Sightings for August 2003
One that looks like it's going to get away. Just after 10:00am one of the lesser golden plovers flew around the harbour calling in a similar fashion to a Spotted Redshank. Unfortunately, it came down out of sight and, apart from calling twice just before 1:00pm, could not be refound. Apart from this episode, there was a reasonable selection of birds in the harbour today. This morning, a Turtle Dove was flushed from Wick and a Ruff arrived in the harbour over the Common. Other migrants on Hengistbury included 15 Wheatear, 3 Whinchat, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 1 Garden Warbler. On Stanpit, passerines during the early part of the day included 6 Wheatear, and 1 Pied Flycatcher and 1 Lesser Whitethroat in the North Scrubs. A Green Sandpiper also spent the morning in Central Marsh, occasionally circling the harbour; there were also at least 4 Common Sandpiper around. Another Raven was seen today, this time by looking north from Parky Meade Rail. By late afternoon, the harbour was holding, by recent standards, good numbers of tern, the best being 1 Black Tern and 1 Little Tern, these were supported by 40+ Sandwich Tern and 20+ Common Tern. No detailed wader counts were made, but 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Knot, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, a few Sanderling and 2 Greenshank were noted. An adult male Peregrine spent some time patrolling the skies over the harbour on at least two occasions throughout the day; and 2 Yellow-legged Gull were seen, the familiar bird and an adult. Ringing produced: 10 Sedge Warbler, 6 Willow Warbler,1 re-trapped Blackcap and 4 Blue Tit, 2 of which were ringed last year.
Late summer northerly winds often herald an arrival of wildfowl and waders, and today was no different. In the morning, from Hengistbury, at least 40 Teal, 6 Pintail, 5 Wigeon and 1 Tufted Duck were seen. Arriving and departing waders onto Stanpit were noted as 25 Sanderling, 20 Knot, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, while a Spotted Redshank overflew Wick Fields. The wind definitely encouraged raptors into the air, by mid-morning at least 30 Buzzard could be seen over the Lower Avon Valley, including a kettle of 17 which also contained a Raven. Other birds of prey were 4 Hobby and a Peregine which left the harbour with prey, 2 Swift were also seen. Passerine migration was average with 50 Whitethroat, 35 Willow Warbler, 5 Whinchat and 3 Wheatear on the ground, and 30 Yellow Wagtail, 18 Tree Pipit and 3 Grey Wagtail over. Common Tern movement was also evident with over 80 birds passing through the harbour in a westerly direction. The tide fell during the afternoon and Stanpit produced 6juvenile Curlew Sandpiper just off the tip of South Marsh, 1 Ruff, 30+ Sanderling 5 Knot, 4 Common Sandpiper, 6 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Greenshank. There was also quite a passerine presence with, initially, 24 Wheatear, reducing to 23 thanks to a Sparrowhawk, 1 Pied Flycatcher calling loudly in Smithy's Field and 2 Lesser Whitethroat in the North Scrubs. Ringing totals were 19 birds, including 10 Sedge Warbler and a female Sparrowhawk.
More Shearwater today, this time 4 Manx off Hengistbury. Also seen from the morning seawatch were 27 Gannet, 3 Fulmar, 4 Common Tern and 3 Fulmar, nearly all moving east. Birds on the beach included 4 Wheatear along with 40 Dunlin, 28 Sanderling and 6 Ringed Plover. This afternoon, just after 3:00pm, an Osprey soared over the Stanpit Recreation Ground, then over Crouch Hill before heading north back up the valley. Limpy, the Yellow-legged Gull, is back; not seen since spring the bird now seems to be moulting between third-summer and fourth-winter. This bird has always been difficult to age, presumably some moult arrest has occurred due to its obvious injury. Also seen at Stanpit were 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank and 1 Knot, while over 16 Common Sandpiper were around the area. In the early evening, Parky Meade Rail held 6 Water Rail, 3 Greenshank, 3 Kingfisher, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Black-tailed Godwit.
