Sightings for September 2003.
Just before dusk the Pectoral Sandpiper was again located on Priory Marsh and afforded good views. This morning, the only sign of movement at Hengistbury was a 1 hour passage of 200 Swallow with a small numbers of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest in the bushes. Late afternoon, Stanpit held 32 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Knot, 4 Curlew Sandpiper and 1 Greenshank. Single Kingfisher and Wheatear were also seen, as was the regular Yellow-legged Gull plus one possible argentatus Herring Gull.
The Pectoral Sandpiper was still around today, but wasn't located until mid-afternoon when flushed by a Buzzard which flew low over Priory Marsh. The bird then re-settled and could be seen in long grass; 2 Greenshank and 20 Teal were also put up. Prior to that, on a very wet Stanpit, where the spring tides are very high right now, Swallow were moving at the rate of 50 per hour, 6 Knot were recorded along with 18 Little Egret and 2 Kingfisher in Mother Siller's Channel. Early morning at Wick saw 60 Chiffchaff, 25 Goldcrest, 7 Blackcap and 2 Wagtail, but perhaps the best birds there were 4 Pochard heading north.
Given the numbers in the country at the moment, a Pectoral Sandpiper was always a possibility and Bob Groves found one on Priory Marsh this morning - a nice bonus during a WeBS count. The bird seemed to be present on Priory until early afternoon when it was seen to fly. Around 4:00pm it appeared calling in flight and was seen to pitch into the northern part of Wick Fields. Easiest access would be the footpath from Wick Village. The two star raptors of yesterday again figured. Early afternoon a juvenile male Goshawk flew south over the harbour, receiving the close attention of many Black-headed Gull; and slightly later a Red Kite was soaring over the lower Avon Valley, also Peregrine and Raven were seen over there. Totals from the WeBS count follow, but at least 1 Little Stint remains, 2 Greenshank were on Priory Marsh and 21 Black-tailed Godwit were on Central Marsh. The female Mandarin is still sitting tight on Purewell Stream and 2 Kingfisher have been in that area throughout the day. The WeBS count notables included 266 Dunlin, 142 Wigeon, 55 Ringed Plover, 9 Knot, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Turnstone, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Sanderling, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Common Gull and a vanguard Brent Goose.
Best two birds today were raptors. Mid-afternoon a juvenile Goshawk was seen from Priory Marsh as it circled the gasometer before heading back north. Then at 6:15 this evening, a Red Kite approached low from the north-east, passed low over the North Scrubs before being lost to sight over the head. A Hobby was also seen over the Stanpit area during the afternoon.A light northerly wind blew for much of the day and seemed to encourage a reasonable passage. This morning over 2500 House Martin, 1000 Meadow Pipit, 600 Swallow, 250 Goldfinch, 150 Linnet moved over the area. Also noted were 40 alba Wagtail, 4 Grey Wagtail and 1 Yellow Wagtail, while 3 Siskin, 2 Mistle Thrush and a travelling Song Thrush were good records. A flock of 5 Grey Heron moving east were also obviously on the move. Across the area, migrants on the ground included 80 Chiffchaff, 20 Blackcap, 7 Wheatear and 3 Willow Warbler. A Curlew Sandpiper was seen from the top of the head arriving from the west; and out to sea a Skua species was seen briefly, Pomarine being the most likely candidate. Stanpit hosted 1 Little Stint today, thought to be different to yesterday's birds. The Curlew Sandpiper count rose to 4 birds, Knot were present in similar number, 2 Greenshank were in Parky Meade Rail and there were a total of 26 Black-tailed Godwit today. Meanwhile, a flooding Priory Marsh held 1 Jack Snipe, 60 Snipe and 8 Yellow Wagtail.
At least 2 Little Stint were at Stanpit today. Other waders recorded were 185 Dunlin, 55 Ringed Plover, 23 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Knot, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Sanderling and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. Beware, there is a very small Dunlin out there! The incoming Wigeon to the marsh have now reached 132. On Hengistbury this morning, 300 House Martin passed overhead and 2 Kingfisher were seen. Late afternoon, the renowned Yellow-legged Gull was on South Marsh and at least 20 Chiffchaff were around Smithy's Field, perhaps indicating a good morning was missed.
