Teal went west; while 3 Grey Heron came in-off. Gull-wise, it was less interesting than yesterday, although a Kittiwake and 12 Mediterranean Gull headed west and a further of the latter went in the opposite direction. Waders on the move included, 2 Knot and 7 Sanderling east offshore, with 3 Knot, a Golden Plover, 6 Grey Plover, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 75 Black-tailed Godwit and 25 Snipe at Stanpit. As expected for the date, thrushes trickled over – a Mistle Thrush, 5 Fieldfare, 18 Redwing and 2 Song Thrush being the detail – and settled notables included 4 Firecrest in the Wood. Rounding up, a sign of the times is that a Great White Egret appears in the last sentence of the post, along with adults of Marsh Harrier, the male, and a Peregrine about, plus a Kingfisher on Wick Hams. 

October 30th

One of the recent Firecrest – Samuel Levy

There was a good movement of wildfowl past Hengistbury this morning, including 8 Scaup, 3 Velvet Scoter, 3 Eider – all adult drakes, so definitely not Solent birds, 2 Goosander, 2 Tufted Duck and 2 Gadwall; all east, except for one of the scoter and the Gadwall. The fun hadn’t finished by the afternoon, however, when 4 Velvet Scoter arrived from the east, and a Red-necked Grebe and 3 Red-breasted Merganser headed west. Meanwhile, a Goldeneye – a brown-headed bird and nowadays a local scarcity – was inside the harbour, as were 5 Tufted Duck, 4 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall and a Shelduck. The morning also saw 9 Little Gull head west, including a flock of nine, plus a Kittiwake, 2 Red-throated Diver and a Merlin in the same direction; as well as 5 Golden Plover and a Grey Plover east. Later on, 110 Mediterranean Gull and 35 Common Gull were seen from the quay as they went to the Christchurch Bay roost, and a Great Skua was in amongst the feeding-flock that had been offshore all day. Just after dawn, a Yellow-browed Warbler was calling in the Long Field and a Bearded Tit did the same in Wick Hams. To finish this off, the in-harbour wader returns were: 3 Knot, 3 Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, and 55 Black-tailed Godwit; with 12 Skylark and 10 Swallow also being logged at Stanpit. 

October 29th

Knot – Clinton Whale

The day saw a small arrival of fresh-in wildfowl, including 2 Pochard, a Tufted Duck, 2 Shoveler and an increase to eleven juvenile Brent Goose; while a couple of Pintail may have been the same as yesterday. In addition to a Knot on the sandspit, there were 2 Grey Plover, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 45 Black-tailed Godwit, 70 Ringed Plover, 35 Dunlin, 8 Turnstone and 14 Snipe at Stanpit. Passerines, meanwhile, were lower than the previous period – the numbers from Wick to the Wood being: a Firecrest, 10 Goldcrest, 7 Chiffchaff and a Blackcap.

October 28th

The late afternoon saw an excellent gathering of gulls on the sandbar in the Run – the best being a juvenile Sabine’s Gull that spent a few minutes there, before heading into Christchurch Bay; perhaps to roost? In addition, there were two first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, over 55 Mediterranean Gull and 65 Common Gull. Earlier, at least 36 ‘Meds’ had been logged at Stanpit. Passerines also provided interest – a Woodlark settled on Crouch Hill, a Yellow-browed Warbler calling on Wick Fields and 2 Bearded Tit in Wick Hams being the best. The support, however, came from a clear influx of Goldcrest, with an estimated forty across the southern side of area; as well as around 25 Chiffchaff spread about, a Water Pipit again on Stanpit, a total of 3 Mistle Thrush over and 3 Bullfinch settled. There was a hint of Woodpigeon passage – 121 counted – but finches were modest, although a single Redpoll is worthy of note this season. At sea, a Red-throated Diver and 6 Common Scoter headed east, while 2 Marsh Harrier – a male and a female-type – were hunting the reeds on both sides of the river. Rounding up a good day, there were: 2 Knot, 3 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 32 Ringed Plover at Stanpit; plus two each of Tufted Duck and Pintail there; and a minimum of 3 Kingfisher were on site. 

October 27th

Drake Wigeon moulting from eclipse – Clinton Whale
The regular Emperor Goose – David Faulkner

It was a glorious, late-autumn day with little wind and largely clear, blue skies. A Black Redstart was at Stanpit this morning, on rooves adjacent to the Old Council Depot; while 3 Water Pipit were on Central Marsh, just north of Crouch Hill, and a Firecrest and 2 Bullfinch were also logged. During the afternoon, a male Marsh Harrier hunted the Wick side of the river, when a couple of Red-throated Diver, 3 Sandwich Tern and 9 Mediterranean Gull were seen from Mudeford Quay; the divers heading towards the Solent. 

October 26th

It was an extremely wet and windy day, which limited activity to seawatching from Mudeford Quay. It was all a bit of a disappointment, however, with over three hours producing just: 10 Common Scoter, a second-winter Mediterranean Gull and 15 Gannet; plus an arriving Shelduck and three, likewise Wigeon. 

October 25th

The first Brent Goose family of the season – David Faulkner

On a blustery day, a Yellow-browed Warbler was by HHC during the morning, when a Long-tailed Duck passed east close to Mudeford Quay and a Little Gull was seen from the Beach Huts. Also seen from the huts, a reasonable movement of auks – thought to be mainly Guillemot from those close enough to be identified – with over 150 birds moving west. Despite the conditions, there were frequent charms of Goldfinch passing over the end of Hengistbury. 