The easterly wind made for good seawatching from Hengistbury this morning. The highlight was 1 Balearic Shearwater east past the Beach Huts; also 35 Gannet and 25 Common Tern east and a single Fulmar west. Passerines were also worth looking for: the Common held 4 Whinchat and there was a Pied Flycatcher in the Nursery, also recorded on the head were 12 Wheatear. Overhead passage included 7 Redpoll, 6 Common Sandpiper, 6 Tree Pipit, 3 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Grey Wagtail. There was a good gathering of waders on the Sandspit, the best being a juvenile Purple Sandpiper on the groynes. Also there were 176 Dunlin, 68 Ringed Plover, 24 Sanderling and 2 Turnstone. A morning trip to Stanpit was also worthwhile with a Grasshopper Warbler being flushed from under the Priory Marsh boardwalk. Golden Plover is an uncommon harbour bird, so 3 passing over north were rewarding. The wader totals are: 247 Dunlin, 17 Sanderling, 11 Knot, 8 Common Sandpiper, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Greenshank. Duck numbers are building up, there are now 26 Teal and 11 Wigeon settled in the harbour. Other migrants on Stanpit included 6 Wheatear and, in the North Scrubs, 2 Lesser Whitethroat. Ringing numbers were 5 Sedge and 2 Reed Warbler.
Another notable day with a tremendous selection of birds, especially around Hengistbury this morning. Just before 9:00am 2 Marsh Harrier arrived over the HHC, 1 adult female and 1 juvenile, then headed north. In fact 1 of the birds lingered over Priory Marsh where it was mobbed by a Raven. A Turtle Dove was seen flying the length of the head and two parties of Crossbill, comprising 4 and 7 birds, moved over north. Seawatching has also picked up with over 100 Sandwich Tern off Mudeford Quay. This group attracted the attention of 1 moulting adult Pomarine Skua and 2 juvenile Arctic Skua, the former actually entered the harbour and followed the course of the Beach Huts. Also out to sea in a 1 hour watch were 165 Gannet, 4 Knot, 3 Greenshank and 3 Common Scoter east; also 1 Little Tern west. Passerines were not so numerous today, but did include 7 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear, 3 Garden Warbler and 1 Redstart, while overhead 12 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Tree Pipit and 1 Grey Wagtail were recorded. Waders around the head included 1 Green and 3 Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight, and 10 Sanderling and 1 Turnstone on the beach. Wildfowl continues to trickle in with 6 arriving Wigeon which are now settled in Stanpit Bight and 1 Tufted Duck over the harbour. An afternoon visit to Stanpit totalled a wader variety of 185 Dunlin, 75 Ringed Plover, 6 Knot, 4 Common Sandpiper, 3 Sanderling, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Greenshank. Later in the afternoon, a Peregrine passed over Stanpit. Ringing was below average, just 4 Sedge, 1 Reed and 1 Cetti's Warbler.
A little quieter today. Hengistbury was watched this morning and yielded 38 Whitethroat, 25 Swallow, 5 Whinchat, 4 Wheatear and 1 Whimbrel passing by east. The commoner waders at Stanpit were not counted today but the first Curlew Sandpiper of the return passage are now with us, 3 birds in total. Also noted were 8 Knot, 5 Sanderling and 1 Greenshank. Tern-wise, things picked up slightly with 8 Common and 1 Arctic present. There were also 2 Wheatear on Central Marsh and an overflying Peregrine. By the evening, the Knot had risen to 15 birds. The ringers caught 4 Reed and 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Robin, 1 Wren and the third Kingfisher of the season.