Migration was a little slower today with just 220 House Martin, 70 Swallow, 50 Meadow Pipit, 42 Siskin and a few wagtail moving south-east. On the ground were 60 Chiffchaff, 20 Goldcrest, 8 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 1 Sedge Warbler. The ringing figures also reflected this slowdown with only 8 birds caught in the nets. The usual Kingfisher was seen on the Hengistbury side of the harbour.
The coldest night of the autumn so far didn't deter the birds hence there were good numbers of migrants both on the ground and moving through. Highlights included 2 Tree Sparrow over the Common, a Ring Ousel on the Batters, an Arctic Tern heading west and a Mediterranean Gull in Barn Bight. There was no particular pattern to the movement as 600 Meadow Pipit went west and 300 Swallow moved south whilst the wagtail, 35 alba, 4 Yellow and 4 Grey, together with the finches, 150 Goldfinch and 4 Siskin, all headed south-east. Grounded migrants were 140 Chiffchaff, 80 Blackcap, 50 Goldcrest, 6 Wheatear, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Garden Warbler and 1 Whinchat. A Kingfisher was in Barn Bight and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard over Wick. The wader count on the falling tide on Stanpit this afternoon produced 196 Dunlin, 47 Ringed Plover, 11 Knot, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Turnstone, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Avocet. There were also a further 2 Wheatear on South Marsh. A late afternoon walk over Hengistbury produced a female Merlin which flew over the Common towards Wick.
As the weather settled down again this morning a few more grounded migrants were around - namely 45 Chiffchaff ( mainly on Wick ), 6 Blackcap and 4 Whitethroat whilst overhead more than 250 House Martin and a few Meadow Pipit headed west into the wind. Only 10 birds were ringed but these included Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting.
There was scant evidence of migration this morning as the balmy weather of the last few weeks gave way to strong south-westerlies and frequent showers. Between 7:30 and 9:30am only 82 Swallow, 42 Meadow Pipit and 3 Grey Wagtail moved through. On Stanpit this afternoon wader numbers were well down with just 160 Dunlin, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Common Sandpiper.
Far more birds around today as the harbour was shrouded in a light sea mist throughout. During the morning, overhead passage at Hengistbury comprised 550+ Swallow, 550 Meadow Pipit, 180 House Martin, 7 Grey Wagtail and 3 Yellow Wagtail, all these moved south-east while 6 Siskin went west. Grounded birds included 125 Chiffchaff, 40 Blackcap, 20 Goldcrest, 10 Wheatear, 4 Willow Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, 2 Whinchat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 1 Lesser Whitethroat. A couple of Avocet briefly landed at Stanpit this morning after arriving from the east, but they soon left south over the head. Also at Stanpit before lunch were 20+ settled Yellow Wagtail, 4 Wheatear and 1 Tree Pipit. A late afternoon wader visit to Stanpit produced 250 Dunlin, 80 Ringed Plover, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Sanderling, 10 Knot, 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Avocet, presumably different birds to this morning, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. Finally, it is estimated at least 5 Kingfisher were around the harbour today.
As is often the case, Saturdays can prove to be something of an anticlimax. The event of note today was a significant easterly House Martin passage. At least 2000 birds were involved, some passing directly by, but other pausing to feed in impressive flocks; around 300 Swallow were also caught up in the melee. This aside, passerine migrants were few and far between on Hengistbury this morning: the totals included 12 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Whinchat, 1 Grey Wagtail and a single alba Wagtail. Priory Marsh this afternoon hosted 2 Yellow Wagtail with the livestock, 2 Shoveler and the normal collection of Snipe. Surprisingly, this evening, the 4 pale-bellied Brent Goose re-appeared arriving in the harbour from the Run. Wader totals for the day are 244 Dunlin, a high count of 120 Oystercatcher, 67 Ringed Plover, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Curlew Sandpiper, 5 Knot, 3 Sanderling, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Greenshank and 1 Common Sandpiper. The re-location of the ringing nets to Wick Fields seems to be paying dividends, over 30 birds were caught today, the best being 7 Chiffchaff, 7 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Blackcap, 1 Song Thrush and 1 Goldcrest.
