Sightings for July 2008
A light, overnight south-easterly raised the hopes for a good day of migrant ringing and fieldwork. As it was, nothing came of it. Just 15 birds were caught on Wick Fields, with just one, a Willow Warbler, being a certain migrant. Crossbill aren't generally considered to be seasonal travellers, more of an irruptive species; nevertheless, a party of 7 over Wick Fields raised the spirits a little. Hengistbury though was poor, where a lone House Martin over the top of the head and 5 Common Tern south-west were the only indication of movement. For the first time in a while, Stanpit Bight was hit at the right state of tide, but didn't really deliver. Other than 13 Common Sandpiper (for the records, there were 2 more on the Hengistbury side), what was presumably the same Turnstone from yesterday, 4 Whimbrel, the lingering Bar-tailed Godwit and 50 Dunlin, there is not much more to mention. Up at Parky Meade Rail, a couple of adult Water Rail showed well and an adult Common Gull challenged a Lesser Black-backed Gull over a deceased Mullet. Back to the ringing, and mention must be made of a female Sparrowhawk that frustratingly slipped the net a few seconds before being reached. Yesterday evening, after being seemingly sabotaged, the tern island was brought in and stored away for the winter. As always, CHOG would like to thank Mike Rhodes of Bournemouth and West Hants Water Company, Barry Childs of Mister B's Marine Services and Eddy Lewis of Plant Works Grounds Maintenance, as well as Peter Fenning and Darren Hughes, for their consistent help on this project.
Additional news: a Little Ringed Plover was heard inspecting the area this morning, but appeared never to settle. Nothing new can be added from an evening visit to Stanpit, but it was sad to hear about the remains of one of the three Black Swan, which have recently joined the currently flightless Mute Swan herd, lying off South Marsh.
Addition: the Stanpit Common Sandpiper count actuallly peaked at 22 in the morning.
A pretty quiet day all round, other than a single Balearic Shearwater west off Hengistbury. That was about it at sea though, save for 22 Gannet and 4 Common Tern generally east. Wader numbers at Stanpit were also down - just 18 Dunlin, 3 Whimbrel and a Black-tailed Godwit this afternoon. No passerine migrant news was received, but there was a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the Wood on Hengistbury.
News just in - apologies for the list-like nature, but I had just a few minutes before going out. Additional Stanpit waders were a Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper and a Bar-tailed Godwit, with the Shelduck family still intact; and from Hengistbury, the extras are 2 Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper in Brewer's Creek, and 37 Dunlin in Barn Bight.
Further Stanpit news from the evening, when 8 Common Sandpiper were counted and a Turnstone was present. Also, a Hobby over the area.
On the current cycle, it's difficult to catch a decent tide outside of office hours, the water always seemingly high. Consequently, the few trips made to Stanpit produced nothing too spectacular. The Dunlin numbers fluctuated between 40 and 80 for the day, while Common Sandpiper peaked at 5 this evening, along with 3 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. A Greenshank was present only for the morning and, at lunchtime, Curlew off Fisherman's Bank totalled 18. After last week's high, tern numbers are dropping away, although the first juvenile Common Tern was noted amongst 4 birds. A juvenile Mediterranean Gull throughout the day was later joined by a second-summer bird, also 2 adult Common Gull around tonight. A Peregrine zapped through on a couple of occasions and the 2 Shelduck young continue to look safe and well. Details have now been received on the colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull seen on Stanpit last week. The bird was ringed in May 2007 at a breeding site in Belgium, where it was aged as a third calendar year, or second-summer if you prefer that method. Since then, it has been logged in France, on the Isle of Wight and back at the Belgian colony this season, when it was confirmed as a female. For a full life history, please click here
It was forecast to be the hottest day of the year so far and it certainly felt that way, although there are currently thundery looking clouds threatening those still out on Stanpit. On Hengistbury, there were definitely fewer migrant warblers than yesterday and the day's reduced ringing figures proved that. However, the area around Priory Marsh was reported as holding good numbers of Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler, also a Garden Warbler in Smithy's Field and a Lesser Whitethroat in the North Scrubs, while the first returning Wheatear was on Crouch Hill. The reappearance of the juvenile Golden Plover in Stanpit Bight was something of a surprise, after it not being seen since its discovery last Thursday, but the quality of photos and its closeness today rule out a second bird. A Green Sandpiper was heard around Priory Marsh and the call of Common Sandpiper was incessant about Stanpit, from where a figure of 15 is very conservative, also up to 100 Dunlin, 6 Whimbrel and 4 Ringed Plover. On the other side of the harbour, waders were sparse, but a Greenshank was heard and 2 Snipe were seen descending into Wick Hams. To finish off the morning's reports, a pair of Teal briefly circled Stanpit Bight, a Great-crested Grebe toured the whole area, an adult Common Gull rested on South Marsh and a Peregrine caused havoc over East Marsh. This evening on Stanpit, singles of both Greenshank and Bar-tailed Godwit were sitting out the high tide, as was a juvenile Dunlin that caused an observer who should know better a good deal of consternation. Also, around the same time, a Hobby was over Wick.