An excellent day for passerine migration, mainly on Hengistbury where over 70 Wheatear were scattered across the head; also grounded were 70 Willow Warbler, 30 Chiffchaff, 10 Whinchat, 4 Redstart, 3 Spotted Flycatcher and 1 Pied Flycatcher, the latter around the Lily Pond. Overflying, southerly heading birds were estimated at 65 Yellow Wagtail and 9 Tree Pipit. However, the coup de grace came in the form of a Corn Bunting on the Common, the first record in 6 years and only the second in 10. Wildfowl were moving west with 1 Garganey, 8 Teal and 8 Wigeon moving through the harbour. There were 4 Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight and 2 Greenshank were seen to arrive. The morning around Stanpit produced a Golden Plover on East Marsh, 6 Yellow Wagtail and 6 Wheatear. This afternoon Stanpit was teeming with birds: the wader count turned in c230 Dunlin, 200 Ringed Plover, 86 Redshank, 10 Sanderling, 6 Knot, 3 Common Sandpiper, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. The last 2 days has seen a marked increase in Coot, over 260 were present today. There were also over 30 Yellow Wagtail around the marsh, along with a single Wheatear. Terns, thus far this Autumn, are few and far between, so a juvenile Common Tern is worthy of note. Ringing was relatively quiet, just 8 Sedge Warbler, 5 Reed Warbler and 1 Blackbird. In the afternoon, a Green Sandpiper was seen from Hengistbury..
After some 16 hours in the field, the totals for the two teams yesterday were 101 and 93 respectively. In total, 105 species were recorded and a fuller account will appear on the site in the next few days. Thanks go to everyone who so sportingly competed. The harbour received some more excellent coverage today, but not from yesterday's racers! Interestingly, at least 6 species not encountered yesterday were around: a Grasshopper Warbler was trapped and ringed, 2 Spotted Flycatcher were in the North Scrubs, 3 Ruff were on Stanpit, 3 Shoveler headed north, a Tufted Duck was in Parky Meade Rail and the worst miss, Wheatear, was represented by a total 5 birds around the harbour. The female-type Marsh Harrier was seen again today, this time west over the north end of Wick Fields; also over there was a single Crossbill, while commoner migrants in that area numbered 25+ Willow Warbler, 10 Reed Warbler and 1 Lesser Whitethroat. This morning also saw 13 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Knot arrive in the harbour; already settled were 4 Greenshank, a further 3 Knot and 16 Turnstone, but most of the latter had left by lunchtime. 2 Whinchat were also seen at Stanpit. The afternoon visit for the rising tide produced 225 Dunlin, 95 Ringed Plover, 12 Sanderling, 7 Knot, 2 Turnstone, 2 Common Sandpiper and 2 Black-tailed Godwit. By early evening, more waders had arrived and the increased totals were 400+ Dunlin, 216 Ringed Plover, 17 Sanderling and 16 Knot.The ringing station had a good day, in addition to the Grasshopper Warbler, 24 Sedge, 4 Reed, 3 Willow and 1 Cetti's Warbler, 3 Robin, 2 Dunnock and Wren were logged.
Today's bird race meant that the harbour received excellent coverage despite only two teams competing. By 5:30pm both teams had recorded more than 90 species with the eventual outcome still undecided. The race started about an hour before dawn when both Little Owl and Tawny Owl were recorded. Highlights included a female Marsh Harrier which came into the harbour over East Marsh before heading off north, a 1st year Little Gull moving west, 4 Crossbill left the Nursery towards Stanpit, 3 Pochard ( a difficult bird to see in the Harbour ), 2 south-west and 1 north, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and 3 Hobby were seen. Passerine migration improved today with counts from Hengistbury of around 100 Willow Warbler, 25 Whitethroat, 6 Sedge Warbler, 6 Reed Warbler, 11 Tree Pipit, 15 Yellow Wagtail, 12 Swift, over 100 House Martin and 2 Whinchat. Other sightings from Hengistbury this morning were 2 Jay, 3 Great Crested Grebe south, 1 Green and 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank and 13 Black-tailed Godwit which circled the harbour before heading south-east. The afternoon wader count on Stanpit produced 180 Dunlin, 80 Ringed Plover, 12 Knot, 8 Sanderling, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpiper. There were also 15 Yellow Wagtail on Central Marsh.
The eve of the big day. Unfortunately, a group of 3 juvenile Spotted Redshank that were in Stanpit Bight this afternoon will not be participating, after being seen to leave south-west; however, the Wood Sandpiper was still on Priory Marsh this morning with two present this evening. Otherwise, reports are sparse: the ringed Cinnamon Teal is still present, while the summering Wigeon has moved to the Hengistbury side of the harbour. Also on that side were 2 Common Sandpiper, an apparently confused, singing Chiffchaff, 1 Whinchat and the white-headed Stonechat from earlier this year was again seen. Stanpit waders were not counted in detail, but there were 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Sanderling and 2 Knot. There could be owls recorded tomorrow!