Best bird in a quiet day was a very obvious Yellow-legged Gull on Blackberry Point late this afternoon. There are an increasing number of records in for this species in the harbour. This morning Hengistbury was relatively quiet, just 20 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 5 Whitethroat and 1 Grey Wagtail; while Barn Bight hosted 2 Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher. Stanpit this afternoon held a good selection of waders that included 212 Dunlin, 49 Ringed Plover, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Knot, 7 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Turnstone, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank and 1 Whimbrel, the latter being a good late record for the area. A couple of Wheatear were also around the marsh. Ringing was good today with 21 birds being trapped, these included 9 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 1 Goldfinch and 1 Long-tailed Tit.
Hengistbury this morning held a small number of migrants including 25 Goldcrest, 20 phylloscs and 10 Blackcap; there were also 300 Swallow noted overhead. In Barn Bight, at least 2 Common Sandpiper and 6 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding and the 4 pale-bellied Brent Goose could be seen out towards Blackberry Point. On Stanpit, a lunchtime wader census totalled of 110 Dunlin, 58 Ringed Plover, 9 Sanderling, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Curlew Sandpiper, 4 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Turnstone, 2 Common Sandpiper and 2 Greenshank. Also in that area were 8 Sandwich Tern, but now only 56 Wigeon. An afternoon seawatch from Mudeford Quay saw just a second-winter Mediterranean Gull.
Another glorious Indian Summer's day, however, as dawn broke the harbour was shrouded in a heavy mist. This morning Smithy's Field and the North Scrubs held a total of 4 Spotted Flycatcher and 1 Pied Flycatcher; as well as a Coal Tit, always noteworthy in the area, 2 Goldcrest and a few phylloscs. Migrants overflying Stanpit included 350 Swallow, 6 Yellow Wagtail and 3 Grey Wagtail. There was also a light covering of passerine migrants on the other side of the harbour: Wick Fields contained around 35 phylloscs, the vast majority Chiffchaff, 9 Blackcap, 4 Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Wheatear and 1 Whinchat. Overhead, 3 Grey Wagtail and 1 Yellow Wagtail were noted. Another Coal Tit was seen, this one in the Nursery, along with other woodland treats in the form of 6 Goldcrest, 2 Jay and 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker. There is still a lone, lingering Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight. An early evening visit to Stanpit showed the family party of 4 pale-bellied Brent Goose to still be present. These birds are not of the race which normally winter in the harbour, rather they are of the form hrota, which are more usually found in Ireland, North-East Britain or Denmark. It is assumed they will soon move on. Also seen on Stanpit was single Knot and 8 Black-tailed Godwit, these birds were only visible when flushed from East Marsh by a patrolling Peregrine. A single Shoveler was off Blackberry Point, a Lesser Whitethroat was close to the Warden's caravan and the all too familiar Yellow-legged Gull was loafing around Stanpit Bight.
A little quieter today after a good week. Thanks to Ian Southworth for deputising on the site in my absence. This morning, the Wick Fields adjacent to the HHC held at least 40 phylloscs, 10 Blackcap, 5 Whitethroat, 4 Lesser Whitethroat and 1 Wheatear; while overhead 2 Grey Wagtail moved through. Further along the head, there were 6 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight, and 3 Turnstone on the beach. A small movement of House Martin and Swallow was also noted this morning. A visit to Stanpit just before lunch totalled 140 Dunlin, 76 Ringed Plover, 15 Sanderling, 8 Knot, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Common Sandpiper, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Turnstone. The bunch of Wigeon on the marsh has now risen to 86. Ringing this morning caught 14 birds, including 1 Wood Pigeon.