Omission: a Nuthatch was in Smithy's Field.
An absolute scorcher of a day that saw over 60 birds trapped in 5 nets around the HHC. Of that total, 23 were Sedge Warbler proving their return passage is now well underway. Also caught were: 9 Reed Warbler, 7 Reed Bunting and 3 Whitethroat, which may or may not have been of local origin. Willow Warbler don't breed on site however, so 2 of those in the hand were definitely on the move, as were 27 recorded in the field. Despite the ringing numbers, it was relatively quiet otherwise; although a Little Ringed Plover calling over the harbour and a Redstart on the Long Field should not be dismissed. Barn Bight held its now customary Dunlin flock - 87 of them this morning, also 6 Common Sandpiper and 3 Greenshank. Far fewer Mediterranean Gull were about today; in fact, just a lone first-summer over the HHC, but the Marsh Tit and Nuthach were recorded in the Wood. For the second day in succession, a juvenile Sparrowhawk that dared to venture over the HHC reedbed was quite viciously set upon by half a dozen or so Swallow, some even making contact with the clearly agitated raptor.
Mid-July is always the best time to catch up with Green Sandpiper in the area and most of the regulars managed just that this morning. Birds were heard and seen in flight on a few occasions from the HHC, with Barn Bight briefly hosting a settled individual. It's not certain just how many were involved, but 2 would be a best guess. More unusual for month however, was a Redpoll over the HHC heading along Wick Fields, while a Grey Wagtail in Barn Bight could also be considered slightly ahead of the date. As the tide fell, around 85 Dunlin left Stanpit to feed up in their newly favoured spot of Barn Bight, where there were also 3 Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank and 2 Whimbrel. Elsewhere, there were a further 8 Common Sandpiper recorded and 2 breeding-plumaged Knot, 5 Whimbrel and 12 Dunlin hung around Stanpit Bight. Mediterranean Gull were again plentiful - of the 9 noted, 8 were juvenile birds, the other being a moulting first-summer. Cormorant are not often considered as migrants, but three high-flying groups, comprising 7, 13 and 15 birds respectively, and moving purposefully west, would perhaps question that claim. Likewise, a party of 7 Grey Heron that headed directly south over Hengistbury. Other migrants appearing in small numbers were Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, House Martin and Swift, with the latter, sadly, all too soon to become something of a scarcity. Finally, the Nuthatch showed well in the Wood, a Great-spotted Woodpecker was by the HHC and a Peregrine soared over Wick Fields. Tomorrow morning sees the Hengistbury Head Environmental Festival that kicks off at 8:00 with a CHOG ringing demonstration, followed by a guided bird walk.
Additional news: the information services report a Roseate Tern from Stanpit in the evening.
The Barn Bight Dunlin flock rose to 95 birds this morning, also 5 Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank and 2 Whimbrel there, with a further Greenshank and Whimbrel off Fisherman's Bank. At sea, a rather sickly looking Guillemot was floating up The Run on the tide and 35 Gannet headed west off Hengistbury. Please scroll down for more photos from yesterday and an evening update from Stanpit.