The Wood Sandpiper was still present on Priory Marsh today. Other wader counting on Stanpit turned in 75 Dunlin, 55 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank and 1 Sanderling. The escaped Cinnamon Teal was still in Parky Meade Rail. Only sighting report from Hengistbury is of 15 Black-tailed Godwit heading south-west. Ringing totals were 9 Sedge Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler (2 re-traps), 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Robin, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wood Pigeon and 1 Whitethroat.
In harbour terms, today saw a major rarity, in the shape of a Nuthatch in the trees between Two Riversmeet and Priory Marsh. The bird was in the company of a Great-spotted Woodpecker and a sizeable tit flock. Also of interest today was a Cinnamon Teal on Priory Marsh, this was initially, tentatively identified as a possible Blue-winged Teal, but after some careful scrutiny the correct conclusion was reached. The Wood Sandpiper was still on Priory Marsh, but proving elusive. A Green Sandpiper descended into Central Marsh and 3 Common Sandpiper were in Parky Meade Rail, along with the Wigeon. Wader numbers were slightly down in Stanpit Bight with 150 Dunlin, 50 Ringed Plover and 1 Black-tailed Godwit being noted. Hengistbury saw a small amount of passerine migration in 12 Willow Warbler and low numbers of Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Whitethroat. Stanpit turned in a Wheatear and a Lesser Whitethroat. Ringing totals were 10 Sedge Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler and 2 Cetti's Warblers, the latter being re-traps. A Sparrowhawk was also in the nets, but freed itself before it could be handled.
Both sides of the harbour were reasonably well watched today. A Wood Sandpiper was still on East Marsh at midday, but other Stanpit wader counts are not yet in; although 3 Bar-tailed Godwit were on East Marsh this evening. There was certainly some passerine movement on Hengistbury evident today, the best being a Pied Flycatcher on the Batters. Other birds over Hengistbury were 3 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Swift and 1 Green Sandpiper. Wick was also host to good numbers of common migrants; there were 50+ Willow Warbler, 10 Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler and 1 Blackcap. In Smithy's Field on Stanpit, 2 Lesser Whitethroat were present. Ringing totals were up on yesterday's show, 10 Sedge Warbler, 8 Willow Warbler, 5 Reed Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 1 Kingfisher and 1 Green Woodpecker being the returns. Another significant record from Hengistbury was of 5 Hummingbird Hawkmoth.
Stanpit is not renowned for attracting freshwater preferring waders, so a Wood Sandpiper that spent the day on Priory Marsh was particularly welcome. Another of the same was in Mother Siller's along with a Spotted Redshank, another harbour scarcity. Completing the package, a Green Sandpiper was also around the area this morning and there was an above average 10 Common Sandpiper. Another notable bird was a Pochard north up the river and 5 Teal were in Parky Meade Rail, an area that is currently under close crake scrutiny but only producing Water Rail, 3 birds were seen today. In Stanpit Bight the waders are varied and becoming numerous, 119 Ringed Plover is a high harbour count; also recorded were 188 Dunlin, 2 Knot, 2 Sanderling, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Greenshank. A Peregrine again visited the area, scaring all in its wake. Ringing on Hengistbury was almost a complete write-off until 2 Sedge Warbler were caught towards the end of the sesssion. By evening, there was a Woood Sandpiper on East Marsh.
All reports so far are from Stanpit, where the best bird was a Turtle Dove at the northern end of Priory Marsh before flying out of sight over the Golf Course. Other passerine migrants were 2 Willow Warbler and 1 Garden Warbler in the North Scrubs, along with 2 Wheatear in the Crouch Hill area. There was another raptor moment in the harbour as even the Cormorant lifted off in alarm, unfortunately, the culprit was again just a Common Buzzard, presumably a wandering young bird. Wader totals were despatched as 186 Dunlin, 38 Ringed Plover, 6 Common Sandpiper, 3 Sanderling, 3 Greenshank, 1 Turnstone, 1 Knot, 1 1Whimbrel and 1Black-tailed Godwit. Again time was spent a low water around Parky Meade Rail where the Wigeon is still present and 8 Water Rail were seen. Finally, an adult Common Gull spent a short time in Stanpit Bight. An afternoon beach walk on Hengistbury produced some very approachable waders, including 11 Dunlin, 10 Sanderling, 5 Ringed Plover and a Knot.