Although there were fewer grounded migrants than recently the Harbour still provided good variety today. Highlights were the first Firecrest of the autumn on the Batters, a major passage of House Martin involving well over 2000 birds, 2 Raven over Stanpit mid-morning and only the second Little Stint of the autumn on Stanpit this afternoon. On the ground were 35 phylloscs, 5 Blackcap, 4 Grey Wagtail, 3 Whinchat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 1 Wheatear. Overhead amongst the House Martin were 500 Swallow and just 2 Sand Martin, also 6 Yellow and 5 Grey Wagtail and 1 Tree Pipit. Not surprisingly with all the hirundines about a Hobby dashed low over Wick Fields. On Stanpit in addition to the Little Stint there were 22 Sanderling, 6 Knot, 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Turnstone and 1 Greenshank. The 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were still present and a single Shoveler was on the Marsh. In North Scrubs were 25 phylloscs, 2 Whitethroat and 2 Spotted Flycatcher.
Soon after dawn this morning an Avocet left the Harbour, 3 Pintail flew north and there were 35 Canada Geese on the river. Grounded migrants were mainly on Wick Fields - 60 phylloscs, 50 Blackcap, 9 Whitethroat, 3 Whinchat, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and a single Wheatear. Hirundines were again moving through in numbers - estimated at 2700 Swallow and 900 House Martin in a 3 hour period. Overhead, also, were 15 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Grey Wagtail and 3 Tree Pipit. The only report received from Stanpit was of 2 Whinchat and a Dartford Warbler on Crouch Hill this morning. This afternoon a Common Buzzard was mobbed by corvids as it headed west over the Head.
Today's highlights included a Nuthatch and 2 Marsh Harrier. The Nuthatch, a Harbour rarity, was seen behind the HHC this morning. The 2 Marsh Harrier, probably immature males, appeared to leave the HHC reedbed at 6:40am before heading off high south-west. Grounded migrants on Hengistbury this morning were 160 phylloscs, 16 Blackcap, 4 Whinchat on Wick, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Wheatear and 1 Lesser Whitethroat. Overhead 1750 Swallow and 400 House Martin moved through together with 95 Meadow Pipit, 23 Yellow and 6 Grey Wagtail, 3 Tree Pipit and 2 Siskin. Two Kingfisher, 2 Common Sandpiper and a Great Crested Grebe were also seen. At Stanpit another 30 phylloscs were in North Scrubs plus 3 Spotted Flycatcher, a Redstart and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Late evening there were 7 Yellow Wagtail around Central Marsh and 8 Siskin flew over the old dump site. Waders included 7 Curlew Sandpiper, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Sanderling. The Wigeon count has now reached 56 and 3 Gadwall were present - there was also a Garganey on Priory Marsh. Only 4 Brent Geese were seen today - these birds are Pale-bellied Brent, two of which are juveniles. The Ringing Station has been quiet all week but today 22 birds were ringed - 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Sedge Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 3 Robin, 2 Reed Warbler plus 1 each of Dunnock, Starling, Cetti's Warbler, Whitethroat and Goldcrest.
Today's star bird was a Wryneck, the second one of the year, found in the Barn Field around 10:30am. Unfortunately a Sparrowhawk flushed all the birds shortly afterwards and despite extensive searching the bird could not be relocated. There were reasonable numbers of common migrants on Hengistbury - 135 phylloscs, 8 Blackcap, 7 Goldcrest, 6 Whitethroat, 4 Whinchat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Wheatear and a Redstart were noted. Overhead hirundines were moving steadily with more than 200 Swallow, 140 House Martin and a few Sand Martin, also 24 Yellow Wagtail, 9 Grey Wagtail, 13 Tree Pipit and 2 Siskin. A Raven was over the Nursery briefly, a Coal Tit flew across the Common towards the Nursery and 3 Kingfisher were seen. On the river just after dawn were 71 Canada Geese and there were 4 Common Sandpiper and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit in Barn Bight. On Stanpit there was still a Pied Flycatcher in North Scrubs, 4 Wheatear, 4 Yellow Wagtail amongst the cattle, 2 Grey Wagtail near Fisherman's Bank and 1 Whinchat. By evening there were 6 Wheatear around Crouch Hill. Waders counted today were 125 Dunlin, 71 Ringed Plover, 10 Sanderling, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Knot, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit ( presumably the birds from Barn Bight ), 1 Greenshank and 1 Whimbrel. Wigeon numbered around 30 birds, the 6 Brent Geese were still present and there was a single female Pintail in Stanpit Bight. The Little Tern was also seen again this morning. This evening more than 30 Yellow Wagtail were around the HHC reedbed presumably goimg to roost.