October 24th

The area was given a good looking-over before the rain set in and there were certainly new birds about. A Water Pipit and a family party of Brent Goose with five young were at Stanpit; a Short-eared Owl, a Ring Ouzel and a calling Siberian Chiffchaff were on Hengistbury; a female-type Black Redstart was by the Beach House Café on the Sandspit; and a reckoned influx of Robin was noted on Wick, where at least 50 birds were encountered, as well as a Redwing. In contrast, there seemed to have been a clear-out of Chiffchaff – just six noted today – but there were 2 Firecrest and 5 Goldcrest about. The only other news involves a ‘commic’ Tern at Stanpit, where 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, 35 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Shoveler were also logged. 

October 23rd

Water Rail – David Faulkner
Fox – Robert Gray

Other than a single Sandwich Tern off the sandspit and 3 Kingfisher at Stanpit, there is no news for the day. 

October 22nd

Wren – Clinton Whale
Kingfisher – Jackie Smith
...and Hengistbury sunrise – Clinton Whale

There is a fair bit to mention today – the highlights being: a Short-eared Owl that hunted Wick Fields mid-morning; a Ring Ouzel in an Argyle Road garden; 2 Marsh Harrier – an adult male, a younger male and a juvenile, all at Stanpit; and 3 Jack Snipe around Crouch Hill. Meanwhile, the slightly-more-routine fare included: 2 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaff and a Bullfinch on Wick; 3 Grey Plover, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit and 65 Black-tailed Godwit around Stanpit Bight; and the Emperor Goose with the ‘canadas’ and ‘greylags’. Finally, the Kingfisher news – birds seen in Parky Meade Rail and the north-west corner of Stanpit Bight. 

October 21st

Pochard – Jackie Smith
Shoveler – Jackie Smith
Stonechat – Clinton Whale

Pochard is nowadays a very scarce bird in the area, so a flock of six – five of them adult drakes – resting in Stanpit Bight this evening was quite a surprise. Other wildfowl of interest there, included: a pair of Shoveler and just over 50 Brent Goose, of which all were adults. Meanwhile, the high tide made wader counting difficult, but there were 2 Avocet, which had arrived during the morning, a few Bar-tailed Godwit and around 40 Black-tailed Godwit. Also 3 Kingfisher about the marsh. 

October 20th

Sparrowhawk – Scott Usher

There was a late Willow Warbler on Wick this morning, along with 10 Chiffchaff. At Stanpit, there were 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Kingfisher and the Emperor Goose with the ever-increasing, other trash geese.

October 19th

The hoped-for finch movement was rather disappointing given the conditions – a moderate south-westerly wind and clear skies. In fact, it was probably Jackdaw that were there most numerous travelling passerine – a total of 160 or so west, in two flocks. Of the smaller birds, the best were a Brambling, 2 Siskin, 11 Skylark, 100 Linnet, around 150 Goldfinch, a Grey Wagtail, 20 alba Wagtail, 4 House Martin and 9 Swallow, all but the latter east. Of those settled, a couple of Firecrest in the Wood were the pick, with other figures from across Hengistbury and Wick coming to: 12 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 9 Goldcrest and a further Grey Wagtail. Rounding off the post: a Sanderling and 23 Ringed Plover were on the sandspit; 3 Mediterranean Gull passed at sea; and 2 Bullfinch, 2 Buzzard and a Kingfisher were on Wick.

October 18th

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit – Clinton Whale

There were lots of birds out at sea today – mainly young, large gulls, but also up to 100 Gannet. The stand-out moment, however, was when a Long-tailed Duck passed close to the Beach Huts as it travelled west, as did two redhead Red-breasted Merganser and 7 Mediterranean Gull; plus a Razorbill and five unidentified auks. At least one Lapland Bunting lingered around Holloway’s Dock, but before that individual was nailed a couple of suspects had passed over the huts. Otherwise,it was just small numbers of Goldfinch, Linnet, Siskin, alba Wagtail, Swallow and House Martin attempting to move east.

October 17th

Grey Heron
Grey Heron – Clinton Whale

There were concurrent seawatches this morning – from Mudeford Quay and the Beach Huts. The former site saw a medium-sized grebe spp., 14 Mediterranean Gull, 16 Common Gull, 25 Common Scoter and 64 Brent Goose, all pass west; while the latter recorded a Roseate Tern – a juvenile transitioning to first-winter – a juvenile Pomarine Skua and a Common Tern. The other news concerns a Ring Ouzel moving north-west over Hengistbury and 170 Goldfinch doing something or other.

October 16th

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

October 15th

Teal – Ray Scott

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

October 14th

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

October  13th

Wheatear – Clinton Whale

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

October 12th

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

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

October 11th

Turnstone – Clinton Whale

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

October 10th

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

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

October 9th

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

October 8th

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover – Clinton Whale

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

October 7th

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

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

October 6th

Ring Ouzel
Ring Ouzel - Jackie Smith

Snipe and Teal
Snipe and Teal - Clinton Whale

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

October 5th

Common Scoter – Jackie Smith

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

October 4th

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

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

October 3rd

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

October 2nd

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

October 1st

Grey Phalarope – Jackie Smith
Spoonbill – Ian Wigley

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

September 30th

The spring high at Wick Meadows – Colin Raymond

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

September 29th

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

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

September 28th

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

September 27th

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

September 26th

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

September 25th

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

September 24th

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

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

September 23rd

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

September 22nd

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

September 21st

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

September 20th

Meadow Pipit – Jackie Smith
Yellow Wagtail – Jackie Smith

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

September 19th

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

September 18th

Chiffchaff – Robert Gray

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

September 17th

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

September 16th

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