Some overnight rain and a north-easterly wind made the harbour feel almost chilly this morning - a feeling we'd almost forgotten over the last two weeks. Prior to 6:00, an adult Mediterranean Gull and 5 Greenshank arrived in the harbour; and a Kingfisher was heard around the HHC. It quickly became apparent that birds were never going to be plentiful so 7 Gadwall and 2 Shoveler in the harbour were welcome notables for mid-August. Teal are also starting to build up with around 20 in the harbour today along with the ever-present Wigeon, which spent the morning in Parky Meade Rail. A small, reasonably late Swift movement took place involving 12 or so birds. Around the Beach Huts, 3 Wheatear were feeding on the tideline, but a brief seawatch yielded only 2 juvenile Great-crested Grebe heading east, a single Fulmar and several distant Gannet. The morning at Stanpit provided around 20 Snipe and 4 Black-tailed Godwit on Priory Marsh before being flushed by a marauding Hobby. Other waders in the harbour today were 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Common Sandpiper. Dunlin and Ringed Plover were not counted, but were abundant. A Peregrine and Kingfisher were seen on Stanpit today. In the last few days a colour-dyed Dunlin with bright orange underwings has been around. The Ringing Station was again manned, but disappointingly, only 2 Sedge and 1 Reed Warbler were caught today.
Records from Stanpit are in line with the previous few days. The Golf Course bank held Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler. In Parky Meade Rail there were 5 Black-tailed Godwit and the "guaranteed on a low tide" Water Rail - but still no crakes! In Stanpit Bight, the wader inventory was 250 Dunlin, 60+ distant Godwit, the vast majority Black-tailed but a few Bar-tailed mixed in, 55 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Knot, 1 Turnstone and 1 Common Sandpiper. Birds ringed at Hengistbury were 18 Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler, while a young Wheatear was on the pitch and putt course.
During the morning, the North Scrubs at Stanpit held a remarkable variety of passerines, including 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Wood Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Garden Warbler and 1 Whinchat. Also seen early morning were a total of 8 Water Rail, mainly around the exposed mud in Parky Meade Rail, while a Hobby was hunting over Priory Marsh. The wader selection during the day comprised 165 Dunlin, 36 Ringed Plover, 5 Sanderling, 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel and a Turnstone; and by this evening 27 Black-tailed Godwit had arrived. Other birds to note were 3 Wheatear around Crouch Hill and 7 Buzzard were soaring close to the harbour. The Little Egret count continues to rise, today's totalling 57 birds. On Hengistbury the ringing totals were 8 Sedge Warbler (6 juveniles), 7 Reed Warbler (6 juveniles), 2 Cetti's Warbler (1 juvenile) and a single juvenile Whitethroat.
The attention shifted to Hengistbury this morning where the early visitor was justifiably rewarded with a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker over the HHC. Between 7:00 and 9:30 there was a notable passerine presence, particularly warblers, over 80 Sedge Warbler, 70 Whitethroat, 50 Blackcap, 45 Willow Warbler and 10 Lesser Whitethroat was the estimate. Also seen were 18 Wheatear, 5 Whinchat, 2 Redstart, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 1 Yellow Wagtail. A group of 50 Common Tern circling the harbour contained an adult Roseate Tern. The pick of the waders was a Wood Sandpiper heading west, while 8 Black-tailed Godwit went the same way. Of moth interest, over 1000 Silver Ys were around the head this morning, Painted Lady butterflies are also particularly numerous in the area. Stanpit was also visited today where Snipe have risen to 16 around Priory Pools, also 6 Teal, 4 Common Sandpiper and 4 Water Rail there. A single Whinchat was in the North Scrubs and a Wheatear was on Crouch Hill.