Grounded migrants were almost non-existent on both sides of the Harbour today with just a few Blackcap, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 1 Whinchat. Overhead, however, more than 300 Swallow were noted plus 7 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Grey Wagtail and 3 Tree Pipit. The 6 Brent Geese were still on Blackberry, the Wigeon flock has increased to 48 and there were 2 Shoveler in the Harbour. Off Fisherman's Bank at high tide were 11 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 of which flew off south-west, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Knot and a Kingfisher, another bird was seen near the HHC. Most of the waders were on the beach towards the Mudeford Sandspit where 70 Dunlin, 50 Ringed Plover, 10 Sanderling, 3 Turnstone and 3 more Curlew Sandpiper were feeding - also off there a flock of more than 40 Common Tern moved east. On Stanpit this evening there were 130 Dunlin, 4 Knot, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Sanderling and 1 Whimbrel. Limpy, the Yellow-legged Gull was present together with another bird of similar age and the Little Tern was off Blackberry. The female Mandarin was also still on the Purewell Stream.
It was sad to see an ailing juvenile Great Northern Diver in the main channel off Grimmery Point this morning - the bird had a length of fishing line tangled in its bill. The animal welfare people were notified and apparently a rescue attempt was made this afternoon although whether this was successful is not known.
The first Brent Geese of the autumn were on Stanpit this afternoon when six birds were on Blackberry at high tide. On the falling tide feeding waders included 8 Knot, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Common Sandpiper and 1 Curlew Sandpiper - also there were 37 Sandwich Tern. There was just 1 Wheatear on Crouch Hill. A 3 hour sea watch off Mudeford Quay this morning produced 33 Gannet, 50 Sandwich Tern west, 3 Common Scoter west, 1 Razorbill west and a Little Tern feeding off the Run. The early rain and strong westerly winds reduced the chance of any significant passerine migration today although the first couple of fields on Wick held more than 50 phylloscs this morning. Otherwise there was 1 Green Sandpiper on Wick, 1 Whimbrel in Barn Bight, 4 Kingfisher ( 2 on Wick and 2 over the Barn Field), 1 Wheatear and 3 Grey Wagtail overhead.
With the wind from the north-west optimism wasn't high this morning and so it proved with very few migrants ( apart from 70 phylloscs ) being found. On the ground were 5 Wheatear, 5 Sedge Warbler, 4 Whinchat, 4 Whitethroat, 3 Redstart, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Blackcap and just 1 Garden Warbler. Overhead were 37 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Grey Wagatil and 3 Tree Pipit. Just after dawn there was an impressive count of 106 Canada Geese on the main river - shooting in the valley yesterday may have been the reason for this. A late Little Tern was off Blackberry and both Kingfisher and Common Sandpiper were around Barn Bight. Waders seen from Hengistbury were 6 Knot, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel and 1 Ruff. On Stanpit 3 Avocet were feeding in Stanpit Bight this afternoon - other waders present were 122 Dunlin, 20 Sanderling, 19 Ringed Plover ( 25 also left the Harbour heading west ), 11 Knot, 6 Snipe, 2 Curlew Sandpiper and a single Greenshank. The 1st year Mediterranean Gull was also seen today. Migrants included 4 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Wheatear, a Pied Flycatcher in North Scrubs and a very late Swift flying east.