Stanpit received much of the attention this morning and highlighted with a party of 7 Crossbill, a Yellowhammer and 3 Raven, all heading north. Meanwhile, a count of 370 easterly moving Swift was made and odd groups of high-flying Cormorant travelled in the opposite direction. A total of 6 Mediterranean Gull of varying ages were present, but the 2 Common Gull were both adults. At least 250 Sandwich Tern and 48 Common Tern were inside the harbour; however, a further 150+ tern sp. could be barely picked out in the strong sunlight beyond the Beach Huts. An unseasonable mixture of duck comprised a Pochard, a Gadwall and 2 Shoveler; while waders numbered 11 Whimbrel, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, 1 Snipe and a Bar-tailed Godwit. However, the small waders were still favouring Barn Bight with 65 Dunlin and 3 Common Sandpiper there, also the regular Greenshank.
Additional news: the 'other' Shelduck family, now containing 6 young, was off Fisherman's Bank.
More news from Stanpit in the evening. A juvenile Golden Plover on South Marsh was most unexpected, while at least 8 Mediterranean Gull were dotted about, including a colour-ringed adult and a juvenile that have been present for two days now. The wader selection had increased and contained 3 Turnstone and 2 Sanderling, also 50+ Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, 4 Common Sandpiper, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Greenshank. Finally, for the first time, both Shelduck families were seen on the same visit .
On Wick, a juvenile Redstart was working its way along the Ditch.
All sorts of autumnal bits and pieces around today. On Stanpit, a Grey Wagtail and 9 Teal were in Parky Meade Rail, where there were also 48 migrating Sedge Warbler. Best of the passerines was a Grasshopper Warbler in the gorse on South Marsh, while 5 Willow Warbler were in the North Scrubs. A Little Ringed Plover toured overhead and 2 Common Sandpiper were in Stanpit Bight, as was a Little Tern, 8 Whimbrel, 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Snipe and an adult Common Gull. The very low tide made it difficult to accurately count Sandwich Tern, but 196 is not too far away from the truth. Probably the most intriguing sight of the day was a Garden Warbler landing repeatedly on algae in Wick village pond and bathing its breast feathers. Also, a couple of Reed Warbler and a singing Willow Warbler around the fields. At least 6 of the latter were also about Hengistbury, the Treecreeper and Great-spotted Woodpecker were by the Nursery, and Barn Bight held an impressive 80 or so Dunlin, 6 Common Sandpiper and a Greenshank.
Additional news: a group of 15 Little Egret that contained at least one juvenile passed over eastwards.
By local standards, it was something of a mega day for Ringing Station, with over 70 birds being trapped. At the Solent Meads site, where most of the birds were juveniles, the best was a Redstart, but also a Willow Warbler, a Blackcap and 2 Cetti's Warbler; while the nets in the HHC reeds yielded 7 Sedge Warbler and 2 Reed Warbler, amongst others. Field-wise, a juvenile Common Gull over the Barn was a good July record, but little else out of the ordinary. Barn Bight held 70 Dunlin, 6 Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel and a Black-tailed Godwit, with Stanpit contributing a further 40 Dunlin, 7 Whimbrel, a Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit and over 50 Redshank. A group of 5 Shoveler were off Fisherman's Bank, as were the regular 2 Shelduck young, and a Peregrine made a pass over the area. In the Wood, at least 5 Willow Warbler were about, also the Nuthatch and a Great-spotted Woodpecker, with another by the HHC.
News just in from Stanpit: an age medley of 5 Mediterranean Gull comprised: a juvenile, a first-summer and 3 individual adults; also a Bar-tailed Godwit and increases in Black-tailed Godwit and Whimbrel to 3 and 8 respectively. Also in excess of 100 Sandwich Tern and C25 Common Tern.
Omission: a Greenshank was in Barn Bight.