More of the same weatherwise with temperatures in the low 30s throughout the day. Stanpit continues to host a good variety of waders, including an adult Little Stint which is certainly a newly arrived bird. Also new was a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, while the now expected adult was also still present. Other waders counted were 257 Dunlin, 7 Sanderling, 5 Common Sandpiper, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot, 2 Snipe, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Grey Plover. There were also healthy counts of Redshank and Curlew at 86 and 42 respectively; while for the first time this year, if not ever, Little Egret broke the half century with 52 birds. Some passerine migration was also evident with 3 young Whinchat in Priory Reeds, 1 Garden Warbler in the North Scrubs and 6 Wheatear about the marsh. Early evening the adult male Peregrine again visited the marsh before making off north up the valley with prey and just afterwards an adult Hobby was present. During the early evening, an Arctic Tern spent a short while on Blackberry Point and 7 Common Tern were present. Also noted were 6 Swift over the marsh.
For a Monday the harbour received some good coverage, no doubt due to the continued exceptional weather. Passerine movement was minimal, just 3 Wheatear on Crouch Hill and 2 Lesser Whitethroat in the North Scrubs. The waders still provide the most interest with the adult Curlew Sandpiper again being seen today; Dunlin built up to 237, but Ringed Plover were represented by just a single bird. Of more interest were 7 Sanderling, 1 Greenshank, 2Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel and 1 Snipe. A male Peregrine again visited the marsh this evening. Ringing today on Hengistbury produced just 2 Sedge Warbler. The information services reported a Black Tern in the harbour at 3:30 this afternoon.
Passerines were thin on the ground again with just a few Sedge Warbler and 1 Garden Warbler reported. At high tide from Fisherman's Bank there were in excess of 100 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Greenshank. A raptor over the harbour this morning had the pulses racing for a few seconds before it was identified as a Common Buzzard. An evening visit to Stanpit produced 45 Ringed Plover, 7 Sanderling, 6 Turnstone and 1 Curlew Sandpiper - also a Peregrine made a pass over the Harbour causing panic amongst the assembled birds. Ringing on Hengistbury yielded 12 Sedge and 7 Reed Warbler.
Out of interest last year's Pallid Swift ( Stanpit 22 November ) has been accepted by the BBRC.
There was very little evidence of passerine migration this morning with just 7 Wheatear and 2 Bullfinch reported from Hengistbury. The ringing totals were 13 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler and 1 Willow Warbler - all juveniles. Overflying waders included 2 Grey Plover, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Greenshank. On Stanpit the feeding waders included 86 Oystercatcher, 9 Sanderling, 3 Common Sandpiper, 1 Knot, 1 Turnstone and the moulting adult Curlew Sandpiper. An Arctic Tern was also present on Stanpit late afternoon.
Today's highlight was the sighting of a female/juvenile Marsh Harrier flying north-east over the HHC shortly before 8am. A Knot present on Stanpit this morning was clearly a new arrival - also there were 200 Dunlin, 20 Ringed Plover, 7 Sanderling, 2 Common Sandpiper, the moulting adult Curlew Sandpiper and 1 Turnstone. Migrants included more than 20 Sedge Warbler in Parky Mead Rail, a few Willow Warbler, a Garden Warbler around North Scrubs and a Wheatear on Crouch Hill. The Harbour Ringing Station has been operational for most of the week - the birds handled have been mainly Acros and today was no exception when a total of 37 Sedge Warbler and 6 Reed Warbler were ringed.
On Hengistbury in the first two or three hours after dawn 45 Willow Warbler, 13 Sedge Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Wheatear and a Cuckoo were noted - also 13 Black-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel left the harbour. It was a little quieter on Stanpit although 2 Wheatear, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Redstart and a dozen Willow Warbler were seen. On the rising tide this afternoon were 195 Dunlin, 16 Ringed Plover, 8 Sanderling, 3 Turnstone, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Snipe and the moulting adult Curlew Sandpiper. An evening visit to Stanpit produced 12 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel and 1 Greenshank.