Other than a report of a possible brief sighting this morning the Barred Warbler was not seen again today. Elsewhere on Hengistbury very few migrants were around - just 2 Whinchat on the Common, half a dozen Whitethroat, a few phylloscs and 1 Blackcap whilst 9 Grey Wagtail and 4 Yellow Wagtail moved east. A Kingfisher was in Barn Bight, a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew towards the Nursery, a Common Buzzard being mobbed by crows headed west and 2 Rook, something of a Harbour rarity, were also seen. Stanpit. however, had the best bird of the day when a female Marsh Harrier was watched hunting over Central Marsh mid-afternoon - it then headed off high over Wick. On what was obviously a good day for raptors a Peregrine tried its luck over Stanpit around 5:30pm but went away empty-handed! Migrants on Stanpit today were around 30 phylloscs and 1 Pied Flycatcher in North Scrubs, 9 Wheatear and 1 Whinchat around Crouch Hill and 1 Tree Pipit overhead. A Coal Tit was with the tit flock, 3 Jackdaw were in the Poplars and a Kingfisher was also on the Marsh. Waders on the rising tide were 130 Dunlin, 19 Ringed Plover, 12 Sanderling, 5 Knot, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Greenshank, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Turnstone and 1 Common Sandpiper.
The Barred Warbler was still present today. It remained faithful to the small copse near the Ranger's barn and although fairly elusive patient observers were rewarded with good views. On Hengistbury grounded migrants this morning were 70+ Chiffchaff, 25 Whitethroat, 15 Willow Warbler, 9 Blackcap, 4 Wheatear, 3 Redstart, 2 Whinchat and 2 Spotted Flycatcher. Overhead were 250 Swallow, 40 House Martin, 60+ Yellow Wagtail, 25 Grey Wagtail, 25 Meadow Pipit and 8 Tree Pipit. There were 2 Kingfisher, 2 Common Sandpiper and a Great Crested Grebe in Barn Bight. Soon after dawn 20 Canada Geese were on Blackberry and 2 Pintail and a Shoveler were noted. Two Mediterranean Gull, a 2nd summer and a 1st winter, visited the Marsh and 4 Common Gull were seen. Amongst the more common waders were 7 Knot, 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Greenshank, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Turnstone and a Wood Sandpiper. In North Scrubs there were 6 Blackcap, 1 Pied Flycatcher and 1 Lesser Whitethroat. Elsewhere on Stanpit were 2 Yellow Wagtail on Central Marsh, 2 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat and 4 each of Sedge and Reed Warbler. Around the golf course were 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker and a further 2 Kingfisher were near the Purewell Stream.
Dull overcast conditions folowing early rain produced a reasonable fall of passerines on Hengistbury this morning. The star bird was a Barred Warbler found by Shaun Robson. The bird which favoured the small copse near the Ranger's barn skulked for much of the time but occasionally showed very well. Other migrants included more than 60 Whitethroat, 50 phylloscs, 10 Tree Pipit, 9 Blackcap, 8 Grey and 4 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Whinchat, 5 Sedge Warbler and a Redstart. The second highlight was a juvenile Goshawk which caused pandemonium on Stanpit as it flew low over Crouch Hill towards Hengistbury before turning and heading off inland. There was no sign of yesterday's reported Broad-billed Sandpiper despite close scrutiny of the Dunlin flock by many local birders. However there were still 6 Curlew Sandpiper present and the Sanderling numbered 45. Other counts were 150 Dunlin, 135 Oystercatchers, 50 Ringed Plover, 21 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Knot, 4 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper and 1 Whimbrel. There were just 2 Wheatear on Stanpit today - also 2 Garden Warbler and 2 Lesser Whitethroat in North Scrubs. The female Mandarin was still on the Purewell Stream and a Kingfisher was also seen there.
The information services reported a possible Broad-billed Sandpiper at Stanpit this evening - the bird will be looked for again tomorrow.
On Stanpit this afternoon a count of 33 Sanderling must be something of a Harbour record - also present were 176 Dunlin, 55 Ringed Plover, 9 Knot, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Turnstone and 1 Greenshank. Counts of 51 Sandwich and 9 Common Tern on Blackberry Point were notable in what has been a poor autumn for tern passage. The 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull was also present. 3 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill and there was a Lesser Whitethroat in North Scrubs. This morning saw a repeat of yesterday's movement of Swallow with a very conservative estimate of 500 an hour passing through. Common migrants were again in short supply so the ringers went home early. On the ground were just a few phylloscs, 15 Whitethroat, 3 Sedge Warbler and 2 Whinchat.