Some real signs of autumn migration today, headed by a Turtle Dove in the North Scrubs, 2 Willow Warbler, one of them even singing, on Hengistbury and a vanguard of 14 or so Sedge Warbler around Stanpit. Massive numbers of terns also used the harbour today - 315 Sandwich Tern and 107 Common Tern - most briefly settling before moving on. On Hengistbury, the Wood continued its purple patch, with a Treecreeper being in there this morning, alongside the Nuthatch. There was a good variety of waders across the whole area, the most notable being an Avocet, 2 Knot, a Sanderling and 126 Oystercatcher on Stanpit; while other combined totals for both sides of the harbour included 100 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, 7 Whimbrel, 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Common Sandpiper and 29 Curlew. Another good tally was Little Egret - 58 counted in all. Both a Hobby and a Peregrine were over Stanpit, as was a Raven, and 2 adult Mediterranean Gull appeared settled. Due to various commitments and the recent technical issues, tomorrow night's post is likely to appear much later than normal.
Yesterday's Avon Valley White Stork ventured into harbour airspace around 10:00 this morning, being watched from both Wick and Hengistbury. Around midday, it again soared over Wick and was then seen from St. Catherine's Hill (outside of the recording area) apparently coming down in the Ogber meadows. A subsequent chat with the resident of Marsh Cottage, Coward's Marsh, suggests the bird has been lingering around for some time. Waders at Stanpit were slightly disappointing, but included 61 Dunlin, 6 Whimbrel, 2 Ringed Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Black-tailed Godwit; while a couple of moulting adult Mediterranean Gull and a party of 5 Shoveler provided slightly more interest. From Hengistbury, the Marsh Tit and Nuthatch were in the Wood, and a Peregrine was seen over The Priory.
What the sea lacked in quality, it made up for in quantity of Gannet. At least 300, but possibly up to 500, were feeding distantly offshore, where there was obviously a large shoal of fish. Despite this, the only other species of real interest to join them were a couple of all dark Arctic Skua that lingered for a while, but made no real attempt to hassle any of the terns that were out there. Earlier, at the HHC, signs of autumn came courtesy of a high-flying Grey Wagtail, but a reminder of the actual season was provided by a family of Water Rail in the reeds just south of Smuggler's Ditch. A Little Ringed Plover was seen in flight, then appeared to come down onto Stanpit, as did 40 Dunlin and 7 Black-tailed Godwit. A Greenshank was in Brewer's Creek and Barn Bight held 8 Common Sandpiper, with a further bird in Holloway's Dock, while 5 Whimbrel were dotted about and 6 Sanderling were at the end of the head briefly. Both the Marsh Tit and the Nuthatch were heard by the Double Bends, and the Nursery also contained some vocal Coal Tit. Finally for the morning, a couple of juvenile Lesser Whitethroat, a Kingfisher and a Great-spotted Woodpecker were by the HHC. At Stanpit late this afternoon, a party of 73 Dunlin was flushed by a large female Peregrine and only 13 remained after that, along with 23 Curlew and 6 Whimbrel. The Sandwich Tern count was 62 with Common Tern contributing a further 4. It's probably best to visit the marsh before lunch tomorrow, as the swan-upping commences at 1:30.
Additional news: a further Arctic Skua went by at sea and a returning Willow Warbler was in the Wood. Meanwhile, the information services reported 2 Little Ringed Plover and a Roseate Tern at Stanpit in the evening.
The only news so far comes from a late afternoon visit to Stanpit on the ebb tide. There was a good number of Dunlin around, perhaps as many as 90; but, unusually, they were in 4 or 5 distinct groups, some of which kept moving out of sight, making an accurate count quite difficult. Not too much else though, just 5 Whimbrel and a lone Common Sandpiper, in fact. Again, there were plenty of Sandwich Tern in the harbour, with an increasing number of juveniles now about - for example, at least 7 in a total of 60 or so. Other recently fledged birds now becoming obvious are Redshank, their yellowy legs presenting a trap for the unwary, Curlew and the three species of locally breeding large gulls. The 2 Shelduck young were off Blackberry Point and there was marked increase in Black-headed Gull using both the harbour and the adjacent Avon Valley.