On Hengistbury this morning up to 120 Sedge Warbler, 30 Willow Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler and 1 Redstart were noted. Sedge Warbler were also moving through the Stanpit reedbeds with around 25 by Parky Mead Rail - also seen were 3 Garden Warbler and a female Pied Flycatcher in the bank below the golf course. There was just a single Wheatear on Crouch Hill. Waders today were 180 Dunlin, 17 Sanderling, 14 Ringed Plover, 12 Common Sandpiper, 11 Turnstone, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Green Sandpiper and the moulting adult Curlew Sandpiper. Incidentally in the area around the HHC and through to Double Dykes up to 20 Dartford Warbler and 20 Cetti's Warbler are present - both resident species in the harbour that have enjoyed a good breeding season?
The moulting adult Curlew Sandpiper was still present off Blackberry Point this morning - also there were 155 Dunlin, 22 Ringed Plover, 12 Sanderling, 5 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Greenshank. The high tide gull roost just after lunch held a moulting adult Mediterranean Gull together with 15 Sandwich and 9 Common Tern - also both adult and juvenile Little Tern were feeding off Blackberry. A juvenile Mediterranean Gull was also seen today. After the weekend's flurry of activity passerine migration was almost at a standstill with just a couple of Wheatears on Crouch Hill today.
On Hengistbury this morning 8 Crossbill alighted briefly in the tree tops in the Nursery before moving on; also 2 Avocet were seen leaving the Harbour around 7:30. In Parky Mead Rail there were 6 Water Rail, 2 of which were juveniles, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Little Grebe, a moulting Wigeon and a Green Sandpiper which eventually moved on to Priory Marsh. Today's highlight for wader watchers was a moulting adult Curlew Sandpiper - the bird was present early morning and evening. Other waders counted were 120 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, 4 Common Sandpiper, 6 Whimbrel, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Greenshank and 6 overflying Green Sandpiper. There were also 2 Wheatear on Stanpit. Around lunchtime over 350 Swift were feeding over the golf course at Stanpit before heading off south - at one point these birds were being harassed by 3 Hobby. The harbour count of Little Egret is now 45, most of which roost on East Marsh at high tide.
There was further evidence of return migration this morning with 120 Willow Warbler and 2 Garden Warbler on Hengistbury together with good numbers of Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler present in the Stanpit reedbeds; also noted were a Wheatear on Crouch Hill and 2 Garden Warbler in North Scrubs. There was also a Whinchat on the Batters this afternoon. Parky Meade Rail held a Kingfisher, 3 Water Rail and 2 juvenile Great Crested Grebe - there was also a third juvenile in Mother Siller's Channel. Waders counted were 175 Dunlin, 19 Ringed Plover, 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel and one each of Little Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Greenshank and Turnstone. Finally a male Great Spotted Woodpecker was in North Scrubs. This evening saw a marked improvement in the selection of waders on Stanpit with 15 Ringed Plover, 6 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Plover, 8 Sanderling, 4 Greenshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Wood Sandpiper. Little Egret numbered 42, at least 30 of which were in the Nursery on Hengistbury. There were also up to 800 Swift over the harbour - probably feeding on flying ants.
On a glorious sunny morning the first significant passerine movement of the 'autumn' occurred when over 300 Willow Warbler, 150 Sedge Warbler, 80 Whitethroat, 10 Blackcap, 3 Garden Warbler, 2 Tree Pipit and a Grasshopper Warbler moved through Hengistbury soon after dawn. On Stanpit a couple of hours later 12 Willow Warbler and a Garden Warbler were in North Scrubs and many Sedge Warbler were still moving through the reedbed. Overflying waders this morning included 3 Little Ringed Plover, which circled the harbour calling,1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Grey Plover. Stanpit held 110 Dunlin, 68 Oystercatcher, 6 Ringed Plover, 5 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 7 Common Sandpiper - there were also 4 in Barn Bight making the harbour total for this species 11. A Peregrine, 2 Kingfisher and 4 Water Rail were also noted today.
This morning's mist and heavy drizzle made birding a bit unpleasant. Nevertheless there was another Avocet feeding off South Marsh - also present in Stanpit Bight were 75 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Turnstone and 1 Black-tailed Godwit together with a dozen Sandwich Tern and 6 Common Tern.