Swallow were pouring through the Harbour today on their way south at an estimated rate of more than 500 per hour between 7:30 and 10:30am. However, grounded migrants on Hengistbury were hard to find with just 20 Whitethroat, 6 Whinchat, a Pied Flycatcher and a few phylloscs. Overhead were 4 Grey Wagtail and 3 Yellow Wagtail. Barn Bight held 3 Common Sandpiper, just 1 Curlew Sandpiper and 11 Little Egret. There were a further 2 Curlew Sandpiper on the rising tide at Stanpit this afternoon; also 125 Dunlin, 22 Ringed Plover, 21 Sanderling, 4 Knot, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel and a Greenshank. On Crouch Hill there were 3 Wheatear while North Scrubs held 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Blackcap, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Redstart and there was 1 Whinchat on Priory Marsh. The female Mandarin was still on the Purewell Stream.
At lunchtime today 2 Avocet and 9 Curlew Sandpiper were feeding in Stanpit Bight, also present were 127 Dunlin, 106 Redshank, 15 Ringed Plover, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Knot, 4 Common Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank and 2 Turnstone. Oddly, however, no Sanderling were noted. On Hengistbury this morning despite the cloud cover very few migrants were present - 4 Whinchat, a single Wheatear and 20 Whitethroat. Overhead were just a few House Martin and 6 Yellow Wagtail. Barn Bight held 3 Common Sandpiper. Ringed birds today numbered 16 including 4 Reed Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler and 2 Whitethroat. Late afternoon on Stanpit produced 6 Wheatear, 4 Yellow Wagatail, 2 Whinchat on Priory Marsh and a Spotted Flycatcher in North Scrubs. There was also a female Mandarin in Purewell Stream. Finally 25 Little Egret were on East Marsh. An early evening walk over the Common at Hengistbury found 3 Whinchat, several Whitethroat, a Blackcap and 10 Chiffchaff.
The muddy field by the HHC held only a single Common Sandpiper this morning, but there were 5 more in Barn Bight. Passerine migrants on Hengistbury were estimated at 35 Willow Warbler/Chiffchaff, including some of the latter in song, 28 Whitethroat, 6 Whinchat and 3 Blackcap. A small hirundine passage was noted with 150+ Swallow, 100+ House Martin and 25+ Sand Martin involved. After a dearth of sightings in the early part of the year, Peregrine is again becoming a regular bird with one over Stanpit this evening.
After looking good for over a year, the muddy cattle field by the HHC entrance finally produced the goods as a Temminck's Stint was flushed by a regular taking a natural break, also in there were 3 Green Sandpiper and 2 Snipe. Another highlight from Hengistbury was an Osprey seen to skirt the edges of the harbour as it headed south-west. It was another varied day for passerine migrants, the Batters held 1 Pied Flycatcher and the Nursery 2 Spotted Flycatcher. A Yellowhammer, not a common bird in the Harbour, also flew along the Batters. Other notables were 37 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Tree Pipit and 5 Grey Wagtail over, and 25 Willow Warbler, 8 Wheatear, 3 Garden Warbler, 2 Whinchat and 2 Lesser Whitethroat grounded. More wildfowl in the shape of 2 Gadwall and a single Tufted Duck, while terns moved through with 38 Common Tern and 1 Arctic Tern west. An adult winter Mediterranean Gull overflew Wick Fields and there were 7 Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight. Wick Fields also produced a Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Whinchat and 2 Redstart. A Peregrine was again over the harbour this morning, as was a lone Hobby. Wader passage included 28 Snipe, 8 Greenshank and 2 Turnstone, and there were 25 Sanderling on the beach and 6 Knot in the harbour. Settled waders on Stanpit in the late afternoon numbered 80 Dunlin, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Knot, 2 Curlew Sandpiper and 2 Greenshank. A second-winter Mediterranean Gull was also present.