The first returning Snipe, accidentally flushed from Crouch Hill, was amongst the other waders on Stanpit, which included: a Greenshank, at least 8 Common Sandpiper, 4 Whimbrel and 40 Dunlin. Also, 78 Sandwich Tern loafing around Stanpit Bight. Although the Hengistbury Nuthatch went unreported today, there was a bird in Smithy's Field, while a Peregine headed north over Wick and a Moorhen family with 3 chicks was on the HHC slip.
Omission: a further 3 Common Sandpiper were in Barn Bight and 2 Lesser Whitethroat were seen by the HHC.
Much better coverage today, including a couple of seawatches. At 9:30, a party of 6 shearwaters, thought to be Manx Shearwater moved east, but were a little too far out for certain identification. However, around the same sort of time, a single bird closer in could be confirmed as a Balearic Shearwater; with it, or another, being seen again slightly later. A Great-northern Diver, also heading east, was unseasonable to say the least, while over 250 Gannet, 2 Common Scoter and a Mediterranean Gull made for a reasonably good couple of sessions. Unfortunately though, an oiled Guillemot was floundering around just offshore from the Beach Huts. Hengistbury also saw a movement of Swift - 137 with the south-westerly breeze; and the regular Nuthatch with a Great-spotted Woodpecker in the south-west corner of the Nursery. Waders were turned in from both Stanpit and the head, the combined counts being: 65 Dunlin, 7 Common Sandpiper, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Whimbrel, 4 Ringed Plover and 3 Greenshank, the latter all in Stanpit Bight. Finally, a Peregrine headed north over The Priory.
Additional news: a brood of 8 unaccompanied, but well-grown, Shelduck were seen off South Marsh this morning and were thought to be larger than the two that have been reported on and off recently. Once can only speculate as to where the parents have been hiding this larger family away.
More: the Marsh Tit was in the Wood on Hengistbury.
It was the lure of waders that again meant Stanpit received most of the day's attention. Peak numbers from morning and late afternoon sorties comprise: 20 Dunlin, 5 Whimbrel, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 of them straight through west, 3 Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank and a Sanderling; while the 2 young Shelduck are growing in stature. On the south side, Holloway's Dock and Barn Bight held 5 Common Sandpiper and 2 Whimbrel between them; a couple more Common Sandpiper were by the HHC, as was a Greenshank; and 5 Common Scoter and a Hobby moved west. Sunday sees the annual swan-upping tradition in the harbour - after a morning session at Town Quay, 'rounding-up' in Stanpit Bight starts at around 1:30.
Additional news: a Ruff was noted at Stanpit.
Omission: a second-summer Mediterranean Gull was on Stanpit in the morning.
The best of a fairly quiet day was a Bullfinch in the North Scrubs this morning, although a party of 3 Greenshank in Stanpit Bight was also a nice record. Common Sandpiper were down on yesterday, with just 6 noted; likewise, 2 Whimbrel, but Dunlin remained steady at 22. A total of 64 adult Sandwich Tern were around Stanpit Bight, as were 11 Common Tern.
It was really a tale of two tides for the day. During the morning at Stanpit, when the water was up, the totals came in at 13 Dunlin, 3 Common Sandpiper and 3 Whimbrel; but the next few hours of exposed mud increased the afternoon counts to 21 Dunlin, at least 10 Common Sandpiper and 5 Whimbrel. However, if one assumes that the Redshank and Curlew are all fairly local, there were no other migrant waders present. The later visit also saw a peak of Sandwich Tern, which numbered 124 and included the first two juveniles of the season. Also around 8 Common Tern inside the harbour and it was seen that just 2 Shelduck young now remain, but these have reached a size that should see them through. Little to report from Hengistbury, where the first Kingfisher of the 'winter' was on the HHC slip and a Hobby passed over.
News just in from Stanpit this afternoon: an adult Yellow-legged Gull was by Mother Siller's Channel and 2 Knot, including a nicely plumaged bird, were in Stanpit Bight, where a Dunlin estimate of 30 was made. Along the northern edge of the Recreation Ground, a juvenile Sparrowhawk allowed approach to a few metres before taking flight.
Not too much to shout about, but a nice variation for mid-July, nevertheless. Holloway's Dock held a wader mix comprising 1 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel and 4 Common Sandpiper, and with further of these on Wick Hams, the beach and Stanpit the day-total is at least 7 birds. Also on Stanpit, a couple of Black-tailed Godwit and a single Dunlin. Also 7 for the day were Shoveler - a party of 6 upriver, then settling by Clay Pool, and an additional bird over the HHC, where small numbers of Common Tern left overhead. The Marsh Tit performed well in the Wood for a while, as did the Nuthatch, but both appear quite mobile. At sea, only 1 Storm Petrel was obvious, but there did seem to be something of a heron migration - a juvenile Grey Heron heading out high south and a Little Egret far out and moving west. On the breeding front, Reed Bunting have recently fledged, with several young birds around the HHC and the Barn, while Reed Warbler continue to sing intermittently.
A Roseate Tern, in the company of Black-headed Gull, spent a short time perched on a boat in the river by the HHC this morning, but unfortunately departed before the lens arrived. After a few blank days, the Marsh Tit was again found in the Wood, while 6 Common Sandpiper were in Barn Bight and returning Whimbrel numbered 2 in Holloway's Dock and 1 on the beach. It hardly seems any time at all since they were heading northwards. At sea, just a single Storm Petrel could be picked out, along with 15 or so Gannet. The threatening rain held off until the early evening, but when it did happen it brought over 100 Swift to Wick with an accompanying Hobby.
The bulk of the day's reports come from Stanpit, where the waders are trickling back through. Peak counts from a couple of morning visits, when the tide was most favourable, include: 17 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Common Sandpiper, 5 Dunlin and 3 Whimbrel. Of course, the Little Gull was still there and looks set to remain until its left wing repairs, but an adult Common Gull was a certain new arrival. Just like a couple of weeks ago, there was a Treecreeper in Smithy's Field, meaning there is possibly a lingering bird that could spark a local twitch; while on Hengistbury, the Nuthatch was again seen, as was a Great-spotted Woodpecker and a late singing Lesser Whitethroat by the HHC. Around the northern part of the area, there were several family parties, with Smithy's Field holding a party of Cetti's Warbler that included 3 juveniles, at least 10 Blackcap, many of them young, and 2 recently fledged Green Woodpecker. Despite the continuing blow, the only news from the sea comes via the information services, which carry a report of 2 Storm Petrel off Hengistbury in the early afternoon.
Incessant, all-day rain, coupled with the continuing wind, effectively curtailed any activity today. So, it's those dreaded words, 'nothing to report.'
Late update: a singe Storm Petrel and 2 Common Tern were seen from Mudeford Quay.
Not much change in the conditions and again it was Storm Petrel that were the order of the day. An incredibly early watch commenced at 4:30 and the first hour saw up to 12 birds lingering off the Beach Huts. However, a strong movement then ensued with over 50 birds seen travelling rapidly west during the next 60 minutes. A slightly later vigil, during the 30 minutes prior to 9:00, produced a further 12 birds heading down channel. A Manx Shearwater also passed west just before 5:30, while 2 Common Tern and the customary number of Gannet were noted; as were small numbers of Shag, which are now present again off Hengistbury, post-breeding from nearby cliffs. A notable Common Sandpiper influx was evident - 9 in Barn Bight and 2 off Fisherman's Bank - with the former site also hosting a Whimbrel and 21 Redshank. A Great-spotted Woodpecker was towards the end of the head and another was in the Wood, but neither of the other arboreal goodies were located. At lunchtime, using a pair of bins and a modicum of imagination, it was just about possible to pick out a Storm Petrel from Mudeford Quay. So, if you don't fancy the walk, there is always that option. Finally, for those so inclined, the 2007 report that will be published later this summer, includes an article on the good numbers of Stormies that were off Hengistbury last June and July. There's never been a better time to join CHOG and ensure your free copy.
With the strong wind moving into its third day, there was an increased selection of seabirds on offer from the Beach Huts during this morning's watches. Variety came from singles of Balearic Shearwater, Great Skua and Arctic Skua; but quantity came from Storm Petrel with 23 being the maximum estimate, including 17 in one scan. Actually, even in the afternoon, at least 9 could be seen. Back to the early session, which also produced 8 Little Tern, 7 Common Tern, a Mediterranean Gull, a Fulmar, a Kittiwake, a Guillemot, 2 Common Scoter and 40+ Gannet, all west. On the walk to the end of the head, waders in Barn Bight were recorded as a Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper and 3 Black-tailed Godwit, while the Nuthatch could be heard in the Wood.
Additional news: there were still up to 12 Storm Petrel on show in the evening, as well as the Little Gull off Blackberry Point.
Despite some quite awful early rain, at least two made the long walk to the Beach Huts, from where today's Storm Petrel count was 11 birds, all moving strongly west. The support was minimal, but did include a Little Tern, a Common Scoter on the water, 5 Common Tern and 3 Fulmar, as well as 10 or so Gannet. The current woodland 'specialities' all performed well - the Marsh Tit mingling with Long-tailed Tit and the Nuthatch calling away, as was a Great Spotted Woodpecker. The Little Gull, which is still lacking most of its left wing-tip, was on Stanpit throughout and, this afternoon, the first settled, returning Whimbrel was on South Marsh, as were 2 Common Sandpiper that were joined by an arriving lone Dunlin.
A light south-easterly that backed south overnight had gained some significant strength by dawn, after which it continued its rotation to the west. At the Beach Huts, debate ensued as to the exact number of Storm Petrel present, with the problem being intermittent, but frequent, observations of individual birds in the same approximate area. "At least 2," would seem to be a fair compromise. In between all the conjecture and theory, a Little Tern could be seen lingering offshore, while 2 Kittiwake, 3 Curlew and a Fulmar moved west, 2 adult Guillemot headed east and a juvenile drifted into The Solent with the tide. There was a marked increase of recently fledged Black-headed Gull, most appearing from the east, an adult Mediterranean Gull over Wick Hams and the regular Little Gull on Stanpit. In Barn Bight, on the early low, evidence of return wader passage came from 4 Common Sandpiper and 1 Greenshank. The latter jumping onto Wick Hams as the waters rose. In the Wood, the Nuthatch was still present, as was at least one vocal Great-spotted Woodpecker, but little else. Overhead, a very light Swift movement, with the wind, was noted.
There was little or no coverage this morning, so again the best comes from late in the day, when a total of 5 Mediterranean Gull passed over Wick Fields. The make up was a group of 3 adult birds followed by a pairing of first-summer and second-summer individuals. From Argyll Road, the Little Gull and the 3 Shelduck young could be picked out, while Curlew were counted at 19. Finally, just a whisker outside the area, a family of Kestrel comprising 4 almost fledged youngsters can be seen well in an alcove on the eastern end of The Priory.
A brace of Greenshank off Blackberry Point early this evening were the undoubted highlight of a less than average day. Also, the Little Gull and 12 Curlew there, while earlier, a Common Sandpiper had been in Barn Bight. An early morning ringing session at Solent Meads resulted in just 11 traps, but these did include a locally reared Goldfinch. Around the same time, the sea turned up nothing more than a few Gannet.
Additional news: a Garden Warbler singing in Wick Ditch was something of a surprise, but a Peregrine overhead was perhaps more expected.
A single Storm Petrel moved west past the Beach Huts this morning, also 55 Gannet, 16 Common Scoter and 8 Curlew, while 2 Common Scoter went east. Another 9 Curlew were on Stanpit, but just 1 Common Sandpiper was in Barn Bight. Finally, 2 Crossbill flew west over Stanpit golf course.
Late news from Stanpit: both adult Mediterranean Gull and a second-year Common Gull were on the Marsh today, also the Curlew count reached 15. Also, a Common Sandpiper there.
Stanpit held most interest on a very quiet day with the first-summer Little Gull still on South Marsh, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Turnstone, plus 90 Lapwing, 25 Redshank, 15 Sandwich Tern and 3 Curlew. It's also pleasing to report that the 3 Shelduck young were out towards Blackberry this evening. Earlier on Hengistbury, 5 Swift passed over and 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen, while 38 Gannet moved east at sea.